I gratefully acknowledge and respond here to four reviews of my recent book, Cosmology from Alpha to Omega. Nancey Murphy stresses the importance of showing consistency between Christian theology and natural science through a detailed examination of my recent model of their creative interaction. She suggests how this model can be enhanced by adopting Alasdair MacIntyre's understanding of tradition in order to adjudicate between competing ways of incorporating science into a wider worldview. She urges the inclusion of ethics in my (...) model and predicts that this would successfully challenge the competing naturalist tradition in contemporary society. John F. Haught weighs the alternatives of viewing divine action as objective versus subjective and of divine action at one level in nature or at all levels. He asks whether physics is fundamental to nature, arguing instead that metaphysics should be considered as fundamental. Michael Ruse assesses occasional versus universal divine action, the problems raised to divine action when it is related to quantum mechanics, and the way these relations exacerbate the challenge of natural theodicy. As an alternative he suggests viewing God as outside time and acting through unbroken natural law. Willem B. Drees discusses my use of the bridge metaphor for the relation between theology and science, the implications when science is inspired by theology, the role of contingency and necessity in the anthropic principle/many-worlds debate, and the challenge of cosmology to eschatology with the ensuing problem of theodicy. (shrink)
This essay is a brief assessment of the lasting impact of Michael Polanyi’s thought on the growing interdisciplinary field of “theology and science.” I note representative examples in the writing of Ian Barbour, Thomas Torrance, John Polkinghorne, Arthur Peacocke and John Haught, showing how Polanyi’s “personal knowledge,” as well as some other Polanyian themes, have been recognized and accepted.
We contend that if efficiency and reliability are important factors in neural information processing then distributed, not localist, representations are “evolution's best bet.” We note that distributed codes are the most efficient method for representing information, and that this efficiency minimizes metabolic costs, providing adaptive advantage to an organism.