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5.0 out of 5 stars Can we infer the existence of God from science?, 6 Jan 2010
This review is from: God and the New Physics (Penguin Science) (Paperback)
God and the New Physics by Paul Davies, Dent 1983, Penguin 1990, 272 ff.

Can we infer the existence of God from science?
by Howard A. Jones

Though the particle physics in this book is somewhat dated by now (2010), I revisited this book in view of more recent titles on the same theme by the same author, who was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne when this book was written and is now at Arizona State University This was one of the first of Davies' titles on this theme and I wanted to see if his world-view had changed: essentially, I don't think it has.

The idea that the grandeur of the natural world, or that there is a world for us to live in at all, implies the existence of a creator God has been used by theologians for at least two millennia as the so-called Cosmological and Design Arguments, referred to by Davies in Chapter 12, Accident or Design? Newton and many other 17th century scientists as well as some contemporary theologians like John Polkinghorne and Richard Swinburne have used similar arguments to infer the existence of God from the discoveries of science about the complex intricacies of the natural world.

As recipient of the Templeton Prize in 1995, Davies is not the only physicist by any means to see parallels between the symmetry of the cosmic dance of fundamental particles and their energies and the creative continuum of energy and consciousness postulated by eastern, and increasingly by western mystics. Theists may well interpret this all-pervading cosmic spirit as God or Infinite Mind while scientists committed only to rationalism clearly will not. Davies discusses many aspects of the divine in this book - as creator and designer, as shaper of the laws of nature, as mind or consciousness, and in many other capacities.

This book gives a lucid overview of this area of overlap between physics, philosophy, psychology and religion and Davies does a sound job of a cohesive if sometimes controversial presentation of such a wide subject area. There are chapters on such diverse subjects as Genesis, Mind and Soul, The Self, Free Will, Time, Black Holes and Miracles! If you want to see how all these different subjects can be inter-related, this is an excellent place to start. You should not be put off by the fact that the book was written nearly three decades ago. There are several pages of Notes and References, a Bibliography for further reading, and an Index.

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.

Science and Creation: The Search for UnderstandingThe Coherence of Theism (Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy)
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