Sunday, July 9, 2023

#190 / A Couple Of Books I'd Like To Read


Not so long ago, I suggested to those who might be reading my blog postings that I knew about a book we "do not need to read." Specifically, it was pretty clear to me that reading a book called Regime Change, by Patrick J. Deneen, was not something that anyone should bother about. 

I have the opposite feeling about a book (or books, actually) written by Owen Gingerich. Gingerich died on May 28, 2023. He was ninety-three years old. He was a noted astronomer, and was an emeritus professor at Harvard University. That is Gingerich pictured above, in 1972. The headline on The New York Times obituary, which is where I got the picture, said Gingerich was "an astronomer who saw God in the cosmos." Gingerich wrote a couple of books on that subject, one of which is titled, God's Universe:

That's a book I think I'd like to read. I don't want to be dogmatic about "God," since that's such a touchy subject for so many. Everybody has to address the "God question" on their own. I liked what The Times' obituary said, though, commenting on Gingerich's own position:
Throughout his career he often wrote or spoke about his belief that religion and science need not be at odds. He explored that theme in the books “God’s Universe” (2006) and “God’s Planet” (2014).

He was not a biblical literalist; he had no use for those who ignored science and proclaimed the Bible’s creation story historical fact. Yet, as he put it in “God’s Universe,” he was “personally persuaded that a superintelligent Creator exists beyond and within the cosmos.”
That, actually, seems about right to me. One thing is pretty clear (no need for debate): WE, human beings, did NOT create the universe, and that means we need to pay attention to those "laws" that govern the "World of Nature," which are so significantly different from the "laws" that prevail in the "Human World." 
In the world that we establish (you can call it a "Political World," if you are willing to go with me that far), the "laws" that prevail represent a collective statement about what we think should happen, what we want to happen - and we can change those laws. 

The "laws" that apply in the "World of Nature" tell us what must and will happen. Those are the laws we can't change.
If it's really "God's Universe," and "God's Planet," we had better get with the program, and figure out what those "laws" are all about! I think that Gingerich's books, which must certainly touch on that topic, are a couple of books I'd like to read!

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