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Ancient Wisdom and Modern Misconceptions

Ancient Wisdom and Modern Misconceptions

A Critique of Contemporary Scientism

By Wolfgang Smith

262 pp

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About the Book

For many years, Wolfgang Smith has been putting forward an expansive vision of the traditional Christian cosmos alongside an incisive critique of the truncated perspective of contemporary scientism. In Ancient Wisdom and Modern Misconceptions he shows how the physical sciences, freed from the prevailing misconceptions, actually corroborate the traditional wisdom long thought to be dead. Basing himself in part upon epistemological considerations first enunciated by Sir Arthur Eddington, which have recently received definitive confirmation, he shows that the so-called physical universe proves finally to be constructed by the strategies of the experimental physicist himself. Following this he delves into the foundations of astrophysics and planetary astronomy to arrive again at conclusions that fly in the face of current belief. After elucidating the concepts of Intelligent Design and vertical causation, he concludes by showing that the contemporary debate concerning Anthropic Coincidence is vitiated by an inversion of the causal nexus. With equal mastery Smith presents the serious reader with glimpses of the perennial wisdom eclipsed since the Enlightenment, and shows that traditional cosmology, so far from being disqualified, actually provides the keys to an understanding of science itself. No one entering the fray of current debates regarding “science and religion” can afford to neglect the immense implications of this work by Wolfgang Smith.

About the Author

Wolfgang Smith was born in Vienna in 1930. At age eighteen he graduated from Cornell University with majors in physics, mathematics, and philosophy. At age twenty he received his Master’s degree in theoretical physics from Purdue University, and climbed the Matterhorn. After contributing to the theoretical solution of the re-entry problem as an aerodynamicist at Bell Aircraft Corporation, Smith earned his doctorate in Mathematics at Columbia University, subsequently embarking upon a 30-year career as a Professor of Mathematics at MIT, UCLA, and Oregon State University. Despite his impeccable credentials in physics, mathematics, and philosophy, Wolfgang Smith is at heart an outsider not only in regard to these academic disciplines, but more profoundly, in reference to the post-Enlightenment premises of our contemporary world. Finding himself, thus, irreconcilably at odds with the prevailing Zeitgeist, Smith decided to forego a professional career in the fields of his primary interest—i.e., physics and philosophy—in favor of pure mathematics: the one and only academic discipline, he avers, in which “political correctness” can find no foothold. And so he enjoyed the luxury of pursuing a respected university career while being at liberty, as he puts it, “to remain perfectly sane.” It is no wonder, then, that when he finally confronted the so-called quantum enigma, Smith perceived the issue in a very different light than his peers. The problem all along had actually not been “technical”! It was not a question to be resolved by way of differential equations, nor primarily a matter of finding something new—but one of jettisoning an entire Weltanschauung. And for Wolfgang Smith this posed no difficulty: he had in fact done so decades earlier, as can be discerned in his remarkable series of publications.

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