Skip to comments.He thinks physics proves Christianity
Posted on 06/12/2007 8:29:09 AM PDT by mjp
The Physics of Christianity By Frank J. Tipler
'I have a salary at Tulane," says Frank Tipler, "some 40 percent lower than the average for a full professor at Tulane as a consequence of my belief."
Physicists today, he says, are not supposed to believe in God. But he does, though I suspect that in itself would not reduce his salary. What may well do, however, is his belief that the Cosmological Singularity is God. In other words, he believes that contemporary physics has found God and that physics explains Christianity. In fact, it is probably true to say that Tipler does not believe at all. There is no need, for he feels he has proved Christianity through physics.
With his previous book, The Physics of Immortality, Tipler used physics to prove that death would be utterly conquered as future beings deployed vast energy resources, derived from the contraction of the universe, to resurrect the past, ourselves included. Here he goes much further. He says that modern physics has confirmed Christianity - from the Virgin Birth through the Turin Shroud and walking on water to the Resurrection - in detail.
Central to this argument is his conviction that there is no discontinuity between the insights of science and the revelations of the Gospels. Miracles, for example, are not, as is often claimed, sudden deformations or breaches of the natural order. They happen through known physical processes. Walking on water is accomplished through a particle beam and dematerialization through the multiple universe model implied by quantum theory. That they happen when they do is, of course, God's will, but, in making them happen, he does not violate the order of his creation.
This is not a limitation on God's power because he established the laws of physics precisely to encompass all these eventualities. Similarly, the existence of evil is neither God's failing nor proof of his nonexistence. If we could see the many universes - the multiverse - he has created, the problem would simply vanish. Our limited perspective means that we cannot fully understand this any more than we can visualize a four-dimensional cube, but, as with the cube, we can at least imagine the possibility.
The strong argument against relying so much on contemporary scientific knowledge is that, in years to come, much of that knowledge may be overthrown. Indeed, for the majority of physicists, the physics on which Tipler rests his case is already obsolete or at least debatable. The multiverse is generally regarded only as one possible interpretation of quantum theory. The Standard Model of particle physics is thought to be incomplete, and we have no theory of quantum gravity. The Theory of Everything that seemed to be looming in the late '80s now seems as distant as ever. Hope now resides in the exotica of string theory and supersymmetry.
Tipler rejects all this. We have a theory of everything, all the problems were resolved 30 years ago. Subsequent stringy speculations are just that, speculations without any experimental proof. To deny the multiverse is to deny quantum theory; a complete theory of quantum gravity was stumbled upon long ago by Richard Feynman and Steven Weinberg, and the Standard Model is founded on rock-solid foundations of experimental evidence. Why, then, do the physicists deny all this? Because, says Tipler, they don't like the universe that emerges, a universe that begins and ends with God.
The experimentally based physics to which Tipler refers predicts a singularity - a point at which all known laws of physics break down and to which, therefore, our science has no access - from which the universe sprang. There is a further singularity at the end of the universe and a third joining the two. This is the Holy Trinity. The first singularity, says Tipler, is God the Father, the second God the Holy Ghost, and the third God the Son. The last, because of his role as the singularity that runs alongside the present, is able to appear in human history.
Though this may seem highly deterministic, Tipler insists we still have free will. Our role is to play our part in the drama that will lead to the final singularity. This is a technological matter, but clues to how it may be achieved were laid at the Resurrection. Notably there is the baryon annihilation process that will provide us with infinite energy, interstellar travel, and a mechanism that will advance the contraction of the universe toward its final encounter with God. Baryon annihilation will also provide us with appalling powers of destruction. It converts matter into energy with absolute efficiency. On that basis, a human body contains enough mass to create a 1,000-megaton explosion. Tipler expects the world as we know it to end within 50 years or so. Our destiny will be intact, however, as we shall have become backed-up computer programs, probably on our way to the stars.
