Dr. Gerald Schroeder is an MIT trained physicist and an Orthodox Jew. His previous books, including
Genesis and the Big Bang
The Science of God
, focus on the connections between science and faith. His new book,
God According to God
, published by HarperCollins, comes out this week. Dr. Schroeder was kind enough to answer a few questions pertaining to his latest research.
Jeremy Moses: You’re writing focuses on the connections between science and religion. As a physicist and a Jew, have you ever experienced a “crisis of faith?”
Gerald Schroeder: The world is like an Escher painting, figure/ground reversals constantly. Sometimes the staircase goes up in an impossible way and sometimes equally impossible down. Sometimes the wonder of the world is so apparent that there is no option other than a divine-based explanation and sometimes it all looks natural with chance, free will and the laws of nature running the show. But when the total picture is taken into account, the energy of the big bang creation evolving over time into life and consciousness, the Divine becomes too apparent to ignore.
The wonder of life is not whether it took billions of years or a mere few days to appear. The wonder of life is life itself in all its wonder and ordered complexity. Life and consciousness formed from the rocks and water and a few simple molecules on the once barren surface of the earth. How? It takes a huge stretch of the imagination to attribute life and consciousness to being the result of random events, even over billions of years.
JM: Why do you feel a need for your new book? What are people getting wrong when they talk about God?
GS: There is a vast misconception of how God, as described in the Bible, interacts with the creation It brought into being. And that misinterpretation has led many persons to reject the idea of a God, biblical or otherwise. We form an image of God as being the ever-in-control Force guiding the world with only our free will choices left to us. But that is not the God of the Bible. Both Maimonides [rationalist] and Nahmanides [kabalist] insist that accidents happen; that God’s control is over the group, but not totally over the members of the group.