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Revered and eminently readable essayist Stephen Jay Gould has once again rendered the complex simple, this time mending the seeming split between the two "Rocks of Ages," science and religion. He quickly, and rightfully, admits that his thesis is not new, but one broadly accepted by many scientists and theologians. Gould begins by suggesting that Darwin has been misconstrued--that while some religious thinkers have used divinity to prove the impossibility of evolution, Darwin would have never done the reverse.
Gould eloquently lays out not "a merely diplomatic solution" to rectify the physical and metaphysical, but "a principled position on moral and intellectual grounds," central to which is the elegant concept of "non-overlapping magisteria." (Gould defines magisteria as a "four-bit" word meaning domain of authority in teaching.) Essentially, science and religion can't be unified, but neither should they be in conflict; each has its own discrete magisteria, the natural world belonging exclusively to science and the moral to religion.
Gould's argument is both lucid and convincing as he cites past religious and scientific greats (including a particularly touching section on Darwin himself). Regardless of your persuasions, religious or scientific, Gould holds up his end of the conversation with characteristic respect and intelligence. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Gould is at his brilliant best... A truly convincing performance" Guardian "Convincingly argued and thought provoking-Gould must rank as one of the leading scientific essayists of his generation and, as ever, he is in total command of his subject matter. He steers a deft route through contentious waters, but manages to retain a humorous edge, that keeps the book both engaging and highly entertaining. Gould provides the literary magic to deliver a light-hearted read" Irish Times "Concise, eloquent and passionate. It is a marvellous work. Gould speaks clear, sound sense, and Rocks of Ages should be required reading not only for scientists and religious people, but for anybody who cares about the quest for meaning" Independent "This marvellous extended essay should have been the real lost book of the New Testament. Gould, arguably our greatest living popular science essayist, has many joyful enthusiasms. Among them are eternity, Charles Darwin and baseball-Gould has such insatiable and infectious enthusiasm for the intellectual challenge and fascination of being a mere speck in a vast universe" Scotsman "Rocks of Ages is easy and enjoyable to read. It contains many charming illustrations and interesting insights" Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
This book, ROCKS OF AGES, was ok, but repetitive and simplistic in its evaluation of the problem to religion offering a duh solution without any way to work out the problem in real... Read morePublished on May 16 2004 by R. Laybourne
The NOMA concept defended by Sephen Jay Gould in pages 47 ss. is a trap that no serious christian should fall in to. Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Jonatas Machado
This book was not the great for me, mainly because most of the materials covered are addressed in his books like Ever Since Darwin, Bully for Brontosaurs, and It's a Wonderful... Read morePublished on March 25 2004 by Ben Holcomb
This would be a valuable book for anyone who is not well versed in philosophy of religion. I found it so good on listening to the audio book version that I got the hard copy from... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2004 by Alan Nicoll (real name)
This book is certainly worth reading, but Gould writes from the (very rational and intellectual) standpoint of a scientist who admires and yet does not hold Faith. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2003
One can tell how much I enjoy a book by how many pages I turn over. Usually a spontaneous literary tic on my part, it’s a sign that there’s something thought-provoking,... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2003 by Marc A. Schindler
It's great (and incredibly rare) to hear from a prominent Scientist who isn't blue in the face, banging a drum or writing as a Social, Political and Moral Guru. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Tiger
Sometimes he made sense other times I think he had a bong sitting on his writing desk. The irony is the whole book falls under the "magesterium" of Philosophy, not Science! Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002 by tooblue
Sometimes he made sense other times I think he had a ... sitting on his writing desk. The irony is the whole book falls under the "magesterium" of Philosophy, not Science! Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002 by tooblue