I doubt this book will make many converts. Believers will continue to believe, perhaps with a little more confidence, and skeptics will continue to doubt, perhaps with a little less. But Tipler should not be ignored by anybody. His great virtue is that he dramatizes the possibility that there is a deep and so far unknown connection between our faiths, our intuitions and our knowledge. He is due, at the very least, for a salary review.
Canard and no basis in the real world.
Just like on Star Trek! It must be true!
Dr. Gene Ray is right.
BZZZTTT! Wrong! Who came up with this ignorant statement? Most of the great thinkers of the past were quite devout. Although I never became or will become a great physicist, I am still a Christian and faithful believer. One can't look deeply into the structure of the cosmos and the nature of reality and not be moved at a spiritual level. No, I don't believe in the Genesis story; but to me, that is a matter or getting beyond Sunday School Lessons and into a mature Christian relationship with God.
interesting and way beyond my comprehension!
I read it and I often used it to prove God in debates.
Money is pyramiding. Religion is pyramiding. Education is pyramiding. The environment is pyramiding. The pyramid of progress has destroyed the marbles circle, it's destroyed the family circle.
A mature relationship with God is rooted in reading His word, and accepting it as truth.
If you don’t believe Genesis, then you don’t believe God.
If you don’t believe Him, you don’t have a deep mature Christian relationship.
I am having my gall bladder removed this Friday. A couple weeks ago, as the surgeon explained to me the purpose of the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, etc., while using a chart, I sat amazed at the machinery of the human body. I could not help but think that this could not have been an accident and once again my belief in God was reaffirmed.
GOD by definition is all powerful. Think about that and what it means. Our little human intellects cannot even scratch the surface of God’s almighty power.God can do anything but contradict Himself.
Anyone here in Freepland who can sum this up for us slow folks?
If you dont believe Genesis, then you dont believe God.
Ah, the “my way or the highway” approach to faith and religious belief. A shame, really, that some are unable to recognize truth from allegory.
Ok, let me get this straight. I'm confused, are you insinuating you don't take God's word literally, or a Sunday School teacher's lesson about Genesis?
I believe to have a mature relationship with God childlike faith is a character trait he has requested?
“My mind is aglow with various transient nodes of thought careening through a universe of cosmic invention.”
The Stupidity - It Burns! It Burns!
“Ah, the my way or the highway approach to faith and religious belief. A shame, really, that some are unable to recognize truth from allegory.”
Exactly! As I type this I am sitting in a basic chair. I did not see it happen, but I know that, at some point, several people sat down and designed it taking into account things like surface seating area, angle of the back rest, height of the arm rests, etc. Someone else made the parts of the chair and them someone else assembled it. I know this chair did not just come into existence accidentally - it was designed.
Yet some would have me believe that the human body (or our planet, solar system, etc.), something infinitely more complex that this chair, came into existence by pure accident.
I don’t think so.
Can't explain it because it is all BS. It sounds technical to non-technical people, but to those of us that do science for a living, this guy is a quack.
Exactly my point. You will not engage with those who think differently than you on a topic near and dear to your heart. You are simply dismissive.
Who claims “pure accident” is the reason for our existance?
Those who think chairs are self-replicating? (I know coat hangers are, but not chairs!)
Coat hangers have to self replicate - it balanced the self disappearing socks.
I joined the Church (Baptist) when I was 6 (not knowing I had already been baptized as a baby). I went to church when even my parents stopped going. God gave me a mind, created in his likeness (not just the physical body). Beyond just hearing his Word, we are to actively think about it. It is only by actively thinking that God reveals His great wisdom and power. We are not the animals, who live constantly "in the moment"; we are above them.
We could get into a really really really long Bible discussion, and maybe we should on another thread. As for His Word, you know that it has been interpreted and re-interpreted and sliced and diced by Men over 4000 years. Not to mention how language changes over even a single lifetime. This is why, to me, God commands me to think. To make sense of His Word and the world He has put me in.
Big Bang Theory.
Cells that, by sheer chance, came together in some primordial sea/ooze and then land based organisms were formed.
