Fundamental Physics and Religion

Kirk Wegter‐McNelly

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Fundamental Physics and Religion

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What are nature's deepest secrets? Why is there something rather than nothing? The eagerness with which many in modern cultures look to physicists for answers to these and other ultimate life-questions testifies to the aura of prestige and power that surrounds the oldest of the modern natural sciences. Physicists are currently struggling to unite the various theoretical developments surveyed in this article under one conceptual framework. At present, relativity theory, quantum theory, and chaos theory each provide quite distinct lenses onto the world's physical structures and processes. Although both relativity theory and chaos theory transform various aspects of Newton's account of space, time, and causation, they also essentially sustain the determinism of the classical framework. Quantum theory, on the other hand, at least according to the most widely held interpretation, dramatically overturns this tradition.

Keywords: nature; physics; reductionism; relativity theory; chaos theory; quantum theory; Isaac Newton

Article.  7329 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science

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