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5.26.2013

The Soul of Science - Nancy R. Pearcey and Charles B. Thaxton

I only discovered this book twenty years after its publication, but other than so-called junk DNA now not being so junky I didn't detect anything in it that makes it out-of-date. The Soul of Science by Nancy R. Pearcey and Charles B. Thaxton.

This is a popular overview book written for a slightly more literate than usual general audience (have to get that out-of-the-way so all the vain, juvenile intellectuals out there don't start giggling too much). Yet having said that what it delivers is so spectacular (and how it delivers it is so spectacular) that it's really in a category of its own.

I don't know where Pearcey's writing ends and Thaxton's begins (there is no clue given), so I assume it's mostly Pearcey because it all seems to have her signature "razor sharpness" and ability to explain and define complicated things very clearly and concisely while setting everything in needed *context* which makes all the difference in the world.

What you will get is a history of science, a history of philosophy, a history of the influence of Christianity on the western scientific enterprise, incredibly crystalline descriptions and explanations of relativity theory and DNA and quantum mechanics and mathematics and the few foundational guiding metaphors or world views that underlie most all of science and a lot more.

If you've ever read an overview type history of philosophy, for instance, and came away thinking, "Eh, a lot of hyper intellectual vain running away from theism, not very relevant to anything real" which is a healthy response to such a book then this book by Pearcey will be a great surprising find for you. When the history of philosophy is seen running along against the backdrop of the history of the scientific enterprise it brings it all to life. Again, context is everything here. It delivers, astonishingly, actual understanding of the material.

If you read the book don't skim it. It needs to be read from the beginning to the end because each chapter and section builds on what went before.

This book sewed up a lot of loose threads that were hanging in my mind.

The book is a 10 on a scale of 10.

2 Comments:

Blogger c.t. said...

Vol. 1 of Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics, the section titled Scientific Foundations, is the best description of the Christian theory of knowledge. Bavinck is very on-the-mark.

May 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

I should have added that the Bavinck chapter meshes with the Pearcey book very nicely.

May 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM  

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