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God's Universe

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In 'God's Universe' Gingerich carves out 'a theistic space' from whic it is possible to contemplate a universe where God plays an interactive role, unnoticed yet not excluded by science.
Hardcover, 139 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Belknap Press
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I had the immense good fortune to take a course under Professor Gingerich in 1969.

"Why is the water in the teakettle boiling? We can answer: "The water is boiling because the heat from the fire raises the temperature of the water until the molecules move faster and faster so that some escape from the surface and become a gas". But we can also answer that the water in the teakettle is boiling because we want some tea. The first answer illustrates what Aristotle called an efficient cause, an expla...more
Lee Razer
Gingerich, professor of astronomy and professor of the history of science at Harvard University, and also an Anabaptist Christian, delivers an effective rebuke to the idea that science and religion are incompatible. This book may not provide any ideas not more fully developed elsewhere, but Gingerich's is an intelligent and reasoned voice, and his unique background combining an anabaptist (Amish) upbringing and value system with his scientific achievement in the academy makes him an interesting...more
Arnold Sikkema
May 09, 2013 Arnold Sikkema rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: scientists, public interested in astronomy
For my astronomy class at Trinity Western University this fall, I am assigning this book as a supplement to a standard stellar and galactic text. It is a delightful account of the perspective of this devout Mennonite, recounting episodes from his childhood interest in the heavens to his work as astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Gingerich brings in the poetry of Chaucer, Hopkins, Whitman as well as the writings of Kepler (including several prayers), Copernicus, Kant,...more
An anabaptist as well as a Harvard astronomy professor provides the rational voice the faith community needs against an ever growing tide of secularism, who place their own "faith" in science without understanding its limitations. As a theistic evolutionist, however, Gingerich is not necessary a champion of all believers, although he has a following here. It is unavoidable for a person to ask, however, why being an astronomy professor gives Gingerich a position of authority of stating what reali...more
Anton Dubrovskiy
Dr. Gingerich is a classical proponent of Theistic Evolution. Although reviews of this book claim his respect for other theories, I'm not as sure about this quality of this undoubtedly highly intelligent person. He is quite certain about evolution (sometimes directed, sometimes not), about a billions-years-old universe and quite certain that other people are wrong if they think otherwise.

There are some curious thoughts and stories about scientists (mostly, astronomers). Not much if anything is s...more
God’s Universe is a very short introduction on the subject of science and faith. It is based on a series of lectures given by Owen Gingerich, a former Professor of Astronomy and Science History at Harvard University. In these very accesible lectures, he talks about the different layers of truth occupied by science and religion on physical and metaphysical levels of understanding. He differentiates Intelligent Design (with caps) from intelligent design, rejecting the former while showing his reas...more
Un buen libro, El Astrónomo Emérito, realiza un análisis sobre la controversial relación histórica entre ciencia-creencia en Dios. En un análisis intelectualmente honesto y razonable encuentra un punto de partida desde el cual el desarrollo de ambas no interfiere, ni contradice, ni limita a una o la otra.
Lots of great arguments, but I expect I was looking for more. At points it came across like a series of references rather than commentary, so it bogged for me at those times. Still, the lack of mass five in the big bang seemed to be the most profound revelation, for me anyway.
An interesting read. It lends a sympathetic view towards evolutionary atheists, and seems to advocate theistic evolutionism but seems to use too little bible to back it convincingly. Does give some good credit to God as is due in the creativity evident in the universe, however.

Up-to-date, elegantly presented demonstration that science and faith are not in contention with each other.
Gingerich, a scientist, makes many nice distinctions as to which questions belong to science, which to philosophy, which to faith.
This book, written by a physicist and astronomer and practicing Christian, deals with the connection between science and faith. The book was readable and interesting, but I didn't think that it broke any new ground.
Jesse Gavin
May 21, 2007 Jesse Gavin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: science, belief
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Professor Owen Gingerich is a US astronomer. Currently, he is a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science at Harvard University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the International Academy of the History of Science. He has written over 500 tech...more
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