Read Quarks, ChaosChristianity: Questions to Science And Religion by John C. Polkinghorne Online


Templeton Award winner and theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne explores the gap between science and religion. "Do we have to choose between the scientific and religious views of the world, or are they complementary understandings that give us a fuller picture than either on their own would provide?" Quarks, Chaos, & Christianity shows the ways that both science andTempleton Award winner and theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne explores the gap between science and religion. "Do we have to choose between the scientific and religious views of the world, or are they complementary understandings that give us a fuller picture than either on their own would provide?" Quarks, Chaos, & Christianity shows the ways that both science and religion point to something greater than ourselves. Topics include: chaos theory; evolution; miracles; cosmology; guest for God; how God answers prayer; our human nature; religious fact and opinion; scientists and prayer....

Title : Quarks, ChaosChristianity: Questions to Science And Religion
Author :
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ISBN : 9780824524067
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Quarks, ChaosChristianity: Questions to Science And Religion Reviews

  • Corey
    2019-05-16 19:20

    A thoughtful and valuable book from someone who has been in both fields of science and religion. He oversimplifies both, but I think that's part of the purpose of this book - to give a simple overview of the issues and how to think about them. A very readable book with some profound thoughts that will challenge both believers and non.

  • T. David
    2019-05-02 19:29

    I'm pretty sure I read most of this about 12 years ago. Ask me anything.

  • Amber
    2019-04-30 01:12

    Religions can have a bad reputation with the scientific community, as the opposite can also be true. Voices such as Richard Dawkins and Pat Buchanan leave people polarized on the topic of deities and universal knowledge. Fortunately, educated women and men such as John Polkinghorne have devoted their efforts to helping find answers to difficult questions regarding science and religion. The Rev Dr John Polkinghorne dedicated his initial education to mathematics and physics, earning his degrees from Cambridge and continuing on to teach there. After twenty-five years in the field, he took up education again. This time, he became an ordained priest of the Church of England. While serving as a priest, Polkinghorne continued to stay abreast of the scientific community, and went on to write several books on the relationship between science and spirituality. His books have covered a range of specific topics, but he wrote Quarks, Chaos & Christianity to be “an overview that surveyed the whole scene” (9). Each chapter of Polkinghorne’s book is laid out to answer a basic question that he is often asked during or after giving lectures. His first chapter, “Fact or Opinion?” involves the misconception of science involving strictly fact and religion involving “mere opinion” (12). He is concerned that people do not understand that even in the scientific process, one must infer from the data that is received which involves theoretical interpretation. For a scientist to understand what they are studying they must already know some science and to do that, the scientist must chose to look at the world from a particular point of view. An educated opinion is needed to make decisions in science. The other side is the idea that religion is blind. Polkinghorne argues religion and science are “intellectual cousins” (22). He writes “neither can claim absolute certain knowledge, for each must base its conclusions on an interplay between interpretation and experience.” For those who argue that science can be tested and religion cannot, Polkinghorne agrees that some science can be tested, but others rely on theory alone such as Cosmology and evolutionary biology. It comes down to science asking the question “How?” and religion asking the question “Why?” (26). After this introductory chapter on the basics of why the conversation should not be “Science versus Religion,” Polkinghorne writes seven more small chapters answering seven questions on the concept of a deity, creation, the place of humanity, prayer, miracles, the end of time, and – finally – can a person who is invested in science really believe all of things he has just written. After making his conclusion that, yes, a scientist truly can believe with integrity, he gives a list of further readings two pages long for those interested in the conversation of science and religion. Polkinghorne’s chapters are brief. Each question he answers can be its own book or lecture. The brevity of does not mean it lacks substance. Polkinghorne’s writing style is personable and warm. He writes with personal conviction, being passionate about both the place of science and faith in society. As someone who is interested in science, but has a difficult time comprehending the large equations and industry jargon, I found the writing to manageable and exiling to follow. He explains bubble chambers (14), the Anthropic Principle (43), and the EPR experiment (71) in ways that a humanities focused person such as me can understand enough of the basics for Polkinghorne to make his arguments. The chapter entitled “How Will it End” came to some resolutions difficult to hold. Polkinghorne attempts to answer the question, “If the new creation is going to be so wonderful, why did God bother with the old?” An excellent question for those who believe, as Polkinghorne does, in a completely new heaven and new earth made of the transformed matter of the universe, much like the transformed body of Christ. He responds that it is not a “second attempt by the Creator to do rather better what God had already done the first time around in the old creation” (113). Instead he reiterates that death is a necessary part of the free-will of creation. The problem with this is that he does believe that the new heaven and the new earth will be eternal, and thus no death. Because nothing will die, one can argue that the Creator could have done that in the first place. Dialogue between the scientific community and the theological community is crucial during this period of fast-pace globalism. The scientific discovery in Moscow eventually affects the religious views in Brazil while the pastor in Boston can write a critique on a scientific statement made in Germany. Meanwhile, the whole world can watch it all. Both are vital for bringing humanity closer to God and should work together to do so.

