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Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order

George Johnson

175 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 067974021X / ISBN 13: 9780679740216
Published by Vintage, 1996
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Title: Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the ...

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Edition: Reprint.

About this title


Are there really laws governing the universe? Or is the order we see a mere artifact of the way evolution wired the brain? And is what we call science only a set of myths in which quarks, DNA, and information fill the role once occupied by gods? These questions lie at the heart of George Johnson's audacious exploration of the border between science and religion, cosmic accident and timeless law. Northern New Mexico is home both to the most provocative new enterprises in quantum physics, information science, and the evolution of complexity and to the cosmologies of the Tewa Indians and the Catholic Penitentes. As it draws the reader into this landscape, juxtaposing the systems of belief that have taken root there, Fire in the Mind into a gripping intellectual adventure story that compels us to ask where science ends and religion begins.
"A must for all those seriously interested in the key ideas at the frontier of scientific discourse."--Paul Davies


In the mountains of northern New Mexico, the Tewa pueblo of San Ildefonso and the laboratory city of Los Alamos coexist, representing two distinct, yet not entirely dissimilar world views. In this land of strange juxtapositions where magic and science rub elbows, Johnson introduces us to an amazing diversity of people who see the world through varied lenses, who find vastly different pictures in the night sky. At the core of the book is the question of the human view of the universe: are there really innate patterns in creation, and why do we honor them so highly? Johnson examines some of the radical theories of physics and biology emanating from Los Alamos and compares them to the intricate beliefs of the Tewa Indians, the Catholic sect of the Penitentes, and other inhabitants of the high New Mexico desert in this startling work of intellectual adventure.

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