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By Charles Birch

Charles Birch considers primary questions on lifestyles and the connection among technological know-how and faith. Questions akin to: what's lifestyles? What does it suggest to be alive? Is God worthwhile? Birch exhibits that viewing the realm as a realm of expertise instead of as a set of gadgets permits one to come back to a naturalistic realizing of God that is very varied from conventional spiritual notions.

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But is the epigram of John Scott Haldane now coming true? 'If physics and biology one day meet, and one of the two is swallowed up, that one will not be biology' (Needham 1943 p. 204). One of the most quoted passages of A. N. Whitehead was that in which he said: 'Science is taking on a new aspect which is neither purely physical, nor purely biological. It is becoming the study of organisms. Biology is the study of larger organisms, whereas physics is the study of smaller organisms' (Whitehead 1925 p.

Later this reaction was successfully mimicked in the laboratory, so everybody agreed there was no life on Mars. What the Mars Lander really told us was that there was no Earth-like bacterial life on Mars. More recent propositions have been to look for certain chemicals or chemical reactions characteristic of life on Earth. But again the problem is that you may find some chemical reaction that mimics life but is not alive. There are lot of people trying to create life in a test tube (see Davies 1998 chaps 3 and 5).

The most difficult problem being tackled in biology today is the problem of consciousness or feelings. Exploring the physiology of vision is 'easy'. Understanding the subjective visual experience, say that of seeing green, is 'hard'. Many biologists, perhaps most, who deal with such problems, say there is no such thing as a hard problem about consciousness. All can be eventually reduced to chemical reactions in nerve cells. But there are dissenters. I am one of them. Page 8 Experience, we say, is an irreducible phenomenon, inscrutable for standard mechanistic reductionist science.

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