Oracles Of Science

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Overview

Biologists Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Edward O. Wilson, and physicists Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Steven Weinberg have become public intellectuals, articulating a much larger vision for science and what role it should play in the modern worldview. The scientific prestige and literary eloquence of each of these great thinkers combine to transform them into what can only be called oracles of science. Curiously, the leading "oracles of science" are predominantly secular in ways that don't reflect the distribution of religious beliefs within the scientific community. Many of them are even hostile to religion, creating a false impression that science as a whole is incompatible with religion. Karl Giberson and Mariano Artigas offer an informed analysis of the views of these six scientists, carefully distinguishing science from philosophy and religion in the writings of the oracles.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors make a good case for how the misuse of science to advance philosophical and quasi-religious or antireligious ideas fails to reckon with the limitations of science...The book is highly recommended." —Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation

"Six great science luminaries antagonistic to religious belief, among the most distinguished and best known scientists of our times, are subjected to scrutiny. The portrayal of their ideas is accurate and insightful, as well as fair. The criticisms are, by and large, gentle, but pointed. Will you be convinced? Read on. You'll be glad you did. You'll learn much and be prepared to make your own determination." —Francisco J. Ayala, University Professor at the University of California, Irvine, recipient of the 2001 National Medal of Science, and author of Darwin and Intelligent Design

"One of our modern values is freedom of thought in philosophy, theology, and science as well, despite the perennial turf wars between all three. This concise biographical study, both sympathetic and critical, shows how six celebrity scientists have muddled these boundaries, using their eminence and literary skill to debunk traditional religion. Though this is a story of science "oracles" trespassing on theology's turf, it also cautions believers against a similar abuse of science." —Larry Witham, journalist and author of Where Darwin Meets the Bible

"Few writers have poured more fuel on the recent science-religion controversies than such religion-bashers as Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Weinberg. In six perky profiles two Christian scholars critically, but fairly, examine the anti-religious claims of these and other scientific "oracles," finding them no more "scientific" than the mutterings of creationists."" —Ronald L. Numbers, author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195310726
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Karl Giberson is Professor of Physics at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. For years he served as editor in chief of both Science & Theology News and Science & Spirit. Widely published in science and religion, Oracles of Science is his third book in this area.
Mariano Artigas is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. He holds Ph.D.'s both in physics and in philosophy, and is a Roman Catholic priest. Oracles of Science is his fourteenth book on the relationship between science, philosophy, and religion.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Oracles of Science     3
A Good Devil's Chaplain: Richard Dawkins     19
Rocks of Ages and the Ages of the Rocks: Stephen Jay Gould     53
Reading the Mind of God: Stephen Hawking     87
A Light in the Darkness: Carl Sagan     123
Understanding a Pointless Universe: Steven Weinberg     159
A Pulitzer for the Ants: Edward O. Wilson     193
Conclusion: Science and Beyond     225
Notes     237
Bibliography     259
Index     269
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    A comprehensive overview of current trends in science

    The authors do an excellent job of analysis of the position being taken by the persons who are considered to be the authorities---Oracles---of Science. The departure from science into philosophy is clearly shown. It is quite a revelation.

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