Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is not depressing, but everything else is. It’s a bit like the Invisible Magic Friend destroying Job’s life for a bet. Job was so caught up in his life being ruined and his family being killed that he completely forgot about quantum mechanics, or as it is more properly called, “creation”.


21 thoughts on “Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

  1. I fail to see the connection between quantum mechanics and the book of Job but green theologians think they can reinterpret anything. People now give Christ a black face and say that the Bible is all about slavery and yesterday there was a man talking about the widows mite in terms of economic percentages. I dont know if the Pope began this quantum mechanics fad but its maybe as far as people get with rejecting evolution. Stephen Fry bless him studied it all at university after a life spent stealing with his mothers credit card. He’s a penitent thief among the QI addicts.


    1. Yes these Catholic apologists are all beginning to sound the same and speak a disjointed piety that must result from translating Italian from guess who… does she really call herself Professor of being Catholic…I’ve heard of Germanistics but offerings from Tina are no more Beatific than Alan Ginsbergs homosexual Jewish Buddhism in that order. If you want to overdose on the current illogicality try reading journals like The Tablet and noone talked about the latest revisionist line that says the Gunpowder Plot never happened. Now that’s a plus for Catholics.


  2. Tina Beattie mentioned QM the last time she was on. This time she actually told us her reading material, which turns out to be Carlo Rovelli.

    She continues to play with fire in talking about this subject, which by her own admission she doesn’t understand. Thanks to QM, we know quite a bit about how the universe and the objects in it behave, and there is no evidence whatsoever of any IMF being involved. Moreover, Rovelli is an atheist (although, being a cultured man, he is prepared to quote from the BBoMS when it serves his object), and in “Reality is not what it seems”, which I presume is what Beattie has been skimming, he is pretty scathing about the wilful failure of Christian culture to understand, or care about, the writings of Greek and Roman scientists.

    He singles out the loss of the entire works of Democritus, which he describes as “the greatest intellectual tragedy to ensue from the collapse of the old classical civilisation”, and goes on to lament that “the destruction of all the texts not in accordance with Christian ideas [was] vast and systematic, at the time of the brutal anti-pagan repression following from the edicts of the Emperor Theodosius”. I bet you won’t hear Beattie quoting this passage on TftD; but it is the case that her church has even more to answer for than the centuries of human suffering that it has inflicted.


    1. Sean Carroll (also an atheist) used to sell a t-shirt with the central equation of the standard model on it (the Lagrangian I think). It just about fitted on a t-shirt. In principle, this can explain every experiment we can do in physics on planet earth.

      There’s no god in it.

      I keep meaning to get a t-shirt printed with that rather more succinct:


      Which are the symmetry groups underlying the four forces of nature. Again, no god group.


      1. Sean Carroll (also an atheist) used to sell a t-shirt with the central equation of the standard model on it (the Lagrangian I think).

        It’s the Path Integral formulation, with terms for fermions, leptons and quarks, gauge bosons, Higgs, and gravity. It has the heading, “The Laws of Physics Underlying Everyday Life Are Completely Understood”.

        The twist to it is the “everyday life” bit. The General Relativity term that does the gravity isn’t completely correct, but in cases where gravity is small this doesn’t make any difference. For gravity to have an influence at this level, you would need to be in region of energy density around that of a neutron star (so neutron stars, black holes, and the big bang). None of those things are “everyday life”, so the equation works well. And if you were in such a region, what it says on a T-shirt would be the last of your worries.


      2. Thanks to both Steve’s for that.

        “It’s the Path Integral formulation”

        Yes – that makes sense. Path integrals integrate over all possible actions (the outer integral – I haven’t quite figured out what the DA bit is – I might wade through the comments), and actions themselves are integrals over Lagrangians (the integral inside the exponential). Most of the actions cancel each other out, but close to the classical action they start to reinforce strongly. Unfortunately I’ve never gotten that far in physics (yet).

        I still think my idea makes a snazzier t-shirt.


      3. I liked this one, closer to your idea:

        And God said, let the four dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric second rank tensor equal zero, and there was light.

        Michio Kaku, I think.


      4. Was it someone who said God had to say Let Newton be before there could be.Light?
        I remember a daft version of All Things Bright and Beautiful sung in terms of Darwin and the Big Bang and did you notice in The French Lieutenants Woman how they take their oaths on The Origin Of Species.,,,?
        Apes or Angels and Am I My Keepers Brother? The word quark comes from James Joyce I am not sure does anyone know for sure and why do they keep stressing that the first fossil hunters were Christians? Is the dragon some kind of folk memory of the dinosaur? Did those sea serpents often claimed in Victorian prints have as much truth and substance as the Loch Ness Monster? Why are we blinded with science and never by religion?


      5. “let the four dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric second rank tensor equal zero”

        That’s the FuvFuv bit in Sean Carrol’s eq, in case you were wondering.

        That quote reminds me of an Isaac Asimov short story. I think it was called “the last question” or something like that. Some guys ask an AI computer if the universe can be stopped from running down, and it answers “insufficient data”.

        This gets repeated over the centuries with ever more powerful AIs. Humans span the stars, the galaxies. They become ever more ethereal and merge with their equally ethereal AIs. They survive until the last black hole has evaporated, and still no one or nothing can answer the question.

        But the last AI still survives and still tries to spend its eternity trying to answer the question. And in the end the AI concludes that, yes, the running down of the universe can be reversed. And it says “Let there be light.”


      6. Alexander Pope:

        “Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night:
        God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.”

        James Joyce (Finnegans Wake):

        “Three quarks for Muster Mark!”

        Borrowed by Murray Gell-Mann for the names of (what he thought were) three new particles.


      7. Thanks for a civil answer and Ill.read around James Joyce and your scientist to find out why he chose the word for the particle A soft answer turneth away wrath…


      8. History records that these men were Rosicrucians
        With Claude Debussy Gottfried Leibniz went Isaac Newton

        Rosicrucianism used to be followed by Not A Religion.

        Was it Woody Allen who remarked that he could not believe in anything that advertised itself in Popular Mechanics.


      9. Continuation of Alexander Pope by J. C. Squire:

        It did not last. The Devil howling, ‘Ho,
        Let Einstein be.’ Restored the status quo.

        I hpoe this ends up near StephenJP’s quote. I see no obvious way to comment on a comment and it will look lost otherwise.


  3. Sorry but I was reacting to the claim about pious disjointed rubbish. I am again sorry for mentioning things in that connection which mean nothing to you. I am sorry that nine times out of ten my understanding of Catholic history and the Beat poets meets with such disapprobation. The Tablet was still rightly recalled as it’s full of disjointed pious rubbish these days including the fact that Pepinster once edited it and now contributes to Thought for the Day. I ll leave off with various fleas in my ear.


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