Download e-book for iPad: A Comprehensible Universe: The Interplay of Science and by George V. Coyne

By George V. Coyne

Why is our international understandable? this query turns out so trivial that few humans have dared to invite it. during this e-book we discover the deep roots of the secret of rationality. The inquiry into the rationality of the realm all started over two-and-a-half-thousand years in the past, while a number of brave humans attempted to appreciate the realm with assistance from cause on my own, rejecting the comforting cloth of fantasy and legend.

After many philosophical and theological adventures the Greek thought of rationality laid the rules of a progressive state of mind: the medical technique, which reworked the world.

But the latest culmination of the world's rationality - relativity concept, quantum mechanics, the unification of physics, quantum gravity - the query arises: what are the bounds of the medical technique? The vital guiding principle of rationality is so you might by no means cease asking questions until eventually every little thing has been spoke back ...

"The understandable Universe is a considerate e-book through authors who've specialist services in physics and astronomy and likewise in theology. they're awfully good expert concerning the historical past of the relation among technological know-how and theology, they usually preserve all through their dialogue a admire for empirical proof and a commitment to rationality. even if i don't trust all in their conclusions on concerns of serious complexity i'm inspired via the equity in their argumentation."

Abner Shimony, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Physics, Boston University

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Any goal is always something good that is to be attained but mathematical objects, being neither good nor evil, cannot serve as goals. In this respect they are useless and, consequently, they can play only a secondary role in physics. Physics is a science of causes, and numbers cannot be causes in any sense. Aristotle makes this clear: Number, then, whether it be number in general or the number which consists of abstract units, is neither the cause as agent, nor the matter, nor the ratio and form of things.

There are material things that, besides qualitative properties, possess a “substantial nucleus” which cannot be reduced to quantity. In this respect, the Aristotelian system seems to be logically consistent. And this turned out to be dangerous. This “logical closure” of the system became a trap for many generations of thinkers. It cannot serve as the only criterion of truth. Many people look with favor at the Aristotelian doctrine concerning the nature of mathematics because they confound the question of origin with the question of ontology.

The God of religion was identified with the God of metaphysics. Neither before nor afterwards did the idea of rationality have such strong support. Medieval Scholasticism not only contributed to the origin of the new method of the empirical sciences, but it also had strong implications for the content of science and philosophy. ” What God can and cannot do has a clear bearing on what is implemented in the created world. ” 34 Chapter 6 • Christianity on the Scene 1. Greek Philosophy and the Biblical Tradition T he encounter of Greek philosophy with Judaism and Christianity was of unprecedented importance in the intellectual evolution of humanity.

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