Foreword by Emeritus Professor, Chauncey C. Riddle
Chauncey Cazier Riddle graduated from Brigham Young University and received his MA and PhD degrees in philosophy from Columbia University in the city of New York. He taught at BYU for 40 years, serving as Professor of Philosophy, Chairman of the Department of Graduate Studies in Religious Instruction, Dean of the Graduate School, and Assistant Academic Vice President. It has been said that three of the greatest teachers to grace the halls of Brigham Young University in this generation were Hugh Nibley, Arthur Henry King, and Chauncey Riddle. See http://ChaunceyRiddle.com
You are in for a special treat. David W. Allan has two special qualifications to write this book: He is a world-renowned scientist and he is a thoroughly grounded Christian.
In this work he initiates a rapprochement It’s About Time Book Forward – Science and Religion of science and religion. The science he discusses is centered on the study and measurement of time, the area in which he spent his entire professional life. His scientific prowess resulted in great improvements in the measurement of time and the many devices by which time is measured and compared. Unbeknownst to the average layman, the measurement of time is crucial to much technology in our modern world, such as GPS.
David Allan correctly recognizes that science is a work in progress. He recognizes that some scientists currently entertain some questionable hypotheses, but that science itself is a very worthwhile enterprise. It is worthwhile especially because it can help humanity solve the technical problems which abound in our complex human world. He also values religion and sees it as the practical application of good sense to the solution of everyday personal problems. He believes that when one has found true wisdom (true religion), personal happiness is the assured result. He posits an approach to religion that is practical for mind, body and spirit, seeing mental health, spiritual health and body health as a single package.
His science is sound. Please do not be put off by formulas and Greek letter notation. As you read and reread the technical passages you will find them to be keys to understanding science. They enable precision in thinking and acting, which valuables are at the core of all technical excellence in applying scientific thought to our human practical problems.
And please take advantage of the many references he makes to other works, especially those on his own website, which will add much to your understanding of the matters of time, science and religion.
As you immerse yourself in conversation with David Allan by reading his words, please take time to savor carefully what he says. Then challenge what he says. Challenge it by applying the religion to your own life and problems, and by applying the science in some technical way if you are thus skilled. Only in these twin applications will you come to full appreciation of what he says and to be able to improve on what he says. Improving on what he says is the thing he most desires from each of his readers.
Happy reading, careful thinking, and improved living to each of you through your adventure with this book.
Photo by Sterling Allan, August, 2014
Story of how Prof. Riddle came to write the Foreword
Note by the author, David W. Allan:
I know it is unorthodox to write a note to the Foreword, but it will help you appreciate the tone of the book, and besides, the book is unorthodox anyway.
Right before the final preparations to get this book to print, my Sweetheart and wife said, “We need to go to the temple.” I replied, “Let’s go.” That day, 25 June 2014, we met Professor Riddle in the Provo, Utah, temple. I was delighted to meet him again, because I had taken a Philosophy of Religion class from him back in the 1950s, and it was one of the most meaningful classes I have ever taken. There in the Temple, I shared with him how what I learned in his class had significantly impacted the content of this book, and we were now in the editing process.
When I told him what it was about, he seemed very interested, so I asked him, “If you have time, would you be willing to read it and give me some feedback?” He said that he would make time, and he would be happy to read it.
I e-mailed him my best efforts the next Saturday morning (28 June 2014). Astonishingly, he had finished it by the next Tuesday morning and wanted to get together. We invited him to dinner that evening, and we had a most productive and enlightening evening. His feedback was enormously valuable and resulted in Chapter 25 being added to the book and his suggestions influenced in other areas of the book as well. I am extremely grateful for his massive contributions to the book.
Chauncey gave me a copy of his latest book, Think Independently (2009), which is based on his notes for a class that he taught at BYU and was 30 years in the writing. I highly recommend this book, and you will see that its contents also impacted the contents of what I have written here.
I was especially pleased and touched when he agreed to write the Foreword for the book. You will be impressed, as I was, with his web site – put together by one of his students. It is a collection of many of Professor Riddle’s writings and you will find in them a “goldmine” of a man thinking at deep and profound levels.
Professor Riddle is 87 and still writing and teaching great material as well as working in the temple. His hobby, gardening, is amazingly manifest by the “Garden of Eden”-like surroundings of their lovely home. Since philosophy predates science, I cannot imagine a better person to critique our book. I consider Professor Riddle one of the most well-grounded philosophers on the planet, and I believe that it was in “God’s Time” that we went to the temple that day.
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