- Paperback: 113 pages
- Publisher: Triangle; 1st edition (13 Oct. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0281047790
- ISBN-13: 978-0281047796
- Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Quarks, Chaos and Christianity: Questions to Science and Religion Paperback – 13 Oct 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Polkinghorne does not accept the notion that science is based on facts and leads to real knowledge whereas religion is just based on on opinion. The crude perception of science is that an hypothesis is provided, an experiment is performed and a discovery is announced. However, the discovery does not become interesting or meaningful until it is interpreted, often in accordance with a theoretical framework. 'In science, experiment and theory, fact and interpretation, are always mixed up with each other.' Science is a mixture of fact and opinion while historically opinion changes with each paradigm shift. For example, when Uranus was discovered in the eighteenth century astronomers found it did not move through the heavens as Newton's theory of gravity had predicted.Read more ›
His view of God's interaction with nature is one of rigid scientific laws, and God acting primarily in the chaotic uncertainty (like the famous Butterfly Effect, except purposefully) - a God of the Gaps model, but one where the gaps cannot be shrunk. He does accept some miracles, notably the resurrection, and describes them as being operations of the physical laws in a certain regime (usually where God is revealing things).
However, his view of Scripture is too weak, so he succeeds in meshing moderately liberal Christianity (accepting the incarnation and the resurrection) with science, while avoiding both the possibilities and the problems of a less watered down version of Biblical truth.
Having said that, I think it's still one of the best books I've read on the subject by a scientist. But it's not up to Schaeffer's No Final Conflict.
Nevertheless - there is plenty in this book for people - probably Christians in particular - who feel the need to ignite some trains of thought on the subject. Even something so obvious as the difference between 'How' and 'Why' questions helps with understanding Science in the context of Christian understanding and experience.