There appears to be an interesting alignment between quantum physics and the writings found in the Bible. As this “non-material” view of our reality presented by quantum physics has only come to light in the last 100 hundred years, how did people who lived thousands of years ago record concepts that were unknown at the time? If this question seems odd to you, keep reading.
What is the universe really made out of? Is it energy? Is it particle-like, tangible matter? Is it something else? If you asked me to answer this question as a child or a teenager, I would have answered like most people: “Matter and Energy.” This is what we are taught from a very young age. At an empirical level, this is the layer we interact with every day. Because we tend to build our world-view around our observations, it makes sense that we would see the basic building blocks of the universe as something “materialistic” or tangible in nature.
I know many people haven’t been exposed to quantum physics any further than simply knowing that it’s the science of “really small stuff.” And that’s true, to an extent. It’s important to remember that all of the big stuff is made up of a bunch of small stuff, so what’s happening to the small stuff, must sum up to what’s happening to the big stuff. Therefore, quantum physics is really the study of how our universe works at its most fundamental level, regardless of size. But it goes further and is much more mysterious than simply understanding the physics of small stuff.
When we peel back the layers, we find something that goes against the grain of our observational experiences that have informed us that the world is material. In essence, the principles underlying quantum physics tell us that everything is made of information, and a set of rules governing that information. And these rules completely contradict the ordinary rules of reality that we are accustomed to.
To give some example, in the quantum world the following “impossibilities” are observed:
- Objects can exist in two different locations simultaneously.
- Objects can spin clockwise and counterclockwise simultaneously
- Objects can exist in a state of all possible outcomes simultaneously, and then collapse into one defined state when observed.
- Objects can tunnel through impossible barriers.
- Objects can instantaneously talk to one another telepathically, faster than the speed of light, as if they were really one particle, even though they are separated from one another across the universe.
- Objects can express both particle like and wave like characteristics.
- Objects can reach back in time to the past to affect the outcome observed in the future.
- Objects don’t obey the normal rules of cause and effect.
Even more mysterious is the observation that there appears to be rules governing how much of that information us humans are allowed to access at any given time. The system will reveal a certain level of information to us in a very precise way, but when we probe another level, the system effectively says to the observer, “So sorry, I gave you some information about the system already, you’re not going to get any more information out of me.”
When we ask questions about the system to understand its exact state, the system will let us choose what part we want to know about, and after we choose what part we want to know about, it exposes this to us with transparency and precision. It then shuts us off from knowing the other characteristics of the system. It limits our knowledge so that we are never privy to everything.
One manifestation of this is called “The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle”. Another is found in the wave-particle duality of matter, which is really another manifestation of the uncertainty principle.
Every single thing we have learned about the quantum world flies in the face of what we know about reality. The quantum world seems to operate by rules that are being governed by another reality entirely. And this reality is invisible, non-tangible, and non-deterministic.
At its basic level, quantum information is contained in this ethereal quantity we call a “qubit”. Qubits are sort of like the information storage bits in a computer, but much more complex in that a handful of qubits can store an enormous number of different states. This is why there is such a rush to develop a quantum computer that can deal in the currency of qubits rather than the classical types of bits used digital computers. Certain computations that would take millions of years on a classical computer can be solved in a matter of minutes on a quantum computer.
It’s important to understand that quantum interactions are really just based on information, rules, and logic. A system of rules expressed in the form of mathematics governs how this information is stored, transmitted, and accessed. And these rules don’t map to the normal rules of reality.
Quantum systems also include a level of “free will,” for lack of a better term. In other words, quantum systems are non-deterministic in nature. The normal rules of cause and effect are absent. For this reason, all of the math in the world cannot predict the future state of a quantum system with any accuracy. A quantum system exists in all possible states simultaneously (this is where the power behind a qubit is derived), and then one path is chosen when we measure the system (i.e., when we ask “what state are you in?”). But, given all of the information about the system’s past, we have no way of predicting which of the potential paths will be revealed to us. This is where the “free will” kicks in. The system chooses which state to manifest into, we don’t. And we cannot predict which state will manifest. At the current time, physicists don’t understand how systems “choose” which state to manifest into. No outside factor has been identified which causes this choice. There is no “cause” that precedes the observed “effect”. For all practical purposes, the quantum system possesses a degree of autonomy or “free will”.
Notice how this is antithetical to our normal understanding of the universe. Things like tennis balls appear to be perfectly deterministic, in that we can calculate where the ball will be at all times given enough information about the past. This determinism simply doesn’t work at the quantum scale. The system is in a state of all probable outcomes, and when we measure it, it “randomly” chooses a state. Who or what is choosing the outcome? Again, this goes back to the idea that we are only able to understand a limited amount about the system.
