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Quarks, Chaos & Christianity: Questions to Science And Religion Paperback – September 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
John C. Polknghorne is an Anglican priest, past president of Queens’ College, Cambridge University, and former professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge. Polkinghorne resigned his chair in physics to study for the Anglican priesthood. After completing his theological studies and serving at parishes, he returned to Cambridge. In 1997, Dr. Polkinghorne was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for distinguished service to science, religion, learning, and medical ethics. He was the recipient of the 2002 Templeton Prize. He lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, is internationally known as both a physicist and a priest. He served as president of Queens' College, University of Cambridge, prior to his retirement. He is founding president of the International Society for Science and Religion, a member of England's Royal Society, and the bestselling author of more than thirty books. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2002.
Top Customer Reviews
Polkinghorne's words seem to carry a special gravitus. Part of the reason for this, of course, is that he knows his stuff: he was a first-class scientist, physics prof at Cambridge, before getting into theology. Also, in this book, he writes with the kind of restrained simplicity that is good style for scientists writing for the masses, that strongly suggests great intellectual power, sheathed as it were. But probably what gives his argument greatest force is his honesty. The more I read Polkinghorne, the less believable it seems to me that his argument for Christianity might be given either in ignorance or in defiance of the evidence. He might concede too much at times, and he tends to be cautious, but he does not seem to put more weight on an argument than the evidence can bare.
I especially liked what Polkinghorne said about faith and reason.Read more ›
Sir John Polkinghorne, for those readers who might not be familiar with him, is acclaimed as both a quantum physicist and an Anglican priest/theologian (and he's been knighted [KBE], but isn't everybody on that side of the pond these days?). He has won the Templeton Prize and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. His theological thinking is, for the most part, quite classical, although he conspicuously also holds some process ideas regarding God's relationship to 'time' (this is an area in which many readers -- me, for example -- will respectfully disagree with him). His views are perhaps slightly different from the usual perceptions of the ID school of theistic scientists, which alone might be seen as recommending him as an interesting author.
My impression is that the target audience for this book is the Christian reader interested in the science-religion dialog and in questions of freedom and the 'problem of evil.' But I also think this might be a valuable book for agnostic scientists and anyone else interested in these topics. Polkinghorne says, "Many people seem to think that faith involves shutting one's eyes, gritting one's teeth, and believing X impossible things before breakfast . . . Not at all!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fascinating insights. Faith and reason together. How much evidence does it take for people to believe?Published 1 month ago by Cindy
Quarks, Chaos & Christianity is a well written and easy to understand. I puts God at creation and science as a means to understand the universe and the creative power and mind of... Read morePublished 15 months ago by joe h earwood
I listened to an interview on NPR (On Being, I think) with John Polkinghorne and was very interested in his perspective. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Dortman
These kinds of books aren't going to change anyone's mind about God or religion, but for the believer, his insights are faith promoting.Published on March 3, 2014 by Avis D. Hedin
Polkinghorne does an excellent job of explaining complex theories of Physics, such as Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory, in a way that a non-scientist can understand. Read morePublished on October 8, 2013 by Bob's reviews
I'm on my third time reading through this book. It's written by an astrophysicist turned Anglican pastor, so it has an interesting view of some challenging topics, such as "Fact... Read morePublished on April 5, 2012 by David
I like the concepts and arguments shared by Polkinghorne, an eminently qualified author on the relationship of faith and science; however, I found the book uninspiring. Read morePublished on September 19, 2010 by Craig Stephans
The author is at his best when presenting complex scientific notions to the uninitiated, and when dispelling common misapprehensions on how science and religion proceed in their... Read morePublished on July 8, 2010 by Romanus