A Fortunate Universe

Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

Author: Geraint F. Lewis,Luke A. Barnes

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316715221

Category: Science

Page: N.A

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Over the last forty years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the Universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as we know it - and life as we can imagine it - would be impossible. Join us on a journey through how we understand the Universe, from its most basic particles and forces, to planets, stars and galaxies, and back through cosmic history to the birth of the cosmos. Conflicting notions about our place in the Universe are defined, defended and critiqued from scientific, philosophical and religious viewpoints. The authors' engaging and witty style addresses what fine-tuning might mean for the future of physics and the search for the ultimate laws of nature. Tackling difficult questions and providing thought-provoking answers, this volumes challenges us to consider our place in the cosmos, regardless of our initial convictions.

A Fortunate Universe

Author: Geraint F. Lewis,Luke A. Barnes,Brian Schmidt

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107156610

Category: Science

Page: 390

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An engaging defence and critique of the various arguments from both science and religion on the fine-tuning of the Universe.

God and Design

The Teleological Argument and Modern Science

Author: Neil A. Manson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134574592

Category: Religion

Page: 400

View: 1549

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Recent discoveries in physics, cosmology, and biochemistry have captured the public imagination and made the Design Argument - the theory that God created the world according to a specific plan - the object of renewed scientific and philosophical interest. This accessible but serious introduction to the design problem brings together new perspectives from prominent scientists and philosophers including Paul Davies, Richard Swinburne, Sir Martin Rees, Michael Behe, Elliot Sober and Peter van Inwagen. It probes the relationship between modern science and religious belief, considering their points of conflict and their many points of similarity. Is the real God of creationism the 'master clockmaker' who sets the world's mechanism on a perfectly enduring course, or a miraculous presence who continually intervenes in and alters the world we know? Are science and faith, or evolution and creation, really in conflict at all? Expanding the parameters of a lively and urgent debate, God and Design considers how perennial questions of origin continue to fascinate and disturb us.

Universe Or Multiverse?

Author: Bernard Carr

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521848411

Category: Science

Page: 517

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Physicists argue from different perspectives for and against the idea of the existence of multiple universes.

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat

Quantum Physics And Reality

Author: John Gribbin

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 9780307790446

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 9618

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Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no nuclear power or nuclear weapons, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an ever more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, superconductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Big Bang Big God

A Universe Fit for Life

Author: Rodney D. Holder

Publisher: Lion Books

ISBN: 0745957862

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 8815

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How did the universe begin and how has it evolved? Does a scientific explanation mean that we can do without God? Why are the laws of nature so special ('fine-tuned') as to produce a universe with intelligent creatures like us in it in the first place? Can the existence of a multiverse, a vast or infinite collection of universes, explain the specialness of this universe? This book argues that only God provides an explanation for the universe to exist at all, and that design by God provides the best and most rational explanation to adopt for the fine-tuning.

Time in Eternity

Pannenberg, Physics, and Eschatology in Creative Mutual Interaction

Author: Robert John Russell

Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess

ISBN: 0268091773

Category: Religion

Page: 456

View: 6922

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According to Robert John Russell, one of the foremost scholars on relating Christian theology and science, the topic of “time and eternity” is central to the relation between God and the world in two ways. First, it involves the notion of the divine eternity as the supratemporal source of creaturely time. Second, it involves the eternity of the eschatological New Creation beginning with the bodily Resurrection of Jesus in relation to creaturely time. The key to Russell's engagement with these issues, and the purpose of this book, is to explore Wolfhart Pannenberg’s treatment of time and eternity in relation to mathematics, physics, and cosmology. Time in Eternity is the first book-length exposition of Russell’s unique method for relating Christian theology and the natural sciences, which he calls “creative mutual interaction” (CMI). This method first calls for a reformulation of theology in light of science and then for the delineation of possible topics for research in science drawing on this reformulated theology. Accordingly, Russell first reformulates Pannenberg’s discussion of the divine attributes—eternity and omnipresence—in light of the way time and space are treated in mathematics, physics, and cosmology. This leads him to construct a correlation of eternity and omnipresence in light of the spacetime framework of Einstein’s special relativity. In the process he proposes a new flowing time interpretation of relativity to counter the usual block universe interpretation supported by most physicists and philosophers of science. Russell also replaces Pannenberg’s use of Hegel’s concept of infinity in relation to the divine attributes with the concept of infinity drawn from the mathematics of Georg Cantor. Russell then addresses the enormous challenge raised by Big Bang cosmology to Christian eschatology. In response, he draws on Pannenberg’s interpretation both of the Resurrection as a proleptic manifestation of the eschatological New Creation within history and the present as the arrival of the future. Russell shows how such a reformulated understanding of theology can shed light on possible directions for fundamental research in physics and cosmology. These lead him to explore preconditions in contemporary physics research for the possibility of duration, copresence, retroactive causality, and prolepsis in nature

