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God and the Astronomers

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In God and the Astronomers, Dr. Robert Jastrow, world-renowned astrophysicist, describes the astronomical discoveries of recent years and the theological implications of the new insights afforded by science into mankind's place in the cosmos. He explains the chain of events that forced astronomers, despite their initial reluctance ("Irritating," said Einstein; "Repugnant," ...more
Paperback, 2nd, 160 pages
Published July 28th 2000 by W.W. Norton & Company (NY) (first published 1978)
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Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Creationists
Recommended to Manny by: Francis S. Collins
This book is enthusiastically quoted in Collins's The Language of God , and when I saw a copy going yesterday for only 5 Swiss francs I couldn't resist the chance to learn more. It's an odd piece of work, and its author seems to have been an odd person. According to Wikipedia, he had an extremely distinguished career at NASA, among other things serving as the first chairman of the Lunar Exploration Committee and leading the Theoretical Division for several years. But he was also a co-founder ...more
If every effect in science has a cause, what caused the birth of the universe? Have scientists, with ultimate irony, brought themselves face to face with the possibility of God?

I quote Dr. Jastrow's astonishingly candid closing statement in the last paragraph of this book as the best summation of this book's premise:
"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest pe
Erik Graff
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cosmology fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sciences
I'd read Gamow in elementary school and Jastrow's Red Giants and White Dwarfs in high school, supplementing such occasional forays into scientific cosmology with issues of Scientific American, but really didn't keep up with developments much. Graduating from seminary, however, gave me the time and an interest in reacquainting myself with Jastrow via this book about the philosophical, even theological, problems posed by contemporary astrophysics and cosmology.

Frankly, I found it perplexing that J
Tom Meyer
Sep 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book that has aged both extremely well and extremely poorly.

As a short history of 20th century astronomy, it holds up remarkably well, even after 30 years. Starting with the realization that there are galaxies other than our own at the turn of the century, the book follows the series of discoveries that led to the theory -- and later confirmation of -- the Big Bang, and does so in a very conversational, easy-to-follow way. Jastrow also goes out of his way to humanize the subject by
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
God and the Astronomers
Astronomers (Hubble, Humanson) discovered galaxies moving away from the earth. Thus, the universe is expanding. Red light shifts were used to measure how fast the galaxy was moving away from earth. This indicates a start to the universe. Repudiates the ‘Steady State’ theory of the Universe. Hubble’s law: objects further away moving faster and further than closer objects, like drawing two spots on a balloon. Blow the balloon up with air, as the spots move away from each oth
Jake Page
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, apologetics
Really interesting read. Robert Jastrow is a self-proclaimed agnostic, and he gives a history of the discovery of the new cosmology starting with Einstein and Hubble and ending today.

Evidence is given for the Big Bang (the universe exploded into existence in a moment, and is not eternal). The discovery of the expanding universe is also addressed, but the vernacular is not overly scientific. I love this topic because it always leaves the people studying it wondering how things got to be how they
Matt Friedman
In spite of a sometimes uneven writing style, a great account of the development of the Big Bang theory, and the inherent theological implications found therein. One of the most quoted lines concludes the penultimate chapter.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very easy read...mostly biographical and historical from the early 1900s to the 1978 copyright date.
I read it in one sitting and enjoyed the afternoon spent with it.
Bridgette Schadek
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed-read
📚 God And The Astronomers ••• Robert Jastrow ••• ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

🔷️ Very interesting book. First off, it's readable and relatable, which is kind of huge when you're reading a book penned by a renowned astronomer. The concepts are relatively easy and tangibly understandable.

🔷️ I wanted to read this because there are few astronomers (let alone other scientists) that will openly admit that they believe in God as the Grand Creator. This was similar to watching the interviews with various doctors + scientists
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-summer
Easy to read through if you're like me and science goes over your head.
Overall it was interesting and a good summary of how a "beginning" was found and the expanding universe theory.

I see a lot of comments about how this book is pointless...for only the creationist...but as a creationist I have to tell you I find it kinda funny when the anti-religious people say Jastrow didn't need to tie in God...well of course he didn't need to. (He also points out how science is very much so like a religion
Taylor Barkley
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Short, informative, prompts some deep thoughts. The copy I read seemed dated so I was left wondering how much of the science was still relevant or forefront in the field. Either way it was a good history and story of how and why some science happens.
Dec 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Recommended from the unexpected adventure
Chang Dai
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book provides a pretty good overview of our universe. But I expected more debate or discussion of the topic between God and Science which I failed to see. Overall a good read, informative.
Naomi J
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great summation of the beliefs of astronomers (at least in the 70s) and how they have a religion of reason behind their motives.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is terrible. Its just public relations for physics. Don't waste your time. I wish I could remember where I read that this was important. Yuchh. ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a great summary of the origins of the Big Bang Theory. The author, a prominent astronomer as well as an agnostic, gives a brief summary of the key scientists and their contributions. Interestingly, he talks about how many in the scientific community pushed back against the idea of a big bang because it suggested a beginning - a little too close to what religions have been teaching for millennia.

"Theologians generally are delighted with the proof that the Universe had a beginning, but a
Joshua Johnson
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thinking
Written by the agnostic Dr. Robert Jastrow, a prominent astronomer, cosmologist, and physicist, this work is notable for its introductions to some of the key players in the evolution of scientific thought on the current models of the known universe. Jastrow's work is notable for his bemused notation of the fact that many "objective" and "rationalist" scientists are in fact rooting for certain outcomes and ideas, and are not the impartial seekers of truth they are often portrayed as in media and ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very hard to read, but very interesting. I believe in the Big Band Theory now, but don't think it should be taught without recognizing God's place in it. My favorite part of the whole book is ~

"The scientist has scale the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock,, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."
Carol Mann Agency
Dr. Jastrow places the facts before us so lucidly that the Cosmos becomes a living thing. -- John Barkham Reviews

Jastrow's scientific credentials are impeccable. And he knows how to write for the layman. -- The New York Times

Lucid, delightful, instructive. -- The Wall Street Journal

Robert Jastrow ranks among the top writers on astronomy. -- Publishers Weekly
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Jastrow makes some remarkable statements confirming the Christian worldview despite his opposition to the same. This is a good introduction to the origin of the Big Bang concept and a review of several immanent astronomers in the twentieth century.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was a quick read, giving the basics of astronomy and physics recent (1978) history. It was a helpful introduction to a few of the big names and theories that students will want to know and learn more about. The speculations and conclusions are tame, by this time.
Carol D
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was ok

a book of biographies of key scientific p
Astronomers during the early 20th century. A brief discussion of whether the universe was formed by God or because of an explosion.
Mike Moore
Apr 03, 2012 rated it liked it
If you're looking for an introduction to astronomy, read this book. Jastrow puts everything into a practical and easy to understand format. ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, theology
Quick read, brief overview of astronomy, the Big Bang and the universe.
ماهر Battuti
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book, though concise. It opens the appetite to read more about the subject. It is clear and simple in explaining the galaxies, stars, and the expanding universe.
G.R. Reader
Nov 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
If you want proof that NASA hires some very weird people, check out this book. Some of them even get into senior management.
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“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” 83 likes
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