Re: The Science of God

Adam Crowl (qraal@hotmail.com)
Sun, 06 Dec 1998 04:39:39 PST

>From: Ole.Anfindsen@kjeller.fou.telenor.no
>Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 09:18:11 +0100
>To: asa@calvin.edu
>Subject: The Science of God
>
>
>Dear ASA'ers -
>
>I'm interested in your opinions about the following book:
>
> Schroeder G. 1997.
> The science of God.
> The Free Press, New York, New York.
>
>I've found two references to this book/author on the web:
>
> http://members.xoom.com/torahscience/bigbang1.htm
> http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/vjs/www/avoid/schrev.html
>
>but have not yet found any reviews or other comments written from an
evangelical
>perspective. I am also particularly interested in comments from
(astro)physicists or
>cosmologists about his calculations of the duration of the six days of
creation.
>
>Please reply to ole.anfindsen@fou.telenor.no
>as I do not subscribe to asa@calvin.edu
>
>Best regards
>------------------------------------------------------------
>Ole J. Anfindsen, PhD
>Telenor R&D
>Postboks 83, Instituttveien 23, 2007 Kjeller, Norway
>
>tel: (+47) 6384 8888
>fax: (+47) 6381 0076
>mob: (+47) 9528 3200
>
>http://www.fou.telenor.no/apotram/
>http://www.fou.telenor.no/fou/ttolge/
>
>ole.anfindsen@fou.telenor.no
>

Sorry for the late response Ole. Gerald Schroeder's book is an expansion
of his "Genesis and the Big Bang". Both examine the evidence for God as
active and obvious in the process of evolution, creation and the Bible's
[specifically the Torah, since Schroeder is a Jew] formation. He first
tries to reconcile the six days of Genesis with the ~15.75 billion years
since the Big Bang. He doesn't present the exact cosmological model that
he uses. Instead he merely assumes a geometrically decreasing series of
periods for each day and postualtes that God's clock would read "six
days" even if Earth time clocks it in the billions of years. A kind of
reversal of Russell Humphrey's "white hole cosmology" which tries to age
the Universe billions of years while six days passes from a terrestrial
perspective. The lines of demarkation between the "days" in the Earth's
geological history contain egregious errors. He places the creation of
land animals after the Permian Catastrophe - even though mammal-like
reptiles were abundant prior! I suggested, on the "Torah and Science"
web-page, that he redate the beginning of that day to the appearance of
the amniotes.

The rest of his book casts doubt on the standard materialist picture of
evolution by using the usual arguments about improbability and lack of
transitional fossils. It also uses the findings of various researchers
that the names of famous rabbis are encoded in the Torah - the original
"Bible Code". Neither argument convinces me, though the rabbinic names
thing is interesting. By usual ASA usage we could call him a strong
concordist - Genesis and science must agree at all costs. I like his
discussion of various Hebrew words in Genesis, and his use of the
opinions of the sages is interesting, though he could also mention the
Universe's age calculation that gets discussed at the "Torah and
Science" page.

All in all his work is interesting and annoying - his insights are
helpful, but his errors are painful. He knows his physics and Talmud,
but his biology and palaeontology stinks. I like his ideas, but I remain
sceptical, especially when he insists on dating Adam to 3761 BCE. He's
trying to create a middle ground between fundamentalism [of the Orthodox
Jewish variety] and science, and that deserves recognition.

Adam

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