This past November, a forum of world renowned scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, proclaimed that religion has no place in the modern world. I wish that Dr. Howard Smith, senior astrophysicist at the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and traditionally observant Jew, had been there. In Let There Be Light, instead of ‘dumbing down’ science, as in ‘Creationism,’ or taking a kindergarten approach to the Bible, he compares the most recent theories of cosmology with a sophisticated reading of the first lines of the Torah, drawing on Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah. He deals with two extremely esoteric fields, but by using a conversational tone, he explains each in the simplest yet technically correct terms, and gives examples and analogies. The reader is rewarded throughout with gems of insight; for instance, the Bible says that light was created first, way before the sun. Theologians puzzled over that for centuries, but the startling truth is that light was the first thing in the universe created, and the Kabbalists knew all along.
By showing us the intricacies of particle physics, and illuminating science through religion and vise versa, Dr. Smith evokes a sense of wonder, and deeper appreciation of this glorious universe, and its Creator. Charts, index, notes and comments, recommended reading, references.