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Science and Religion

Uncodified Conspiracy
and Other Essays

    This book is the seventh such collection of essays by the author which deal mainly with science, or rather with misconceptions about science's impact on other fields of inquiry. Since a back-cover text can hardly contain as much as the titles of the twenty-two essays reprinted in this book, let just a few points be recalled here for the benefit of those who have glanced through the table of contents. One of those points, discussed in some detail in the introduction, is about conspiracy as a more or less tacit effort to keep out of focus the limitations of the scientific method, which is steeped in the use of quantities. The cultural impoverishment to which that conspiracy has led is threatening Western culture with its demise. Would that essays like those reprinted in this book might energize people with good will and open minds.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-1-892539-05-2  •  x + 309 pages  •  softcover  •  $25



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The Relevance of Physics

    This book aims, in its author's words, to restore "that feature of the image of physics which bespeaks the highly revisable character of its statements, the never-ending course of its search, and the basic incompetency of many of its conclusions in other important areas of human reflection". Jaki argues that, contrary to past and present claims, physics has not solved the riddle of living organisms, nor has it dispensed with metaphysics, nor it has a solution of its own to the grave ethical problems raised by some of its inventions. In pondering the frailties of their forebears, physicist of our time (and all scientists who stand in profound debt to physics) may better equip themselves for their increasingly prominent role in shaping our culture.

    Comments on the first edition:
    "Jaki forged a powerful book"
 —Atomic Scientist
    "The appearance of this book is an event of no small importance and, as may be hoped, of no small consequences for the future. It is one of the rare cases in scientific literature where a competent scientist tries to delimit clearly and thoroughly the boundaries within which his own science (physics) is valid. ... Jaki thinks that a good knowledge of the history of science with all its failures and mistaken convictions would be a lesson and of great help. It may be so, I suggest another recipe: to make Jaki's book ... compulsory reading for all scientists, students, and professors."
 — W. Heitler in American Scientist

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 0-7073-0711-2  •  xii + 604 pages  •  softcover  •  $80



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Means to Message: A Treatise on Truth

    Every philosophy is a message. For conveying that message there has to be a tangible means, such as a book. Therefore, for the sake of a minimum of consistency, the philosopher's message or system should account in full for the reality of the means. This book by Stanley Jaki aims at unfolding the consequences of this minimum for the main topics of philosophy. The necessary first topic is the objective reality of the means, or in general "objects". Any neglect of this will result, Jaki argues, in philosophical sleights of hand that endlessly breed one another. Jaki then removes some misconceptions about clarity, as usually identified with science, and demonstrates that science as such cannot account for the reality of the means that carries its message. In keeping in focus the priority of the means over the message, Jaki takes up such further topics as free will, purpose, causality, change, and the mind. He thereby prepares the ground for discussing the universe, ethics, God, and miracles. Finally, he deals with history and with the question of whether humans are alone in the universe. An important corrective to much of the work currently taking place in the field of philosophy, Means to Message provides a rigorous, highly original presentation of the claim that any consistent philosophical message must be steeped in a realist epistemology that is fully open to metaphysics.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-0-802846-51-8  •  233 pages  •  softcover  •  $29



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The Mirage of Conflict
between Science and Religion

    The claim is often heard that science and religion are in irreconcilable conflict. However, when the essence of science and the essence of religion are examined more closely, this viewpoint may appear as simply a mirage. The first and vital step in this investigation is to understand that only physics (including astronomy, chemistry and molecular biology) qualifies as exact science. In this book the author explains how this is so, and then explores what physicists themselves have claimed physics to be. Next he considers what these physicists have said as philosophers regarding physics, and after that shows what their investigations of the history of physics have revealed. The result is that the function of numbers is seen as the determinant factor in the nature of physics. If such is the case, and as long as religion is viewed as a set of propositions which are not subject to measurement, which numbers make possible, then a conflict between religion and exact science can only be a mirage. A chapter on the ideologies grafted onto physics provides further information on this crucial point. The next to last chapter deals with the inclement climate of opinion that prevents a fair consideration of these points. The last chapter gives a concrete analysis of some cases that often come up in debates regarding science and religion.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-1-892539-13-7  •  viii + 87 pages  •  softcover  •  $12



