With exoplanets being discovered daily, Earth is still the only planet we know of that is home to creatures who seek a coherent explanation for the structure, origins, and fate of the universe, and of humanity’s place within it. Today, science and religion are the two major cultural entities on our planet that share this goal of coherent understanding, though their interpretation of evidence differs dramatically. Many scientists look at the known universe and conclude we are here by chance. The renowned astronomer and historian of science Owen Gingerich looks at the same evidence—along with the fact that the universe is comprehensible to our minds—and sees it as proof for the planning and intentions of a Creator-God. He believes that the idea of a universe without God is an oxymoron, a self-contradiction. God’s Planet exposes the fallacy in thinking that science and religion can be kept apart.
Gingerich frames his argument around three questions: Was Copernicus right, in dethroning Earth from its place at the center of the universe? Was Darwin right, in placing humans securely in an evolving animal kingdom? And was Hoyle right, in identifying physical constants in nature that seem singularly tuned to allow the existence of intelligent life on planet Earth? Using these episodes from the history of science, Gingerich demonstrates that cultural attitudes, including religious or antireligious beliefs, play a significant role in what passes as scientific understanding. The more rigorous science becomes over time, the more clearly God’s handiwork can be comprehended.
[A] short, punchy, accessible, and thought-provoking book… What sets this book apart from others dealing with the science–religion debate is that rather than dealing in generalities, the author illustrates his viewpoint by focusing on three case studies related to the work of three scientists, Nicolaus Copernicus, Charles Darwin, and Fred Hoyle. The introduction of personal details concerning these thinkers makes what is already an easy read even more enjoyable and engaging.
A rich volume you’ll want to keep in your library.
I thought I knew all I needed to know about these characters—Copernicus, Darwin, Hoyle—who shaped our modern view of the cosmos. Now Owen Gingerich provides new facts and deeper understanding of all three of them.
Astronomer-historian Owen Gingerich rebuts the claim made by Stephen Jay Gould that science and religion are ‘non-overlapping magisteria’ with no influence on each other. He does so by carefully analyzing three scientific discoveries whose full significance is only clarified through metascientific assessment. Gingerich’s argument is scholarly, yet the writing is so clear and lively that it is readily accessible.
Eminent scholar Gingerich shows how religious perspectives have played significant roles in major scientific discoveries and frameworks…This enlightened Christian’s goal is to show that Steven J. Gould’s allegedly non-overtapping magisteria (NOMA), namely science and religion, are actually constantly overlapping…God’s Planet is fascinating in its wealth of information and insights.
- 192 pages
- 4-3/8 x 7-1/8 inches
- Harvard University Press
- Foreword by Randy Isaac
From this author
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.