Creation Ex Nihilo: Thoughts on Science, Divine Providence, Free Will, and Faith in the Perspective of My Own Experiences

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Gefen Publishing House Ltd, 2007 - Religion - 191 pages
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Creation Ex Nihilo is about science and faith, the secular view on the one hand, and the Jewish-religious view on the other. Professor Benjamin Fain, the renowned physicist and Soviet refusenik, here adds his contribution to the literature showing that there is no contradiction between science and Judaism. In a scholarly yet readable philosophical meditation, Fain addresses the mind and soul; science, its character and cognizance; the evolution of life and divine providence; and God s omnipotence and omniscience versus humans freedom of will. Fain demonstrates how the human self with its soul, desires, and emotions is linked to the infinite divine mind. In this world of interplay between divine providence and free will, there is a place for human creativity; new things, including science, are created ex nihilo. This book demonstrates conclusively that not only do science and Judaism not collide, they complement each other in helping us to comprehend the world we live in.

  

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Contents

Mind and Body
13
2 Freedom of Will A Metaphysical Problem
15
3 Materialism Physicalism Determinism Reductionism
18
4 Materialistic Solutions to the MindBody Problem
21
5 The Three Worlds of Karl Popper
26
6 Development of the WorldSomething from Nothing
30
7 A Jewish Approach The World Open to God
33
8 Summary
36
Evolution Law of Nature or Divine Providence?
112
10 A Conversation between an Atheist A and a Believer B
115
History
119
2 There Is No LawBased Regularity in History
121
3 The Influence of the Level of Human Knowledge on Historical Developments
123
4 Divine Injunction and Human Morality ?
128
5 Why Jews?
132
6 Science and Jewish Civilization
134

Science
40
2 The Principle of Induction
42
3 Godels Theorem
45
4 Immanuel Kants Solution to the Problem of Induction
47
5 Karl Poppers Solution to the Problem of Induction
50
6 Mans Ability to Reveal Natures Laws
53
7 Scientific Cognition in the Real WorldA Jewish View
56
8 Solomon Maimon and His Philosophy
63
Science Divine Revelation
69
Science and Faith
80
Evolution of Life
85
2 The Basic Mechanism of Natural Selection
88
3 The Molecular Basis of Life Processes
90
A Proteins
91
B DNA the genetic code
93
C RNA the translation of the genetic code
95
4 DNA RNA Proteins Cells Organism
96
Can We Prove the Theory of Evolution?
100
6 Compatibility with Divine Providence
103
7 Does a Law of Evolution Exist?
105
8 Creative Emerging Evolution
107
7 Evil Is the Antithesis of Judaism
136
8 Human HistoryProvidence and Freedom of Will
140
9 Jewish Philosophers on Everything is foreseen yet freedom of choice is given
146
B Maimonides Approach to the Problem of Freedom of Choice versus Divine Knowledge
147
C Other Jewish Philosophers
149
A Different Approach to the Paradox of Everything is foreseen yet freedom of choice is given
155
B Two Types of Development Material and Spiritual
157
C Knowledge of the Future
158
D The Future Is Not Explicitly Concealed in the Past
161
E Everything Is Foreseen
163
14
168
G Summary
169
Conclusion
171
B Science
173
C Evolution
174
D History
175
2 The Self and the Quest for Meaning
176
Bibliography
179
Index
187
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