Weiser Books reviewed by Michael Lohr How does consciousness arise from matter? Is there a God? Is there a compatible bridge between faith and science? Can the multiverse and superstring theories of cosmology be rendered consistent with an infinite intelligence? Does our consciousness transcend physical matter? These are just some of the questions The God Theory attempts to answer.
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The God Theory by Bernard Haisch. San Francisco Weiser Books, ISBN Surely it is time for all of us scientists to consider returning to God?
Your blood will quickly cool down, and you will become a happier person than you are at present. And you might even do better physics! A few years ago I attended, at an American Astronomical Society meeting, an invited lecture on Evolution and the fight against Intelligent Design. The talk ran over, so instead of a question period, we were invited to cluster round.
I asked the speaker, "why did you make no mention of quantum mechanics in your talk? What is presented as science is not science at all; it is a bunch of engineering approximations that have produced our technological plenty, but that have also produced spurious "explanations" for things; explanations that ultimately are incorrect, useful though they may be in a limited sphere.
How can you fight something with nothing? The something is the spiritual feeling of purpose in human consciousness that makes so many susceptible to religions; the nothing is half-baked pseudoscience parading as Laws of Nature.
No wonder religion is winning! It does not have to continue so. The cure is for scientists to awaken to what real science is actually telling us.
Bernie Haisch is an astronomer who has undergone such an awakening, and his thoughtful book can help you make that transition, if you have not done so already. I have known Haisch for quite some years, because for a while we were both astronomers working in exactly the same field, chromospheric ultraviolet emissions from cool stars.
We are also both astronomers who have become deeply interested in fundamental physics, and who, despite our limitations, insist on probing physics as best we can. Much discussion of "religion v. This is supposed to prove something, which it does not. To some degree Haisch falls into this trap, particularly in mentioning more than once the Fred Hoyle prediction of a key nuclear level in carbon through noting his own existence.
If the level were not there, there could be little carbon, hence no Hoyle. Ergo, the level exists. David Gross rightly points out that quantum chromodynamics is fixed, complete, and not tunable, and it just so happens that the level is there, Hoyle or no Hoyle. Let me quote a single sentence from his book, which I have chosen because it so perfectly encapsulates my own understanding: "It is not matter that creates an illusion of consciousness, but consciousness that creates an illusion of matter.
And yet in how many physics classes today are students made aware of this most fundamental discovery? In all of my classes, I assure you; but I am confident that this is not common.
The illusion of matter, which is to say the illusion of a really-existing world, is so strong, that I think most scientists are unable to overcome it. And how, out of this, does God appear? Well, the only mind I know exists is my own. My choice is solipsism or God. Haisch, too, says his is "a theory that looks promising, not scientific proof. And as for me, I am now a theist. All the difference in the universe!
So what is the practical effect? Take evolution. Like Haisch, I utterly reject Intelligent Design. But my view of evolution is drastically different from the conventional, supposedly scientific, view. We know from quantum mechanics that our observations create the past, as demonstrated by the famous delayed-choice experiment. Again, this is established physics, not philosophy. So evolution is simply not an issue for me: it is entirely correct, but of course backward.
What is the result? Why none, except spiritually: the scientific investigation of the details of evolution must proceed apace! As with all of science! Haisch brings out the idea of subtraction as how God created the universe; it is a nice idea. Read the book! I recall wondering myself whether, perhaps, on our first appearance as homo sapiens, we were not all Ramanujans-cum-Mozarts, and that evolution had damped this in most of us for the survival of the species.
It embodies a way out of our global dilemma and so I offer it for your consideration. I am still personally uncomfortable mentioning God. When I made the transition I composed "Great omniscient Spirit" GoS , to keep my notion pure, and free of the historical, often vicious, God.
But I am coming to think that this is a mistake; that we scientists should be in the lead of the battle to reclaim God from the wrong-headed. I would like, please, every scientist, to give consideration to how much better off we would be, individually and collectively, if the God Theory could become, once again, just as it was for Newton, the working hypothesis of modern science.
It beats hell out of reductionism!
Dr. Bernard Haisch’s Biography
Can you have faith in Einstein, Darwin and God? Can you have spirituality without religion? Is there a grand purpose for your life? A journey from St. Meinrad Seminary
The God Theory by Bernard Haisch
The God Theory by Bernard Haisch. San Francisco Weiser Books, ISBN Surely it is time for all of us scientists to consider returning to God? Your blood will quickly cool down, and you will become a happier person than you are at present.