Have you ever contemplated reality? Local teacher, meteorologist and devout Christian John David Ensworth has and he wrote a non-fiction tome on the subject. .
“This was thirteen years in the works, and it's pretty dense. It’s all of reality in 330 pages,” Ensworth said.
The non-fiction text, titled Reality, is an examination of different facets of reality from the perspectives of science and theology, and how they both oppose and support each other.
“The subtitle is how science and theology can never get along, and how science and theology can get along,” Ensworth said. “That duality of opposing statements is a theme that’s expanded on in the book.”
Ensworth said Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and science communication were major influences on the book and in his life. Ensworth doesn’t create new science or theology for the book, instead creating a framework where they can be examined and deconstructed.
Referring to the three realities he writes about in the book as nesting dolls, Ensworth uses typeface — as used in the following explanation — to distinguish the different versions of reality, from the reality inside our minds, the reality in the world around us that science studies and then the supernatural Reality.
“We get a tiny fraction of this world from our senses, and it’s very human and earth-centric,” Ensworth said. “Our minds can’t really handle some of the concepts, so we build an external model through science that explains it.”
Through the framework, Ensworth examines what connects and separates the different threads of reality using philosophy. Part of that involves observations on randomness and entropy — a lack of order or predictability or gradual decline into disorder according to the Oxford English Dictionary — along with what is possible through our interactions with reality.
Reality is published through Covenant Books, an international Christian publishing house. Ensworth pitched them the book knowing that the subject would be controversial for both religious and scientific communities, and was both surprised and grateful to find that they agreed to publish it.
“The book is not engineered to please, it is engineered to describe a consistent model of reality the best I can put together in my 53 years of life,” Ensworth said. “It’ll tick off the science reader because it will describe the supernatural world that they can’t study, and it’ll tick off the religious side because it describes science as the best way to see the world around them. I’m alienating both readers.”
Ensworth is working on a follow-up to Reality that further ties the various aspects of philosophy, science and religion together. He also has plans for a science fiction & fantasy fiction series already in the works.
The book is available through all major e-book distributors and is available in physical edition at Longmont’s Used Book Emporium, as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ensworth plans to get copies into more bookstores and local libraries as time allows.