Once I read the following blurb in a publicist's email I knew I had to read this book:
After researching the images and data from the Hubble and Spritzer space telescopes, collected since their launch, entrepreneur and recreational astronomer Paul Hutchins was compelled to write about the universe as a product of intelligent design, fueled by superior imagination. In his new book, "The Secret Doorway: Beyond Imagination," Hutchins stitches together a photographic drama of the, examining the intricacies of the universe and invoking a "Grand Architect" as the creative force behind our world. With full-color photos, scientific data and a user friendly format, Hutchins takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey as he considers what lies beyond our imagination.In previous reviews I've told you that I'm not a scientific person but that science does interest me. In particular I'm very intrigued by images from the far reaches of space ... and this book has LOTS of them!
In fact, the images are the best part of the book in my opinion. Almost every two-page spread includes one page of text and a large illustration. Galaxies, stars, nebulae, planets, and many, many more images fill this book to bursting.
The book is broken into 6 sections, called Acts. Act 1 and Act 2 discuss how the imagination of man has driven scientific discoveries throughout human history and continues to do so today. Act 3 discusses the development of space technology. In Act 4 the idea of a Supreme Power who created the universe is discussed. Act 5 talks about that Supreme Power in regard to the formation of our own planet. And the final Act is a gallery of images along with brief essays about each of them.
To be honest, I really struggled with the text of this book for several reasons.
- First (and most importantly) I'm not sure who the intended audience is. As someone who already believes in a creator, the idea of a Supreme Power is not a new one. However, if I did not believe in a creator, I don't think I would have been convinced of the existence of a Supreme Power by what was written in this book. The author's main argument seems to be this: "Just look at these images - their beauty will convince you that they were created!" I'm sorry but I don't think that would convince me ...
- Second, the author focuses intensely on one verse in the Biblical Old Testament book of Isaiah (chapter 40:26), "Lift up your eyes on high,and see who has created the stars, who brings out their army by number. He calls them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking." I can't tell you how many times this specific verse is quoted but it was a LOT - enough that I was tired of hearing it.
- And finally, the author's reliance on NASA's website for descriptions and summaries was overdone. If I'm going to read a book, I want to read what YOU have written, not continual press releases from NASA.