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Einstein's God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  648 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Drawn from Krista Tippett's Peabody Award-winning public radio program, the conversations in this profoundly illuminating book reach for a place too rarely explored in our ongoing exchange of ideas--the nexus of science and spirituality. In fascinating interviews with such luminaries as Freeman Dyson, Janna Levin, Parker Palmer, and John Polkinghorne, Krista Tippett draws ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Penguin Group
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Richard
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Let me get something off my chest, and maybe vent just a little. This book will probably be unjustly categorized as some type of New Age reading. I hate the New Age (or as Gooch said, "I can't afford anything new.") There's been nothing new under the sun for at least 2000 years, that was Christianity, it went the way of all new things - it got old. On top of that, every year or so the newest new age nonsense hits the shelves: Eat Pray Ugh being the latest, hard on the heels of Eckhardt Tolle. Re ...more
asra
Jul 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
In today’s times, science and religion are presumed to be mutually exclusive: evolutionists vs. creationists, atheists vs. believers. Tippett offers a fresh alternative to this strict dichotomy. Through interviews, she presents respectful, nuanced conversation about the overlap, intertwining, and complementarity of science and religion. An atheist, holding firmly to her beliefs, offers that it is difficult to disprove the existence of God, while a devout Christian views evolution as having a par ...more
Randolph
I misjudged this at first blush. Just goes to show you need to go beyond first impressions sometimes.

That said the book is a little deceiving in its concept and execution. Except for one of the chapters, Tippett is not really interested in discussing science and spirituality, she's interested in science and most of all how science has challenged religion in modern thinking. Most of the scientists and artists interviewed were either agnostic or atheist, whether they admitted it in the interview o
...more
Steve Wiggins
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
As someone who has studied religion for his entire career, it often feels like scientists dismiss utterly out of hand anything my profession might offer. This book, which is based on a series of interviews Krista Tippett has had with scientists over the years, is welcome in such a situation. Some of the scientists she meets here are well known, while others are perhaps less so, but they all share one thing: they are open to wider possibilities. Einstein was not a simple man, and his views on God ...more
Jennifer
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Impulse buy at Tuesday Books in Williamston. Clearly the intersection between modern physics and religion is on my mind lately. This book is a collection of interviews by Tippett with leading scientists. Not all are physicists, there are also medical doctors, scientists studying revenge, stress, depression. Tippett asks these scientists on the cutting edge of their respective fields how their developing understanding affects their understanding of religion and the universe. So it serves as a sor ...more
Neriman Kulak
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Einstein : "It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.". It is one of my favorite Einstein quote, which is a reference point of that book I think.

In fact, as someone who says this so, he is making us feel that he did not only look at reality through logic and science. Eventually, even though one day science tells us everything about our universe, it
...more
Sara
Feb 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: readin10
A fascinating collection of conversations on science, faith and the meaning of it all. The most enlightening bit for me was the conversation with physicist and Anglican clergyman John Polkinghorne. I know this is one I'll be coming back to again and again because much of it went over my head the first time around! ...more
Stephanie
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scott
Found this interesting..................................

"Einstein liked to imagine Buddhism as the religion of the future, capable of embracing the best of scientific and spiritual approaches to life." --Krista Tippett in Einstein's God
...more
Esmael
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An engaging, fantastic, and insightful read.
Rama
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-reality
An interesting discussion about God, religion and science

The author is an experienced host on public radio, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and knowledge she brings in her conversations with well known physicists, biologists, philosophers, psychologists, theologians, and medical experts. It is fascinating to discuss Einstein, God, and religion with Physicists like Freeman Dyson, and Paul Davies, and about Charles Darwin with biologist James Moore. If there is anyone who understood Go
...more
Sheila
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking conversations by smart people who are very good with words on the topics of creation, evolution, the human spirit, and the mysteries that science can sometimes explain, and sometimes cannot. I enjoyed the perspective that science and religion can be harmonious, especially the novel idea that scientific wonder can be a kind of prayer of praise, and a completely new idea to me that the "dark side" of human emotions, even clinical depression, have a creative purpose. A very unique ...more
Amy
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a series of interviews with people carrying their beautiful faith alongside their intentional questions. Each interview draws the reader into the humble but spacious compassion of ambiguity, uncertainty, paradox. Science is not the end of religion, nor religion the death of science. Both are fruitful ways of questioning and wondering about this terrible, beautiful thing we call life. I loved this book.
Wm Hardy
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interviews with 14 scientists on the existence of G_d, or not, through examination of the tension between Cosmos (Albert Einstein’s orderly progression of universal physical laws) and Chaos (random unpredictably of the quantum physics of Neil’s Bohr & Werner Heisenberg) e.g., Einstein’s famous quote: “God does not play dice with the universe” and Bohr’s reply, “Who is Einstein to tell the Lord what to do?”. Can’t rule it out and can’t rule it in.
Kate
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think of these topics as spiritual / social / political think pieces. I enjoy Tippett's perspective and her interviewing skills. I would only like her better if she was a master on the topics she writes about, which is high praise. For me this was a slow read, and I may not have read them all in the end, as I picked and chose my way around the chapters. I wish more of her On Being writers had her skills. ...more
Tim
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved the book. An author who is comfortable asking religious oriented questions to a range of scientists, doctors, activists, and philosophers and finding a complex range of musings, belief, confession, and connection.

Tippett has conversations with 13 individuals in the book on such a wide variety of topics - let's leave it as the title states "about Science and the Human Spirit."

I'll just note a few comments from the many pages I dog-eared.

