Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith and the Search for Order by George Johnson, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith and the Search for Order

Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith and the Search for Order

by George Johnson
     
 

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Are there really laws governing the universe? Or is the order we see a mere artifact of the way evolution wired the brain? And is what we call science only a set of myths in which quarks, DNA, and information fill the role once occupied by gods? These questions lie at the heart of George Johnson's audacious exploration of the border between science and religion,

Overview

Are there really laws governing the universe? Or is the order we see a mere artifact of the way evolution wired the brain? And is what we call science only a set of myths in which quarks, DNA, and information fill the role once occupied by gods? These questions lie at the heart of George Johnson's audacious exploration of the border between science and religion, cosmic accident and timeless law. Northern New Mexico is home both to the most provocative new enterprises in quantum physics, information science, and the evolution of complexity and to the cosmologies of the Tewa Indians and the Catholic Penitentes. As it draws the reader into this landscape, juxtaposing the systems of belief that have taken root there, Fire in the Mind into a gripping intellectual adventure story that compels us to ask where science ends and religion begins.

"A must for all those seriously interested in the key ideas at the frontier of scientific discourse."—Paul Davies

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Science writer Johnson visits cutting-edge scientific think tanks and ponders the thin lines between order and chaos, fact and belief. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Fundamental to science is a belief that reality can be understood through observation, experimentation, and measurement. Could it be, however, that humans can grasp just the parts of reality that can be experienced by our limited sensory and cognitive equipment and that what we call science describes a cultural rather than a physical reality? These are heady questions but not necessarily esoteric. Through their traditional myths and religions, the Native American and Spanish populations of the remote areas around Santa Fe have addressed similarly abstract possibilities. Today, scientists at the Santa Fe Institute and Los Alamos National Laboratory also envision a universe where physical reality transcends any human efforts to explain or describe it. The new theories go by exotic nameschaos, complexity, the physics of information, and others. Johnson, a New York Times science writer, captures the radical excitement of a scientific revolution but also looks backward to Southwestern cultures that have long intuited these deeper realities. With grace and insight, he evokes a vivid sense of place and depicts both the rigors and wonders of a modern scientific quest, giving all readers something to ponder. Highly recommended.Gregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679740216
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
635,871
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

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