Owen Gingerich believes in a universe of intention and purpose. We can at least conjecture that we are part of that purpose and have just enough freedom that conscience and responsibility may be part of the mix. They may even be the reason that pain and suffering are present in the world. The universe might actually be comprehensible.
Taking Johannes Kepler as his guide, Gingerich argues that an individual can be both a creative scientist and a believer in divine design--that indeed the very motivation for scientific research can derive from a desire to trace God's handiwork. The scientist with theistic metaphysics will approach laboratory problems much the same as does his atheistic colleague across the hall. Both are likely to view the astonishing adaptations in nature with a sense of surprise, wonder, and mystery.
In God's Universe Gingerich carves out "a theistic space" from which it is possible to contemplate a universe where God plays an interactive role, unnoticed yet not excluded by science.
Foreword Peter J. Gomes Prologue 1. Is Mediocrity a Good Idea? 2. Dare a Scientist Believe in Design? 3. Questions without Answers Epilogue Notes Acknowledgments Index
This little book--intelligent, provocative, and respectful of a range of views--shows how a modern scientist can support both evolution and intelligent design and, more generally, offers a meeting place for science and religion. -- Alan Lightman In God's Universe Owen Gingerich makes the case that the probability is miraculously minute, first, that a planet hospitable to life could form after the Big Bang and, second, that once it had formed, intelligent life could develop there. Whether one agrees or disagrees, one will learn from this beautifully presented account of the relevant astronomy and physics. But that isn't all; Gingerich's reflections (as a liberal Christian) on the theological significance of all this are sensitive and deep. A truly fascinating read. -- Hilary Putnam This is a timely and important book. In contrast to the shrill dogmatics on both sides of the current intelligent design debate, Gingerich offers a sweeping and authoritative account of our continuing encounter with, and understanding of, the Universe of which we find ourselves a part. Meticulous in its scholarship, humane in its approach, generous in its tone, restrained in its assertions, but audacious in its scope, this little book is a solid and significant contribution to the ongoing debate. -- Frank Rhodes, President Emeritus, Cornell University Writing in a style that is accessible and laced with interesting historical anecdote, Owen Gingerich uses his expertise in astronomy and its history, together with the insights of his Christian faith, to give a well-argued account of humanity's place in the cosmos. -- Reverend Dr. John Polkinghorne I have always felt the words should be "Science and Religion"--not "Science or Religion." Owen Gingerich offers both intellectual heft and spiritual stamina to back up that claim. This slim volume will pay rich dividends to the seeking mind and the longing soul. -- Dr. Tim Johnson