In the present work, Wolfgang Smith presents an insider’s critique of the scientific world-view based upon the sharp but often overlooked distinction between scientific truth and scientistic faith. With elegance and clarity, he demonstrates that major tenets promulgated in the name of Science are not in fact scientific truths but rather scientistic speculations—for which there is no evidence at all. Step by step the reader is led to the astonishing realization that the specifically ‘modern’ world is based intellectually upon nothing more substantial than a syndrome of Promethean myths. But this is only half of what the book accomplishes. Its primary contribution is to recover and reaffirm the deep metaphysical and religious insights that have come down to us through the teachings of Christianity. And herein lies the true worth of this remarkable treatise: having broken the grip of scientistic presuppositions, the author succeeds admirably in bringing to view great truths that had long been obscured.
Praise for Cosmos & Transcendence
“Cosmos and Transcendence is an excellent book, and would be an asset in any course dealing with science and philosophy, or the history of science. It is also most fascinating reading, and would be a welcome addition to any library.” —Harold Hughesdon, The Wanderer
“Wolfgang Smith is as important a thinker as our times boast.” —Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions
“Having traced the degeneration of the mechanistic outlook into subjectivism and pseudoscience, Dr. Smith concludes his book with a profound reflection on the fall of man and its implications for the pursuit of knowledge. . . . This is a serious work which will repay close attention.” —Robert P. Rooney, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
“We are astounded to see the revival of philosophical doctrines long thought dead in a scientific context. . . . This book will repay study, especially its brilliant third chapter, ‘Lost Horizons’.” —John C. Caiazza, Modern Age
“This is a very interesting book for the general reader as for the scientist.” —Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Newsletter
About the Author
Wolfgang Smith graduated from Cornell University at age eighteen with majors in physics, philosophy, and mathematics. After taking an M.S. in physics at Purdue, he pursued research in aerodynamics, where his papers on diffusion fields provided the theoretical key to the solution of the re-entry problem for space flight. After receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University, Dr. Smith held faculty positions at M.I.T., U.C.L.A., and Oregon State University, where he served as Professor of Mathematics until his retirement in 1992. In addition to numerous technical publications (relating to differential topology), Dr. Smith has published three previous books and many articles dealing with foundational and interdisciplinary problems. He has been especially concerned to unmask conceptions of a scientistic kind widely accepted today as scientific truths.