  • Brett Williams
    2019-05-09 22:05

    Good, though Polkinghorne has betterPolkinghorne (an Anglican priest and Oxford physicist) writes a book with remarkable ideas though not without questionable conclusions. He doesn’t view religion as our internal response to an external world, but considers science and religion as intellectual cousins, each providing answers. He goes some distance in showing the malleability of scientific practice – an act of “intellectual daring” when viewing fact and interpretation, experiment and theory as independent, while they are actually mixed up in perspectives we bring to nature. Which is more about scientists as humans than science as flawed. though not the end point as open publication, debate and test are employed. Science is refutable. He also touches upon absurdities proffered by “modern philosophers” who state we invent theories of nature, we do not discover them. As Polkinghorne notes, our theories wouldn’t work if they didn’t represent part of the truth. Nature continues to impose itself as final judge, regardless of fashionable politics. Given that “unpictureable” electrons provide surprises, Polkinghorne is not surprised to find an unpictureable God to do the same. He accepts the oddness of quantum mechanics like he accepts the oddness of Jesus as simultaneously man and God. We’re not sure how the oddness of say, astrology, with a longer history, many texts and practitioners may fit this view. To Polkinghorne the issue is not fact vs. opinion but interpreting our experience of the way the world really is. He views God as “faithful” to man and nature. The natural gift of a faithful God being reliability of his creation’s operation. Ignoring tribal aspects of the Hebrew God, God is also loving, thus granting independence, which alone by itself would be disarray, so both order and independence in the universe. “Chance is a sign of freedom, not blind purposelessness,” writes Polkinghorne. (A message to, Creationists.) “Shuffling explorations of chance lead to both deterioration and fruitful novelty.” Does a world with concentration camps look like the creation of a powerful, loving God? With this we meet the “free will defense” – the potential for moral evil is the penalty for the greater good of human freedom. And what about natural disasters like quake fallen churches killing 50000 in 1755 Lisbon, or cancer? Polkinghorne provides the “free process defense” – God faithfully letting nature follow nature’s laws. The same biochemical rules allowing evolution also enables cancer. It’s a package deal. Natural disasters are not gratuitous, but a necessary cost of life. Disregarding what need an all knowing God would have for experiential suffering, Polkinghorne supplies the relieving Christian view - God is not simply a pitying, compassionate spectator, but a fellow participant in the world’s suffering, known through the experience of Jesus.

  • Hardin
    2019-04-28 23:23

    In this book John Polkinghorne (an Anglican Minister and Physicist) briefly elaborates on the relationship between religion (Christianity mostly) and science. The arguments he makes are nothing new and if you are at all well read in the literature that exists on this topic this book will serve as little more than a review for you. Why You Should Read This Book:1) It is very short and could easily be read on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 2) It is very concise, John picks some of the best arguments that exist for God and for religion while also defending the sciences at the same time. If you have never read a good science and religion book this would be a great intro. 3) John comes from a unique perspective in that he is a man of respectable position in both religious and scientific circles. Unlike other Christian apologetics or Anti-theist rantings, this book makes a case for peaceful coexistence between the two. 4) If you are an anti-theist this might help change your mind about some preconceived notions you held about theists. 5) If you are a religious "fundamentalist" this might open your eyes to the possiblility that you can be a Christian without having to argue against science all the time.

  • Chet Duke
    2019-05-01 20:11

    An engaging book. Polkinghorne's reputation is distinct for a reason. I enjoy his perspective.However, I was discouraged at his chapter on miracles. I was particularly startled by Polkinghorne's suggestion that Jesus' healing power was associated with psychosomatic condition, though to a level more advanced than that of other humans.Regarding Jesus' healing:"These events are miracles in the sense of provoking astonishment and gratitude, but not in the sense of being something totally contrary to nature." (Pg 98)On stilling the sea:"I believe we are right to take them (the miracles) seriously, but they do not necessarily imply that the curse of nature has been violently interrupted to bring them about." (Pg 99)I'm hoping that I've simply misread Polkinghorne in this regard. Otherwise, I have to take some of his theological convictions lightly. For this reason, I recommend it with qualification.

  • Dan
    2019-05-17 19:06

    I learned about this book from a podcast of "Speaking of Faith" in which Krista Tippett interviewed the author, John Polkinghorne. John is doubly qualified to speak on his topic. The first part of his career he was a physicist of enough stature that he won the Templeton Prize. He eventually decided he had accomplished what he wanted to do in physics and left physics to become an Anglican priest.This book is very short and an easy read. It is a summary rather than a treatise. Polkinghorne summarized many of his views and refers the reader to other sources for more detail.The first part of the book was much of what I had heard in other places. The latter part of the book, especially when he describes why to believes that God continues to interact with creation, gave me new valuable insights.

