Polish Priest-Physicist Takes Templeton Tops
March 18, 2008 — 2:45

Author: Trent Dougherty  Category: News  Comments: 1

I have very little idea what’s going on here. The story begins like this

“A Polish priest and mathematician who was a friend of the late Pope John Paul II has won the world’s richest academic prize for work that shows how maths can offer circumstantial evidence of God’s existence. Professor Michael Heller, 72, a pioneering cosmologist and philosopher specialising in mathematics and metaphysics, received the £820,000 prize yesterday in New York.”

but then starts to crack up with science-religion writing that is bad even for the Times.

So I went to the Templeton site and it didn’t get much clearer. Here’s a claim attributed to the winner.

“if we ask about the cause of the universe we should ask about a cause of mathematical laws”

At first I was worried that he was talking about the cause of necessary mathematical equations, but maybe he just means the cause of why certain mathematical laws apply to the world. I just don’t know, the reporting is so bad.

Back to the Times:

“His theories do not so much offer proof of the existence of God as introduce doubt about the material existence of the world around us. He specialises in complex formulae that make it possible to explain everything, even chance, through mathematical calculation.”

I searched for some time on the web trying to find out what in the world his work is. Never found out. There is a serious reporting gap here.

  • The best I can find is this article (PDF) which wikipedia links to.

    March 19, 2008 — 10:01