What’s the single book that you would most like your friends to read? According to U.K. pro-ID blogger Exiled from Groggs, it is Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt’s book A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature. According to the reviewer, formerly at Cambridge, “Of all the books on the great debate that I have read – and there are a fair few on both sides! – this is probably the one I have enjoyed the most, and the one which ought ideally to have the most potential to influence.” He goes on to explain why:
Wiker and Witt’s thesis is that the universe is rich in “meaning” – the dominance of the materialist worldview has blinded us to this. And the “meaning” testifies to a creative genius. To make this case, they start in English literature, looking at Shakespeare, and then move into mathematics and chemistry before revisiting the world of biology. In the process, they identify depth, clarity, harmony and elegance as hallmarks of genius . … Unsurprisingly, their conclusion is that the meaningfulness that is found at all levels in the universe is indicative of an underlying creative genius.
This book, like only a few others that I have read before (“Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid” by Douglas Hofstadter, “Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder, “How Should We Then Live?” by Francis Schaeffer), took a discussion that had reached a sterile impasse and presented it from an entirely new perspective. For theists, this book has the potential to help them see beyond the wrangling over details of materialism again, and remind them of how rich the universe is. For atheists, this book has the potential to lift their eyes from narrow discussion about whether or not it is possible to prove that bacterial flagellum evolved, to take in again the vast panorama which once captivated and amazed them.