An acclaimed physicist and cosmologist considers the multiverse and more: “Very readable indeed . . . This is Doctor Who, but for real.” —TheGuardian The Goldilocks Enigma is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the “big questions,” including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life? In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident—we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot. While this “multiverse” theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there’s a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life—and, ultimately, consciousness—aren’t just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe. Whether he’s elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways.
Cosmic Jackpot is Paul Davies’s eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the "big questions," including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life? In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it’s because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident -- we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot. While this "multiverse" theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there’s a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life -- and, ultimately, consciousness -- aren’t just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe. Whether he’s elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways.
The SCM Core Text, "Christianity & Science" provides an advanced introduction to the lively debate between the relative truth claims made by science and the absolute truth claims made by religions, and Christianity in particular. The author examines the interaction between science and the Christian faith and explores the place of faith in an age of science. John Weaver, himself a scientist, explores the responses of the Christian faith to scientific advances, particularly as they impinge upon an understanding of God and human nature. Contemporary issues such as cloning, stem cell research, GM crops, global climate change and ecological destruction, new research on the origins of life and the issue of suffering brought about by 'natural evil' such as the Boxing Day tsunami, are covered in this accessible and student-friendly textbook. It is designed to communicate information clearly and accessibly, using chapter summaries, diagrams and questions for further reading as well as suggestions for further reading at the close of chapters.
Why Stephen Hawking Is Wrong According to the Laws of Physics
Author: Walter Alan Ray
When Stephen Hawking, the most famous scientist living in the twenty-first century, published The Grand Design, he provoked a lively response in the media. Hawking wrote that the laws of physics make God unnecessary when explaining the origin of the universe and everything in it. In Is God Unnecessary?, author Walter Alan Ray presents nine reasons why Hawkings thesis is mistaken. Ray does not use philosophical or theological arguments, but presents the same laws of physics that Hawking says demonstrate his position. Ray examines Hawkings Apparent Miracle; Hawkings assumption that Charles Darwin explained the origin of human life; the question Can something come out of nothing?; the cosmological constant in Einsteins equations, the factor that Hawking considers the most impressive coincidence; Hawkings solution to the completely incomprehensible value of the cosmological constant; and how physics and mathematics join in showing that in the current state of our knowledge, physics and mathematics do have something to say about the origin of the universe. Ray determines that the laws of physics and mathematics show there are two possible answers to the question How did we come to live in a universe that is as astoundingly fine-tuned as ours?. The arguments presented by Ray in Is God Unnecessary? show neither of these two answers is the solution proposed by Hawking.
Although much has been said and written about coincidences, there is a marked absence when it comes to the development of a comprehensive model that incorporates the many different ways in which they can be understood and explained. One reason for this omission is undoubtedly the sharp divide that exists between those who find coincidences meaningful and those who do not, with the result that the conclusions of the many books and articles on the subject have tended to fall into distinct camps. The Many Faces of Coincidence attempts to remedy this impasse by proposing an inclusive categorisation for coincidences of all shapes and sizes. At the same time, some of the implications arising from the various explanations are explored, including the possibility of an underlying unity of mind and matter constituting the ground of being.
If the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe is just around the corner, what would be the consequences for religion? Would it represent another major conflict between science and religion, even leading to the death of faith? Some would suggest that the discovery of any suggestion of extraterrestrial life would have a greater impact than even the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions. It is now over 50 years since the first modern scientific papers were published on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Yet the religious implications of this search and possible discovery have never been systematically addressed in the scientific or theological arena. SETI is now entering its most important era of scientific development. New observation techniques are leading to the discovery of extra-solar planets daily, and the Kepler mission has already collected over 1000 planetary candidates. This deluge of data is transforming the scientific and popular view of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Earth-like planets outside of our solar system can now be identified and searched for signs of life. Now is a crucial time to assess the scientific and theological questions behind this search. This book sets out the scientific arguments undergirding SETI, with particular attention to the uncertainties in arguments and the strength of the data already assembled. It assesses not only the discovery of planets but other areas such as the Fermi paradox, the origin and evolution of intelligent life, and current SETI strategies. In all of this it reflects on how these questions are shaped by history and pop culture and their relationship with religion, especially Christian theology. It is argued that theologians need to take seriously SETI and to examine some central doctrines such as creation, incarnation, revelation, and salvation in the light of the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
This book is for the seeker in all of us, the collector of wisdom, and the person who asks, “What if?” from the author of Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Using this as a starting point, Eric Metaxas created a forum encouraging successful professionals to actively think about life’s bigger questions. Thus, Socrates in the City was born. First presented to standing-room-only crowds in New York City and written by luminaries such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, and Os Guinness, these original essays grapple with extraordinary topics from “Making Sense out of Suffering” to “Belief in God in an Age of Science.” No question is too big—in fact, the bigger, the better—because nowhere is it written that finding the answers to life’s biggest questions shouldn’t be exciting and even, perhaps, fun.
