Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


On Stines and Einstein

Graham Cotter

R.R. 2, Warkworth, Ontario, Canada K0K 3K0


From: PSCF 46 (June 1994): 148.

I am only just catching up with Perspectives for December 1992, and write with unqualified enthusiasm in response to J. W. Stines' paper "Time, Chaos Theory and the Thought of Michael Polanyi."

I wish to pass on a reflection in the form of a double limerick on "Einstein's response to Bohr and quantum theory" which occupies Stines' paragraph on page 226, and also Stines's note 24 which relates Thomas Torrance's (please note the correct spelling of his name) view that Einstein has been popularly misinterpreted. I presented my limericks to Professor Torrance at the Pascal Conference in Ancaster, Ontario in August, 1992. He seemed to be more concerned to defend "Bertie" than to look at the significance of the last line, which I regard as a gnomic representation of the theology of the loving self-emptying of God.

That theology seems consonant with a world view opened to us in Stines' paper which cannot rest easy with "certain certainties," which accepts an "a-rhythmic" reality exhibiting "strange attractors," and in which it is the very nature of God, as well as nature and history, "to take risks and ventures and to live by grace, which is to say freely" (Stines, page 225).

Herewith, the limericks, composed by me while studying at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, Winter, 1989.


The Quantum Christ

Said Albert, "I tell you now, twice,

good physics is balanced, and nice:

the Uncertainty Quantum

is certainly phantom

I know now, God doesn't play dice."

Dear Bertie, you're tied to the mast,

a Ulysses who's bound to the past:

Our God does throw dice

and it's scary, not nice

that our God is the die that is cast!