Archives For Science

 

Free Ebooks

Looking for something to read?

Here are hundreds of classics that are available as FREE ebooks for your Kindle, iPad or other e-reader…

Mix up your reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books…

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books…

Stay tuned as as we will be adding
more categories to this list!

 
Continue Reading…

 

Science Classics

This is the latest post in a series that will, in effect, create a library of classics that are available as free ebooks.

Most recent post: [ Early Christian History ]
1st post in this series: [ Classics of Ancient History ]

This week we focus on Science. We have selected the following books as recommended reading.

We are encouraging our readers to mix up their reading habits, and read (or re-read) classics in addition to new books, such as the ones we review here in the ERB.

Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. ERB Editor Chris Smith has an article on The Huffington Post website arguing for reading a mix of classics and new books in 2013.


Continue Reading…

 

An excellent book that arrived in bookstores last week…

Telling Our Way to the Sea: A Voyage of Discovery in the Sea of Cortez
Aaron Hirsh

Hardback: FSG, 2013.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

“Hirsh delivers an important work about the power of place and the power of stories—scientific, historical, and personal—to shape our understanding of our world.”
– Publishers Weekly [ Read the full, starred review ]






Continue Reading…

 

Robert Asher - Evolution and BeliefTacking Religious Beliefs on to Darwin.

A Feature Review of

Evolution and Belief: Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist.

Robert Asher.

Hardback: Cambridge UP, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Todd Edmondson

As hot button issues go, ongoing debates about evolution, creationism, and Intelligent Design, situated at the point where religion, science, and politics collide, are among the most contentious. Thankfully, a number of Christian scholars and leaders of the church like Rowan Williams, Alister McGrath, and Peter Enns have stepped into the fray, endeavoring to work toward some measure of reconciliation between the tenets of orthodox Christianity and the findings of modern science. There is still, however, much work to be done. If Christians are ever going to be at peace with the findings of modern biology – in a way that involves neither stubborn resistance nor passive silence – a weighty theological task lies ahead. Fruitful conversation between what are often perceived to be competing orthodoxies will require humility, prayer, and rigorous scholarship. At the close of his excellent work The Evolution of Adam, Enns presents this concluding thesis: “A true rapprochement between evolution and Christianity requires a synthesis, not simply adding evolution to existing theories.” To put it another way, one cannot merely take a scientific theory and tack a religious belief onto it, without committing an injustice against both.

As one who agrees with Enns on this point, I picked up Robert Asher’s recent work Evolution and Belief: Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist hopeful that Asher would take another step toward integrating faith and science, this time from the scientific side of the perceived rift. However, as if to confirm the old adage about judging a book by its cover, the promise of this book’s title goes largely unfulfilled. I should state up front that there is much that this book does well. Asher is not only a respected paleontologist; he is also a very good writer. The prose here is excellent and highly readable, so that even the passages that tend more toward hard science are not lost on a layperson like myself. Throughout the book, Asher guides readers through a number of debates and questions surrounding the Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution. As someone thoroughly unenlightened on many significant aspects of natural selection–common descent, the fossil record, the development of animals both familiar (the platypus and elephant) and obscure (the tenrec), and molecular biology – I appreciated Asher’s exposition and analysis of these points.

Continue Reading…

 

Are the Bible and Evolution compatible?

A Review of

The Evolution of Adam:

What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins

Peter Enns.

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jasmine Wilson

Are the Bible and Evolution compatible? That is a question so many people have endeavored to answer, and Peter Enns offers a useful account in his book, The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins. First, he answers questions about how to read the origin texts in Scripture, especially in light of other primordial stories of the time, but the differences about Scriptures texts and what those differences say about Israel. The crux of the book is Enns dealing with Paul’s understanding of Adam, however, since that is one of the biggest concerns. If someone were to argue that I should read Genesis figuratively, I can just point to Paul and say, “Well he obviously read it literally. Why shouldn’t I?” Enns scholarship on this is extremely helpful to the dialogue, and I will return to his specific arguments in a moment.

Continue Reading…

 

The Predicament of Belief - Clayton - KnappA Defense of What Faith?

The Predicament of Belief:

Science, Philosophy, and Faith

Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

A Review by Jordan Daniel Wood

According to Philip Clayton and Steven Knapp those who claim to believe in Christianity in the modern context find themselves in a very serious predicament. The predicament is twofold. On the one hand, it is extremely difficult to believe in traditional Christian claims about ultimate reality (UR) in the face of serious “reasons for doubt.” On the other hand, it is problematic to ignore the “axiological and theoretical power” of religious accounts of the ultimate reality, especially Christianity (viii).

Continue Reading…

 

“Science vs. Faith?”

A review of

Where the Conflict Really Lies:
Science, Religion, and Naturalism

Alvin Plantinga
Hardback: Oxford University Press, 2011

Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Shaun C. Brown

[ Read an excerpt from this book … ]

Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, remains one of the preeminent voices in contemporary philosophy of religion.  In 2004–2005, he presented the prestigious Gifford Lectures, which are presented at Scottish universities each year.  Plantinga follows a long line of distinguished scholars, like William James, Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann, and Stanley Hauerwas.  Where the Conflict Really Lies stems from these lectures.  Similar to Barth’s Church Dogmatics, Plantinga’s main argument is in larger print, while more technical details and additions are in smaller print.

Plantinga summarizes his basic argument: “there is a superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism” (ix).  Plantinga notes that the view that a tension exists between science and religion goes back to the seventeenth century and has been held by both people of faith and secularists.

Continue Reading…

 

An Excerpt from:

Where the Conflict Really Lies:

Science, Religion and Naturalism.

Alvin Plantinga.

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Watch for our review of this book next week!


 

A Brief Review of

The Love Story of Creation: Book One:
The Creative Adventures of
God, Quarkie, Photie, and their Atom Friends.
Edward Ruetz.
Paperback: Universe, Inc., 2009.
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Karen Altergott.

Imaginative interweavings of the scientific story and the God-story of creation make The Love Story of Creation unique.  A tale is told with the help of a cast of animated atoms and photons who, along with the Godhead, spend billions of years together.  Beginning from before all time and ending with the existence of 92 atom families and bacterium and a eukaryote cell in a mere 322 pages is an ambitious enterprise.  Carefully incorporating the best science available and the theology of divine love and creativity is an amazing accomplishment.  Ruetz communicates with beauty and delight about a God who is present during the minute transformations of matter into the complex reality we know.  This book conveys the miraculous and the true drama of those billions of years!  What a miracle today is, when we consider all that came before.

Continue Reading…

 

“There’s No Such Thing as an Imageless World…
And It’s a Good Thing, too

A review of
On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods

by Bruno Latour
.

Review by Chris Smith.


Bruno Latour - The Factish GodsOn the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods
Bruno Latour
.
Paperback: Duke Univ. Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

As a graduate student in philosophy of science over a decade ago, I was deeply moved by the work of Bruno Latour, and particular his work (co-written with Steve Woolgar) Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, which is a bold critique that drives at the heart of what science is.  Although Latour has, in recent years, grown increasingly skeptical of social criticism, he remains one of the clearest and most sensible social philosophers of our age.  Thus, I was intrigued by his newest work, a slim volume of three essays entitled On The Modern Cult of the Factish Gods.

Continue Reading…