These things are in my kids textbooks......
Many, of us, feel that some scientists have put questions in the minds of God’s people, just as satan put the original question in Eve’s mind.
While we all love learning, and the benifits of most knowledge, we must never forget that God gave us these gifts.
Mr. (Dr.?) Tipler feels that there is a point, while many seek to disprove God’s Word, they cannot. God does not want us to prove his Word. We must only believe in It, to to be filled by it.
We are not to fear “global warming”. We are only to trust in God.
Do you trust in God to heal you or do you go to a doctor?
>>If you dont believe Genesis, then you dont believe God.<<
I’m curious, as a Christian, as to how you derive that requirement. Consider the gentiles that Jesus directly converted, who believed in Him and were saved. Does this mean they didn’t believe in God since they likely had never read Genesis?
I think that there is a difference between having read it and saying it is not true, and to have not read it.
The main point is that to denounce the Word of God is to call God a liar.
How convenient to couch God in terms that can neither be proven nor disproven.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Actually, God is just a guy in a different universe who runs a Hooters and gets his kicks by scaring people in other universes.
You sure you want to mess with a “licensed” preacher?
“Coat hangers have to self replicate’
Not as such. They metamorphose. The larval form of coat hangers is the paper clip.
Tipler wrote the general physics text book I used in college. I believe it is a widely used book. It cost a lot of money. I believe Tipler probably makes much more money from book sales than salary from his day job.
By the way it was a very good, well laid out text. It’s the only text that I can remember the author’s name. Plus it was very heavy.
>> I think that there is a difference between having read it and saying it is not true, and to have not read it.
The main point is that to denounce the Word of God is to call God a liar.<<
I see the distinction you are making.
And one the one occasion that God spoke directly to me (that I’m aware of) it would have been wrong to deny Him, of course but that wasn’t even a reasonable choice - when God speaks directly it is beyond powerful.
But when when I read and hear of other’s encounters with God I do consider that it is filtered through a human. God didn’t reveal any new science to me so I think its quite reasonable that he didn’t reveal to the writers of Genesis any math or science beyond what they already knew in the 5th century BC.
They had no concept of what a billion years was. Or how man came to be or radioactivity or many other things.
Besides, isn’t it arrogant to think that a man could remember and record all of God’s understanding about the history of the earth, even if it was shown to him?
One can’t look deeply into the structure of the cosmos and the nature of reality and not be moved at a spiritual level.
Carl Sagan said the (nearly) the very same thing, and continued by saying that the cosmos is all there is, was, and will be. That we are made of this star-stuff, and that’s why we have a yearning to know more about it.
Ah, the my way or the highway approach to faith and religious belief. A shame, really, that some are unable to recognize truth from allegory.
What other parts of the gospel do you consider allegory? Did Jesus really die? Did he REALLY come back, (conquer death), and by doing so free us (mankind) from our death in sin?
Or was that allegory as well?
The Bible is written in black and white text, with lots of red later on. It is what it says it is, and has been proven to be what it says it is time after time.
Lord knows I do things I shouldn’t, I’m tempted, and fall. It’s by the grace of the Lord (via Jesus) that I am able to continue on, in communion with Him. It’s NOT an allegory.
As I said, we use the knowledge that is given, such as to heal.
There have been many that sought to prove that there is no God, that the Bible is just stories. Many of those may not admit it, but their lives were changed by the search. They either accept the Truth, or harden their hearts.
IMHO, this “life” is a test, just as the Garden of Eden was. God speaks to us in many differnt ways. Satan tempts us daily. It is our decision to follow in Jesus footsteps, or not.
God gave the doctor the talent, and the drive to heal others. I pray about being sick, and go to the doctor when/if I must.
Most of this knowledge was discovered by science - it wasn’t derived from reading the Bible.
I believe, and it’s compelling. But, proof? No.
What a nut.
He probably makes much more selling books than he loses in salary for his nuttiness.