Peer review and atheism: “These men and women have built their entire worldview on atheism,” says physicist Frank Tipler
|March 14, 2012||Posted by News under Atheism, Cosmology, Intelligent Design, News|
About ideas rejected in the academy, a most unorthodox physicist writes,
The most radical ideas are those that are perceived to support religion, specifically Judaism and Christianity. When I was a student at MIT in the late 1960s, I audited a course in cosmology from the physics Nobelist Steven Weinberg. He told his class that of the theories of cosmology, he preferred the Steady State Theory because “it least resembled the account in Genesis” (my emphasis). In his book The First Three Minutes (chapter 6), Weinberg explains his earlier rejection of the Big Bang Theory: “[O]ur mistake is not that we take our theories too seriously, but that we do not take them seriously enough. It is always hard to realize that these numbers and equations we play with at our desks have something to do with the real world. Even worse, there often seems to be a general agreement that certain phenomena are just not fit subjects for respectable theoretical and experimental effort.”
I have now known Weinberg for over thirty years, and I know that he has always taken the equations of physics very seriously indeed. He and I are both convinced that the equations of physics are the best guide to reality, especially when the predictions of these equations are contrary to common sense. But as he himself points out in his book, the Big Bang Theory was an automatic consequence of standard thermodynamics, standard gravity theory, and standard nuclear physics. All of the basic physics one needs for the Big Bang Theory was well established in the 1930s, some two decades before the theory was worked out. Weinberg rejected this standard physics not because he didn’t take the equations of physics seriously, but because he did not like the religious implications of the laws of physics. A recent poll of the members of the National Academy of Sciences, published in Scientific American, indicated that more than ninety percent are atheists. These men and women have built their entire worldview on atheism. They would be exceedingly reluctant to admit that any result of science could be valid if it even suggested that God could exist.
– Frank J. Tipler, “Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?”, Uncommon Dissent, pp 123-24.