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Author: Ron Frost

ISBN: 1846943582

Publisher: O Books, John Hunt

This is a very readable, academic, book, which explores a hugely important topic. Failure to find compromise between the extremists on either side of the debate could mean that the difficult paths all societies currently face become even rockier. Wherever one rests in the debate this book is well worth one’s reading time. Any work that can help to bridge the gap between materialistic science and fundamentalist religious opinion is helpful, and this book does just that. The extremists in both camps may be lost to what the majority of us would see as rational debate, but that just makes it more important that there are individuals like Ron Frost willing to try to find a rational middle ground, between priest and scientific atheism.

Frost points out, on the one hand, the emotional vacuousness in the application of scientific analysis to subjective values and, on the other, the ridiculousness of trying to stand against overwhelming evidence for evolution. The “fact” is that for most emotional humans a purely objective view of life is insufficient. The idea that there is no God, because all the ingredients of life are scientifically explainable, is just not acceptable to most of us. Generally speaking, we feel a degree of spirituality in our lives. This may be anything from just a weak feeling of sentient, mystical, consciousness, and through all variables to extreme, literal and dogmatic, religious fundamentalism. Frost a modern scientist with a deep understanding of the materialistic world and of the requirements of scientific theory, steps out of his regular work shoes to try and identify the vitally needed middle ground. He is perhaps aided in this, or at least not restrained, by his Buddhist principles.  

Particularly in the USA, but worldwide, the lack of willingness of the material scientist on the one hand and Creationists, and advocates of Intelligent Design, on the other, to try and talk the same language has been variably stark. The fact is that a century after Nietzsche announced the death of God, 93% of Americans still believe he exists. If the average man is less than happy with the idea that “logos” has all the answers, believing there to be “mythos,” a real spirituality in life, then for a peaceful world it is necessary to find satisfactory ground on which the advocates of both causes can communicate.

Frost achieves what he sets out to do, namely to find a middle ground that can be accepted by open minds on both sides of the debate, but as to whether he is able to actually play a convincing enough hand isn’t so clear. The book spends just a touch too much time looking at the evolutionary evidence, and rather not enough time looking from the Creationists’ field. This is logically excusable, as provable theory and evidence are with science. However, we are trying to look beyond mere logic into consciousness, and mysticism, which in my view required striving for a little more balance.

This book is well written, explaining complex issues in a way that is generally accessible. In our troubled times we need scientists and theologians to work together towards a holistic interpretation of the modern world. Scientist should let in some of the mystery that exists in the unknown, and in “consciousness”; and Creationists need to embrace Darwinism where its factual case is overwhelming. As Frost says, “If we really want to understand the world around us, each of us must be able to integrate objective and subjective reality into a mystical whole.”

Click Here To Purchase Religion Versus Science