Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Jul 20, 2011 - Science - 256 pages
21 Reviews
"People of good will wish to see science and religion at peace. . . . I do not see how science and religion could be unified, or even synthesized, under any common scheme of explanation or analysis; but I also do not understand why the two enterprises should experience any conflict." So states internationally renowned evolutionist and bestselling author Stephen Jay Gould in the simple yet profound thesis of his brilliant new book.

Writing with bracing intelligence and elegant clarity, Gould sheds new light on a dilemma that has plagued thinking people since the Renaissance. Instead of choosing between science and religion, Gould asks, why not opt for a golden mean that accords dignity and distinction to each realm?

At the heart of Gould's penetrating argument is a lucid, contemporary principle he calls NOMA (for nonoverlapping magisteria)--a "blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution" that allows science and religion to coexist peacefully in a position of respectful noninterference. Science defines the natural world; religion, our moral world, in recognition of their separate spheres of influence.

In elaborating and exploring this thought-provoking concept, Gould delves into the history of science, sketching affecting portraits of scientists and moral leaders wrestling with matters of faith and reason. Stories of seminal figures such as Galileo, Darwin, and Thomas Henry Huxley make vivid his argument that individuals and cultures must cultivate both a life of the spirit and a life of rational inquiry in order to experience the fullness of being human.

In his bestselling books Wonderful Life, The Mismeasure of Man, and Questioning the Millennium, Gould has written on the abundance of marvels in human history and the natural world. In Rocks of Ages, Gould's passionate humanism, ethical discernment, and erudition are fused to create a dazzling gem of contemporary cultural philosophy. As the world's preeminent Darwinian theorist writes, "I believe, with all my heart, in a respectful, even loving concordat between . . . science and religion."


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ABVR - LibraryThing

Stephen Jay Gould’s central theme in Rocks of Ages is that – far from being in eternal, irreconcilable conflict – science and religion are non-overlapping realms of human endeavor that proceed from ... Read full review

Review: Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life

User Review  - John Martindale - Goodreads

Gould seems to relegate religion to issues of morality, and argues they need to accept scientific claims that miracles don't and cannot happen and that they violate NOMA (non overlapping magisteria ... Read full review

Contents

Preamble
A Tale of Two Thomases
The Fate of Two Fathers
2THE PROBLEM RESOLVED IN PRINCIPLE
NOMA Defined and Defended
NOMA Illustrated
Coda and Segue
3HISTORICAL REASONS FOR CONFLICT
An Example of the Fallacy of Warfare Between Science and Religion
The Struggle Against Modern Creationism
4PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS FOR CONFLICT
Can Nature Nurture Our Hopes?
Natures Cold Bath and Darwins Defense of NOMA
The Two False Paths of Irenics
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Note on The Library of Contemporary Thought

The Contingent Basis for Intensity

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About the author (2011)

The author of more than fifteen books, Stephen Jay Gould is also author of the longest-running contemporary series of scientific essays, which appears monthly in Natural History. He is the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and professor of geology at Harvard; curator for invertebrate paleontology at the university's Museum of Comparative Zoology; and serves as the Vincent Astor Visiting Professor of Biology at New York University. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City.


From the Hardcover edition.

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