  • David
    2019-05-23 02:09

    This is an excellent read on the relationship of faith and science. Because of its brevity it may be the best place to start for the interested reader. Further, Polkinghorne spent a large portion of his life as a physicist before becoming an Anglican priest, so he is an expert in the worlds of both science and religion. With chapters on things like prayer and miracles, this book speaks on topics that many Christians are concerned with. In other words, most people don't spend their daily lives concerned with cosmology, the Big Bang, evolution or theoretical physics, but they do pray. Polkinghorne skillfully weaves science into these discussion, reinforcing the fact that while science and faith are not enemies, their truths do connect with each other. Or to put it in Polkinghorne's words, they are cousins.

  • David Bueche
    2019-05-02 23:23

    A great overview of the debate between theology and science which highlights a lot of the similarities in the two schools of thought and moves past the binary presentation, (i.e., I'm scientific/I'm religious), so popular in contemporary culture. The writer is a British particle physicist who is also an ordained Anglican Minister. There's a lot of interesting explanations of current theory in physics and a great tour of the major theological thinkers and classic arguments for the existence of God as well. I'd recommend this to a believer, an atheist and an agnostic alike. Great read - good stretch of preconceived, (or simplistically conceived), views of God, Science and the foundations of the universe as we understand it today.

  • Kelsey
    2019-04-28 21:31

    It was very interesting to read about how science and religion can co-exist with each other and maybe even complement each other, which is something I never really thought of. The only problem that I had while reading this book was that I found it confusing at times. Some of the examples he would use to explain certain concepts and ideas were, to me, too metaphorical/philosophical to grasp. I would have to re-read it a couple of times until I at least got a sense of what he was trying to get across. Simply it was confusingly understandable to me. For people who like this type of reading, I would suggest it, but in my mind it is not the type of book you read for fun or on a Sunday afternoon.

  • Jeff
    2019-05-22 01:05

    The author is both a theoretical physicist and an ordained Anglican priest. That rare combination provides him the platform from which to find "common ground" in Christian faith and scientific inquiry. Many find the two to be mutually exclusive. Polkinghorne does not and makes a credible case. As a person who has spent most of his life in the field of inquiry [theology], I profoundly benefited from the insights offer by science to make more clear, theological {Biblical] principles of interpretation. I especially benefited from his use of the created order of things to make a sound theological case for the "openness" {TBA-ness}of the future verses a stagnant fatalistic future predetermined by the Almighty.

  • L.S.
    2019-04-23 21:15

    This short booklet is very easy to understand for the lay people and JP has a real talent in giving great illustrations. He was a physics professor at Cambridge, maybe that is why. He is now an Anglican priest and he is very opened to share his faith and to show that Christianity is not irrational or against science but rather a complementary way of knowledge. The real beauty of this work is that Rev. Polkinghorne is proclaiming and defending the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as a true fact in which the power of God has been revealed.

  • Daniel Wright
    2019-04-29 23:11

    A brief, low-level outline of Dr Polkinghorne's opinions on the potential applications of modern physics to theology (or vice versa). Though the ideas are interesting, I find his assessment of the science/theology interface to be a little trite and unsatisfactory. This is partly because we are not quite on the same page, theologically speaking, but I hope that his views are more sophisticated in his higher-level, academic works.

  • Eppursimuov3
    2019-05-05 18:17

    For once, John Polkinghorne presents his ideas about science and religion at a level suitable for non-scientists and non-theologians! In Quarks, Chaos and Christianity, he tackles theological issues ranging from prayer and miracles to eschatology (the end of all things), and speculates about how they can be compatible with scientific understanding. This book may appear very thin, but its contents can be dense and profound.

  • Catherine
    2019-05-17 00:22

    I know I read this book when I bought it, and it must have been interesting, useful or entertaining given that I kept it, but I can't remember any details.Now Mount Toobie is so high a re-read is unlikely, I desperately need a clear out, and it so happens I've had a call for religious books so - time to send this one travelling methinks.

  • Mary
    2019-05-05 21:03

    Quarks, Chaos, and Christianity is a surprisingly fast read, even for those of us not well-versed in physics. Polkinghorne is a physicist/Anglican priest who posits that science and religion are actually friends, and no one has to choose between them. There is a divine reality and a physical reality, and one helps us to know the other.

  • Drew Ellenwood
    2019-04-29 19:11

    Amazingly readable and thinkable. Gives a brief summary of quantum theory and quite enough to mull over regarding God and Jesus.

  • Dottie
    2019-05-20 19:13

    Interesting and informative -- an easy enough read and anyone who is interested in the lines where science and religion are blurred or blurring should give it a look.

  • Zach Waldis
    2019-05-11 23:13

    I can't recommend this book enough: simple, powerful and effective in showing that Christianity and science are compatible. Short, well written books are a gift from the almighty.

  • Rick Edwards
    2019-05-06 00:31

    Very helpful in sorting through the basic areas of science/religion conflict. I highly recommend it.

  • Rick Edwards
    2019-05-04 23:29

    Great book.

  • Elisha
    2019-05-07 21:10

    Easy read from a physicist re: God and Science - and how they do not have to be viewed as mutually exclusive of each other.

  • Marie
    2019-05-13 02:31

    this is a very great book i really enjoy!

  • Chad
    2019-05-07 20:27

    Quick reading, brings up some good points.