An Introduction to Design Arguments

Author: Benjamin C. Jantzen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107005345

Category: Philosophy

Page: 347

View: 9248

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A comprehensive survey of the many different forms of design argument for the existence of God.

Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art

Author: Benjamin Anderson

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300219164

Category: Art, Medieval

Page: 216

View: 8119

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In the rapidly changing world of the early Middle Ages, depictions of the cosmos represented a consistent point of reference across the three dominant states--the Frankish, Byzantine, and Islamic Empires. As these empires diverged from their Greco-Roman roots between 700 and 1000 A.D. and established distinctive medieval artistic traditions, cosmic imagery created a web of visual continuity, though local meanings of these images varied greatly. Benjamin Anderson uses thrones, tables, mantles, frescoes, and manuscripts to show how cosmological motifs informed relationships between individuals, especially the ruling elite, and communities, demonstrating how domestic and global politics informed the production and reception of these depictions. The first book to consider such imagery across the dramatically diverse cultures of Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic Middle East, Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art illuminates the distinctions between the cosmological art of these three cultural spheres, and reasserts the centrality of astronomical imagery to the study of art history.

A Beautiful Question

Finding Nature's Deep Design

Author: Frank Wilczek

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698195620

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 4332

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Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this “beautiful question.” With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. In fact, every major advance in his career came from this intuition: to assume that the universe embodies beautiful forms, forms whose hallmarks are symmetry—harmony, balance, proportion—and economy. There are other meanings of “beauty,” but this is the deep logic of the universe—and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring. Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras, the ancient Greek who was the first to argue that “all things are number,” to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentiethcentury physics. Though the ancients weren’t right about everything, their ardent belief in the music of the spheres has proved true down to the quantum level. Indeed, Wilczek explores just how intertwined our ideas about beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the cosmos. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost literally the same equations that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. The universe itself, suggests Wilczek, seems to want to embody beautiful and elegant forms. Perhaps this force is the pure elegance of numbers, perhaps the work of a higher being, or somewhere between. Either way, we don’t depart from the infinite and infinitesimal after all; we’re profoundly connected to them, and we connect them. When we find that our sense of beauty is realized in the physical world, we are discovering something about the world, but also something about ourselves. Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls.

A Question and Answer Guide to Astronomy

Author: Pierre-Yves Bely,Carol Christian,Jean-René Roy

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 052118066X

Category: Science

Page: 280

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A practical answer guide to humankind's age-old questions on planets, our universe and everything beyond and between.

The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning

Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us

Author: Victor J. Stenger

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616144440

Category: Science

Page: 345

View: 2706

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A number of authors have noted that if some physical parameters were slightly changed, the universe could no longer support life, as we know it. This implies that life depends sensitively on the physics of our universe. Does this "fine-tuning" of the universe suggest that a creator god intentionally calibrated the initial conditions of the universe such that life on earth and the evolution of humanity would eventually emerge? In his in-depth and highly accessible discussion of this fascinating and controversial topic, the author looks at the evidence and comes to the opposite conclusion. He finds that the observations of science and our naked senses not only show no evidence for God, they provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that God does not exist.

Chance in Evolution

Author: Grant Ramsey,Charles H. Pence

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022640191X

Category: Science

Page: 384

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Humans, however much we would care to think otherwise, do not represent the fated pinnacle of ape evolution. The diversity of life, from single-celled organisms to multicellular animals and plants, is the result of a long, complex, and highly chancy history. But how profoundly has chance shaped life on earth? And what, precisely, do we mean by chance? Bringing together biologists, philosophers of science, and historians of science, Chance in Evolution is the first book to untangle the far-reaching effects of chance, contingency, and randomness on the evolution of life. The book begins by placing chance in historical context, starting with the ancients and moving through Darwin and his contemporaries, documenting how the understanding of chance changed as Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection developed into the modern synthesis, and how the acceptance of chance in Darwinian theory affected theological resistance to it. Subsequent chapters detail the role of chance in contemporary evolutionary theory—in particular, in connection with the concepts of genetic drift, mutation, and parallel evolution—as well as recent empirical work in the experimental evolution of microbes and in paleobiology. By engaging in collaboration across biology, history, philosophy, and theology, this book offers a comprehensive and synthetic overview both of the history of chance in evolution and of our current best understanding of the impact of chance on life on earth.

