L. Krauss' Review of Tipler's Book 'the Physics of Christianity'
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Review t Pyic f Ciiiy by Frank Tipler, Tipler, Doubleday, $27.50, ISBN 9780385514248 978038551424 8
More dangerous than nonsense I yi pvi vic f Cii blif, pcbl pyici b cic i bki pi, y Lawrence Krauss
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dngers o pushing science beond its domin o vidit nd the tbe o contents nd s using scientiic pproximtions disppointed to ind there oud s i the re compete vid in be no expntion o the recent contexts. reported mircuous ppernce Indeed, hie he compins o Mother Teres’s imge on sever times tht other phsicists cheese Dnish in Nshvie, et their phiosophic prejudices Tennessee. Tht s surprising, inuence their concusions, Tiper since Tiper goes out o his hi s hs cer et his on desires to provide convouted phsics get the better o him. Bsed on justiictions or simir Christin person experience, I beieve mirces, incuding the imge o tht frnk Tiper is n honourbe Jesus on the Turin shroud, ong mn nd I do not think tht he debunked s orger b mn m n intended to pervert reit to experts. when convention serve his gos – but nevertheess phsics doesn’t provide he hs. Just tra Just transm nsmute ute “ne “nearl arlyy imp impossi ossible” ble” into “nearly certain” and it all makes sense suicient expntion or Tiper, or exmpe, cims the reigious phenomenon in tht the stndrd mode o question, Tiper reinvents it. prtice phsics is compete nd into neutrinos nd ntineutrinos, as coection o h-truths exct. It isn’t. He cims tht e hich ter converted bck into nd exggertions, I m tempted hve cer nd consistent theor toms to reconstitute him. Here to describe Tiper’s Tip er’s ne book s o quntum grvit. we don’t. Tiper invokes the ct tht ithin nonsense – but tht oud be He cims tht the universe must the stndrd mode o prtice unir to the concept o nonsense. recopse. It doesn’t do esn’t hve to, nd phsics the dec o protons nd It is r more dngerous thn evidence thus r suggests neutrons is possibe, though he tht it on’t. He rgues tht e recognises tht such dec oud understnd the nture o drk ike tke 50 to 100 orders o energ. we we don’t. He rgues rgues mgnitude onger thn the tht e kno h there is more current ge o the universe: mtter thn ntimtter in the thus, the probbiit o such n universe. we don’t. I coud go occurrence is essenti zero. mere nonsense, becuse Tiper’s Tip er’s on, but ou get the point. Hoever, Hoev er, using strnge resonbe descriptions o when stretching the imits “Christin” version o the vrious spects o modern o knoedge beond the pe nthropic principe, subject he phsics, combined ith his doesn’t suice, Tiper resorts to once co-uthored book bout, respectbe reserch pedigree, some interesting posteriori uses he then cims tht ithout give the persusive iusion tht o probbiit. for exmpe, he Jesus’ss resurrection, our universe Jesus’ he is describing ht the s o rgues tht the resurrection o coud not exist – thereore, hen phsics imp. He is not. This bo book ok Jesus occurred hen the toms in one convoves this requirement provides n object esson in the his bod spontneous deced ith the most, but not exct
■ Tiper’s ne book, I scnned
“I do not think that he intended to pervert reality – but he has”
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M M a S t S N u k e h c i l t a a t S
zero, priori probbiit, the net resut is ner certint. I hve rcked m brins to think o more extreme exmpe o uncritic nd unsubstntited rguments put into print b n inteigent proession scientist, but I cnnot. Given some o the junk tht hs been pubished in the pst decde, tht’s sing ot. I urge potenti reders red ers ho m ee the need to seek out some empiric justiiction or their ith to besto kindness on Proessor Tiper nd turn to nother book ith either better science, or better theoog. ● Lawrence Krauss is Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics and Astronomy and director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His most recent book is Hiding in the Mirror (Penguin, 2006) 12 May 2007 | NewScientist | 53