Martin Gardner doesn’t think much of Frank Tipler’s books or his Shroud of Turin science. From his book (new in paperback this month), When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish: And Other Speculations About This and That, he writes:
It is hard to believe that Frank Jennings Tipler exists. He is a respected physicist at Tulane University and the author of many technical papers. He is also the author of two of the most outlandish books ever written about religion: The Physics of Immortality (1994) and The Physics of Christianity (2007).
He goes on to say:
All conservative Christians believe Jesus was free of the original sin that resulted from the fall, which has been passed on to all descendents of Adam. Catholics think that Mary, too, escaped original sin. (For Catholics is heresy to reject the immaculate conception.) How does Tipler explaining the way that Jesus and Mary differ in this manner from all other humans?
Tipler’s answer is wonderful. There must be genes that carry original sin! This can be verified some day, he writes, by first identifying the gene. Thus, failing to find evidence of the gene on the Shroud of Turin would explain the sinlessness of both Jesus and his mother.
(I am, dear reader, doing my best to keep a straight face while I summarize Tipler’s convictions.)
As much as I love the Shroud and believe it is real, I, too, like Gardner, have a hard time keeping a straight face.
Available at Amazon, When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish: And Other Speculations About This and That in hardback, paperback and Kindle.
Hi, Episcopalian. Notice that Martin Gardner never states any error on Prof. Frank J. Tipler’s part. However, I do find the below exchange between Prof. Tipler and Gardner to be quite telling; it transpired from Gardner’s review of Profs. John D. Barrow and Tipler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). Notice Gardner’s two-word reply to Tipler.
Frank J. Tipler, reply by Martin Gardner, “The FAP Flop”, New York Review of Books, Vol. 33, No. 19 (December 4, 1986). In reply to Martin Gardner, “WAP, SAP, PAP, & FAP”, New York Review of Books, Vol. 33, No. 8 (May 8, 1986).
Prof. Tipler isn’t claiming that the miracles of Jesus Christ 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 particular relics which, if the relics are genuine, could verify whether in fact said miracles took place via the proffered mechanism. This mechanism uses baryon annihilation, and its inverse, via electroweak quantum tunneling (which is allowed in the Standard Model of particle physics, as baryon number minus lepton number, B – L, is conserved) controlled by the final cosmological singularity via the Principle of Least Action.
Although God has been proven to exist based upon the most reserved view of the known laws of physics. For much more on that, see Prof. Frank J. Tipler’s below paper, which in addition to giving the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE) correctly describing and unifying all the forces in physics, also demonstrates that the known laws of physics (i.e., the Second Law of Thermodynamics, general relativity, quantum mechanics, and the Standard Model of particle physics) require that the universe end in the Omega Point (the final cosmological singularity and state of infinite informational capacity identified as being God–of which is a different aspect of the Big Bang initial singularity, i.e., the uncaused first cause):
F. J. Tipler, “The structure of the world from pure numbers”, Reports on Progress in Physics, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 2005), pp. 897-964; available at Tipler’s website. Also released as “Feynman-Weinberg Quantum Gravity and the Extended Standard Model as a Theory of Everything”, arXiv:0704.3276, April 24, 2007.
Out of 50 articles, Prof. Tipler’s above paper was selected as one of 12 for the “Highlights of 2005” accolade as “the very best articles published in Reports on Progress in Physics in 2005 [Vol. 68]. Articles were selected by the Editorial Board for their outstanding reviews of the field. They all received the highest praise from our international referees and a high number of downloads from the journal Website.” (See Richard Palmer, Publisher, “Highlights of 2005”, Reports on Progress in Physics website.)
Reports on Progress in Physics is the leading journal of the Institute of Physics, Britain’s main professional body for physicists. Further, Reports on Progress in Physics has a higher impact factor (according to Journal Citation Reports) than Physical Review Letters, which is the most prestigious American physics journal (one, incidently, which Prof. Tipler has been published in more than once). A journal’s impact factor reflects the importance the science community places in that journal in the sense of actually citing its papers in their own papers.
See also the below resource for further information on the Omega Point Theory:
Theophysics: God Is the Ultimate Physicist (a website).
Tipler is Professor of Physics and Mathematics (joint appointment) at Tulane University. His Ph.D. is in the field of global general relativity (the same rarefied field that Profs. Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking developed), and he is also an expert in particle physics and computer science. His Omega Point Theory has been published in a number of prestigious peer-reviewed physics and science journals in addition to Reports on Progress in Physics, such as Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (one of the world’s leading astrophysics journals), Physics Letters, the International Journal of Theoretical Physics, etc.
Traditional Christian theology has maintained that God never violates natural law, as God, in His omniscience, knew in the beginning all that He wanted to achieve and so, in His omnipotence, He formed the laws of physics in order to achieve His goal. The idea that God would violate His own laws would mean that God is not omniscient. In traditional Christian theology, miracles do not violate natural law–rather, they are events that are so improbable that they can only be explained by the existence of God and His acting in the world.
That is, traditional Christian theology has maintained that if we had the ultimate physical law, then we would be able to explain how God’s existence and His miracles are possible. We now have that ultimate physical law, the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE) correctly describing and unifying all the forces in physics, and so we are now able to explain God’s existence and His miracles.
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