Prof. Jeff Tallon

Victoria University - Physics

Jeff Tallon PhD, DSc, CNZM, FInstP, FRSNZ, HonFIPENZ
is Professor of Physics in the Robinson Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington. He is internationally known for his research, discoveries and commercialization of high-temperature superconductors – materials which become perfect conductors when cooled. Dr Tallon has received many awards for his work, including the Rutherford Medal and the Inaugural N.Z. Prime Minister’s Medal for commercializing fundamental science. He is a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and has been Visiting Professor at Cambridge University.

Dr Tallon has been active for many years in the defense of Christianity in the context of scientific thinking. He is a regular speaker in churches, universities and public venues, both in N.Z. and Australia, advancing the rational basis of Christian faith. He frequently writes articles for the New Zealand Herald on the Christian response to issues of the day.

“Any Christian who is also a scientist must sense a natural compunction to explore the relationships between these two domains of knowing. In fact, if they are both to be valid then they must be thoroughly compatible. It is my experience that faith and science are not only compatible but each deeply enriches the other. If science is the study of the universe, and God created the universe, then science or faith on their own will give only a partial view of reality. Science must surely be a window on the mind of God just as much as the parable of the prodigal son or the good Samaritan, or even the cross of Christ, is a window on the heart of God.”

Publications include:
“Superconducting Phases in the Series Bi2.1(Ca,Sr)n+1CunO2n+4”, Nature 333, 153 (1988), J L Tallon et al. DOI:10.1038/333153a0

NZ Herald: article on ‘Buses Probability and God’. Read HERE
‘True faith opens door to happiness’. Read HERE
‘Expensive search for extra-terrestrial life on Mars and Venus’. Read HERE

Videos on the NZCIS Videos page, view HERE:
‘Big Questions in Science and Theology‘, online lecture for Christians in Science

Interview with Jeff Tallon on his Christian faith

The idea of God becoming human has got to be the most profound thing in the universe. No science, no other idea, comes anywhere close. That the creator of the universe should become a single living cell in his mother’s body. Everything springs from that.
At the human level – Einstein famously said that in the words of Jesus we have a teaching which is capable of healing the ills of humankind. So even if you just take Jesus just at the level of a wise human teacher his teaching is profound. If every human took onboard his teaching our social ills would start to disappear pretty rapidly. But he was more than that. The world has had its wise teachers, wonderful people who have had contributions to our understanding of life. But God become a human being, walking among us, embracing the un-embracable, loving the unlovely, that has got to be the most profound thing we could ever encounter.
Some people have the idea that science is slowly unpacking the universe, slowly explaining everything, squeezing God out, as though God was just the bit that filled in the gaps in our understanding. But actually the reverse has been happening. Science has been unravelling the layers upon layers of mystery that exist within the universe. It is a profoundly improbably universe, and I find it impossible to address the universe without addressing the originator of the universe.
For the first time in the history of humankind we can put probabilities on things and we can see that it is just profoundly improbably. On a purely random basis you and I should not exist, but we do. I am very influenced of Psalm 139: “I praise you Lord for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Biology is the supreme example of how fearfully and wonderful made the universe is.
Faith need not be blind faith. It is having good reason to believe.