Science & Myth: With a Response to Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design
Publisher: Angelico Press
Publication Date: July 25, 2012
To read Wolfgang Smith is to encounter that rara avis: someone deeply versed in science and religion. Whereas most who stand on the side of religion lack the technical expertise to know science "from inside," scientists and writers on science are, as a rule, blind to their own metaphysical assumptions, and woefully inept when it comes to subtle metaphysical points. Not so for Professor Smith, who moves easily between these two essential ways of knowing: between the core twentieth-century discipline of physics, and metaphysical doctrine as articulated by the sapiential traditions of mankind.
In Science & Myth the author shows that science too has its mythology, unrecognized and unacknowledged though the fact be. Starting with a profound clarification of this basic issue he goes on to explain the metaphysical significance of scientific findings relating to visual perception, the relation of neurons to mind, and much else, all of which leads up to the central chapter on Stephen Hawking's best-selling book, The Grand Design. Professor Smith first presents Hawking's case, summarizing his entire argument -- in which Hawking claims that the very existence of the universe can be explained on scientific grounds -- and then proceeds with a magisterial point-by-point rebuttal that leaves his grand thesis in tatters. Science & Myth is a must-read for all those concerned with contemporary issues of science and religion.
After graduating from Cornell University at age eighteen with majors in physics, mathematics and philosophy, Wolfgang Smith took an M.S. from Purdue, following which he spent three years at Bell Aircraft Corporation as an aerodynamicist. During this period he gained recognition for his pioneering papers on the effect of diffusion fields, which provided a theoretical solution to the so-called re-entry problem for space flight. After receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University, Dr. Smith pursued a professorial career in that field. Soon however his center of interest shifted from the pursuit of science to the critique of scientism and the rediscovery of metaphysics as a theological discipline. He has authored six books and numerous articles, and is today widely recognized as a leading authority in these twin fields.