Signposts to God

How Modern Physics and Astronomy Point the Way to Belief

Author: Peter Bussey

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

ISBN: 0830873074

Category: Religion

Page: 223

View: 775

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"The heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps 19:1). Can we still sing the words of the Psalmist in an age where scientists talk about an expanding cosmos, the Higgs boson, and the multiverse? In Signposts to God particle physicist Peter Bussey introduces readers to the mysteries of modern physics and astronomy. Written in clear, accessible prose, Bussey provides a primer on topics such as the laws of nature, quantum physics, fine-tuning, and current cosmological models. He shows that despite the remarkable achievements of science, the latest research in these fields does not lead to simple physicalism in which physical processes are able to explain everything that exists. Bussey argues that, far from ruling out a divine Creator, modern physics and astronomy present us with compelling signposts to God. The more we know about the cosmos and our presence in it, the more plausible belief in God becomes. We can be intellectually satisfied in both science and the Christian faith. Written by someone who has worked for years in scientific research, Signposts to God is a timely and winsome response to a cultural stalemate.

Life Through Time and Space

Author: Wallace Arthur

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674975863

Category: Science

Page: 277

View: 1892

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All humans share three origins: the beginning of our individual lives, the appearance of life on Earth, and the formation of our planetary home. Wallace Arthur combines embryological, evolutionary, and cosmological perspectives to tell the story of life on Earth and its potential to exist elsewhere in the universe.

The Resurrection of God Incarnate

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0199257450

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 4610

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Whether or not Jesus rose bodily from the dead is perhaps the most critical and contentious issue in the study of Christianity. Until now, scholars have concentrated on explicit statements in the New Testament to support their views, but Richard Swinburne argues for a wider approach, asking instead whether the character of God and the life of Jesus support the probability of the Resurrection. His book will be of great interest not only to academics but to anyone with an interest in religious philosophy and doctrine.

Objecting to God

Author: Colin Howson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139498568

Category: Religion

Page: N.A

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The growth of science and a correspondingly scientific way of looking at evidence have for the last three centuries slowly been gaining ground over religious explanations of the cosmos and mankind's place in it. However, not only is secularism now under renewed attack from religious fundamentalism, but it has also been widely claimed that the scientific evidence itself points strongly to a universe deliberately fine-tuned for life to evolve in it. In addition, certain aspects of human life, like consciousness and the ability to recognise the existence of universal moral standards, seem completely resistant to evolutionary explanation. In this book Colin Howson analyses in detail the evidence which is claimed to support belief in God's existence and argues that the claim is not well-founded. Moreover, there is very compelling evidence that an all-powerful, all-knowing God not only does not exist but cannot exist, a conclusion both surprising and provocative.

Void

The Strange Physics of Nothing

Author: James Owen Weatherall

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300209983

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 3033

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The rising star author of "The Physics of Wall Street" explores why nothing may hold the key to the next era of theoretical physics"

Final Frontier

The Pioneering Science and Technology of Exploring the Universe

Author: Brian Clegg

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250039444

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 8797

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Star Trek was right — there is only one final frontier, and that is space... Human beings are natural explorers, and nowhere is this frontier spirit stronger than in the United States of America. It almost defines the character of the US. But the Earth is running out of frontiers fast. In Brian Clegg's The Final Frontier we discover the massive challenges that face explorers, both human and robotic, to uncover the current and future technologies that could take us out into the galaxy and take a voyage of discovery where no one has gone before... but one day someone will. In 2003, General Wesley Clark set the nation a challenge to produce the technology that would enable new pioneers to explore the galaxy. That challenge is tough — the greatest we've ever faced. But taking on the final frontier does not have to be a fantasy. In a time of recession, escapism is always popular — and what greater escape from the everyday can there be than the chance of leaving Earth's bounds and exploring the universe? With a rich popular culture heritage in science fiction movies, books and TV shows, this is a subject that entertains and informs in equal measure.