You can know "what" without knowing "how", but you can't know "how" without knowing "what" - this is my short summary of this wonderful book. Modern science seeks to study complex things by isolating parts and assessing the various interactions between them. The book masterfully demonstrates that such a technique cannot be accomplished without a prior recognition of form, essence, and categories. In other words, the scientist must identify "what" a thing is and "what" its parts are before applying the scientific method of isolating those parts. But "what a thing is" is an irreducibly metaphysical question, rooted in the concept of differences. It is a question of being rather than merely a question of action. Hanby shows that the question of what makes things different cannot be answered from within a purely physical world, but only outside or above that world, requiring a "meta" physical viewpoint. However, the modern Darwinist claims there is no "outside" of the physical world, that there is no God or spiritual force beyond mere matter. Thus their science is at an end, unless they borrow concepts of form and essence from outside their system. Hanby counsels modern scientists to understand the impossibility of their task and to embrace the metaphysical concepts that everyone tacitly accepts in their lives as actually lived.
Hanby further shows how the metaphysics required to identify things - the "what" - requires not a vague spirituality, but the trinitarian God described in the Bible. He catalogs the impasse the ancient Greeks encountered in trying to determine the essence of objects and shows how the biblical doctrines of creation and the incarnation of Christ are required to solve the puzzles that ultimately stumped Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Relying heavily on classical sources, Hanby summarizes the... See my full review at Amazon