What does the Wesleyan message have to say to the greater theological world? This is a question that Laurence Wood has taken up as his concern throughout his career. In order to honor his work, this collection takes up this question through a series of essays designed to show how Wesleyan Theology, while distinctive, has a continued relevance to the wider world of theological scholarship. This collection does this in two ways. First, by showing how the Wesleyan distinctives have been present throughout the history of theology. And secondly, the collection brings the Wesleyan distinctives into conversation with various contemporary theological conversations, ranging from theological hermeneutics and the science-religion dialogue to the practice of preaching and spirituality. The result is a volume that puts Wesleyan theology into continued dialogue with the broader theological world, showing its vitality and importance for the contemporary situation.
Release on 2013-11-21 | by Stephen Bullivant,Michael Ruse
Author: Stephen Bullivant,Michael Ruse
Pubpsher: OUP Oxford
Recent books by, among others, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have thrust atheism firmly into the popular, media, and academic spotlight. This so-called New Atheism is arguably the most striking development in western socio-religious culture of the past decade or more. As such, it has spurred fertile (and often heated) discussions both within, and between, a diverse range of disciplines. Yet atheism, and the New Atheism, are by no means co-extensive. Interesting though it indeed is, the New Atheism is a single, historically and culturally specific manifestation of positive atheism (the that there is/are no God/s), which is itself but one form of a far deeper, broader, and more significant global phenomenon. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism—understood in the broad sense of 'an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods'—in all the richness and diversity of its historical and contemporary expressions. Bringing together an international team of established and emerging scholars, it probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, natural sciences, gender and sexuality studies, literary criticism, film studies, musicology) and in a range of global contexts (Western Europe, North America, post-communist Europe, the Islamic world, Japan, India). Both surveying and synthesizing previous work, and presenting the major fruits of innovative recent research, the handbook is set to be a landmark text for the study of atheism.
This is a book about science, religion, and 'being', yours and mine. The study of being is called 'Ontology'. Our culture is dominated by a naturalist ontology. The question is: does ontology include a supernatural component? Or, is that idea a relic of our primeval past, sort of like appendix and adenoids, parts that can be excised from the body of our belief system? The author argues for the primacy of the transcendent (supernatural) ontology by means of two books: the book of nature, and the book of transcendency (the Bible), each containing its own portion of the evidence. Mr. Carlson argues for the following: * The universe represents a small portion of God's ontology, a small reality devoted to redemption. The 'signet' of redemption is the number '7'; its appearance within chronology is deliberate, instructive, and compelling. * The Creation Week account reflects a two-fold metaphor: (1) space-time itself was created to support the redemptive act, and (2) mankind's history will unfold in a series of seven ages, later quantified as millennia. * The interval between Adam and Abraham literally filled one redemptive bi-millennium, but the catastrophic effects of 3 realities, the Cainite civilization, Noah, and the break-up of Pangaea, contribute to the appearance of myth as viewed by the uniformitarian geologist for whom catastrophes appear invisible. The 2nd bi-millennium, Abraham- to-Messiah, was also fulfilled exactly in redemptive time. The termination of our age is imminent and dependent upon the chronology of Israel, mankind's chronograph. * A detailed chronology of the history of Israel is flavored with the redemptive signet, especially 70 yrs or 70 heptads of yrs. By decoding Israel's history in redemptive time and employing the single concept of 'the favor of God', the author derives a Biblical-based proof that modern Israel is the same and identical state founded by Samuel in 1096 BC. Three independent proofs of this foundational date are provided. These proofs show that the Monarchy existed for exactly 511 yrs, which period is exactly equal to 73 heptads: Israel is an 'heptadic state'. * The author concludes that the redemptive corollary to Israel's ontology is also proven: we have actually entered 'the end-times' and the events associated with 'the last days' will soon unfold. * Because the reality of Israel is visible to all, it is apparent that the redemptive offer made to mankind is also real and visible, such as that appearing in John 3:16, John 6:40, and Romans 10:9-13. There is much to learn about our world. Start now. Tomorrow may be too late!