God of Wonders

From Galileo to Gell-Mann by Marco Bersanelli and Mario Gargantini

The wonder that inspired the greatest scientists of all time, in their own words.

English: Murray Gell-Mann lecturing in 2007

English: Murray Gell-Mann lecturing in 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a writer.  I think in narratives and do not have a scientific intelligence, yet through reading this book I have been shown how to see artistry and beauty through numbers and observation.   From Galileo to Gell-Mann is a compilation of stories by and about logicians and natural observers from the past three thousand years, a series of quotes and anecdotes for dipping into rather than a single story to sit and read cover-to-cover.

You will not find an argument for a six-day Creationism in this book, although you will find some of the theology of Darwin in his own words.  It doesn’t claim to be balanced; it is a collection of connections between what is observed and what is experienced by women and men who are open to there being something beyond their scope of knowing. If discovery is having the courage to enter the mist, seeing what everyone sees but thinking what no one has ever thought, then this book is a journey of discovery. The gathered scientists don’t presume to give all the right answers, but they describe how to ask the right questions.

The take home message of Signores Bersanelli and Gargantini is that there is a place for “the search for meaning” within scientific method.  There is a “need to know” in every person, not just those who work in labs.  A botanist can identify the genus of the flowers left on his desk, but discovering the purpose behind the bouquet is a different matter: so it is with the order of Creation.  As Marie Curie said “ah, what a pretty phenomenon”.

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