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Lectures
in the Vatican Gardens

    This book is a collection of papers given at various meetings of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, all held in its headquarters, Casina Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens. The lectures deal with the relation of science and culture, with the nature of exact science as different from other branches of learning, and with evolution. Their basic thrust is to show that there is no conflict between a science and a religion (Catholicism in particular) that are aware of their respective limitations. The latter derive from the unique function of quantities versus the function of all other words. While the latter can operate with the phrase "more or less," the former cannot do so without undermining the very definition of numbers, of integers in particular. The general title should not suggest that the contents and claims of these essays reflect the position of the Vatican. They reflect conclusions which the author reached after pondering the relations of science and religion for half a century.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-1-892539-11-3  •  xvi + 201 pages  •  softcover  •  $18



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Questions on Science and Religion

    Endless questions have arisen about the relation of science and religion. Disputes still rage and misunderstandings rule. On occasion some claimed that harmony developed at long last between those two most disparate subjects. In this book an internationally recognized authority on that relation offers a key to fourteen important questions, concisely listed in the table of contents. The key is derived from the author’s now more than four-decade-long work, available in almost fifty books and five hundred articles. The key is the unique status of quantities in the conceptual domain. The truth of any proposition in science rests with quantitative procedures. And since quantities are everywhere where there is matter, science has a universal competence. Yet this competence appears very narrow when compared with the non-quantitative conceptual domain, usually summed up as the domain of qualities or values. Religion relates to this latter domain whose grasp gives, however, no competence about the domain of quantities. Hence the mutual irreducibility of religion and science. It assures respective autonomy to both. All misunderstandings about the relation of science and religion arise from an oversight of their respective conceptual competence. The two are equally needed, but in two very different senses. This difference may disturb the scientistic reductionist as well as the uninformed religionist. Anyone else will have to live in peace with the difference which is between knowing how the heavens go, and how to go to heaven.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 1-892548-41-0  •  viii + 201 pages  •  softcover  •  $16.00  • 



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Impassable Divide

    Given the popularity of books on the relation of science and religion, a close look on the subject may be in order. Much of that literature provides no clear idea either about science or about religion under discussion. It is argued in this book that the vagueness on the subject is due to leaving both science and religion intentionally undefined. The way out of this confusion is sought in a strict definition of science which is based on its exact form, physics, in which quantities form the touchstone of truth. Such a definition of science puts it on one side of an impassable divide on the other side of which lies a religion whose sole business is to assure an eternally valid purpose for human existence, a strictly qualitative proposition. Since conceptually there is no passage from quantities to qualities, the relation of science and religion cannot be that of an integration or of an opposition. While the human mind can grasp both domains, it cannot reduce one to the other. It must, however, use to the full its ability to hover, so to speak, over the two domains. The Introduction gives a general idea of the historical confusions and complexities of that relation as well as of the only sound approach, which as such eschews expectations of popularity.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-1-892539-02-1  •  vii + 108 pages  •  softcover  •  $12.00



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Brain, Mind and Computers

    In an age when computers are making ever greater inroads into our everyday lives, well may we ask: Do computers have intelligence? Are they living? Have free will? Exercise moral judgment? Stanley L. Jaki, historian and philosopher of science, deals with these and related questions in Brain, Mind and Computers, a thoroughly documented rebuttal of contemporary claims about the existence of, or possibility for, man-made minds. His method includes a meticulously documented survey of computer development, a review of the relevant results of brain research, an evaluation of the accomplishments of physicalist schools in psychology, symbolic logic, and linguistics, and a thorough critique of claims about artificial intelligence. Dr. Jaki has written widely in the area of the history of science and on the intimate connection between scientific creativity and natural theology. For this book he received the Lecomte du Nouy Prize for 1970.

