Wednesday, June 8, 2016

There's Something There - Part 4

So we think that science is all about the rules, and we think that religion is all about the rules, but

Science is turning out to be all about the interactions, and so

Religion might be all about the interactions, too.

Not the rules.

Here's what the rules do in science. Oddly enough, they inhibit understanding.

Well, for the most part, they help us understand, but there're those critical places where they don't help anymore.

The Quantum places. The places where folks like the eminent John Wheeler says, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics. And the even eminenter Richard Feynman, who said that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

We can do the math and make the predictions and they always come out right and they're never wrong, but

We don't understand anything about it at all.

Frankly, even relativity doesn't lend itself to understanding, either. 

Here's a bit from Roger Penrose:

"Quantum reality is strange in many ways. Individual quantum particles can, at one time, be in two different places - or three, or four, or spread out throughout some region, perhaps wiggling around like a wave. 

"Indeed, the 'reality' that quantum theory seems to be telling us to

believe in is so far removed from what we are used to that many quantum theorists would tell us to abandon the very notion of reality when considering phenomena at the scale of particles, atoms or even molecules.

"This seems rather hard to take, especially when we are also told that quantum behaviour rules all phenomena, and that even large-scale objects, being built from quantum ingredients, are themselves subject to the same quantum rules.

"Where does quantum non-reality leave off and the physical reality that we actually seem to experience begin to take over?

"Present-day quantum theory has no satisfactory answer to this question.

"My own viewpoint concerning this - and there are many other viewpoints - is that present-day quantum theory is not quite right, and that as the objects under consideration get more massive then the principles of Einstein's general relativity begin to clash with those of quantum mechanics, and a notion of reality that is more in accordance with our experiences will begin to emerge.

"The reader should be warned, however: quantum mechanics as it stands has no accepted observational evidence against it, and all such modifications remain speculative.

"Moreover, even general relativity, involving as it does the idea of a curved space-time, itself diverges from the notions of reality we are used to.

"Whether we look at the universe at the quantum scale or across the vast distances over which the effects of general relativity become clear, then, the common-sense reality of chairs, tables and other material things would seem to dissolve away, to be replaced by a deeper reality inhabiting the world of mathematics."

Reality as science has discovered it is really nothing like the reality that we really think reality really is. Really.

And it gets worse, of course. From Quanta Magazine:

On the other side are quantum physicists, marveling at the strange fact that quantum systems don’t seem to be definite objects localized in space until we come along to observe them — whether we are conscious humans or inanimate measuring devices. 

Experiment after experiment has shown — defying common sense — that if we assume that the particles that make up ordinary objects have an objective, observer-independent existence, we get the wrong answers. 

The central lesson of quantum physics is clear: There are no public objects sitting out there in some preexisting space. As the physicist John Wheeler put it, “Useful as it is under ordinary circumstances to say that the world exists ‘out there’ independent of us, that view can no longer be upheld.”

And now you want to complain about God. That is, God the way that you think you understand God.

And you don't even understand chairs. 

Which aren't there, anyway, unless you are there to sit on them. Apparently, and not quite completely metaphorically.

So you might say, evidence for God has to look like the kind of evidence that you're used to seeing. You want real evidence, not quantum relativistic evidence.

Of course, the only real evidence is quantum relativistic evidence, and the "real" evidence that you want is, from your perspective, delusional. That is, Newtonian and "real" only as a tiny splinter bit of the illusion created by quantum relativistic evidence.

But, OK. Let's play that game.

If science is ultimately and finally and completely about the interactions (which is our theory at this point),

And if God exists (which is our theory at this point) ...

then God, who clearly put the whole science schtick together (that's just if a=b and b=c, then a=c) ...

might have a certain commitment to and/or interest in and/or a participatory role to play in ...


Since there doesn't seem to be anything at all but interactions in the universe.

When you're naked and running away from a lion,
catching up with the lion seems like a bad idea.
Unless you're running away from whatever the lion is running
away from. In which case ... run faster.
And thus, a revelation seems to be in order.

Because a revelation is an interaction, and interactions are all that there are.

So that would be ... evidence. If there was in fact an interaction that we might say could possibly be in some sense maybe perhaps a revelation.

But you don't want a quantum revelation, like, say, the need for an observer outside of space and time to make an observation and collapse the wave function of the Singularity into Big Bang and hence into the universe itself.

And you may want proof. I should write that as "proof". You are tempted to demand "proof".

If you'll review previous posts, you might find somewhere that you never ever in science (or religion or on TV crime shows) get "proof". 

You get "evidence". "Proof" does not exist. Anywhere at any time. Ever. The only way you can actually use the word "proof" in a sentence is to say you never get any.

Everything that we think might be proven might be unproven when new evidence comes along.

As new evidence tends to do.

In fact, you can get something from nothing.
Sorry, Big Bang haters. It's a Quantum thing.
So there is no proof of Big Bang. There is only evidence. It's pretty impressive evidence, but you never know. Science didn't use to believe in Big Bang because how ridiculous is THAT! The universe had a starting point. That's absurd. Everybody knows it.

There you go. Everybody, which is to say, everybody in science, and I mean everybody, all the scientists were wrong.

And so there never will be any proof that God does or does not exist. Evidence, maybe. Proof? Never.

Unless he, like, shows up. That would do it.

But since he has not, then clearly 1) he does not exist at all or 2) he's got another idea.

And that plan might be all about evidence, and experience, and revelation, and finally, faith.

The plan might be all about faith.

Maybe. If there is a God. And a plan.

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