The Sacred Depths of Natureby Ursula Goodenough
Pub. Date: 06/28/2000
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern agethe Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativitypoint to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a
For many of us, the great scientific discoveries of the modern agethe Big Bang, evolution, quantum physics, relativitypoint to an existence that is bleak, devoid of meaning, pointless. But in The Sacred Depths of Nature, eminent biologist Ursula Goodenough shows us that the scientific world view need not be a source of despair. Indeed, it can be a wellspring of solace and hope.
This eloquent volume reconciles the modern scientific understanding of reality with our timeless spiritual yearnings for reverence and continuity. Looking at topics such as evolution, emotions, sexuality, and death, Goodenough writes with rich, uncluttered detail about the workings of nature in general and of living creatures in particular. Her luminous clarity makes it possible for even non-scientists to appreciate that the origins of life and the universe are no less meaningful because of our increasingly scientific understanding of them. At the end of each chapter, Goodenough's spiritual reflections respond to the complexity of nature with vibrant emotional intensity and a sense of reverent wonder.
A beautifully written celebration of molecular biology with meditations on the spiritual and religious meaning that can be found at the heart of science, this volume makes an important contribution to the ongoing dialog between science and religion. This book will engage anyone who was ever mesmerizedor terrifiedby the mysteries of existence.
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Table of Contents
1. Origins of the Earth
2. Origins of Life
3. How Life Works
4. How an Organism Works
5. How Evolution Works
6. The Evolution of Biodiversity
8. Emotions and Meaning
11. Multicellularity and Death
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An excellent reading experience that feels congruent with what I experience in my own explorations.Though I doubt that Wendell Berry would appreciate the comparison, Dr. Goodenough¿s essays remind me of poems and essays by Professor Berry.