The Physics of Christianity

I just picked up a book today called the Physics of Christianity by Frank J. Tipler. He is a scientist who backs the claims of Christianity and seems to make an attempt at explaining many of it’s beliefs through a scientific lens.

I read ahead to see what he wrote about the virgin birth astounded me. He explained how scientifically, one woman could concieve a male child without a human father naturally, and no, it was not because Mary was a hermaphrodite, she was all woman. The probabilities of this occurring are 120 billion to one. He also estimates that at least 60 billion humans have existed through history, therefore making Jesus’ unique case possible.

Has anyone ever read this work? Although I am not totally sure, I believe the author is Catholic. He has a fondness for the Septuagint, discusses the Shroud of Turin, and Fatima in his book.

I have not read that book, but it sounds very interesting. However, I have read Tipler’s other book the Physics of Immortality, which is also very good. From what I recall of it, his theory was that the general resurrection at the end of the world would occur when a master computer with intelligence recreates the universe, or something like that. It was complicated and sounded a little like science fiction, but he made it seem plausible.

Yeah, well, it didn’t happen that way. Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by some freak biological accident. If it was a freak biological accident, then Jesus wasn’t what we know he was.

Peace

Tim

I didn’t read the book but what I’m ASSUMING the author is doing is looking at how God could have used His Creation to do His Will.

I’m sure that is true, but I reject his apparent conclusion that Jesus’ conception was a biological abberation.

Peace

Tim

Chapter 5 of his book is called “Miracles Do *Not *Violate Physical Law”.

He states the following:

The Greek *thaumasion - *the Latin equivalent is *miraculum - *just means “that which evokes wonder or astonishment.”

The standard Catholic definition is due to Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758): “a miracle is an event whose production exceeds the power of visible and corporal nature only.” Benedict XIV requires further that, to count as a miracle, the event must be of religious significance…Indeed, why should God violate His own laws?

Essentially, the miracles are miracles to us because we do not know all of God’s laws of nature.

God is Infinite.

Humans are finite.

Humans are subject to the “laws of physics”.

The Infinite God is not subject to the “laws of physics”.

Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

So, miracles are natural rather than supernatural events?

Peace

Tim

Supernatural to us. Natural to God.

God created the moral law and is not subject to it, yet God has never violated it by sinnning. He has thus created natural laws and is not subject to it, yet why do we believe he violates these laws?

God created the moral law and He is not subject to it. But did you ever know God to do anything contrary to the moral law?

Likewise he created the laws of nature (known and unknown) and He is not subject to it. So why do we think God would do anything contrary to these laws?

Interesting link buffalo. I’ll put that on my “gotta read one of these days” book list.

Very interesting! I’d love to read that book! I love this subject.

I agree with this notion completely!

But God CREATED the “laws of physics”… He’s not subject to them, but these “laws” reflect their creator…

I love the concepts of understand God’s creation by examining the scientific details that He created…

I’ve never seen science as a threat to faith… by the very fact that God created and designed science… it can’t be a threat… it’s a GIFT!

God has MANIFESTED HIMSELF into this world… in Jesus Christ. He WAS here… PHYSICALLY, BIOLOGICALLY, CHEMICALLY… God subjected himself to these laws of nature… they are not a threat… they are of God.

The “laws” of physics are not really “laws”.

They are some observations that people have made about the way the Planet Earth seems to work.

Newton, for example, made some observations; they still work, except maybe sometimes when the subject shifts to high energy physics.

BUT, the Lord God is not a physical being. He can or can cause, for example, Mary, the Blessed Mother, to appear in two places at once. The Lord God is not subject to the “laws” of time.

The Infinite God is not subject to the “laws” of physics.

The Physics of Newton is just one branch of physics. When you go to the subatomic level, Newtonian Physics essentially gets thrown out the window. Quantum Physics is a branch in and of itself that seems to contradict Newton, but in reality it doesn’t.

BTW, I found the Author’s website:

math.tulane.edu/~tipler/index.html

It is not obvious at first, but chemistry, physics and math are all of one subject. The “disciplines” are all inter-related.

Folks need to learn all the building blocks of math, and apply them to physics and chemistry.

… and the BUILDING BLOCKS can be equally applied to finance, to computer programming, to architectural design, to things from as mundane as balancing your checkbook or figuring out your 401(k) or figuring out how much paint to buy to as abstract as how to play billiards. Or figuring how to orbit a new satellite.

I just finished reading this book - it’s very good.

Has anyone actually read this book? Can it be reconciled with orthodox Catholicism? I recall Hugh Ross trying to do similiar things in some of his books, ex., explaining Jesus’s walking through solid objects during his post-Resurrection visits to the apostles as Him utilizing the other invisible dimensions of this world (quantum theory indicates that there may be up to 7 additional dimensions besides the 3 we are aware of).

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