October 2011
volume 23 (2)

  Previous   Next  


Editorial: Looking Backwards and Looking Forwards

Denis Alexander
Pages: 98-98


Early Modern Biblical Interpretation and the Emergence of Science

Scott Mandelbrote
Pages: 99-113


‘Good Death’: a Common Pattern in the Evolution of Mathematics, Science and Biological Organisms

Gavin Hitchcock
Pages: 115-132


Drawing from experience of pure mathematical and historical research, this paper investigates the formation and development of mathematical concepts, and explores the way such a communal creative enterprise evolves. These insights are used to look again at biological evolution and scientific theory-selection. On turning round the metaphor ‘red in tooth and claw’ that is sometimes applied to nature and to competing scientific theories and contrasting the two images, compost heap and scrap heap, a common pattern emerges of forms of ‘self-giving’ operating within a framework of co-creative competition. Images of ‘self-giving’, and even of ‘sacrifice’, are found in the evolution of the cosmos, of living organisms, of scientific theories, of mathematical concepts. In each there is the passing, or ‘death’, of the old, not just to make way but to prepare the way for, and to be subsumed into, the ‘life’ of the new. Use is made of Austin Farrer’s theology of ‘a world made to make itself’, and his insistence on the centrality of self-giving in the economy of God’s world.


Science and Eschatology in the Open Universe

Daniel Saudek
Pages: 133-157


This article explores possibilities of a rapprochement between Christian eschatology and the scientific enquiry into the future of the universe through a discussion of contemporary literature from three fields: a. data from the natural sciences about the universe, its development and future, b. research on the relationship between mind and body, and c. theology and the study of divine action. The article argues for an interdisciplinary approach to eschatology in which the overall perspective of an open (that is, not completely deterministic) universe is taken into account. The second part of the article consists of a set of ‘eschatological options’, that is, possible relationships among these three sets of data as found in the still quite scarce literature on eschatology and science, what they might imply for the future of humanity and the universe, and what ethical and eschato-practical consequences they entail


Nuclear Power and Energy Sustainability

Ian Hore-Lacy
Pages: 159-176


Nuclear energy is assuming more importance in energy policies worldwide due to its basic economics coupled with energy security concerns and popular interest in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production. Its performance characteristics suit it best to continuous, reliable supply of electricity on a large scale. Its physics enable control of reactions in both moderated and fast neutron configurations. On all these fronts, having this mature technology (with over 14,500 reactor-years of civil operation in 32 countries) available at this particular time can be considered indicative of God’s providence in the sense of liberality of provision for human needs. The paper relates this serendipitous situation to God’s creation and addresses some common concerns. The paper contends that Christian stewardship of God’s creation in applying its bounty to human needs appropriately involves utilising nuclear power more widely, among many other things.


Book reviews

View book reviews

Science and Religious Anthropology: a spiritually evocative naturalist interpretation of human life

Wesley J. Wildman (Patrick Richmond)
Pages: 177-178

Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives

Thomas Dixon Geoffrey Cantor Stephen Pumfrey (eds.) (James Hannam)
Pages: 178-179

SCM Core Text: Christianity and Science

John Weaver (Andrew Bowie)
Pages: 179-180

Reason, Faith, and Revolution – Reflections on the God Debate

Terry Eagleton (Denis Alexander)
Pages: 180-181

The God of Nature: Incarnation and Contemporary Science

Christopher Knight (Christopher Southgate)
Pages: 182-183

Darwin, Creation and the Fall – Theological Challenges

R.J. Berry T.A. Noble (eds.) (Simon Kolstoe)
Pages: 183-184

Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think

Elaine Howard Ecklund (Nick Spencer)
Pages: 185-186

How God Acts: Creation, Redemption and Special Divine Acts

Denis Edwards (John Pilbrow)
Pages: 186-187

Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God and the Drama of Life

John F. Haught (Celia Deane-Drummond)
Pages: 187-188

Boyle: Between God and Science

Michael Hunter (Allan Chapman)
Pages: 188-190

Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility

Kölbl-Ebert, M. (ed.) (Ron Elsdon)
Pages: 190-191

Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion

David Lewis-Williams (Justin L. Barrett)
Pages: 191-192