Taner Edis

Booklist, February 15, 2002

Edis, Taner. The Ghost in the Universe: God in Light of Modern Science. Mar. 2002. 330p. Prometheus, $29 (1-57392-977-8). 211.
Bringing twentieth-century sophistication to Laplace’s famous eighteenth-century dismissal of God as an unnecessary hypothesis, Edis deploys a rigorous scientific materialism to explain all the marvels of religious faith. That means exorcising spiritual forces from all the miracles of scriptural tradition, from every transport of psychological ecstasy, from every inspiring moral reflection. Edis effects this cosmic exorcism by invoking astrophysics to explain the earth’s creation and evolutionary biology to account for the emergence of the human mind. In his zeal to establish his godless credo, Edis challenges not only the precepts of Judaism and Christianity but also those of Islam and New Age mysticism. Of course, religious readers will resist the attempt to compress all truth within the scope of rational demonstration. Some of the devout may even suspect that Edis is conceding more than he realizes when in his conclusion he admits that—despite all of their scientific inadequacies—scriptural poetry and sacred myth still speak to deep human needs. A careful defense of empirical reasoning. — Bryce Christensen

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