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The Fire in the Equations : Science, Religion and the Search for God - Kitty Ferguson

The Fire in the Equations

Science, Religion and the Search for God

Paperback Published: 28th April 2004
ISBN: 9781932031676
Number Of Pages: 308

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“ In this beautifully and intelligently written book, Ferguson not only reports on some of the intellectual tremors jolting the world of thinking women and men, but also considers the basic questions with penetrating analysis, yet at a very readable level. . . . An excellent book.”Choice

Heralded for its readability and scholarship, The Fire in the Equations offers a fascinating discussion of scientific discoveries and their impact on our beliefs. The book’s title is derived from Dr. Stephen Hawking’s pondering, “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

Originally published in the U.S. in 1995, it provides an excursion through new theories of quantum physics and cosmology, ranging from the nature of time, the big bang, the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics, laws of nature and their possible relation to God, chaos theory, black holes, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, particle physics, Darwin's theory of evolution, and the role of God in all these equations. It even raises such questions as “how God might answer prayers” from the point of view of physics.

While she gives no absolute answers, Kitty Ferguson takes the reader through a world of paradoxes and improbabilities, explaining how it is possible to believe both in a pre-determined universe and in free will as a theory of human behavior. She concludes that what we know about science doesn't necessarily make God inevitable, but does not rule God out either.

"Ferguson is by turns whimsical, poetic, reverent, theological and authentically speculative in her study, which could be used as a wonderful text for any group or classroom wanting to think in a deeply interdisciplinary way about the body, the soul, the spirit and their relation to the laws of the universe."

Prefacep. xi
A Word about Inclusive Languagep. xiv
Acknowledgementsp. xv
'They Buried Him in Westminster Abbey'p. 1
Seeing Thingsp. 4
Is the rational universe an illusion?p. 12
'In Nature's infinite book of mysteries ...' can we read very much at all?p. 19
Is objective reality a mirage?p. 25
Are we really free agents?p. 30
Is the universe a uni-verse?p. 33
Almost Objectivep. 35
Where is fancy bred?p. 37
The spectacles-behind-the-eyesp. 44
The muse of science: Is truth beautiful?p. 59
Does truth surpass proof?p. 63
The elite of sciencep. 66
The spirit of the timesp. 69
The essential Godlessness of sciencep. 73
At the limits of scientific truthp. 78
First steps beyond the mind's-eye viewp. 80
Is there anything else?p. 81
The insidiousness of Godp. 86
The morality of science: Is truth good?p. 87
Romancing the Creationp. 89
The uncomfortable concept of a beginningp. 90
The Gordian knot of singularityp. 102
The magic of imaginary timep. 108
The pulsing universe and the arrow of entropyp. 117
The mysterious wobbling of nothingnessp. 123
'Reality (whatever that may be)'p. 126
Reality in the absence of applesp. 129
What place for a creator?p. 134
The third candidatep. 137
The mother of all chicken-and-egg storiesp. 139
The Elusive Mind of Godp. 143
God as the embodiment of the laws of physicsp. 145
A presence behind the processp. 146
The leap to purpose: The God who wishes to drink teap. 147
The watchmakerp. 149
The universe as a 'put-up job'p. 163
Second Gordian knot: The anthropic principlep. 164
Hacking at the second Gordian knotp. 166
The inflationary universep. 167
Baby universes to the rescue!p. 171
Not the ether again!p. 173
The longing of Johannes Keplerp. 178
The fiddler on the roofp. 184
The God of Abraham and Jesusp. 185
The law-breakerp. 189
The hard edge of legalismp. 191
The soft underbelly of legalismp. 195
The death of the God of the Gapsp. 204
Chaos meets Controlp. 205
'Top-down' determinism?p. 221
'IAM'p. 225
When truths collidep. 228
The ultimate self-confirming hypothesisp. 231
The masterful use of parallel perfect fifthsp. 234
Who is the 'I' in 'IAM'?p. 239
Inadmissible Evidencep. 241
Public vs. private knowledgep. 242
Admissible evidence?p. 245
The spectacles-behind-the-eyes, revisitedp. 246
The cloud of witnessesp. 247
A game of 'I Doubt It'p. 251
The Lucy problemp. 253
'I should not believe such a story were it told me by Cato!'p. 254
'The Invincible Ignorance of Science'p. 259
'For the Bible tells me so'--the evidence of scripturep. 260
Is there proof in the pudding? The evidence of resultsp. 263
Armchair truth: The argument from reasonp. 266
The argument from explanatory powerp. 270
The argument from naturep. 274
The argument from availabilityp. 277
Theory of Everything ... Mind of Godp. 279
Notesp. 284
Bibliographyp. 293
Indexp. 301
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781932031676
ISBN-10: 1932031677
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 308
Published: 28th April 2004
Publisher: TEMPLETON FOUND PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.5
Edition Type: New edition