    Comments on the first edition:
    "Dr. Jaki's book is the most informed, penetrating, and lucidly written treatment of the subject that I have read anywhere."
 —Robert A. Nisbet, Professor Emeritus, Columbia University
    "Certainly, it is rewarding and refreshing to read such penetrating criticism of a field in which gratuitous theorizing and dogmatism are able to flourish because our scientific understanding is so small."
 —Sir John C. Eccles, Nobel Laureate, 1963
    "This is a book fascinating in style as well as in content. ...which every scientist should read."
 —Eugene P. Wigner, Nobel Laureate, 1963
    "Dr. Jaki presents a sustained, well informed and persuasive argument for mind-body dualism. ... My own predilections are exacdy opposite to Dr. Jaki's conclusion, but I welcome his challenge."
 —Herbert Feigl, University of Minnesota

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 0-89526-907-4  •  316 pages  •  softcover  •  $8



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Numbers Decide
and Other Essays

    This book, a collection of fifteen essays, takes its title from a remark, "numbers decide", of Max Planck, one of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century. Among competing physical theories that theory proves indeed victorious whose predictions agree best with the numerical values of experiments. Planck's phrase would have become even more memorable had he added that outside physical or experimental science numbers decide very little. In fact in the vast field of humanities they decide nothing substantial, a point well to ponder in this age of science. This view sets the tone of the fifteen essays that cover topics widely differing, yet equally relevant to some burning questions of modern culture. Among these are the perplexities posed by speculations about extraterrestrials, by cloning, by education, by the rude awakening of an increasingly de-Christianized West to the reality of a crusading Muslim world, and by anxious thoughts as to what the next thousand years may have in store for mankind.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 1-892548-32-1  •  viii + 267 pages  •  softcover  •  $18.00



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The Gist of Catholicism
and Other Essays

    Of the nineteen essays of this book, the first was the last to be written. Its theme, that continuity is the gist of Catholicism, can be recognized throughout the other essays as well. This should be of no surprise. The various parts of Catholic doctrine, and their ramifications to policies to be followed by Catholics, have always formed a strictly coherent whole. No part in it can be dislodged or changed without a debilitating impact on all the other parts. This is why the relation of faith, reason, and science has to follow a clearly discernible path within the Catholic perspective; this is why liberalism, insofar as its champions fail to set limits to it, is incompatible with Catholicism. The limiting and directive factor of Catholicism comes through most forcefully in the role of the papacy. Four essays deal with the fact that in our times the grave questions raised by the scientific manipulation of human life received unequivocal answers only from the Catholic side. By the same token, as the concluding essay shows, only the social teaching of the Catholic Church has been able to steer a consistent course as the world has seen the shift from socialism to consumerism.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 1-892548-16-X   •   vii + 253 pages   •   softcover   •   $16



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A Late Awakening
and Other Essays

    This book is the eighth collection of essays by the author that in a good part deal with science. The first essay deals with a strange and very late awakening to the bearing of Gödel's theorem to physics. The second is concerned with a similar though much earlier fact, namely, Galileo's oversight of a wholly mistaken statement of Aristotle on the laws of motion. The next five essays have for their topic, in part with an eye on Duhem's work, the role which Christ, or rather belief in him played and still plays in a proper grasp of the history of science and even of brave utterances about extraterrestrials. In chapter 8 attention is focused on the relation of relativity theory to religion, with special reference to Einstein's own statements, whereas the qestion of purpose as a problem in biology is discussed in chapter 9. The next three chapters deal with the broader societal questions of bioethics. Chapter 13 offers an analysis of the conversion to Catholicism of Karl Stern, a noted Jewish psychiatrist. Chapters 14-15 deal with Chesterton, whereas the thought of Thomas Aquinas constitutes the topic of the concluding two chapters.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 0-9774826-4-2  •  viii + 261 pages  •  softcover  •  $18.00