Think about the implications if quantum systems didn’t behave this way… Theoretically, we could predict the future of every person and object in the universe if we had enough information about the past. Even more troubling, humans wouldn’t have free will because all of our decisions would be based on a long series of molecular-sized causes and effects. The non-deterministic laws of quantum mechanics that seem to supersede the direct law of cause and effect make this prospect an impossibility.
So we know the universe is being synthesized from something that is a lot like information, but we are only granted limited access to this information. There is a veil we are not allowed to go behind. The laws governing this information don’t obey what we know about our macroscopic reality. Seemingly impossible behaviors such as quantum entanglement, quantum tunneling, non-locality, time travel, etc, all point to the fact that quantum systems are not materialistic and are not bound in a linear sequence parsed out by space and time.
In fact, the very essence of 3-dimensional space itself and the dimension of time (the 4D fabric of spacetime), is thought to be an outward projection or synthesis from a base level of quantum information flow. So space and time are not really real (as in the sense that we normally think of “real”).
Isn’t this weird? The traditional view is that everything is made up material things —solid objects that obey certain laws of motion. Information is something that we think of as being derived, or recorded, in solid objects. Information is thought to be virtual in our our standard view of reality, and matter is the “real” stuff. If you picture a pyramid, the base would be solid matter. The top would be information. In our normal way of viewing reality, matter is real, and information is virtual.
However, quantum physics has turned this notion of the material world upside down. The world is not made of anything material at all. Material objects are an illusion of sorts – a synthesis – a projection. Quantum physics tells us that information should really be put at the base, and matter, being derived from information, is on top of the pyramid. Information is real, and matter is an illusion.
But didn’t the bible tell us this is exactly what the universe is made of?
“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD WAS GOD. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” – John 1
Did you catch that? Word is derived from logos. Logos is the word “logic” is derived from. It carries the idea of information, communication, a virtual language construct with rules and grammar. The bible states that the universe is made on this base of the WORD. Genesis tells the same story. Everything God made was spoken into existence. I’ve listed more scriptures below that talk about this same idea of the visible (material/tangible) being made up of the invisible Word.
Let’s revisit some of the properties that we know about the quantum realm. First, The quantum realm operates by a language that governs the flow of information. As discussed, this lines up with the scripture where we learn that the visible world is created by the invisible language (logos), or Word, of God.
Second, we also know that there is a veil we are not able to see behind in the quantum world. We are not given access to all of the information, only limited portions. This property also lines up with God, in that we are not granted full access to His thoughts. God chooses to reveal only the portion He desires for us to know.
Third, the rules governing the quantum world are able to achieve the impossible. Particles can be in two locations simultaneously. Particles can tunnel through impossibly high barriers. Particles can reach back in time to change the future. Particles can communicate instantaneously across infinite distances faster than the speed of light. Two particles (or more) can behave as one. Particles can exist in a multitude of all possible future outcomes simultaneously. None of this is possible in our current view of physical reality. Now, if the laws of quantum physics were being synthesized by the mind of God, anything would be possible. God can imagine a particle spinning clockwise and counterclockwise at the same time, even though this is not possible with a basketball. All of the impossible acrobatics listed above are easy if they are merely thoughts in the mind of God. Physical objects cannot carry out these impossible acrobatics, but the mind of God certainly can.
Fourth, the rules of quantum physics possess a degree of “free will.” Someone or something is making a choice. And there is no prior cause that can be attributed to the choice being made. If everything operated by following a precise mathematical formula that we could predict at all points in the future, how could free will exist? Quantum systems demonstrate that free will exists at the fundamental base of the universe. Scientists have not identified the responsible entity for this “free will”. However, the Bible tells us. All things are created and held together by the logos of God. God is the source of the “free will”, as He is sovereign over the universe.
So, if this is true, what are the implications? When we study quantum physics, are we studying the language of God? Are we being given limited access to a layer of this “Word?” Is the veil that we can’t see behind God’s way of ensuring that He is the only One who knows all things? Is the non-determinism or “free will” of the quantum realm God’s way of ensuring that He controls all things? In short, is the quantum realm where God manifests His sovereignty, omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience?
John 1 – “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD WAS GOD. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
Romans 1:20 -“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
Hebrews 11:3 -“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 – “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Colossians 1:17 – “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Hebrews 1:3 – “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
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