I have been sharing some insights from quantum physics for a while now. I’ve introduced the concept of Non-separability, the principle that it is impossible to think of a universe separately from the observer of that universe meaning that there is a causative relationship between what we perceive as real and what is real. I talked about Quantum Entanglement, the “spooky action at a distance” that suggests space and time don’t actually exist. I touched on the Many Worlds theory that protects the Second Law of Thermodynamics by proposing that all the potentialities we do not observe are preserved in alternative universes or, more precisely, every observation generates multiple versions of the observer each of which observes those multiple universes into existence.
It can all sound so strange. But the point is none of this is new. Many of these discoveries date back to the 1920s and have been part of scientific orthodoxy for decades. But even more to the point, quantum physicists are simply describing the world as it has always been. Moses lived in a quantum world so did King David along with Jesus and everyone else in history. The reality remains what it was, is, and will be only now we have a better handle on it. I hearken back to my example of a mosaic. From a distance, it’s a beautiful picture but up close it’s colored tiles. Classical physics explores the beautiful picture while quantum science studies the tiles that create it.
Classical physics and quantum physics view the same reality. The difference is that classical physics sees reality as a collection of objects where quantum perceives the information that underlies the objects. Everything that we think exists really does exist. It’s all there but at its core, it exists as statistical probabilities which only become “things” when observed. There’s nothing new or different here. As I said, we just have a better handle on it.
In an earlier post, I said I love quantum physics. Many other Christians from fundamentalist to liberal share my passion. Here’s why. Speaking for myself, my life draws its strength from the Gospel. Paul called the message of God’s grace a “power” that births an entirely new creation. His claim was always a bit murky and problematic. We might accept the possibility that preaching can inspire people but can it really generate a new creation, an entirely different universe? Today we know there was never anything problematic about Paul’s insight. Universes are, in fact, only created by information communicated. The Bible is information and as such, it has in itself performative power to spin out fresh worlds. That power does not rest in any events reported in the Bible (that’s important!). It exists inherently in what Paul called “the message we preach”.
At last, we can see a little more clearly God’s plan thanks to quantum research. The world is a system of communication whose potentialities were originally laid out by the speaking of God (see my book The Physics of Genesis). Now God has spoken again through the Gospel and by doing so has unpacked potentialities that had been partially or fully hidden. The result is a new kind of people who are generating a new world inhabited by all who hear that Gospel and let it fire their imaginations.
One last point and it’s a big one. Lots of people think they can ignore this quantum stuff. They dismiss it as something eggheads think about but nothing that needs concern them. That, of course, can’t be true if quantum scientists have accurately described the operations of reality as every single falsification test (100%!) carried out over nearly a century indicates they have. But the bigger point is that there’s a train hurtling down the tracks and it’s headed straight at you. I’m talking about quantum computing. I write about it in detail in my book Kali: A Novel. For now, I will simply tell you that scientists know that quantum computing on a big scale will change everything, not just computing but every aspect and detail of living. I write about quantum science in a Christian context knowing that the ideas I explore may seem irrelevant and even odd right now – but also knowing that soon they won’t be. The inevitable ascendancy of a quantum perspective will seem like an attack for those who have accommodated their faith to Newtonian physics. But quantum should be received as a gift to faith because it is actually a powerful affirmation of the Bible’s perspective on life. I want that to be your experience and write as I do to make it so.