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The Jesuit and the Skull

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Fermat?s Last Theorem, ?an extraordinary story?( Philadelphia Inquirer) of discovery, evolution, science, and faith.

In 1929, French Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a part of a group of scientists that uncovered a skull that became known as Peking Man, a key evolutionary link that left Teilhard torn between science and his ancient faith, and would leave him ostracized by his beloved Catholic Church. His struggle is at the heart of The Jesuit and the Skull, which takes readers across continents and cultures in a fascinating exploration of one of the twentieth century?s most important discoveries, and one of the world?s most provocative pieces of evidence in the roiling debate between creationism and evolution.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jul 16, 2007 – Science popularizer Aczel (Fermat’s Last Theorem) offers an uninspired and all-too-brief look at a remarkable subject. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1956) succeeded in melding his life as a Jesuit priest and as a scientist at a time when the Catholic Church denied that such a thing was either possible or desirable. Teilhard’s superiors prohibited him from publishing almost everything he wrote during his lifetime and forced him into exile from his native France. Published after his death, his works became classic examples of integrating religion and science. But Aczel discusses precious little of Teilhard’s philosophy and dismisses controversies with nary a thought. Stephen Jay Gould’s accusation that Teilhard was involved in the infamous Piltdown Man hoax is limited to eight words: “Teilhard was without doubt innocent in this matter.” Aczel is equally brief when addressing the skull of Peking Man, a crucial 1929 discovery by an archeological team that loosely included Teilhard. The Peking Man fossils disappeared in 1941, during the Japanese occupation of China, and Aczel provides no new thoughts on what might have become of the remains. Despite their evident relevance to current debates, Teilhard, Peking Man, human evolution and the relationship between religion and science remain shadows without any substance. Illus.
The Jesuit and the Skull
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Nov 04, 2008
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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