Does quantum physics point to God?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Byblos
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Does quantum physics point to God?

#1

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:22 pm

I was always fascinated with quantum physics even though, to a large extent, the subject matter is way over my head. Lately I've been doing some reading on the double slit experiment in quantum physics, which goes something like this:

If you put 2 boards at a distance from one another and make 2 vertical slits in the one in the front, then fire solid particles through the slits, they will form 2 lines on the back board, pretty much corresponding to the slits in the front one.

If, instead, you send in water, the waves created going through the 2 slits will interfere with one another and will not form 2 but many columns on the back board. That's basically the difference between solid matter and waves in this experiment.

The shocker is that when very small particles like photons for example are sent through, many columns are formed on the back board, as if the particles were behaving like waves, not solid elements. At first, scientists were baffled and thought that it was due to interference. So they fired the photons one at a time to completely eliminate interference. Several hours later they observed the same thing, many columns on the back board. What? What does this mean? Solid matter is behaving as a wave? At least at the quantum level? Hold on to your hats, this was only the beginning of their shock.

Next they thought they were clever so they set up instruments to detect which slits the photons were going through. Imagine their shock to discover that when the photons were being observed they went back to behaving like solid particles and form 2 columns on the back board. It's as if the particles were aware of when they were being observed and adjusted accordingly.

Welcome to the weird world of quantum physics, of questioning what is really matter. What is reality?

So what does that have to do with my original question, does quantum physics point to God? In the following youtube link on the subject, this kid asks the most poignant question I have ever heard; it just about floored me with its implications.

If at the most basic level particles are really waves and become solid matter only when observed, and if we and everything around us is solid matter, then who is observing us? Would it not follow, scientifically as it were, that since for solid matter to exist it must be observed, that therefore an observer is required and by definition must be from outside of this universe?

Is the science of quantum physics pointing us to God?

Thoughts?
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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#2

Post by jlay » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:32 pm

If God is, and is the ultimate cause then I think everything would point us towards His existence.
Good, evil, life, death, and everything in between.
Psalms 19:1.

You'd have to be more specific as to why this particular experiment speaks directly to the existence of God.
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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#3

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:42 pm

jlay wrote:If God is, and is the ultimate cause then I think everything would point us towards His existence.
Good, evil, life, death, and everything in between.
Psalms 19:1.
Of course you won't get an argument from me there.
jlay wrote:You'd have to be more specific as to why this particular experiment speaks directly to the existence of God.
The experiment is showing that small particles became matter only when they were observed. The question is if that idea is extended to large matter (us, all matter in the universe) then for matter of any kind to exist it must also be observed. Our physical being needs to be observed for us to exist. Who is that observer other than God?
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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

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Post by cslewislover » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:43 pm

That is really . . . interesting, and so amazing if true. Well, the bible does say that all things are held together in Christ. I think that may relate to what you're getting at. I also meant to post on a scientific thing that I had read about, in general, recently. And that is that sound and light are both waves, and that if you increase the vibrations of sounds waves, you get light: color. I need to look into that. But what you say here is almost beyond belief. Where was this info? I believe you, I'm just curious. I'm really amazed what we are finding out.
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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#5

Post by August » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Dinesh D'Souza, in his recent book about life after death, makes a pretty good argument about how exactly quantum physics points us to an existence outside of observable phenomena, and by implication to God. I'll see if I can summarize his main points here later.
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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#6

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:56 pm

cslewislover wrote:That is really . . . interesting, and so amazing if true. Well, the bible does say that all things are held together in Christ. I think that may relate to what you're getting at. I also meant to post on a scientific thing that I had read about, in general, recently. And that is that sound and light are both waves, and that if you increase the vibrations of sounds waves, you get light: color. I need to look into that. But what you say here is almost beyond belief. Where was this info? I believe you, I'm just curious. I'm really amazed what we are finding out.
The net is littered with info on the double slit experiment but where I first heard the question of who is observing us is on youtube here (also linked in my first post).

