by falling off a bar stool (like LionelnJohnson) or suffer martyrdom for thenlove that dare not speak its name (likenThe New Story of SciencenWhat does modern science have tonsay about God, the mind, or beauty?nAs any schoolboy or high schoolnscience teacher knows, these wordsnmean nothing. Beauty is a culturalnprejudice which influences ourne’aluation of sensory experience innthe mind, which is, in turn, nothingnbut a by-product (an epiphenomenonnin T. H. Huxley’s phrase)nof neuronal functioning. And thenDeity? Even if He did exist, itnwould be necessary to ignore Him;notherwise, we should be unable tonarrive at a scientific view of thenuniverse. What is a scientific viewnof the universe? It is one whichnreduces everything to the mechanicalnoperations of matter and energy,nwhich—in principle, at least—cannexplain all observable (and unobservable)nphenomena. As one of thenoldest materialists (Epicurus) observed,nit is not necessary to haventhe right mechanical explanation,nonly to know that there is an explanation.nAll these assumptions were safe,nso long as the Old Story of Sciencenheld sway. Now, materialism is nonlonger secure, as Robert Augrosnand George Staneiu explain (ThenNew Story of Science; RegnerynGateway; Chicago). The principlesnof quantum mechanics and relativitynhave introduced a new elementninto the universe: mind, since thenobserver now plays an essential rolenin theoretical physics. What is evennmore dangerous, the mind itselfncan no longer be described simplynas a question of brain and nerves.nThe masters of modern neurology,nSherrington and Eccles, both affirmnthe separate existence of mind,nquite apart from the neural processesnwhich are its organs. Researchndesigned to prove the mind = brainnequation ends up suggesting thenopposite. Wilder Penfield’s studiesnof epilepsy are a case in point.nPenfield was a pioneer in mappingnOscar Wilde), he became a nationalninstitution—for nearly 50 years thenmost promising young writer in En­nREVISIONSnout the areas of the brain related tondifferent functions like speech. Hendiscovered that by stimulating annarea he could trigger long-forgottennmemories or suppress a functionncompletely. All of which shouldnshow that our mind and will arennothing but some sort of biochemicalndata-processing network. Unfortunately,nPenfield also discoverednthat even when he made patientsnunable to speak, they were nonethelessnthinking the word and strugglingnto say it. We are led to concludenthat mind cannot be reducednto the speech mechanism.nMind has in the past been dis­ncussed in relation to God—a problemnwhich materialism was supposednto have rendered obsolete.nSince God cannot exist, the universencould not have come intonexistence by a creative act: itnevolved slowly over infinite stretchesnof time. Then came Gamow’snsuggestion in 1948, that the originnof the universe was to be found in anprimordial explosion of matter, antheory which was rediscovered andnconfirmed by Penzias and Wilsonnin the 1960’s. So now it seems thenuniverse began with a “Big Bang”nreminiscent of Genesis. What isnmore, some scientists are now beginningnto consider the odd fact thatnhuman beings exist at all. Accordingnto the so-called anthropic principle,n”our existence requires thenuniverse to have certain properties”nlike gravity and a long time scale. Itnis almost as if the universe is “aimingnat life and at man,” as if itsnnngland. For both Cyril Connolly andnLogan Pearsall Smith, promise maynhave been its own worst enemy. ccnobject were the evolution of a mindnthat could observe and understandnit. The hint that the universe wasnmade for man—or at least for mindn— is to some extent supported bynthe existence of beauty. Of course,nbeauty is not something that scientistsnordinarily like to talk aboutn—except in relation to their ownntheories: “All of the most eminentnphysicists of the 20th century agreenthat beauty is the primary standardnfor scientific truth.” The authorsnargue that the same principlesnwhich make for a good theory arenthe basis for beauty in art andnnature: simplicity, harmony, andnbrilliance.nAugros and Staneiu are a littlenshaky in their aesthetic theories andncompletely out of their element inntheir discussion of psychology. Thenhumanistic psychologists whomnthey praise for reintroducing mindnare like all humanistic social scientists:nthey can’t do math or chemistrynand so fall back on crackerbarrelnphilosophizing. Even behaviorismnis to be preferred to thenpseudoexistentialism of Carl Rogersnand Abe Maslow, who, even whennthey are right, have only hit upon ancorrect platitude by accident. Apartnfrom these lapses, Augros andnStaneiu have performed a minornmiracle in this small volume: theynhave succeeded in expressing thenphilosophical implications of modernnscience in forceful and straightforwardnlanguage which nevernleaves the reader in any doubt as tontheir meaning. Their book is aimednat a broader audience than the proverbialn”intelligent layman” (i.e.,nsomeone who can read every issuenoiScientific American from cover toncover). It can be read even by Englishnmajors who fulfilled theirnmath requirement by taking an introductionnto logic. Some charitablenfoundation should underwritenthe cost of placing copies in everynhigh school science classroom innthe nation. ccnAPRIL 1985/17n