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L., B.D. (1948). Human Destiny.: By Lecomte du Noüy. New York: Longmans, Green and Co. 1947. 289 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 17:124.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:124

Human Destiny.: By Lecomte du Noüy. New York: Longmans, Green and Co. 1947. 289 pp.

Review by:
B. D. L.

This is one of the latest books in the long series that reconciles an author's religious views with his scientific knowledge. In this case it is chiefly a matter of harmonizing theories of evolution and a belief in God. Dr. du Noüy attacks modern materialism with scientific arguments. Our present day physics and chemistry are based on assumptions of the operation of pure chance among atoms and elemental bodies. It is mathematically impossible, he states, that pure chance should have produced even so simple a substance as a protein molecule, much less life itself; and at this point he invokes 'anti-chance', special creation, God. Similarly, man with his moral sense implies another jump, another direct intervention of the deity. This tour de force evidently arises from the author's conception of 'science' as a statement of ultimate truth about the invisibility of matter, and 'religion' as a statement of ultimate truth about the mind. Many simpler, more flexible, less arbirary solutions suggest themselves readily; in fact, thousands have been suggested by many scientists who have seen the trees as well as the woods, and who appreciate the existence of those facts that can be ranged, more or less systematically, somewhere between the electron and the soul.

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