Frank Tipler, a professor of mathematical physics, brings his expertise to bear on the problems of God, miracles, and other central aspects of Christianity. Written in semi-technical terms and delving into modern theories in physics that may be unknown to some readers, Tipler attempts to bridge the gap between the layman and the expert and draws his conclusions bordering on the incredible. Some essays are more exploration into existing theories (the star of Bethlehem as a simple astronomical anomaly), some are Tipler's own conjecture (baryon annihilation via electroweak tunneling as the mechanism for the Resurrection), but all are scientifically examined in depth in his new book.
Frank J. Tipler is a professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University and the author of The Physics of Immortality. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The relationship between science and religion has long been a tenuous one. Some have worked to put these disciplines in "dialogue" with each other, while others have dismissed any possibility of a collegial relationship. To his credit, Tipler, professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University, attempts the former. He proposes that Christianity can be studied as a science, and its claims, if true, can be empirically proven. "I believe that we have to accept the implications of physical law, whatever these implications are. If they imply the existence of God, well then, God exists." After a cogent description of modern physics, Tipler embarks on a crusade to prove that God exists, that miracles are physically possible and the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Jesus do not defy scientific laws. The author's arguments are somewhat intriguinghis knowledge of science seems exhaustive and this may attract other scientists to consider the importance of religion. Many of his theological insights, however, are problematic. Dubbing Christianity a "science" does not automatically make it so, and 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. Tipler's interest in integrating science and religion is noble, but his method is uneven.