Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Peking Man, Science, and God

Faith, science, censorship, and the search for Peking Man

Excellent review of the book "The Jesuit and the Skull", about the man who discovered 'Peking Man':

...Teilhard De Chardin (1881-1955) helped uncover one of the most important scientific finds of the 20th century: Peking Man. The French scientist was working in China alongside an international team of anthropologists, geologists, and paleontologists in December 1929...

But Teilhard was a Jesuit priest, so his findings were subject to review and censorship by the Vatican:

...Not only did the Vatican censor Teilhard's groundbreaking scientific work in his own life, it continues to limit it...in 2006...documents containing the Vatican's decision to censor the French priest's work remained unavailable for review...

The book combines biography, the history of evolutionary thought, and the conflict between science and religion:

...Teilhard himself saw no contradiction between his role as a scientist and man of God. Indeed, he viewed evolution as bolstering his faith. In his "The Phenomenon of Man," censored during his lifetime, Teilhard wrote that "Man is not the centre of the universe as was naively believed in the past, but something much more beautiful - Man the ascending arrow of the great biological synthesis...

This book sounds like a must read.

1 comment:

johnmac said...

It is a must read .. it's wonderful .. and get a copy and put it on your Kindle