Page 6, 24th May 1940

24th May 1940
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Page 6, 24th May 1940 — Saence
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Saence

SCIENTIFIC APOLOGETICS

Religion and Science. Cambridge Summer School Lectures. Edited by the Rev. C. Lattey, S.J. (Burns, Oates and Washbourne, London, 7s. 6d.) Reviewed by PROFESSOR W. R. THOMPSON, Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.S.

IT is a great satisfaction to see that 1 in spite of the difficulties caused by the outbreak of war Messrs. Burns, Oates and Washbourne have been able to publish the very valuable collection of papers read at the Summer School of Catholic Studies held at Cambridge last year. The papers cover a wide range. Fr. Sherlock and Mr C. C. A. Monro deal with the general relation between science and religion, but from rather different standpoints. Fr. Sherlock discusses the positive benefits brought to science by religion, and particularly by Christianity.

Mr Monro contributes a careful and accurate analysis, on Thomist lines, of the whole field of knowledge, showing clearly in what sense we may speak of the unity of knowledge and in what sense its different fields may be considered autonomous. Miss W. M. Clifford discusses the difficulties of mechanistic theories from the standpoint of the expert physiologist. Fr. H. J. T. Johnson, in a paper on "Prehistoric Man," sums up the evidence of recent paleontological studies and indicates the solution of theological difficulties raised by some of the current hypotheses, which he perhaps regards a shade too seriously, In common with the palceontologists themselves, who incline to forget the extremely fragmentary character of the data. Fr. M. Hannan gives a valuable account of the work of Fr. Schmidt on the religion of primitive races and his wellargued views on its significance; while Fr. Leycester King and Dr. E. B. Strauss discuss psychology and psychotherapy. Dr. Mary Caldwell, in a paper on " Morality and National Health," shows that the teachings of the Church on medical questions have, in many cases, been justified by scientific investigation, though it had been asserted that they Involved intolerable hardships to the individual. Three papers by Fr. A. Manson, Fr. Lattey. and Dr. Arendzen on Miracles and the Bible conclude the volume.

IT is difficult to relate the technical 1 matter of the non-biological science to religion, and this is no doubt why only two papers on subjects in this field are included. Unfortunately, Professor Temple, who spoke on " Determinism and Modern Physics," was unable to prepare his paper for publication. Professor E. T. Whitaker, F.A.S., who is a member of the Pontifical Academy and an authority of the first rank, has, however, contributed a very interesting and readable essay on " The Physical Universe." It is interesting to compare this with the remarks of Mr Monro, who represents the Thomiet viewpoint as developed in modern times by Professor Maritain. The views expressed do not seem difficult to reconcile.

In spite of the efforts that have been made in recent years to escape from the idea of creation, Professor Whitaker asserts that the universe is certainly running down, that all attempts to demonstrate some kind of eternal cyclical process have proved untenable, and that " it is necessary to look backwards to a creation." I hope this book will have a wide and steady sale, in spite of the war, and I most heartily recommend it to all those interested in the vital question with which it deals.




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