Friday, October 23, 2009

The Science of God: The Convergence of Scientific and Biblical Wisdom

From Library Journal
Schroeder (Genesis and the Big Bang, LJ 9/15/90) is an Israeli physicist and scholar of Genesis who maintains that a properly understood Bible and a properly understood science provide consistent sets of data. In recent decades, scientific discoveries in cosmology, paleontology, and quantum physics do not demonstrate or prove the activity of God, but they do remove conflict with that activity. Rapprochement occurs when believers read the Bible on the Bible's terms, avoiding literalism, and when scientists realize that science is powerless to pronounce on a purpose for life. Schroeder is very lucid in explaining difficult scientific concepts, such as the passage of time according to the theory of relativity, and religious data, such as the original Hebrew words. Schroeder's careful and responsible handling of the data on origins from science and Genesis 1, combined with a fresh, judicious correlation between the two, is compelling. Highly recommended.?Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. From Kirkus Reviews
This account of creation is the latest entry in the current endeavor to drag science and religion within shouting distance of each other. Schroeder, a physicist and Bible scholar (Genesis and the Big Bang, 1990), attempts to reconcile the Genesis account of creation with current scientific knowledge about the origin of life. No doubt he is well versed in both the Bible and biology; he's also a skilled pedagogue, explaining abstract or counterintuitive concepts in lay terms. But this book will fail to convince many readers because the author so relentlessly seeks to persuade the reader of the validity of some strange theories, and because his biblical interpretations draw on an exclusively Jewish tradition, including Kabbalah, Maimonedes, and selected passages from the Talmud, which he claims ``anticipated'' later scientific discoveries. Admittedly, some of his arguments (for instance, that the sequence of Genesis creation is congruent with evolution's progression from prokaryotic to human life) are compelling. But elsewhere Schroeder less convincingly rejects the notion of random, mutation-driven evolution, arguing instead that evolution is ``channeled'' toward an outcome preprogrammed into existing DNA. Schroeder's other theories include an odd insistence upon a pre-Adamic, soulless hominid ancestor. It's important to Schroeder that the literal Adam be the first ensouled human being, and since Genesis chronology (almost 6,000 years since Adam) doesn't mesh with what science tells us of the age of humankind, Schroeder sets out to prove that the Bible only picks up the story near the close of human development. Such hermeneutical gymnastics seem strangely outdated and obscure in an often intelligent, cogently argued book. Though respectful of both science and faith, this book is unlikely to convince either scientist or theologian. (b&w illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.