Item description for The Physics of Christianity by Frank J. Tipler...
Overview Arguing that the fundamental tenets of Christianity are wholly consistent with the scientific laws of the universe, a physicist offers a scientific inquiry into Christian beliefs, outlining the basic concepts of physics, the underlying connections between physics and theology, and the scientific basis for the Resurrection, the Incarnation, and other key Christian tenets. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
Publishers Description A highly respected physicist demonstrates that the essential beliefs of Christianity are wholly consistent with the laws of physics. Frank Tipler takes an exciting new approach to the age-old dispute about the relationship between science and religion in "The Physics of Christianity. "In reviewing centuries of writings and discussions, Tipler realized that in all the debate about science versus religion, there was no serious scientific research into central Christian claims and beliefs. So Tipler embarked on just such a scientific inquiry. "The Physics of Christianity "presents the fascinating results of his pioneering study. Tipler begins by outlining the basic concepts of physics for the lay reader and brings to light the underlying connections between physics and theology. In a compelling example, he illustrates how the God depicted by Jews and Christians, the Uncaused First Cause, is completely consistent with the Cosmological Singularity, an entity whose existence is required by physical law. His discussion of the scientific possibility of miracles provides an impressive, credible scientific foundation for many of Christianity's most astonishing claims, including the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and the Incarnation. He even includes specific outlines for practical experiments that can help prove the validity of the "miracles" at the heart of Christianity. Tipler's thoroughly rational approach and fully accessible style sets "The Physics of Christianity" apart from other books dealing with conflicts between science and religion. It will appeal not only to Christian readers, but also to anyone interested in an issue that triggers heated and divisive intellectual and cultural debates.
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Studio: Doubleday Religion
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.98" Width: 5.22" Height: 0.73" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Aug 19, 2008
Publisher Doubleday Religion
ISBN 0385514255 ISBN13 9780385514255
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More About Frank J. Tipler
FRANK J. TIPLER is a professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University and the author of The Physics of Immortality. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Frank J. Tipler has an academic affiliation as follows - Tulane University.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Physics of Christianity?
The Physics of God Jan 10, 2008
Few men could be more qualified than Tipler, Professor of Mathematics and Physics (joint appointment), to explain the physics of God. Tipler's Ph.D. is in the field of global general relativity (the same rarefied field of Penrose and Hawking). John Wheeler wrote that "Frank Tipler is widely known for important concepts and theorems in general relativity and gravitation physics" in the Foreword to The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (1986) by cosmologist Prof. John D. Barrow and Tipler, which was the first book wherein Tipler's Omega Point Theory (OPT) was described.
An atheist since the age of 16, Tipler only again became a theist circa 1998 due to advancements in the OPT that came after his book The Physics of Immortality (1994; PoI), which concentrates on the OPT.
Physicist Prof. David Deutsch (inventor of the quantum computer and winner of the Institute of Physics' Paul Dirac Prize for his work) defends the physics of the OPT in his excellent book The Fabric of Reality (1997).
Tipler's present book (PoC) is a simplified exposition of his OPT, while giving an update to the latest findings of the OPT since Tipler's previous book, PoI. PoC is very much intended for a popular audience, and far less technical details are given than in PoI (which is quite technically advanced, particularly in the Appendix for Scientists, and is quite an intellectually rigorous treasure-trove in everything from the physics of Artificial Intelligence, perfect emulations of humans via computer, the inherent multiverse nature of quantum mechanics, and much more).
Instead, for PoC, Tipler confines the rigorous technical details of the OPT to his papers in the science journals and his previous book PoI, while giving endnotes in PoC to them (many of which papers are available online for free). Where that can be a problem is that some people (especially ones wanting the technical exposition) may think that Tipler is out of his league by asserting fantastic ideas without presenting proof if they don't follow up with the endnoted references.
In PoC, Tipler especially analyzes the OPT's pertinence to Christian theology. Tipler therein identifies the Omega Point (OP) as being the Judeo-Christian God, particularly as described by Christian theology, due to the fundamentally triune structure of the OP cosmology when formulated in multiversal terms (of which many-worlds formulation isn't necessary for the physics upon which the OP itself is based): the Final Singularity (i.e., the OP), the All-Presents Singularity (which exists at all times at the edge of the multiverse), and the Initial Singularity (i.e., the beginning of the Big Bang), which Tipler identifies with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, respectively.
Tipler also analyzes how Jesus Christ could have performed the miracles recorded in the New Testament without violating any known laws of physics, even if one were to assume that we currently don't exist as an emulation (in that case, then such miracles would be trivially easy to perform for the society running the simulation, even though it would seem amazing from our perspective). This process uses baryon annihilation, and its inverse, via electroweak quantum tunneling controlled by the cosmological end state of the OP (since in physics it's just as accurate to say that causation goes from future to past events: viz, the principle of least action; and unitarity).
Tipler proposes that the virgin birth of Jesus could be possible via Jesus being a special type of XX male who obtained all of his genetic material from Mary.
