Dr. Benjamin Fain is extremely knowledgeable in science, as well as liberal arts areas; such as, philosophy, sociology, logic and theology. This work seeks to integrate the arts and sciences in a multi-disciplinary fashion.
The author begins with some theological views.For instance, the Torah describes the plan and design of our world.Matter is our world; whereas, light derives from G-d. The Big Bang theory describes a phenomena ; wherein, something devolves from nothing.
There is no scientific explanation per se so the only other area comes from the spiritual. Later on, the book describes how the source of scientific knowledge or laws of nature come from Divine Revelation. The book concludes that humans have free will. Without free will, the Torah would have little meaning. Maimonides believes that the divine intellect is conjoined with humankind. [ Guide of the Perplexed 1:1 ]
The discussion on free will is critical. G-d provided humankind with free will because there could be no conduct of the process of life without it. Humankind would be like aimless beings bumping into each other because of the lack of direction. G-d provided humans with free will so that humans would not have to go back and forth to Him for permission to do every earthly thing.
As such, G-d is the ultimate delegator. With free will, humankind has a whole series of laws to govern the reasonable exercise of it. There is scriptural law, the Halakah, Talmud, host country legal codes and even the contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls. So it is free will and law that act jointly to keep humankind in some sort of societal equilibrium devoid of normlessness and lack of direction or purpose.
The course of history is G-d contending with humans who have free choice. In Judaism, G-d is the G-d of history. His commandments have historical meaning although man has free choice. Law is the spigot which regulates the free choice within a band of acceptability. Einstein accepted religion when he stated:
" The scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law."
There is a sort of harmony in how nature operates. There is a contrast between life and death, heat and cold, dry or wet, the 4 seasons and many other facets of life. This harmony is designed into the universal structure. Even the hereditary material has all the instructions for developing an organism from semen. Therefore, the existence of humankind can be created anywhere in any time or any place.
The book discusses various aspects of the scientific method throughout. It states that we cannot validate any theory logically because we would need infinite experiments including future ones. If you traveled many centuries into the future, the laws of chemistry and thermodynamics might operate differently. Elasticity points might be different in an Ice Age or dramatic shifting of weather at the Poles. Stresses and strains might have more non-linearity thereby causing phenomena unanticipated in the classic engineering applications.
Kant finds that our categories of data organization are not experimentally derived. Instead, these are functions and rules of human intellect allowing us to organize the findings of our own experience.. What happens when the data emulates conditions outside of our normal experience?
The contents of this book could be argued in dozens of dissertations. It is not belles lettres reading per se. The arguments are at a high level of understanding for scientists, engineers, mathematicians, logicians, philosophers, theologists and a considerable constituency educated at the collegiate level or beyond.
This review is from: Creation Ex Nihilo: Thoughts on Science, Divine Providence, Free Will, and Faith in the Perspective of My Own Experiences (Hardcover) Dr. Benjamin Fain is extremely knowledgeable in science, as well as liberals arts areas; such as, philosophy, sociology, logic and theology. This work seeks to integrate the arts and sciences in a multi-disciplinary fashion. The author begins with some theological views. For instance, … more
"This is a breath of fresh air in the domain of the philosophy of science; it awakens renewed thought in all the subjects the book deals with. I am full of satisfaction at the many hours that I invested in reading it, and at the intellectual illumination that I merited to attain through it. --Dr. Joseph Bodenheimer, President, Jerusalem College of Technology
Dr. Fain s book a deeply personal testimony of scientific and spiritual search of our times penetrates the secrets of the world and the depths of the spirit... This book is a must-read. --Natan Sharansky, Distinguished Senior Fellow, The Shalem Center
[A] remarkable book. It combines a sophisticated statement of the scientist s sense of design as the best proof of God the Creator, and of the Jewish contention that we live in a world of creation... --Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, President, Jewish Life Network / Steinhardt Foundation