“Faith in and the search for reality and truth have been and remain the common waltz in wonder of philosophy, theology, mysticism, and science,” Ronald Keast writes. “The metaphors vary, as do the methods of the waltz, but the goal is the same. It is to know, to verily know…Truth and Reality.” In Dancing in the Dark, Keast brings together the disciplines of philosophy, theology, and mysticism, relating them to the implications of quantum physics principles.
In dealing with each of his subtopics—quantum physics, mysticism, religion and philosophy—Keast presents a coherent, simple, yet thorough survey, including both historical and contemporary references. He does an excellent job of mingling these topics, and Dancing in the Dark could be used to provide a deep and intriguing introduction to each discipline.
In describing the unpredictable nature of the quantum realm, Keast writes, “The quantum world appears to be a surging world of energy and of potential for the realization of matter…Elementary particles…are more like energy than matter. They have been described as events that flash in and out of existence.” The uncertainty of all this, underlying the world we see and touch, prompt him to add, “Essentially, we live in an environment that we know comparatively little about.”
As Keast relates the position of Augustine regarding the impossibility of objectivity in the search for truth, he notes that “a leap of faith is necessary if one is to apprehend truth and reality.” The scientist is no exception to the impossibility of objectivity, or the involvement of faith. He explains, “For many scientists, both classical and modern, this leap is made, in large measure, to mathematical models and metaphysical abstractions. But essentially it is to faith in themselves and in their own reason as well as to the sovereignty and providence of reason alone.”
The understanding of society always lags behind scientific discovery: Writers first revealed the scientific truths of Newtonian physics to the public by metaphorical application to the familiar. The quantum revolution will follow a similar process, and this work is a major step in that direction. Dancing in the Dark is written for general readers, who will find it easy enough to understand. Yet the quality of research, the depth of thought, and the broad appeal of the interdisciplinary nature of Keast’s effort makes this an important work for theologians and philosophers as well as scientists.
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