|About the Book|
Did Lucy know God? Could Neanderthals talk? Was Ardi self-conscious? These are the strange new breed of questions emerging as we discover more and more about our prehistoric origins—questions about knowing. While fossil digs and carbon dating tell aMoreDid Lucy know God? Could Neanderthals talk? Was Ardi self-conscious? These are the strange new breed of questions emerging as we discover more and more about our prehistoric origins—questions about knowing. While fossil digs and carbon dating tell a remarkable story about the bones and times of our ancient ancestors, we cannot help wondering what they knew, and when. Exploring such questions Original Knowing takes contemporary science as seriously as religious tradition and searches for the story behind this odd creature who senses more to the universe than meets the eye. In limestone bluffs and butterfly migrations, from Stone Age tool-making to Sumerian beer-making, clues are sought to better understand this strange mind that ponders the origins of its own existence. When do babies point, and why does it matter? What does throwing a Frisbee reveal about our distant ancestors? Is language the key to our minds as many believe? Or perhaps the heart of knowing rests in something more basic, in a smile, and the powerful social abilities at work allowing us to sense a depth to life—to our own lives—a depth that our minds help us glimpse if only through a glass darkly.“Wigger has written a fascinating book dealing with ways of knowing. He recognizes the questions we ask are critically important and we can’t shut ourselves off from the answers we find, even when they make us uncomfortable. Join him on his exploration of religion and science, and the intersection of the two. You won’t be disappointed!”—Michael Zimmerman, Founder and Executive Director, The Clergy Letter Project“In the Genesis creation story, Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, and this changed them forever- their ‘eyes were opened.’ What does this mean in light of modern science? This book presents an exciting journey through deep time, starting with a 500-million-year-old trilobite and continuing through the ways of knowing in humans, such as tool-making, music, education, consciousness, and religion.”—Helen De Cruz, Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Oxford“With the deceptive simplicity of a storyteller spinning tales around a campfire, and the acumen of an astronomer pointing out the constellations, Wigger unfolds the narrative of human consciousness: from where did knowing emerge and why- what does it mean to know our origins, ourselves, and one another- how does our capacity to know satisfy our longing for communion? Sit beside Wigger and be amazed, both at this wonder we call knowing and at his ability to illuminate its mysteries.”—Frank Rogers Jr., Claremont School of Theology“In conversational prose that can at times be mistaken for poetry, Wigger blends the fruits of scientific, literary, and religious imagination to narrate the long story of how the capacity for such forms of imagination arose in the first place. The combination of sensitive reflection on personal experience, clear explanation of relevant scientific theory, and thoughtful appraisal of spiritual implications makes this book a joy to read.”—Douglas L. Gragg, Harvard Divinity SchoolJ. Bradley Wigger has been a Professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary since 1997. He is the author of The Texture of Mystery (1998), The Power of God at Home (2003), and Together We Pray (2005).