You're absolutely right CSL, to me this is simply mind-boggling. God is shown scientifically to be so intimate with his creation that it requires his constant observation for everything to remain to exist as it does. It clarifies what is truly meant by God is in total control. Wow!
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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#7

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:03 pm

That's a very good question, Byblos. Do they know the mechanism that causes matter to behave differently when it is being observed?
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#8

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:07 pm

Jac3510 wrote:That's a very good question, Byblos. Do they know the mechanism that causes matter to behave differently when it is being observed?
No, a complete mystery. They even went so far as to say that the only theory that can be extrapolated from the experiment is that science will never be able to conduct an experiment, observe it, and not have the very act of observing interfere with its results.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#9

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:16 pm

August wrote:Dinesh D'Souza, in his recent book about life after death, makes a pretty good argument about how exactly quantum physics points us to an existence outside of observable phenomena, and by implication to God. I'll see if I can summarize his main points here later.
That would be great August, definitely. I look forward to that.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#10

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:25 pm

But they can see the effects of unobserved matter? I get this from:
The shocker is that when very small particles like photons for example are sent through, many columns are formed on the back board, as if the particles were behaving like waves, not solid elements. At first, scientists were baffled and thought that it was due to interference. So they fired the photons one at a time to completely eliminate interference. Several hours later they observed the same thing, many columns on the back board. What? What does this mean? Solid matter is behaving as a wave? At least at the quantum level? Hold on to your hats, this was only the beginning of their shock.

Next they thought they were clever so they set up instruments to detect which slits the photons were going through. Imagine their shock to discover that when the photons were being observed they went back to behaving like solid particles and form 2 columns on the back board. It's as if the particles were aware of when they were being observed and adjusted accordingly.
I'm trying to get my mind around this. So only direct observation changes their behavior for whatever reason? But observation of effect allows us to extrapolate back?

I'm trying to think about what "unobserved matter" might actually be or how it would behave, as that would have direct bearing on your original question.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#11

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:33 pm

Jac3510 wrote:But they can see the effects of unobserved matter? I get this from:
The shocker is that when very small particles like photons for example are sent through, many columns are formed on the back board, as if the particles were behaving like waves, not solid elements. At first, scientists were baffled and thought that it was due to interference. So they fired the photons one at a time to completely eliminate interference. Several hours later they observed the same thing, many columns on the back board. What? What does this mean? Solid matter is behaving as a wave? At least at the quantum level? Hold on to your hats, this was only the beginning of their shock.

Next they thought they were clever so they set up instruments to detect which slits the photons were going through. Imagine their shock to discover that when the photons were being observed they went back to behaving like solid particles and form 2 columns on the back board. It's as if the particles were aware of when they were being observed and adjusted accordingly.
I'm trying to get my mind around this. So only direct observation changes their behavior for whatever reason? But observation of effect allows us to extrapolate back?

I'm trying to think about what "unobserved matter" might actually be or how it would behave, as that would have direct bearing on your original question.
Yes, that is correct. When they don't observe how the particles are going through the slits (which ones, what direction, etc), when they only look at the result, particles behave like waves, not like matter.

When instruments are installed to see exactly how these particles are going through the slits and which ones, they are reverting back to behaving like matter.

At least that is my understanding of it (and I've been looking at it for quite some time but that actually means nothing).
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

#12

Post by jlay » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:48 pm

Byblos,
Thanks for the clarification. Obversation then is the point. A little over my head. But hey if it points someone towards the creator in the right way, I'm for it.

If we are observing the behavior of something then how can we say it is unobserved?
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"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

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Post by Byblos » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:18 am

jlay wrote:Byblos,
Thanks for the clarification. Obversation then is the point. A little over my head. But hey if it points someone towards the creator in the right way, I'm for it.

If we are observing the behavior of something then how can we say it is unobserved?
At the quantum level we cannot observe with the naked eye, we need finely tuned instrumentation. When such is installed, the particles' behavior changes as if they are distinctly aware they are now being watched. That's the mystery science says science will never be able to solve (since it takes close observation to figure it out but the very same is interfering with the results).
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

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Post by touchingcloth » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:30 pm

In a word, No.

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Re: Does quantum physics point to God?

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Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:47 pm

touchingcloth wrote:In a word, No.
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