Tipler is not claiming that the above miracles in the previous two paragraphs are proven to have taken place by physics, simply that they need not have violated any known laws of physics. Tipler proposes tests that can be performed on certain relics which could verify whether in fact said miracles did take place via the described processes. Although I'll point out that if such tests are performed and the results are negative, that would not disprove the miracles of Jesus, since the provenience of the relics are themselves in question.
Tipler discusses the Feynman-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything in PoC, but for the technical details see Tipler's paper "The structure of the world from pure numbers," Rep Prog Phys, available on Tipler's website (and with a different title at arXiv:0704.3276), which also gives the technical details on how the known laws of physics (i.e., general relativity, quantum mechanics, and the Standard Model) requires that the universe end in the OP.
The only way to avoid the OP cosmology is to invent tenuous physical theories which have no experimental support and which violate the known laws of physics, such as with Prof. Stephen Hawking's paper "Information loss in black holes" hep-th/0507171 on the black hole information issue (BHII) which is dependant on the conjectured AdS/CFT correspondence.
That is, Hawking's paper is based upon proposed, unconfirmed physics. It's an impressive testament to the OPT's correctness, as Hawking implicitly confirms that the known laws of physics require the universe to collapse in finite time. Hawking realizes that the BHII must be resolved without violating unitarity, yet he's forced to abandon the known laws of physics in order to avoid unitarity violation without the universe collapsing.
Some have suggested that the universe's current accelerating expansion obviates the OP. But as Profs. Lawrence Krauss and Michael Turner point out in "Geometry and Destiny" astro-ph/9904020, cosmological observations cannot tell us whether the universe will expand forever or eventually collapse.
The reason for that is because that is dependant on the actions of intelligent life. The known laws of physics provide the mechanism for the universe's collapse, as discussed in PoC (again, by baryon annihilation via electroweak quantum tunneling). Moreover, this process would provide the ideal energy resource and rocket propulsion during the universe's colonization.
God uses the SIMPLE to Confound the "WISE" Jan 5, 2008
The second I saw the 1 star ratings from those blasting this book for daring to tie the finite capabilities of science to the Infinite, absolute, eternal essence of an Almighty Creator, I knew I had to buy it and read it and it did not disappoint. Einstein and his elegant equations got off the bus when as he stated " God doesn't play dice". God begins where we end. All of the materialistic, empirical, statistical data that has been compiled scientifically does not amount to a hill of beans when stacked against the Absolute of the Universe. Frank Tipler is Quixotic in stepping out of the scientific dogmatic bondage that enslaves so many and daring to bridge the gap- a step of faith to be sure. Over reaching at times- but compelling for those of us with the courage to recognize that to deny an intelligence beyond all understanding is in the final analysis intellectual dishonesty.
Physics? Christianity F Dec 20, 2007
Tipler is a physicist of some reputation, and his explanation of the principles of physics is OK, not as good as in his earlier Physics of Immortality. The book really is weak in its understanding of Chrtistianity. He does not seem to have even a rudimentary understanding of the teachings of the gospels, much less those who have commented on them from Paul to modern authors.
Courting the Disasters of Dogma Dec 6, 2007
Sam Harris tells us on page 224 of his angry book The End of Faith that ending blind faith - which he describes as belief in the absence of evidence - is "a matter of finding approaches to ethics and spiritual experience that make no appeal to faith and broadcast this knowledge to everyone." Many of our leading intellectuals - Freeman Dyson, Albert Einstein, Carl Gustav Jung, H. G. Wells and Max Plank, seem to have felt no need to have their science and their religion cohere. Professor Frank J. Tipler evidently does feel that need. For in his book The Physics of Christianity he finds and broadcasts approaches to science and religion that make no appeal to faith. Or does he? Professor Tipler is a distinguished member of the science establishment, but he is not intimidated its prejudices. In The Physics of Christianity he intrepidly sets out to prove that Christianity's key dogmas, Original Sin, Incarnation, Virgin Birth, Resurrection, Ascension, Assumption, and Transubstantiation (aka Real Presence), are supported by evidence from modern physics. His argument rests on 5 points: 1) God is a singularity in a trinity of manifestations: initial, present and final; 2) a miracle is a quantum event that goes directly from the event into the singularity; 3) the incarnation can be understood with a little advanced mathematics; 4) two XX chromosomes and no Y chromosome in the DNA on the Turin Shroud is evidence of virgin birth; 5) Jesus rose from the dead by converting his body into neutrinos. The Physics of Christianity is Professor Frank J. Tipler's `theory of everything.' Like a knight in heavy armor, he enters the lists of our culture wars armed with the iron logic of advanced mathematics, the Standard Model of particle physics, quantum mechanics, quantum cosmology, general relativity, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And with the tenacity of a Medieval Scholastic plus the dedication of an Einstein he enters the fray with great expectations. These are his expectations: By the year 2050, most human beings will be Christians, have invulnerable human download capabilities, machines more intelligent than themselves, access to unlimited energy, and interstellar rocket travel. Those conditions will constitute the Second Coming. And before the Second Coming we can expect to have a Jewish Pope because the Jews are God's Chosen People. The Physics of Christianity is astonishing. The Physics of Christianity is spellbinding. So enthralling, indeed, that