Modern Physics and Ancient Faith

by Stephen M. Barr
University of Notre Dame Press, 2006
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Using the insights of modern physics, Barr reveals that modern scientific discoveries and religious faith are deeply consonant.


"Often invoked as justification for unbelief, modern science here provides the basis for an unusual and provocative affirmation of religious faith. A physicist at the University of Delaware, Barr deploys his scientific expertise to challenge the dogmas of materialism and to assert his belief that nothing explains the order of the galaxies better than divine design. To be sure, Barr recognizes that Darwin's work has swept away the arguments of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century theologians, who traced the handiwork of God in birds, flowers, and seashells. But the old argument-from-design reemerges with new sophistication after Barr presses evolutionary theory for a plausible account of the origin of what quantum physics demands--that is, a conscious observer--and comes away with nothing but skepticism about the skeptics. Barr indeed relishes the irony of a skeptical logic of random chance that forces unbelievers who balk at one unobservable God to accept, on doctrinal faith, a myriad of unobservable worlds on which the matter-motion lottery has not produced the winning ticket of conscious intelligence. The absurdity grows even more palpable among astrophysicists who avoid acknowledging the human-friendly pattern in subatomic and cosmic architecture found in the observable universe only by theorizing the existence of an infinite number of unobservable universes in which sovereign randomness has dictated other and more hostile architectures. Neither religiously sectarian nor technically daunting, this is a book that invites the widest range of readers to ponder the deepest kind of questions."
Bryce Christensen, Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved