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A Meaningful World

How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of NatureJonathan Witt and Benjamin Wiker

Meaningful or meaningless? Purposeful or pointless? When we look at nature, whether at our living earth or into deepest space, what do we find? In stark contrast to contemporary claims that the world is meaningless, Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt reveal a cosmos charged with both meaning and purpose. Their journey begins with Shakespeare and ranges through Euclid’s geometry, the fine-tuning of the laws of physics, the periodic table of the elements, the artistry of ordinary substances like carbon and water, the intricacy of biological organisms, and the irreducible drama of scientific exploration itself. Along the way, Wiker and Witt fashion a robust argument from evidence in nature, one that rests neither on religious presuppositions nor on a simplistic view of nature as the best of all possible worlds. In their exploration of the cosmos, Wiker and Witt find all the challenges and surprises, all of the mystery and elegance one expects from a work of genius.

Nearly 30 years ago physicist Steven Weinberg wrote that “[t]he more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” But is our universe really just a meaningless accident? A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, co-authored by Discovery Institute senior fellows Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt, makes the philosophical argument that the more we learn about our universe, the more it seems laden with meaning.

Reviews

It is fully as gratifying to hear from teachers and writers who know science and literature as well as theology and who use their energy to assign God his rightful place.

Steve Van Der Weele, Calvin Theological Journal, November 2008

A good book for the math or science lover.

David Mills, The Pittsburgh Catholic, December 2009

Several outstanding books argue for Intelligent Design. However, A Meaningful World explores newer ground. In this book the authors widen the focus to the meaning and genius that are evident all around us.

Lay Witness, Fall 2007

A Meaningful World offers a compelling rebuttal to modern materialism and its reductionistic view of nature. The professional critics of intelligent design didn’t see this book coming, and are unlikely to have a ready response to its argument.

Touchstone, July-August 2007

Wiker and Witt submit: ‘A poison has entered human culture. It’s the assumption that science has proven that the universe is without purpose, without meaning.’ This is the primary popular assumption the authors tackle in A Meaningful World.

Terry Scambray

A Meaningful World is astounding, breathtaking! This is a book about both the beauty of science and the beauty of creation, a book I wish I had as an undergraduate taking science courses. Wiker and Witt draw us beyond design to the sheer grandeur, elegance and deep intelligibility of nature, all of which bespeak a creative Genius. It will help overcome the residual fear of science that plagues all too many devout believers, and instill a sense of childlike wonder at the splendor of our world. A Meaningful World admirably answers the call of Pope Benedict XVI to see the glory of God’s wisdom, the Divine Logos, permeating creation. I can’t wait to get this into the hands of my own teenagers, and even my college grads.

Scott Hahn, Ph.D., professor of theology and Scripture, Franciscan University, and president, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Jonathan Witt

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Jonathan Witt, Ph.D., is a senior fellow and senior project manager with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. His latest book is Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design (DI Press, 2018) written with Finnish bioengineer Matti Leisola. Witt has also authored co-authored Intelligent Design Uncensored, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, and The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. Witt is the lead writer and associate producer for Poverty, Inc., winner of the $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award and recipient of over 50 international film festival honors.

Benjamin Wiker

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Benjamin Wiker holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, he has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary's University (MN), and Thomas Aquinas College (CA), and Franciscan University of Steubenville.