My good friend Frank Tipler‘s new book THE PHYSICS OF CHRISTIANITY is coming out shortly (see the listing here at Amazon.com). I’ve invited Frank to contribute to this blog about this book and any other topics of interest to him.
Dr Tipler will also be appearing on The Sci Phi Show in the near future discussing this book and much of his earlier work. (http://thesciphishow.com)
I keep seeing and hearing Dr. Tipler referred to as a “provisional atheist.” What does that mean?
Can’t wait to hear the Sci Phi interview.
I have to admit that I am skeptical of Dr. Tipler’s work.
I have absolutely no background in physics beyond high school physics, but it just doesn’t feel right :S
Who will be first to post a review at Amazon when the book is officially released?
What interests me most in the Amazon entry is the word apophatic. That’s one to know and use.
“I use the phrase Ã¢â‚¬Å“provisional atheistÃ¢â‚¬Â for Tipler because he formally views himself as an atheist [see page 305-307 of his book Physics of Immortality]. However, he thinks the possibility of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s existence is very strong based on theoretical physics. He writes in his book.”
That is what is meant by provisional atheist.
I think it’ll be a great book to read. He might be just the type of unbiased source I hope to read in this context.
Tipler’s thinking and views on faith have come a long way since he published THE PHYSICS OF IMMORTALITY. I’m not asking this forum to endorse his views. In fact, I’m not sure how far I would go to endorse his views. But Tipler is very bright, draws together lots of interesting ideas, and is worth engaging.
Thanks, Bork. I had missed that scordova post. I’ll have to read it and the discussion about it more carefully a little later.
“formally views himself as an atheist … However, he thinks the possibility of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s existence is very strong based on theoretical physics”
Isn’t this stance usually what is referred to as “agnosticism,” though? That is saying “Maybe God exists and maybe he doesn’t,” and acknowledging evidence leaning slightly in one direction or the other, but committed to neither?
I think I’m with IDist, though, in being slightly skeptical. Being a non-scientist, I’m not in much of a position to cast judgement, but something about the writeups on his works (even on his own web page) arouse a vague sense that something is a little wrong. But then, I haven’t read his books. Sounds like he has some intriguing ideas, though. I think I’ll be adding his books to my Amazon wish-list.
Sorry, Dr. Dembski. I hadn’t seen your comment before I posted. Had I seen it, I wouldn’t have gotten into whether or not I’m skeptical of Dr. Tipler’s views.
I look forward to having him engage in conversations here. It appears he definately offers some interesting food for thought.
I get the impression that Tipler believes the miracles of Christianity are true only if they have scientific explanations. I am curious whether a miracle remains miraculous when explained scientifically.
Hey Jb, sorry to go a bit off topic but I would love to see what books you are reading/have on your wish list.
I find it incredible hard to find good authors, espicially with impartial views in the arena of ID.
Re: TiplerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s thinking and views on faith have come a long way since he published THE PHYSICS OF IMMORTALITY.
To get a cross-section of what people think about him and about his book, see Amazon reviews.
After reading his previous book (I read it & I sold it for a few bucks), I will need some serious convincing to buy & read his new book. The new book cover still tries to sell him as the author of of the Physics of Immortality.
How exactly have prof. Tippler’s views come a long way? Why should one spend time & money on this new book?
Tipler had some interesting exchanges with Wolfhart Pannenburg, a german theologian. Lutheran, I think. I would hesitate to describe it in detail, but I think Tipler’s view of religion and Christianity certainly is not what it once was.
I find his writing interesting if only because he’s one of the scientifically excommunicated, in a way. Someone should really do a study (any IDer anthropologists out there?) on just what it takes to be ostracized by the modern scientific community.
I’ll just tease you all and say that I asked Dr Tipler about the idea of being a provisial atheist and got a pretty interesting response.
You’ll have to wait for the interview on The Sci Phi Show to find out what though 😉
Bork, thanks, I’m kind of flattered that someone is interested in my reading list.
My interests run mainly in Christian apologetics in general and I see ID as one component of that. I’ve recently gone through a period of really critically examining the faith I’ve grown up with as a Christian raised in a Christian home to see if it stands up under scrutiny. So far I’m coming along with my faith in tact and strenghtened somewhat in some ways, and still weak in other ways. But that’s way OT. But as it relates to my reading list, it will actually have more related to apolgetics and philosophy than just ID-related things. But, as I said, ID is part of that whole puzzle, so there will be a number of titles on ID as well.
Right now my list at Amazon is a “shopping list” that is only visible from my account. I’ve been thinking of turning it into one of those “listmania” things so I can share my interests with other people.
So as to not derail this thread any further, if you’re interested, send me an email at:
(This is a temporary, “disposable” email address that I will delete in several days or after I hear from you. After I hear from you I’ll reply from my real address).
Thank you so much Bill for highlighting Tipler’s work. Even though I probably don’t agree with all his ideas, I think Frank’s contribution to ID has been invaluable. I count his book Anthropic Cosmological Prinicple as one of the 3 ID foundational books along with Thaxton’s Mystery of Life’s Origin and Denton’s Evolution a Theory in Crisis
From the Publisher’s Weekly review;
“Tipler seems to dismiss the centuries-old importance of the apophatic tradition in Christianity, that is, approaching the mystical nature of the Divine by positing what cannot be said about God”
Publisher’s Weekly frame’s Tipler’s dismissal of this tradition, for which there is little support in scripture, as a criticism. To me it’s a selling point. The whole idea behind ID is that design in nature is detectable. This is the antithesis of apophatikos.
of or relating to the belief that God can be known to humans only in terms of what He is not (such as ‘God is unknowable’)”)
This looks like an interesting book and I have pre-ordered it.
Personally, I don’t think Tipler is that heretical. If his ideas turn out to be correct all the better for Christianity and it’s claims.
I do hope Dr. Tipler decides to contribute to Uncommon Descent. I would very much like to learn about his views concerning a wide variety of subjects. These are very exiting times to be living in, perhaps with this book will usher in 21st Century Christianity.
From what I understand Tipler believes in Theistic Evolution (maybe?), at least that is what I got from reading The Physics of Immortality.
I think the Physics of Christianity is going to be very different from POI though. Any other Tiplerians here?
Does anyone know what Dr. Tipler thinks about Intelligent Design as it relates to biology?
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