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God and the New Physics Paperback – October 16, 1984

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Editorial Reviews


"Mr. Davies knows the arcana of physics the way a plumber knows wrenches, and he can make sense out of quite daunting ideas.... One of the most adept science writers on either side of the Atlantic." -- Timothy Ferris, The New York Times Book Review

"The concepts are breathtaking...the general thrust of modern physics is amazingly well described." -- The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

PAUL DAVIES is Director of the Beyond Center at Arizona State University and the bestselling author of more than twenty books. He won the 1995 Templeton Prize for his work on the deeper meaning of science. His books include About Time, The Fifth Miracle, and The Mind of God.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 16, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671528068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671528065
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Davies is an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist at Arizona State University, where he runs the pioneering Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. He also chairs the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Post-Detection Taskgroup, so that if SETI succeeds in finding intelligent life, he will be among the first to know. The asteroid 1992OG was officially renamed Pauldavies in his honor. In addition to his many scientific awards, Davies is the recipient of the 1995 Templeton Prize--the world's largest annual prize--for his work on science and religion. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, and The Goldilocks Enigma. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Atheen on September 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
The book is old for the average work of non-fiction and positively ancient for a work of science, but it is nothing if not durable. God and the New Physics, written in 1983, still holds up well despite the passage of time and the amazing new findings in cosmology. When I realize that Paul Davies was in him mid-thirties when he was penning this major work of philosophy and physics, it makes me wonder at how little I did with my life!

Anyone hoping for a scientific justification for a specific religion or for God in general will be disappointed. Although the author puts up a variety of possible cosmological points that might do so, he generally comes to the conclusion that they do not. The work is a superb examination of a variety of philosophical issues that plague even the average thinking person: How did the universe begin, did God create the universe, why does it exist at all, what is life, what is the mind, what is the soul, what is the self, does free will exist? He also discusses scientific issues that have baring on religion: what is time, what is matter, did the universe arise by accident or design, what is chaos, how will the universe end?

Any student of theology or philosophy would do well to be acquainted with this book. Certainly every point is covered with regard to the existence of God and the meaning/purpose of life. The key scientific facts are lucidly put forth in a way that even the least math minded can understand them. For the blindly faithful, the book will do little to effect your point of view. It certainly won't bring about any change in your religious affiliation since no specific religion is endorsed.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of Davies two or three most noted books but certainly not one of his best. You'll get a better discussion of quantum theory in his volumes 'Superforce', 'The Matter Myth' or 'About Time' and a better treatment of philosophical and theological considerations in his award-winning 'The Mind of God'.
Davies is one of this reader's favorite science writers, but I'll not recommend this volume. Your time will be better spent reading any of the four books that I mentioned above. Developments of the past twenty years have countered some of the cosmology presented here, but this is nothing to hold against the author, it is what happens in science. Rather worse is Davies' understanding of theology, it is strangely uninformed for someone with his apparent interest in the discipline. On several points he is dealing with mere straw men.
One of several problems is Davies treatment of theology's famous 'cosmological argument' which has been variously employed by such thinkers as Aristotle, Leibniz, and Swinburne. In this discussion (third chapter) he appears to accept that Bertrand Russell had succeeded in defeating the general argument through the introduction of his famous "sets of sets" paradox. The argument is this: if the cause-effect relationships within the temporal universe are taken as sets of relationships, then the universe as a whole is the set of these sets. Russell then demonstrated, using the 'library books / catalogs of library books' paradox, that the universe itself need not be subject to the rules of causal relationships that apply within the universe.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amer Aziz on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is fabulous for insight into scientific thought and dispositions on the most profound questions that exist for humanity. The book is compendious and wrought with intensive outpouring of scientific theory, phenomenon and information. So, to do yourself justice be prepared to read it at least twice. The time invested is certainly worth it. Paul Davies is a voluble and eloquent writer and I feel very respectful of his wide array of scientific knowledge, inferential discussions and deductions. But the work does have some severe short comings. PD attacks religion, and it seems evident that he very well may be upset about the sordid history of confrontation between the Church and Scientists, perhaps rightfully so. Sadly, PD's reflections on religion are strictly limited to Christianity. There are religions, like Islam, that exhibit a lot of harmony whith science and have a history of scientific discoveries too. PD is unable to draw a profound distinction between religious thought and religious institutions. A lot of people don't recognize institutional authority in religion, like myself. On the subject of God, there seems to be a lot of contradiction. PD, smartly, does not directly confute the existance of God. But then he totally discredits the life-force notion that drives the physical forces around us due to lack of a viable explanation. He says that science provides a surer path to God than religion does. But he does not give in to God as if it threatens his livelihood. Unlike Stephen Hawkings who openly says that human existance in the saga of the cosmos can only be explained as an act of a God who intended to create beings like us. Anyway, its a great read, very enjoyable and one of the most intellectually stimulating books I have ever read. Already looking forward to my 3rd read.
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