48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Pelucid writings from brilliant minds,
This review is from: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Hardcover)
As one who is convinced that Spinoza's monism provides the philosophical basis for all the sciences, reading The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing and seeing Spinoza's view (that God and Nature are one and the same thing, under the dual aspects of thought and matter) confirmed over and over again was enthralling.
While reading it I repeatedly inserted markers into articles that I wished to re-read. In fact, I shall probably read the whole book again and refer to it repeatedly. What particularly fascinated me was the revelation that a quantum of energy appears to us under two aspects: as a wave or as a particle, but never both at the same time. This discovery accords perfectly with Spinoza's dual aspect theory.
My selection of five-star articles is as follows: 'Life Itself', by Francis Crick;`One Self: a Meditation on the Unity of Consciousness' by Nicholas Humphrey; `The Language Instinct', by Steven Pinker; `Avoid Boring People' by James Watson; `Consciousness Explained' by Daniel Dennett; `The Fantastic Combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game "Life"' by Martin Gardner; `Computing Machinery and Intelligence' by Alan Turing; `The Goldilocks Enigma' by Paul Davies; `The Elegant Universe' by Bryan Green, and `Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid' by Douglas Hofstadter.
Having been brought up in an evangelical environment, and having had a taste of Roman Catholicism as well, I can only say that there is no contest between the brilliance, lucidity, humility and open-mindedness of the scientists quoted in this anthology and the tendentious, hubristic, convoluted, ill-founded speculations of theologians - few of whom will have the courage to read this book.
The introductions by Richard Dawkins are excellent. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Basic Flying Instruction: A Comprehensive Introduction to Western Philosophy
Iota: God as Nature, Nature as God
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Sep 2009 17:03:07 BDT
Mr. Peter Coville says:
Hi - delighted to hear a fellow Spinozist relating modern science to that great thinker :) - Peter
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2009 00:21:34 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Oct 2009 00:21:53 BDT]
Posted on 14 Oct 2009 00:22:58 BDT
You aptly demonstrated your own close-mindedness and ignorance when writing '(of).....theologians - few of whom will have the courage to read this book'...How do you know who will and will not read this book? I am not overly religious myself, but I disagree with people who start 'religion-bashing' just because of their own personal experiences. Maybe you should stick to reviewing the product rather than making assumptions about what types of people might indulge their own curiosity!
However, thank you for the review.
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