978-0-268-03471-9 / 9780268034719

Modern Physics and Ancient Faith


Publisher:University of Notre Dame Press



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About the book:

A considerable amount of public debate and media print has been devoted to the "war between science and religion". In his accessible and readable book, Stephen M. Barr demonstrates that what is really at war with religion is not science itself, but a philosophy called scientific materialism. "Modern Physics and Ancient Faith" argues that the great discoveries of modern physics are more compatible with the central teachings of Christianity and Judaism about God, the cosmos and the human soul than with the atheistic viewpoint of scientific materialism. Scientific discoveries from the time of Copernicus to the beginning of the 20th century have led many thoughtful people to the conclusion that the universe has no cause or purpose, that the human race is an accidental by-product of blind material forces, and that the ultimate reality is matter itself. Barr contends that the revolutionary discoveries of the 20th century run counter to this line of thought. He uses five of these discoveries - the Big Bang theory, unified field theories, anthropic coincidences, Godel's Theorem in mathematics, and quantum theory - to cast serious doubt on the materialist's view of the world and to give greater credence to Judeo-Christian claims about God and the universe. Written in clear language, Barr's rigorous and fair text explains modern physics to general readers without oversimplification. Using the insights of modern physics, he reveals that modern scientific discoveries and religious faith are deeply consonant.

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