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Sigrid Undset's Quest for Truth

    Sigrid Undset is often spoken of as the greatest novelist of the twentieth century. She, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928, may also be one of the greatest converts during the same century. Contrary to the cliché, Sigrid Undset did not convert because of her fondness for the Middle Ages. In this age of one-parent families and "partner" relationships, it may be most instructive to recall that she converted because her disastrous marriage opened her eyes to what it means for a woman to be a mother and to what children really are, beings created by God for an eternal destiny. That meaning Sigrid Undset found to be anchored in the reality of the Catholic Church insofar as its Founder, Jesus Christ, was truly the Son of God. She then became a staunch defender of the Catholic faith through many essays that have been neglected by her literary critics, most of whom judged her on the basis of her novels, while largely ignoring their true gist. Those essays convey with particular force Sigrid Undset's quest for Truth and her holding fast to it, once she had embraced it with great joy. The book contains the text of Sigrid Undset's two pivotal essays, not previously available in English, Efterskrift (Postscript), translated by Marianne Aga, and My reasons to convert, translated by Fr. John H. Halborg.

    A booklet that contains another text of Sigrid Undset, Reply to a Parish Priest, can be found here.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-0-9790577-6-2  •  viii + 296 pages  •  softcover  •  $19



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Reluctant Heroine:
The Life and Work of Hélène Duhem

    The life-story told in this book centers on the almost forty years of delay that preceded the publication, between 1954 and 1960, of the second five volumes of Le système du monde of Pierre Duhem (1861-1916). A genius in theoretical physics and in the philosophy of physics, Duhem became through that work, easily the most original scholarly achievement by a single author in modern times, the pioneering discoverer of the medieval origins of Newtonian science. Those second five volumes might still be in manuscript had it not been for the heroically persistent efforts of Hélène (1891-1974), Duhem's only child.
    Stanley L. Jaki has earned international renown for his many books on the history and philosophy of science. They include monographs on Duhem's life and work, including his marvelous landscapes. On the basis of a so far unpublished correspondence among the story's chief protagonists, he now probes into a stunning lack of objectivity among leading historians and philosophers of science.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 0-7073-0724-4  •  xii + 335 pages  •  softcover  •  $12



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A Mind's Matter:
An Intellectual Autobiography

    In writing A Mind's Matter one of his generation's finest philosophers looks back at his own scholarship and the intellectual framework that produced it - not least his staunch belief in the crucial role of religious convictions in academic thought.
    Stanley Jaki's explosive productivity canvasses a wide range of relevant topics, most notably the history of science, and has earned him such signal honors as the Gifford lectureship and the Templeton Prize. A Hungarian by birth, Jaki has since 1950 lived in the United States, where one's religion is supposed to be a strictly private affair. Yet as a Catholic priest of the Benedictine Order, Jaki has never made secret his dislike of the "rule" that expects to eliminate religious factors from the so-called academic equation. To his mind those factors matter very much indeed.
    In this powerful intellectual autobiography, Jaki reflects on the course of his thinking, asking in what sense the religious factors he holds dear can also promote scholarship, particularly in the sensitive field of science and religion. The answer is set forth in a combination of topical and chronological meditations that will be of great value to anyone pursuing academic work today.
    Ordering this book, you will also receive the two additional chapters Fr. Jaki wrote, covering his later years. A complete list of Fr. Jaki's publication is maintained online, and can be found here.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 0-8028-3960-6  •  xiv + 309 pages  •  softcover  •  $18



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Creation and Scientific Creativity:
A Study in the Thought of S.L. Jaki

    Father Stanley Jaki (1924-2009) was one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century and his contribution to Catholic thought and culture has been profound, especially regarding the relationship between science and religion. This work focuses on the close link joining science and Christianity, despite the differences between them. Through his study of modern science, theology, and history, Stanley Jaki showed faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. The problems arise because of those ideologies which seek to eliminate God from the ultimate equation. Jaki highlighted the Christian origins of the modern natural sciences. He showed that the concept of the cosmos as both contingent and rational, together with the acceptance that God could work through secondary causes, providing the unique environment for the natural sciences to flourish, from the Middle Ages onwards. He explored the crucial role played by belief in creation out of nothing and in time, reinforced by faith in the Incarnation, in enabling this birth of science. This book contains the firest systematic treatment of the ideas of the late Stanley Jaki, and is the only complete work, with an entire bibliography, approved by him during his lifetime.