[The book of]"Genesis is in fact a compelling example
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Theoretical physicists, a cosmologist, an astrobiologist, professors of surgery, an expert on Charles Darwin, a professor of physics and humanities, a professor of astrophysics, a professor of psychology, a rheumatologist, several authors of scientific works, a poet, a clinical psychologist and a physicist-theologian—they were all interviewed here to answer basically mankind’s three greatest questions:

What is God? (or: What are gods?)

What are we?

and: What’s it all about, Alfie?

This is not the ki
...more
Lee Harmon
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The battle between science and religion comes to a head in these interviews of cutting-edge scientists and researchers, and the winner is ... oh. The two sides are getting along a little better nowadays, it appears.

Words you'll read often in the book include "spirit" and "soul," as such concepts are explored by our deepest thinkers. Tippett interviews a theoretical physicist, a cosmologist, a clinical professor, an expert on the life of Darwin, a professor of astrophysics, and many more, as she
...more
Michael Johnston
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked the concept of the book - discussing the relationship between science and religion at the outer edges of scientific knowledge. The author has organized the book around the assumption that science and theology can effectively co-exist. That they are not concepts that inherantly conflict. When she sticks strictly to that thesis, in particular in her interviews with physicists, the book is wonderful. The world as defined by the elemental considerations of Quantum Mechanics is so different t ...more
David
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book presents a series of interviews and mini-essays with numerous leading thinkers today in the general realm of science, philosophy and religion.

Some of these are at least moderately interesting, such as the exchange between Freemany Dyson and Paul Davies that leads off the volume. But others are not so interesting, and in fact this reviewer wondered in several cases why the chapter had been included at all. In fact, this is the central weakness of the book: if one finds a given author in
...more
Itasca Community Library
Asra says:

In today’s times, science and religion are presumed to be mutually exclusive. Tippett offers a fresh alternative to the strict dichotomy. Through interviews, she presents respectful, nuanced conversation about the overlap and intertwining of science and religion. An atheist, holding firmly to her beliefs, offers that it is difficult to disprove the existence of God, while a devout Christian views evolution as having a part in the Creation Story. The culmination of interviews reveals my
...more
Cade
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
The book is essentially a collection of selected transcripts from her show "Speaking of Faith". For those not familiar, SOF is a radio show on public radio focused on civil and open discussions on faith, morality, and the fit between science and spirituality. It is quite refreshing, as is this book. Although the book is essentially based on transcribed interviews, the interviews are so conversational, that they flow easily and are quite interesting.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for s
...more
Ed
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book at a very deep level. The scientists and religious thinkers that Krista Tippett talks to are engaging, open minded and have the most amazingly deep instructive generative insights. I have read this book in parallel with the Terry Eagleton book I have just also reviewed. They are a great complement to each other: Eagleton fiery and combative, but also deeply caring about humanity and human suffering. And he has much in common with the people Tippett talkes to. Indeed in some w ...more
Janet
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Einstein's God is comprised of transcripts of conversations between Speaking of Faith host Krista Tippett and a variety of scientists and religious thinkers looking to find where science and the spirit meet and part and co-exist. We don't find easy answers, just free and respectful discussion on many topics that has caused me to further research some of the information presented.

This is an excellent companion to Speaking of Faith with its attempt to make sense of religion, spirituality, ethics,
...more
Melissa
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful read. The pairing of science and religion, much like science and art, make up our humanity by how they work together, both share a sense of wonder. I enjoyed learning about history, physics, medicine, anatomy, especially paired with art, yoga, prayer, and mediation; all of the interviews were captivating. Overall, the book really emphasizes how we not only need integrated medicine today for our physical wellness but an integrated outlook on these varied global practices mentally and em ...more
Rachel
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think Krista Tippett asks good -- and hard -- questions of both the people she interviews and also her readers (or listeners as they usually are). I loved that this book began from the premise that there is room for both science and religion to coexist and even to thrive together. Tippett introduces "an interplay between scientific and religious questions--not as argued but as lived." I found the interview with Polkinghorne especially thoughtful and illuminating. ...more
Michele
Oct 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
While the individual experts quoted in the book have interesting and important things to say, the content is obscured by the poor quality format. The author copped about by writing in a question and answer format instead of taking the time and effort to compile and integrate the various inteviewees' perspectives into a thoughtful and cohesive literary work called a BOOK. ...more
Philip Gentile
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wonderful collection of Ms. Tippett's interviews concerning the uneasy dance between science and spirituality. Very insightful discussions that causes one to rethink and reanalyze. Quite a delicious read. As usual Ms. Tippett and her guests provide the listener/reader with a wonderfully rich topic and lively discussion. I highly recommend it. ...more
Beth
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Krista Tippett is an award winning journalist who, sparked by her own curiousity, began a dialogue with her listeners and scientists on the question of where and how Science and Theology intersect with a public radio program, "Speaking of Faith" that has broadened into "The On Being Project" - a website worth exploring.
This book is a collection of some of her early interviews from "Speaking of Faith", all of which can be found on the website https://onbeing.org/libraries/ (search by chapter titl
...more
Amanda Joyce
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This caught my eye at my local library and I'm so glad that I picked it up. Fascinating read, and I'd highly recommend. These are the types of conversations we need to be having MORE of not less. I'll leave it to the other reviewers to chronicle what the book covers. I'll just say that I thoroughly enjoyed, and this book is now prompting me to explore the works of her interviewees. ...more
Lena Riemersma
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Heady philosophical discourse arises about the connections of god, faith, healing, stress, poetry, etc with science, when this popular American Public Media author interviews famous scientists in many fields.
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