Cosmos, BIOS, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens

By Roy Abraham Varghese; Henry Margenau | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Cosmos, Bios, Theosis a portfolio of perspectives on the relationship between the scientific enterprise and the religious view of reality. Contributors include over twenty Nobel Prize winners and distinguished scientists from different disciplines. In this anthology, they reflect on the origins of the universe, life, and Homo sapiens,on science and religion, and on the existence of God.

Cosmos, Bios, Theos makes no pretension to being a statistically significant survey of the religious beliefs of modern scientists. The scientists interviewed for this anthology are, for the most part, known to be theistic or at least sympathetic to a religious view of reality. For this reason, it must be clearly understood that the book does not purport to show that most or even many scientists are theists. In point of fact, there are many modern scientists who are atheists actively opposed to any form of religion. Moreover, a number of the contributors to this anthology make it clear that they are simply uninterested in religion.

Notwithstanding these caveats, the contributions in this collection are significant in their own right. In the first place, the idea that an eminent scientist would affirm the existence of God on rational grounds does at least pique one's curiosity—especially in view of the popular assumption that religious belief is an anachronism or an aberration in the Age of Science. Secondly, this inquiry into the interface between science and religion is a continuation of a quest begun by some of the great pioneeers of modern science. Co-editor Henry Margenau notes that “several modern scientists and scientific theories have been surprisingly sympathetic to religious issues. I recall that my late teachers/colleagues/ friends, Einstein, Schrödinger, and Heisenberg, who were all distinguished scientists, had a passionate interest in religious questions”. Finally, the metascientific implications of recent developments in science have inspired a spurt of popular quasi-theological works by contemporary scientists. Examples include Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time,Paul

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