The book is based on the undergraduate course taught by Alex Vilenkin at Tufts University. It assumes no prior knowledge of physics or mathematics beyond elementary high school math. The necessary physics background is introduced as it is required. Each chapter includes a list of questions and exercises of varying degree of difficulty.
Providing a superb introduction to the philosophy of science, Dowe's Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking contends that there are four basic ways to relate science and religion. Two of them, naturalism and religious science, present these endeavors as antagonistic. By contrast, an independence view understands them as wholly unrelated. Finally, an interaction account sees religion and science as complementary -- perhaps even dependent on one another. Dowe finds this last perspective the most historically and philosophically compelling. He argues his case by exploring the history of science, highlighting the life and work of three scientific giants: Galileo Galilei, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking.
Both an accomplished theoretical physicist and a faithful Catholic, Stephen Barr in this book addresses a wide range of questions about the relationship between science and religion, providing a beautiful picture of how they can coexist in harmony.
In his first essay, "Retelling the Story of Science," Barr challenges the widely held idea that there is an inherent conflict between science and religion. He goes on to analyze such topics as the quantum creation of universes from nothing, the multiverse, the Intelligent Design movement, and the implications of neuroscience for the reality of the soul.
Including reviews of highly influential books by such figures as Edward O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Francis S. Collins, Michael Behe, and Thomas Nagel, The Believing Scientist helpfully engages pressing questions that often vex religious believers who wish to engage with the world of science.
Schwarz first surveys scientific explanations for the origins of the universe and of life and discusses the scientific understanding of matter, space, time, and determinism. He then reviews the history of Christian responses to science's discoveries, including a summary of reactions from Christian scientists. He completes his analysis with a proposal for the development of a Christian understanding of creation.
Through this engaging approach Schwarz leads Christians and scientists away from isolation in their respective arenas and draws them toward an appreciation of their complementary contributions to the questions of humanity's origin and destiny. Ultimately, he maintains that Christian hope is based neither on science nor on the denial of science, but on God's self-disclosure in the life and destiny of Jesus the Christ.
Since the 1930s, physicists have noticed an alarming discrepancy between the universe as we see it and the universe that Einstein's theory of relativity predicts. There just doesn't seem to be enough stuff out there for everything to hang together. Galaxies spin so fast that, based on the amount of visible matter in them, they ought to be flung to pieces, the same way a spinning yo-yo can break its string. Cosmologists tried to solve the problem by positing dark matter—a mysterious, invisible substance that surrounds galaxies, holding the visible matter in place—and particle physicists, attempting to identify the nature of the stuff, have undertaken a slew of experiments to detect it. So far, none have.
Now, John W. Moffat, a physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, offers a different solution to the problem. The capstone to a storybook career—one that began with a correspondence with Einstein and a conversation with Niels Bohr—Moffat's modified gravity theory, or MOG, can model the movements of the universe without recourse to dark matter, and his work challenging the constancy of the speed of light raises a stark challenge to the usual models of the first half-million years of the universe's existence.
This bold new work, presenting the entirety of Moffat's hypothesis to a general readership for the first time, promises to overturn everything we thought we knew about the origins and evolution of the universe.
"The Accelerating Universe is not only an informative book about modern cosmology. It is rich storytelling and, above all, a celebration of the human mind in its quest for beauty in all things."
—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams
"This is a wonderfully lucid account of the extraordinary discoveries that have made the last years a golden period for observational cosmology. But Mario Livio has not only given the reader one clear explanation after another of what astronomers are up to, he has used them to construct a provocative argument for the importance of aesthetics in the development of science and for the inseparability of science, art, and culture."
—Lee Smolin, author of The Life of the Cosmos
"What a pleasure to read! An exciting, simple account of the universe revealed by modern astronomy. Beautifully written, clearly presented, informed by scientific and philosophical insights."
—John Bahcall, Institute for Advanced Study
"A book with charm, beauty, elegance, and importance. As authoritative a journey as can be taken through modern cosmology."
—Allan Sandage, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
In Genesis Was Right, amateur historian Stephen Barr examines the characteristics of civilization and demonstrates how they have become so integral to civilization that any change - especially one that may prevent a downfall - has become nearly impossible. In Barr's critical glimpse into the history of our civilization, in thirteen chapters he scrutinizes the life processes of the universe, the life stages within our galaxy, and those of mankind’s very civilization. The earth’s slow stages that we barely perceive are paralleled by our civilization’s slow stages. We react to this in various ways that are the changing characteristics of our societies.
With the onset of global warming and the shortage of petroleum, raw materials, and fresh water, Barr's comprehensive look at the history of our civilization will encourage others to learn from the mistakes of those who came before us and reexamine our current lifestyle, ultimately building a better future for our world.