Re: The Science of God

Robin Mandell (
Tue, 01 Dec 1998 21:16:13 -0600

At 02:32 PM 12/1/98 -0500, Howard J. Van Till wrote:
>Robert asked:
>>Has anyone read the book "The Science of God" (1997 The Free Press) by
>>Gerald Schroeder? Gerald is a physicist from MIT and lives in Israel. I
>>especially interested in viewpoints in dealing with his reconciliation of
>>the days of Genesis using Einstein's relativity equations. He shows the
>>million-million factor difference in our perception of time using the CBR
>>as the start of the cosmic clock. It appears reasonable geologically but
>>want like some input from those members that excel in higher mathematics.
>I have only glanced at the book, but it appears to be based on the
>(misguided, I believe) assumption that we can and must reconcile a
>literalistic reading of early Genesis with modern science, no matter what
>the cost in terms of ripping the text out of its original historical,
>cultural and theological contexts.
>When this forcing of an ancient text to fit modern Western scienctific
>expectations is done by a Jewish author I find it no more credible than
>when it is done by a Christian. In both cases, I would consider it a
>serious violation of the text.
>The issues are not mathematical, but hermeneutical.
>Howard Van Till

Even if you disregard the literal concordance attempt by Schroeder,his two
books are worth the read just from the quotes from jewish commentators on
Genesis before the age of Darwin.The jewish mindset is often missing from
christian theology which is our loss.As far as the original question,it is
mathematical if one is wanting an evaluation of his take on six literal
days.I don't look at genesis literally either but was interested enough to
wonder about his million million factor bit also.It would seem a shame to
begin not giving books like this at least a read even if they lean towards
the literal side.
Here is a quote Schroeder's book lead me to.Surely not mindblowing but
coming from a hebrew scholar in the 12th century it somehow eased my fears
that the nonliteral method was a modern copout,
"The account given in Scripture of the creation is not ,as is generally
believed,intended to be in all its parts literal......The literal meaning
of the words
might lead us to conceive corrupt ideas and to form false opinions about
God, or even entirely reject the principles of our faith."-Moses Maimonides
Guide for the Perplexed