Writing with bracing intelligence and clarity, internationally renowned evolutionist and bestselling author Stephen Jay Gould sheds new light on a dilemma that has plagued thinking people since the Renaissance: the rift between science and religion. Instead of choosing them, Gould asks, why not opt for a golden mean that accords dignity and distinction to each realm? In his distinctively elegant style, Gould offers a lucid, contemporary principle that allows science and religion to coexist peacefully in a position of respectful noninterference. Science defines the natural world; religion our moral world in recognition of their separate spheres of influence. In exploring this thought-provoking concept, Gould delves into the history of science, sketching affecting portraits of scientists and moral leaders wrestling with matters of faith and reason. Stories of seminal figures such as Galileo, Darwin, and Thomas Henry Huxley make vivid his argument that individuals and cultures must cultivate both a life of the spirit and a life of rational inquiry in order to experience the fullness of being human. In Rocks of Ages, Gould's passionate humanism, ethical discernment, and erudition are fused to create a dazzling gem of contemporary cultural philosophy.
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"Daring and thought-provoking . . . A lively retelling of the very real conflict between creationism and evolution in America."-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "ILLUMINATING . . . A RICH TAPESTRY OF FACT AND ANECDOTE . . . [Stephen Jay Gould] engages us with evident delight in the subtle dance of language and ideas. . . . Reading it, we feel ourselves in the great tradition of Montaigne and his successors."-Los Angeles Times "ENTERTAINING . . . GOULD MAKES HIS POINTS WITH AUTHORITY, INSIGHT, AND HIS TRADEMARK GOOD HUMOR."-The Christian Science Monitor