There are many examples in the annals of scientific discovery where someone proposes a new theory or explanation that goes so far against the prevailing ideas that they are labeled as a heretic. Every now and then, however, they turn out to be right, but it sure takes courage to go public. If you are wrong, your reputation could be deeply stained for the rest of your career.
I just finished reading a book with the eye-catching title The Physics of Christianity by Frank Tipler, a physics professor at Tulane University. The book jacket kind of pulled me in with its promise to examine a few noted biblical "miracles" from the standpoint of physics. Truth be told, one of my biggest issues with being a scientist and a Christian is that miracles seem to result in direct violation of the physical laws of the universe. Fish and bread feeding multitudes, Jesus walking on water, wooden staffs that morph into serpents, and, of course, Jesus' resurrection from death to life. In these tales, it is hard to separate truth from allegory from superstitious legends from the notion that the Bible is said to be God-breathed. My intellect tends too often to get in the way of my faith. The book claims that "A highly respected physicist demonstrates that the essential beliefs of Christianity are wholly consistent with the laws of physics."
A look at the Tulane University Physics Department web page reveals Prof. Tipler looking austere and professorial. However, try typing the name Frank Tipler into Google. You are immediately barraged with a long series of links labeling him as a crackpot, unrealistic, eccentric, fanatical. Ouch. He claims that we can prove the existence of God using the laws of physics. Sounds brave. Sounds intriguing. Sounds worrisome.
More tomorrow. This will be interesting.
(Part 1 of 2)