By Fr. Paul Haffner

ISBN 978-085244-454-2  •  xiv + 329 pages  •  $25



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God and the Sun at Fatima

    God writes straight along crooked lines, so goes a Portuguese proverb, which sums up the story unfolded in this book. The story is about the far from adequate attention which writers on Fatima paid to the eyewitness accounts of what is usually referred to as "the miracle of the sun." Contrary to the stereotype claim that the sun "danced" over Fatima on October 13, 1917, something else did that "dancing." The great majority of eyewitness accounts, our sole source of information about what was observed on that day in Cova da Iria, refer to thin clouds that covered the sun as it "danced." Therefore it should seem logical to approach the miracle of the sun as a meteorological miracle and do thereby justice both to science and religion. As a true miracle, "the miracle of the sun" put a divine seal on a message that determined in the long run and in a "crooked," that is, most unpredictable, way the outcome of twentieth-century world history.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 1-892548-C4-6  •  ix + 381 pages  •  softcover  •  $25



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The Ethical Foundations of Bioethics

    This book offers eleven essays on various aspects of bioethics, a most hotly contended subject of our times. Like in any other subject, here too it is the focusing on the foundations that controls all discourse and arguments. This is why the book begins with the question about the true origin of man and with the purpose of assuring his health. Attention is then drawn to life's twofold defense, natural and supernatural. Chapters 4-7 deal with bioethics proper, with its need for consistency, with its truly ethical foundations, with its essence as tied to the essence of the human being, and with its future as being the soul's future. In the next three chapters a view is taken, in turn, of the metamorphoses of human dignity, of the parasitical aspects of modern society, and of the, unfortunately, vain hopes that a dire need for proper bioethics would be widely embraced and implemented. The last chapter calls attention to Mary's role in the Incarnation as the very factor which in true believers in Christ forms, though often unbeknownst to them, the reason of their visceral opposition to abortion. Time and again is the passage in the Book of Sirach recalled that as long as man is willing to battle for truth, the God of truth will battle for him.

The Spanish translation of this book can be found here.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 978-1-892539-00-7   •  viii + 136 pages    •  softcover   •   $12



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Theology of Priestly Celibacy

    Christian theology is a reasoned discourse about what God revealed in Christ. Otherwise theology turns into a device to accommodate man as a being who, not having been crushed by an original Fall, does not stand in need to be redeemed. Redemption was the work of Christ's priesthood, based on his theandric fullness, of which his celibacy was an integral part. Christian priesthood sprang forth from Christ's eternal priesthood. It is in this light that this book deals with the christological and apostolic origins of priestly celibacy and with the unrelenting adherence to it by those who held high that fullness with no failure whatsoever. This age of ours, greatly suffering from its obsession with sex, needs celibate priests fully conscious of theological truths as greatly different from and far superior to fashionable trends in philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Priestly celibacy is not a negotiable option but a theological cogency. This is borne out even by the Eastern Orthodox practice and predicament. A contrast is drawn between the views which truly great figures of the new theology, such as Moehler, Scheeben, and Newman, held on priestly celibacy and views embodied in some latter-day theological rhetoric on it. The book concludes on the theme that inasmuch as the priest, in likeness of Christ, is an altar, he is also Christ's witness. What the priest witnesses must therefore have truth for its principal object. In the priest's celibacy this witness of his reaches its existential fullness.

By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

ISBN 0-9318886-8-9  •  vi + 223 pages  •  softcover  •  $14



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