Contemporary Thomism, Realism, and Modern Science

Hi all
Can anyone recommend a good text on the above? I have a friend who is a biologist, but doesn’t believe in an objective reality (although he tends to yield a fair bit when probed a little), but I don’t see him so often as hes in another country. Also he is certainly open to the Faith. I would like a book which tackles the issues raised in modern science from a perspective of Thomist realism (and also has a healthy dose of the Good News, if possible!). Or something similar!
I noticed Fr Jaki’s text, but I don’t know that its quite modern enough in its coverage of science.
Many thanks

I recently read Edward Feser’s book, “The Last Superstition” which is an apologetic work that gives a crash course in classical philosophy including Thomistic Philosophy and uses this information to critique modern philosphy.

Quote for Emphasis

This and Dr. Feser’s Aquinas beginner’s guide book. Also his blog is great.

thanks a lot,
also does anyone know of Fr Dubay’s book, ‘The Evidential Power of Beauty’?
blessed be jesus!

I have the book but haven’t gotten into it yet as I’m trying to read Edward Feser’s book cited above between and betwixt all my work-a-day duties. It’d be a good idea to start a thread on it to see if there are other readers. What people usually think of as beauty is just a tiny, superficial aspect of the actual ontological meaning.

New Proofs for the Existence of God by Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, PhD

Real Essentialism by David Oderberg is a rigorous and thorough defense of a Thomistic worldview (that also addresses how Thomist metaphysics might be compatible with contemporary biology). It is really dense, though, so another introductory work might be worth reading first. (It’s also not cheap, so he’d want to find a library where it’s available.) It is also more concerned with strict metaphysics than demonstrating God’s existence etc., but frankly, I think that’s good for anyone who has spent much time as a skeptic.

Feser is good but does not tackle the scientific issues in as much depth. Also, I would hesitate to suggest The Last Superstition. It is a really good book, but it turns some audiences off (because Feser is very direct about opposing gay marriage). From what I can tell, some atheist readers do not mind it even though they disagree, while it will color others’ entire perception of the book. He is your friend, so you should make a judgment call as to which he is. If it seems like he would be hostile to that, then start him off on Feser’s Aquinas (also his Philosophy of Mind might be good for the scientifically inclined as well).

Edit: just realized how old this topic is…

I have read one book by Jaki, God and the Cosmologist and based on that I don’t think that would be a good choice. Science before Science by Anthony Rizzi has a good Thomistic base but it faulters when he begins discussing how that relates to modern physics from Newton on. William A. Wallace has a long list of works but is very difficult to read, especially in his earlier works. His Elements of Philosophy is a Thomistic Philosophy of Nature, but is best read in conjunction with access to the New Catholic Encyclopedia. He does have an online course your friend may read in the link that follows. It is based on the Elements of Philosophy and his Modeling of Nature.

I would also recommend his From a Realist Point of View and Nature and Motion in the Middle Ages by James A. Weisheipl O.P., a very important work but discusses Thomism only as realated to a limited area. Both these works address some of the relationships between Thomism and modern science and pretty well that Thomism can accomodate modern science. Both are " up to date. ".

And of course Aquinas by Edward Feser gives an excellent introduction to Thomism and touches upon some of the scientific issues. And his blog, is very valuable. But the books by Wallace and Weispeipl are much better in that respect. But Aquinas is more readibly available and at a reasonable price. Except for the online course mentioned above, the works by Wallace and Weispeipl must be read in the library unless one wants to spend big $$ to buy.

Oh, yes most of Thomis’ works can be read here: . But then one does not get anything on how they can be applied to modern science, these are pure philosophy.


Realism has been proven incompatible with quantum theory. That is to say, the universe is fundamentally information. Materialism and the New Atheism will be out the door in a few decades when this sinks in.

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.” -James Jeans

I’ll add a video from a young physics student and Christian apologist:

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