God, Science, and Humility

Ten Scientists Consider Humility Theology

Edited by Robert L. Herrmann

Editor Robert Herrmann has collected the opinions of ten scientists, all leaders in their fields, who have considered the relevance of their science to theology. The contributors bring a variety of religious experiences to the consideration of humility theology, a humble approach to our truth-seeking about God.

As a physicist, Russell Stannard provides an overview of humility theology in which truth is approached in an experimental, hypothetical mode, as is done in the sciences. Physicist and theologian Robert Russell focuses on the interaction between cosmology and theology. Charles Harper writes of the opportunity for a tremendous flowering of planetary science through a joint partnership between science and religion.

Owen Gingerich, historian of science, looks at the other side of humility theology—the possibility that we can actually arrive at unreasonable expectations— about the existence and nature of extraterrestrial intelligence. Francisco Ayala begins with the surprising contrast between the very brief period of human evolution and its remarkable and utterly unique end-product, homo sapiens. Psychologist David Myers points out that intuition can be a powerful faculty, but there are many limitations to this “inner knowing.”

Chemist Giuseppe Del Re writes an interesting view of the history of the development of chemistry as a discipline. Herbert Benson and Patricia Myers analyze the components of mind-body medicine that relate to the rubric of self-care, including relaxation procedures, nutrition, exercise, stress management, and faith. David and Susan Larson introduce the reader to a new field of medical science that focuses on the impact of spiritual values on patients' health. Fraser Watts looks at artificial intelligence research.

The discussion included in this book will significantly aid scholars and general readers in the search for greater understanding of the relationship between science and religion.

Contributors include Russell Stannard, Robert John Russell, Charles L. Harper Jr., Owen Gingerich, Francisco J. Ayala, David G. Myers, Giuseppe Del Re, Herbert Benson, Patricia Myers, David B. Larson, Susan S. Larson, and Fraser Watts.

Foreword / vii
JOHN MARKS TEMPLETON 

Introduction / xi

Contributors / xv

1. Theology as a Science / 3
F. RUSSELL STANNARD 

2. God and Contemporary Cosmology: Continuing the Creative Interaction / 26
ROBERT JOHN RUSSELL 

3. Beginning to Explore an Infinite Cosmos of Living Worlds: The Amazing Future of the New “Planetary Cosmology” / 52
CHARLES L. HARPER, JR.

4. The Arrogance of Mediocrity / 118
OWEN GINGERICH 

5. The Limits of Knowledge and the Hope for Progress / 131
FRANCISCO J. AYALA 

6. The Psychology of Humility / 153
DAVID G. MYERS

7. The Case of Chemistry / 176
GIUSEPPE DEL RE

8. Mind/Body Medicine and Spirituality / 206 
HERBERT BENSON AND PATRICIA MYERS

9. Health’s Forgotten Factor: Medical Research Uncovers Religion’s Clinical Relevance / 228 
DAVID B. LARSON AND SUSAN S. LARSON

10. Artificial Intelligence / 279
FRASER WATTS

Epilogue / 301