Reviews - What do customers think about The Big Questions in Science and Religion?
Big questions, small answers Oct 29, 2008
Keith Ward's book, The BIG Questions in Science and Religion, seeks to answer 10 questions that are of importance in the controversy over science and religion. The questions include How did the Universe Begin (End), Has Science made Belief in God Obsolete, Is Evolution Compatible with Creation, and other such questions central to this issue.
To be fair, there are no sure or easy answers to such questions. Ward does provide considerable information and insights and the book does set one to thinking that these questions need to be considered in greater depth than most of us have done in the past.
But there are two problems that limit the value of the book. The first is that Ward is an academic (the Regis Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Oxford University) and cannot help but write in a style that is more suited for academics than lay persons. The second problem is that he has a clear bias. Ward is also an ordained priest of the Church of England, and as such, comes down on the side of God (or as close as he can get) on all these issues. Thus the book lacks the kind of rigorous objectivity that a true agnostic scholar would have provided.
However as someone who is a true agnostic (I think the idea of God is unknowable given our present and probably our future knowledge), I found myself thinking that perhaps there is something, after all, that resembles an intelligent presence in the universe. In any case Ward is to be commended for making the effort to reconcile science and religion
In sum, this book is not for everyone, but may give you some insights that you do not presently have if you are willing to wade through the dense language.
The Big Questions in Science and Religion Aug 30, 2008
Was an excellent and challenging book for a group of six men in a men's book club. All retired or semi-retired professionals, three professors from a local university(South Dakota State), one MD, one newspaper writer and one semi-retired minister--me. Our group contained One Catholic, One Jew, and four Protestants. I can see the book being used in an adult church/synagogue/ mosque education setting over a semester's time or more with an open minded leader. We felt we didn't do it justice in one sitting, albeit a lively, but cordial sitting.
A Must Read Jul 25, 2008
Ward has provided a fair and balanced assesment of current issues in the science/Faith controvesy. This work is scholarly, temperate and best of all HONEST with the data. Because the truth of the matter is that neither atheism nor theism has in its posession a smoking gun. And this is exactly what we would expect if indeed God intention with regard to create was to create an environment for humankind where freewill could in fact flourish untainted and uncoerced by absolute truth's stemming from scientic data. What a previous reviewer interpreted as Ward's attempt to stay neutral so as not to offend anybody, is in reality Ward simply being true to the data which is exactly what scholarship demands. If one desires to read Christian propaganda, then check out the young earth creationist literature. Having the courage and intellectual honesty to be fair with the data is a virtue few authors in this day and age posess. Notwhithstanding the opinions of the previous reviewer, I believe Ward did in fact present in clear and lucid terms what I percieved as the overwhelming evidence for the Christian Faith. Admitting to the fact that the evidence is subject to alternate interpretation is simply a fact and has nothing to do with Ward trying to "not offend" anybody. Ward didn't have to write the book at all, if that were the case. In short the book is great.
I expected more May 15, 2008
Questions? Yes! Answers? No! The author does not "confront" these questions. It is a compendium of opinions from many sources that ends in a stalemate. The author keeps a very low profile and is careful to offend no one. Perhaps that was his goal. While it is a good source of history, I had expected more from a Professor of Divinity. Gerry