Aggregating Skeptical Thought

The Physics of Christianity

Discovery News is reporting, Author sees God in Physics,  about a new book, The Physics of Christianity by Frank Tipler.

Here’s a brief synapsis of the book from the original news article:

Tipler told Discovery News that the first of these principles is the Big Bang, or what he also termed as “the uncaused first cause…the beginning of all causes.”

In cosmological terms, the Big Bang refers to a scientific model of the universe emerging from a dense and hot state around 13.7 billion years ago and expanding ever since.

Since Tipler equates God to this phenomenon, he believes God “is outside of space, time and matter in the sense of a physical substance subject to the laws of physics,” because that initial moment marked “the beginning of time, but (was not) in time.”

He names two other principles — the so-called sustaining cause (that which keeps the universe from “collapsing into non-existence”) and what Tipler refers to as the “final singularity” — also known, to fundamentalist Christians, as the apocalypse. Though controversial as scientific principles, Tipler also uses these principles to connect God to physics.

Further into the story Frank Tipler proposes that Jesus’ virgin birth can be explained by a rare chromosomal disorder called XX male syndrome. XX male syndrome is a normally conceived male child who has 2 XX chromosomes, this doesn’t explain a virgin birth. A virgin birth is where the mother conceives without “knowing” a man and doesn’t really have anything to do with the state of the child.

Oh wait, I’ve figured it out. God still magically inseminates Mary (in a dream) but the resulting male child (since having no earthly father) would have to be an XX male syndrome child. This guy is good. Oh and check this out one of the side effects of the syndrome is infertility, well that shoots the Da Vinci Code out of the water.  Another side effect appears to be undescended testes, oooh, that ones begging for a joke but I’m going to be nice.

If I see anyone post some reviews about the physics in this book I’ll do a roundup and probably do a separate post. Until then read some goods on Tipler here (including YouTube clip)

Technorati Skeptic


Filed under: Religion, Science

One Response

  1. Actually Prof. Frank J. Tipler does explain how Jesus Christ could have been born to a virgin. Below is from his article “The Omega Point and Christianity,” Gamma, Vol. 10, No. 2 (April 2003), pp. 14-23 (see also pg. 171 of his 2007 book The Physics of Christianity):

    I propose that Jesus was a special type of XX male ([44]-[49]). Approximately one out of every 20,000 males is an XX male. Such males are normal in behavior and intelligence, but have smaller teeth, shorter statue, and smaller testes than normal males. They are usually identified as XX males because they cannot have children, and ask doctors to cure the infertility. Normal males are XY, but there are only 28 genes on the Y chromosome, as opposed to thousands on the X chromosome. Of these 28 genes, 15 are unique to the Y chromosome, and 13 have counterparts on the X chromosome [41]. The gene with counterparts on both the X and the Y chromosomes are called “homologous genes.” An XX male results when a single key gene for maleness on the Y chromosome (the SRY gene) is inserted into an X chromosome. I propose that ALL (or at least many) of the Y chromosome genes were inserted into one of Mary’s X chromosomes, and that in Mary, one of the standard mechanisms used to turn off genes were active on these inserted Y genes. (There is an RNA process that can turn off an entire X chromosome. This is the most elegant turn-off mechanism.) Jesus would then result when one of Mary’s eggs cells started to divide before it became haploid and with the Y-genes activated. (And of course with the extra X genes deactivated.) If a sample of Jesus’ blood and/or flesh could be obtained, my proposal could easily be tested by carrying out two distinct DNA tests for sex: (1) test for the Y genes and (2) test for two alleles (different gene forms) of X chromosome genes. In other words, a male born of a virgin would have two X chromosome genes for each of its counterpart Y gene. Normal males would have only one X chromosome gene for each of its Y counterpart gene. This pairing would apply to each of the 13 genes on the Y chromosome that has an X counterpart.

    Concerning the Omega Point Theory itself:

    The known laws of physics (i.e., general relativity, quantum mechanics, and the Extended Standard Model of particle physics) force us to the conclusion that computational resources in the universe must diverge to infinity (i.e., in order for the known laws of physics to be mutually consistent at all times). The final state of infinite informational capacity (which is never reached in experiential time) is identified as being God.

    For much more on the technical details of the above, see the below resources:

    F. J. Tipler, “The structure of the world from pure numbers,” Reports on Progress in Physics, Vol. 68, No. 4 (April 2005), pp. 897-964. Also released as “Feynman-Weinberg Quantum Gravity and the Extended Standard Model as a Theory of Everything,” arXiv:0704.3276, April 24, 2007.

    “Omega Point (Tipler),” Wikipedia, January 6, 2008

    “Frank J. Tipler,” Wikipedia, January 5, 2008


    The only way to avoid the Omega Point cosmology is to invent tenuous physical theories which have no experimental support and which violate the known laws of physics, such as with Prof. Stephen Hawking’s paper on the black hole information issue which is dependant on the conjectured string theory-based AdS/CFT correspondence (anti-de Sitter space/conformal field theory correspondence). (See S. W. Hawking, “Information loss in black holes,” Physical Review D, Vol. 72, No. 8, 084013 [October 2005]. .)

    That is to say, Prof. Hawking’s paper is based upon invented and unconfirmed laws of physics. It’s an impressive testament to the Omega Point Theory’s correctness, as Hawking realizes that the known laws of physics require the universe to collapse in finite time. Hawking knows quite well that the black hole information issue must be resolved without violating unitarity, yet he’s forced to abandon the known laws of physics in order to avoid unitarity violation without the universe ending in finite time via collapse.

    So we have confirmation from no less than Hawking himself that one can’t get around the universe ending in a collapse in finite time if one sticks to the known laws of physics. The only way to get around that is to invent new laws of physics.

    Whereas the approach of Prof. Tipler and Prof. David Deutch (the formal founder of the field of quantum computation, being the first person to formally describe how quantum computation would work algorithmically; for which work he won the Institute of Physics’ 1998 Paul Dirac Medal and Prize), who has supported the physics of the Omega Point Theory, is different. They both believe we have to take the known laws of physics seriously as true explanations of how the world works, unless said physics are experimentally refuted.

    Some have suggested that the universe’s current acceleration of its expansion obviates the Omega Point. But as Profs. Lawrence M. Krauss and Michael S. Turner point out in “Geometry and Destiny” (General Relativity and Gravitation, Vol. 31, No. 10 [October 1999], pp. 1453-1459 ), there is no set of cosmological observations which can tell us whether the universe will expand forever or eventually collapse.

    There’s a very good reason for that, because that is dependant on the actions of intelligent life. The known laws of physics provide the mechanism for the universe’s collapse. As required by the Standard Model, the net baryon number was created in the early universe by baryogenesis via electroweak quantum tunneling. This necessarily forces the Higgs field to be in a vacuum state that is not its absolute vacuum, which is the cause of the positive cosmological constant. But if the baryons in the universe were to be annihilated by the inverse of baryogenesis, again via electroweak quantum tunneling (which is allowed in the Standard Model, as B – L is conserved), then this would force the Higgs field toward its absolute vacuum, thereby forcing the universe to collapse. Moreover, this process would provide the ideal form of energy resource and rocket propulsion during the colonization phase of the universe.

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