Archives For Science

 

November 15 marked the birthday of Alvin Plantinga, the noted philosopher, who was awarded the distinguished Templeton Prize this fall.

 
In honor of the occasion, we offer a series of brief video clips that introduce his legacy…

*** Books by Alvin Plantinga

Introduction (Templeton Prize):

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A Model of Passionate
and Detailed Conversation
 
A Review of 

Old-Earth or Evolutionary Creation?
Kenneth Keathley, J. B. Stump, and Joe Aguirre, Eds.

Paperback: IVP Academic, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Justin Cober-Lake

 

Religious faith and scientific study haven’t always been at odds, but over the last few decades, few interdisciplinary conversations have been as publicly contentious. Between the rise of New Atheism and the speed of scientific discovery, the culture wars have persisted when it comes to issues like evolution/creation, the age of the earth, and more. These debates haven’t always been amicable, even within Christian circles, but two organizations committed to looking at these fields of study look for healthy ways to advance conversation. BioLogs and Reasons to Believe (RTB) have turned a decade’s worth of interaction into Old-Earth or Evolutionary Creation?, a work designed  to present not only views of the two groups, but also the charitable attitude that informs their ongoing discussions.

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A Cruelly Steady Pace
 
A Review of
 

Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation
Alan Burdick

Hardback: Simon & Schuster, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Alisa Williams
 
 

The title of Alan Burdick’s book instantly intrigued me. For the past decade or so my life has felt as if someone pressed the fast-forward button and forgot to let up, a perception Burdick assures is quite normal in his expansive exploration of Why Time Flies.

I knew very little about the study of time before cracking open Burdick’s book, but his relaxed prose and quick wit kept the often complex concepts behind, what we call, time easily digestible.

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Our Many Misunderstandings
of the World Around Us

A Review of

Scienceblind:
Why Our Intuitive Theories About the World Are So Often Wrong
Andrew Shtulman

Hardback: Basic Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [  Kindle ]

 
Reviewed by Alisa Williams

 

In an age where scientific information is readily at our fingertips, why do so many people resist or flat-out deny scientific explanations for everything from pasteurization and immunization to geology and genetics? This is the question Andrew Shtulman, a cognitive and developmental psychologist, seeks to answer in his book Scienceblind.

The quick answer is intuitive theories, our “untutored explanations for how the world works,” get in the way of reality (4). These intuitive theories are pervasive and indiscriminate – even scientists with years of study subconsciously resort to false intuitive theories when tested. This alone seems cause for alarm, but Shtulman offers hope. If we can understand why our minds insist on carving “up the world into entities and processes that do not actually exist” then we can also course correct our minds by dismantling those pesky intuitive theories so we can “rebuild them from their foundations” (5).

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Unraveling the Tension
Between Faith and Science

 
A Review of 

Aquinas and Modern Science: A New Synthesis of Faith and Reason
Gerard Verschuuren

Paperback: Angelico Press, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Amy Gentile
 
 
Faith and Reason, or religion and science, are often set up as polar opposites in modern discourse. Debates on such topics as evolution or the origins of the universe can make it seem as though faith and reason are diametrically opposed, further entrenching people in both “camps”. Yet there are many wonderful scientists who remain fully committed to reason and trust in the evidence of science while also valuing the place of faith and religious thought. It is in this vein that Gerard Verschuuren writes, and his specific focus on Thomas Aquinas and Thomistic philosophy provides a unique contribution to those interested in the intersection of faith and science.

Verschuuren’s book is impressive in its scope; he begins the book by describing the historical context of Aquinas as well as outlining the broad contours of his thought. He especially focuses on: Esse, Essence, Existence, and Substance; Matter and Form; Fivefold Causality; and Primary/Secondary Causes. Here, Verschuuren does a good job of explaining Aquinas’s thought in understandable ways: the ideas are certainly complex, but the author uses helpful analogies and explains terms thoroughly to aid the reader’s comprehension. These aspects of Thomistic philosophy are then applied to very diverse fields of scientific study, encompassing everything from Physics to Biology to Neuroscience, and even the Social Sciences.

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What the Bible REALLY Says
about Science

 
A Review of 

Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!
Denis Lamoureux

Paperback: Zondervan, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Emily McGowin
 
 
Denis Lamoureux is Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta. He holds a Ph.D. in theology, a Ph.D. in biology, and a D.D.S., Doctor of Dental Surgery. Lamoureux is the author of Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution; I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution; and Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins. At one time, Lamoureux was a passionate promoter of young earth creationism (YEC), eager to expose evolution as an elaborate deception. But, in the process of obtaining his Ph.D. in theology, Lamoureux found his assumptions about the Bible—especially what it does and doesn’t teach—challenged and ultimately up-ended. He embarked on a journey to figure out what the Bible really says about science. Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes! is a distillation of Lamoureux’s conclusions and his attempt to help others along the same journey.

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One of the best new book releases of this week is:

Finding God in the Waves:
How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science

Mike McHargue

Hardback: Convergent Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 

Watch a book trailer video
for this great new book:

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

 

Commonwealth: A Novel

Ann Patchett

 

Read the NY Times review of this book

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

 

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Shauna Niequist

 

Read an interview with the author from Christianity Today

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church

Elaine Heath

(Yes, this book came out earlier this month, but somehow it slipped past us, and deserves to be noted here, even if we are late in doing so.)

Listen to an interview with the author about the book

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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