Perfection: Coming to Terms with Being Human

Perfection: Coming to Terms with Being Human

Michael J. Hyde, Baylor University Press

Michael J. Hyde is one extremely intelligent man. I had to work hard to keep up with him but enjoyed tagging along. While it was complex, and contained profound thought after profound thought Hyde knew exactly what he was saying from the very start and the journey there was worth the trip.

He cleverly draws from history, theology and even from Jack Nicholson’s As Good As It Gets in making his point.

The goal of Perfection is to look exhaustively at society’s obsession with being perfect and, through carefully-crafted argument, explain how this obsession is an oxymoron at best and self-defeating at worst.

If we as humans were to be perfect then we would be imperfect; “rotten with perfection” is the term used.

In the same way, if we humans were to be perfectly imperfect then we would be “rotten with imperfection”. It is in the middle ground where we live, we will always live and we should be comfortable living.

One particularly thought-provoking concept was looking at the world of science. Scientists talk about certain theories as if they are absolute fact, when really science is only as good as the latest development.

There is no such thing as a perfectly-researched scientific concept, yet it is a problem how confidently some scientists speak.

Open-mindedness to the evidence and to the possibilities are pivotal to true science. Hyde explains in the final chapter, “We must not be closed minded to the very real possibility that intelligent design has always been in the microscopic and macroscopic workings of a universe.”

Michael J. Hyde is a professor of Bioethics, Health and Society in the School of Medicine at Wake Forest University so he comes with a hefty resume and as an author of a number of intriguing sounding books such as The Life-Giving Gift of Acknowledgement.

Complex but fascinating, Perfection is a reminder to us all that it is okay to be human.

Callum Iles



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