Book Review: The Wonder of the Universe

The Wonder of the Universe: Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned World by Karl W. Giberson. InterVarsity Press, 2012.

If you are looking for a book arguing for a proof of God’s existence through science, The Wonder of the Universe: Hints of God in Our Fine-Tuned World isn’t it! Karl Giberson [1] does something, that in my opinion, is far more valuable. In The Wonder of the Universe he carefully lays out the scientific evidence that shows

  • how finely tuned the universe is
  • how even minor differences in various forces would result in either no universe or one where life as we know it would not be possible
  • how even a habitable planet like ours, with water and so many other factors favoring the emergence of life–is truly amazing.

He is among the Christians who affirm evolution but contends that contrary to the randomness claims of so many, evolution often can be argued to show a sense of direction, almost a purposefulness. For Giberson, while none of this proves God’s existence, he sees this as entirely consistent with the idea of a God, and, for him, the best explanation for how such a finely tuned universe and planet could come about.

He is highly skeptical of the multiverse idea, which he argues has not been empirically demonstrated or even functioned predicatively of any phenomenon. While this needn’t change one’s belief in a god, it does seem pretty necessary to explain our finely tuned universe without one.

A wonderfully readable (with pictures) account that raises provocative questions without claiming more than the science warrants!


Notes

  1. Karl Giberson (PhD, physics) is an internationally known scholar, speaker and writer. He has written or coauthored nine books and lectured on science and religion at the Vatican, Oxford University, London´s Thomas Moore Institute and many prestigious American venues including MIT, The Harvard Club and Xavier University.Dr. Giberson has published more than two hundred reviews and essays, both technical and popular, in outlets that include the New York Times, CNN.com, The Guardian, USA Today, LA Times and Salon.com. He is a regular contributor to the public dialogue on science and faith, and has appeared as a guest on NPR´s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation as well as other radio programs. He blogs at The Huffington Post where his articles have generated thousands of comments and are frequently featured. From 1984 to 2011, Dr. Giberson was a professor at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) where he received numerous recognitions and awards. From 2007 to 2010 he headed the Forum on Faith and Science at Gordon College. For three years, ending in 2009, he was the program director for the prestigious Venice Summer School on Science & Religion. Dr. Giberson now teaches writing and science and religion in the Cornerstone Program at Stonehill College. — From Karl Giberson’s InterVarsity Press author page . Accessed 2/7/2014.  ↩
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Bob Trube

Bob Trube is Senior Area Director for InterVarsity's Graduate & Faculty Ministry team in the Ohio Valley (Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania) and leads the ministry to graduate students and faculty at The Ohio State University. He resides in Columbus, Ohio, with Marilyn and enjoys reading, gardening, choral singing, and plein air painting.

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