The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science by Robert E. Pollack

The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical…

byRobert E. Pollack

Kobo ebook | January 29, 2013

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Are there parallels between the "moment of insight" in science and the emergence of the "unknowable" in religious faith? Where does scientific insight come from? Award-winning biologist Robert Pollack argues that an alliance between religious faith and science is not necessarily an argument in favor of irrationality: the two can inform each other's visions of the world.

Pollack begins by reflecting on the large questions of meaning and purpose -- and the difficulty of finding either in the orderly world described by the data of science. He considers the obligation to find meaning and purpose despite natural selection's claim to be a complete explanation of our presence as a species -- a claim that calls upon neither natural intention, nor design, nor Designer. Next, the book focuses on matters of free will, from the choice of a scientist to accept evidence, to the choice of a religious person to accept a revelation, to a patient's loss of free will in medical treatment. Here Pollack addresses questions of ethics and offers a provocative comparison of two difficult texts whose contents remain incompletely understood: the DNA "text" of the human genome and the Hebrew record of Jewish written and oral law. In closing, Pollack considers the promise of genetic medicine in enabling us to glimpse our own future and offers a reconsideration of the possible utility of the so-called placebo effect in curing illness.

Whether refuting a DNA-based biological model of Judaism or discussing the Darwinian concept of the species, Pollack, under the banner of free inquiry, presents a genuine, vital, and well-argued assay of the intersection of science and religion.

About The Author

Robert Pollack is professor of biological sciences at Columbia University. His books include The Missing Moment: How the Unconscious Shapes Modern Science and Signs of Life: The Language and Meanings of DNA.

Details & Specs

Title:The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 29, 2013Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231529058

ISBN - 13:9780231529051

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2013 Paperback Edition
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Order Vs. Meaning: Science and Religion
2. The Meaning is in the Order: DNA-based medicine
3. Meaning Beyond Order: The Science of One Life at a Time
Postscript
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

This important book provides stimulating insights for believers and non-believers alike.