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.