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The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the Frontiers of Life.
Lee M Silver
Book Review with commentary

This book is an excellent counterpart to "God's Politics" by Jim Wallis. Each addresses a "natural" divide within and between many cultures of the world. The angles are different. Wallis addresses religion and politics; Silver expounds on the religious controversy over evolution. Wallis seeks to reach out and remove the cultural barriers. Silver is interested in why the world populace is so fearful and wary of the offerings of biotechnology. Like Wallis, Silver has stature in his calling; he is a world renowned molecular biologist. And his book is provocative.

Silver observed that some form of transcendent resiliency is embedded in the various world cultures. He seems to suggest that that arises from some form of emotionalism. [Of course it is, for it is driven in part on the negative side by fear of the unknown. The moral directives that arise from faith teachings are positive results--unless co-opted by extremists who tighten the codes beyond all reason.]

On the other hand, Silver observes, as many others do, that modern science, whether considered as a body of knowledge, a profession, or simply as a career focus, views faith with skepticism or with outright rejection. [Of course this must be so; Science is logos and faith is mythos. They are different things, they have little in common philosophically.]

But Silver is at once insightful, entertaining and enlightening and gives fair treatment to each side of the gulf--we recommend his book highly. Like Wallis, Silver delves too lightly on just what it is that predisposes humanity to get into these arguments and disconnects in the first place. For how this mentality relates to violence and terror, we recommend perusing Adorno, Zimbardo, Altemeyer, Dean, and the Authoritarian Personality.


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