Interesting Characters In Chronicles Of Time

Interesting Characters In Chronicles Of Time

The portrayal of Fletcher Du Pont as a dominant character in Chronicles Of Time, is predicated on his beliefs that humans are destined to know all things given enough time and the intelligent application of effort. He fully subscribed to this idea and, as a consequence spent his entire life trying to prove it.

His entire thought-process excluded any involvement of God as a creator or, a sustainer of the natural order of things. All forces of nature could be mapped, stripped down and algebraically compressed into equations. He was a committed free-thinker to experimental design and factual analysis. But first, let’s understand the man himself, and the issues that shaped his mindset. Charles Babbage, the 18 th Century mathematician, and philosopher was a hero to a young Du Pont.

In the story, he is a man of science, a man of distinction, eminent in his field who knelt at the altar of quantum physics and believed that all truths would be revealed through scientific thought. He was defined by two powerful motivating forces: An unshakable faith that science would reign over all revealed truths, while holding utter disdain towards religious dogma of any kind.

In Chronicles Of Time, one of them becomes dismantled while the other,
consumes him.

Our hero, as a particle physicist, believes the underlying order of the universe was an engine that evolved under intricate processes guided by deeply complex structures that were, mathematical in nature. There was no smoking gun suggesting a role for divine intervention or grand design, rather, a self-sustaining innate set of laws that given sufficient time -provided the basis for our physical reality. There was nothing existential or divine, about creation and how it came about. That’s how it was in the beginning.

Du Pont, like many rested easily with well-grounded explanations of a physical worldand the laws that govern it without recourse to accepting the existence of more metaphysical forces that operate outside the laws of science or mathematics.

In sharp contrast, another central character in Chronicles Of Time espoused a diametrically opposite view – a Jesuit, Francois Burgoyne, Du Pont’s brother-in-law. Here was someone who crafted a complete personal belief in a single God and creator, without recourse to evidence or logic. Faith and evidence were impossible collaborators mutually exclusive as far as our Jesuit character was concerned. He needed no evidence. God’s laws were immutable, with one significant difference, they could be summoned. Burgoyne held stubbornly to scripture as the literal word of God, and while Du Pont clung to his adherence in the powerful forces of nature-all four of them, Francois subscribed to a fifth force, the power of prayer. A power with one requirement: -belief. Utter belief in the power and expectation, that all prayer is heard and transcended all physical limitations. It could be summoned at will in moments of prayerful submission and, a means fo mere mortals to experience Christ, often in depths of despair.

Early in the story, Burgoyne discomfort grows more disturbed, as the plot unfolds, by his brother-in-law lack of humility in the awesome after-effects of Creation. The Strong and the Weak nuclear forces, along with Gravity, and force of Electromagnetism were mere remnants of Divine action, mysterious, and omnificence. Yet his brother-in-law pursued answers and great truths devising theories, a Theory of Everything buried deep within the atomic world of quantum physics. This was where the intersection between infinity and immortality exploded, ultimately and radically altered both men.

It would seem as this story unveils, both these characters are confronted by aspects of our physical world, that turn out to be mirages. Nothing in everyday existence i as it seems. It is far more mysterious then living mortals could have known or contemplated. Life’s ups and downs that assailed human endurance were tests sent to us by a seemingly uncaring God. Yet beneath these vicissitudes and tribulations more omnipotent forces were at work permitting our innate curiosity to access more profound truths, regarding the real purpose behind our Earthly existence.

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