this reader had to devote his every spare moment to reading it, neglecting to answer the telephone and feed the cat. For The Physics of Christianity demands more than close reading; it demands study; it provokes re-reading, reflection, meditation. If Professor Tipler can present us with convincing evidence that our traditional Christian dogmas are supported by modern physics then he will have made the most important contribution to Christian apologetics since The City of God by St. Augustine, and Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas. He approaches the task as a problem in epistemology: what do we know, and how do we know it? Frank J. Tipler has been a star performer on the epistemology scene since the publication of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, written with John D. Barrow and published in paperback in 1996. In that book the authors demonstrate how Teilhard de Chardin's Omega Point theory resonates with FAP, the final anthropic principle. According to FAP, mankind is the outcome of certain identifiable cosmological constants and is destined to take command of the universe. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, by putting man back into the position from which Copernicus so recently removed him, namely at the very center of the universe, constitutes a philosophical revolution. In The Physics of Christianity that revolution marches on. The argument that traditional Christian dogma is supported by modern physics hangs on evidence supporting two dogmas: The Virgin Birth and The Resurrection. In defense of the Virgin Birth dogma Professor Tipler points out that virgin birth is common in some species, namely lizards and turkeys, and is known to occur, although with extreme rarity, among humans. If Jesus was born of a virgin, he would have been an XX male lacking the normal Y chromosome. If it can be proven from the DNA on the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth that Jesus was an XX male then it follows that "From the biological point of view, we would have in Jesus a speciation event, the appearance of a new species in a single generation. Mary's parents were normal humans, whereas Jesus and Mary were the new Adam and the new Eve. No Darwinian slow evolutionary change here, but instantaneous speciation. This would explain the fact that the Gospels make no mention of Jesus ever taking a wife, or showing any interest in women as sex objects. So the DNA on the Turin Shroud and the Oviedo Cloth provide an experimental refutation of the claim made popular in the novel The Da Vinci Code, that Jesus married and had children by Mary Magdalene. Jesus's DNA is simply too different for this to be possible." (p. 193) That passage, by increasing the mass of it's data base, may prove to be a heavy contribution to the momentum of the militant gay Jesus movement Professor Morton Smith set afoot when he published his discovery of The Secret Gospel of Mark: M = mv. As for proof of the Resurrection, that will be available when and if trails of neutrinos in sufficient numbers can be found in the rocks surrounding the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem. Likewise for the Assumption dogma: if trails of neutrinos can be found in the rocks around the alleged tomb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But proofs will not be available until present technology is sufficiently improved. The argument comes down to a problem, as we said, in epistemology. If God is the Singularity identified by physics, and the laws of physics are the logos leading to Omega Point, then it follows that, indeed, it is in that Trinity of Singularities, God, that "we live and move and have our being." In a section titled The Problem of Evil, our bold champion begins to sound less like a knight of the round table and more like the knight of the sorrowful countenance when he charges into the windmills of theodicy. In support of the existence of the multiverses of quantum theory he invokes two antique concepts: 1) Arthur O. Lovejoy's Great Chain of Being, and 2) that Leibniz phrase Voltaire had so much fun with in Candide, "the best of all possible worlds." Skeptical readers will begin to ask how some of his quotations from scripture are supported by physics. Readers with a liberal bias will doubtless sniff or even take umbrage at his quotation - as epigraphs for Chapters IV and V - of two Anathemas from The First Vatican Council. For it was The First Vatican Council of 1870 that promulgated the infamous doctrine of papal infallibility so often misinterpreted and abominated by liberals. All of which brings to mind Harold Bloom's observation: "Seeking God outside the self courts the disasters of dogma." (Omens of Millennium, p. 14) What seems to be missing in the picture is the Shekhinah. Nevertheless, The Physics of Christianity is a stunning read, brilliantly entertaining and highly informative! More importantly it is, like Be Done on Earth, by Howard E. Cook, a desperately earnest contribution to the lively dialogue concerning Western civilization's need for a rebirth of Christianity. The Physics of Christianity is unlike Be Done on Earth, in so far as Be Done on Earth bases its apologetics on Christianity's cultural prestige and the power of its poetic symbolism as well as a metaphysical concept of a fifth dimension, a transcendental epistemology. Thus The Physics of Christianity is less philosophically radical than Be Done on Earth. But it is a substantial contribution to Western civilization's intellectual and spiritual struggle against the growing menace of Islam. And it is far more effective than The End of Faith as polemics. Every liberally educated Christian should read it. The tacit assumption that the validation of Roman Catholic dogma in toto rests upon the verifiability of the DNA and neutrino evidence seems dubious. For it seems to confound physics with revisionary metaphysics. But what is questionable in Professor Tipler's thinking - when and if proven invalid - will not survive. The intrepid spirit he exhibits in facing up to the big issues hopefully will. If it does not, Western civilization is done for.
Recommended by our Priest Nov 1, 2007
This book came highly recommended by our priest. It was all the recommendation I needed. I've bought it for my husband for Christmas.