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Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern…
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Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Wendell Berry (Author)

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400438,341 (4.09)2
Member:msmullins
Title:Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition
Authors:Wendell Berry (Author)
Info:Counterpoint (2001), 176 pages
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Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition by Wendell Berry (2000)

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Excerpts from my original GR review (Apr 2012):
- My straight takeaway from reading Berry's series of connected essays is this: The whole of our existence, including one's experiences, memories, religious or spiritual faith, local cultures and practices, personal connection to the natural world, et al, cannot collectively be subjugated to scientific absolutes. This subjugation is known as reductionism, and this is the principle espoused by respected biologist/theorist E.O. Wilson in his 1998 book "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge".
- This was my first entry into the works of Wendell Berry. I certainly now understand his acclaim as a 'man of letters'. I don't pretend to grasp every nuance of his intellectual rebuttal of Wilson's work, but I do see his broad point about the incorporation (using my term) of our society, where multinational behemoths, governments and science are in a cozy alliance that runs roughshod over the everyman in pursuit of profit and power.
- Berry is an environmentalist in the purest form, and it didn't at all surprise me to come across a glowing review of this book by Bill McKibben.. Much on which to muse, slowly. Well worth the read. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Jul 30, 2018 |
One of America's most respected and celebrated writers provides a thought-provoking analysis of, and a concise rebuttal of, E. O. Wilson's Consilience. "[A] scathing assessmentBerry shows that Wilson's much-celebrated, controversial pleas in Consilience to unify all branches of knowledge is nothing more than a fatuous subordination of religion, art, and everything else that is good to scienceBerry is one of the most perceptive critics of American society writing today. "-Lauren F. Winner, Washington Post Book World"I am tempted to say he understands [Consilience] better than Wilson himselfA new emancipation proclamation in which he speaks again and again about how to defy the tyranny of scientific materialism. "-Colin C. Campbell, Christian Science Monitor"Berry takes a wrecking ball to E. O. Wilson's Consilience, reducing its smug assumptions regarding the fusion of science, art, and religion to so much rubble. "-Kirkus ReviewsIn Life Is a Miracle, the devotion of science to the quantitative and reductionist world is measured against the mysterious, qualitative suggestions of religion and art. Berry sees life as the collision of these separate forces, but without all three in the mix we are left at sea in the world.
  jerrikobly | Aug 21, 2013 |
Wilson, Edward Osborne, 1929- Consilience/Philosophy and science/Philosophy
  Budzul | Jun 1, 2008 |
In this book Berry takes on the scientific establishment in its reductionist view of life. For Berry, life as a miracle means that there are some thing that cannot be put under a microscope and studied--nor should they be. Anyone reading The Selfish Gene owes it to themselves to be at least familiar with the arguments Berry makes here. Par fo the course, Berry tweaks the establishment in its funny bone, but also some other, more vulnerable places. ( )
1 vote Arctic-Stranger | Dec 26, 2007 |
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Thy life's a miracle. Speak yet again. King Lear, IV, vi, 55
Dedication
In memory:
Lionel Basney (1946 - 1999)

"We are not getting something for nothing. We are getting nothing for everything."
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The expressed dissatisfaction of some scientists with the dangerous oversimplifications of commercialized science has encouraged me to hope that this dissatisfaction will run its full course.
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