Imagine living in the first century and you and several of your friends just witnessed your leader apparently walk through a wall, suddenly appear and then disappear. This, after having seen him tortured and brutally murdered just three days prior? Not to mention, you buried him! How would you describe this experience? What language would you use?
This is how John described this kind of strange phenomenon in his gospel account:
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. (John 20:19 NLT *)
I asked this question in “Reality…what reality?” (in the comments) to show how supernatural events might be described by ancient people and show a possible relationship to quantum phenomenon. Skeptics have always been dismissive about anything that falls outside of a naturalist explanation, but now we’re finding out that our observable world is only a subset of reality.
The problem, fundamentally, is that you cannot prove anything supernaturally by natural means. To use C.S. Lewis’s analogy, it’s a bit like Hamlet trying to find Shakespeare by searching his whole kingdom for him. They’re simply not in the same realm. He would have to write himself into the play (which God did with Jesus – John 1:14).
This is the quantum world in us, around us, and outside of our world altogether. And there’s a lot more going on than what we can observe in our three-dimensional realm bound by time. This is from an 1998 article from the New Scientist Magazine:
“Quantum theory isn’t just a tiny bit nonlocal. It’s overwhelmingly nonlocal. Non-locality is the rule for our Universe. That is an unsettling conclusion. Non-locality cuts into the idea of the separateness of things, and threatens to ruin the very notion of isolation. To isolate an object we ordinarily move it a long way away from everything else, or build impenetrable walls around it. But the link of entanglement knows no boundaries. It isn’t a cord running through space, but lives somehow outside space. It goes through walls, and pays no attention to distance!”(New Scientist magazine, “Why God Plays Dice”, August 1998 *)
By the way, “non-local” simply means that things are interacting from outside of our observable world of time and three-dimensional space.
You see, we were just fine with our tidy Newtonian closed clockwork view of the universe…until the 2oth Century…then Einstein came along and said that time is an illusion, then quantum theorists came along and said our world is an illusion. It’s too late to go back now, Schrödinger’s cat is out of the bag!
I shared a video last time titled, “Digital Physics Argument of God’s Existence” postulating that our universe could be the ultimate virtual reality. If you want to dig deeper on that theory, here’s an article by Brian Whitworth, PhD titled “Quantum Realism.”
Here’s what theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman, said about our dilemma:
“Quantum weirdness “is impossible, absolutely impossible to explain in any classical way. It simply cannot be explained rationally unless we allow for a non-local interpretation of reality; something which devout rationalists such as Einstein could not accept...The paradox is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality ought to be!” (Richard Feynman quoted in Robert Nadeau and Menas Kafatos: “The Non-Local Universe.” p. 41 *)
In other words, it’s only weird like three-dimensional phenomenon would be weird to two-dimensional flat people. And we cannot just dismiss these weird theories because the math that proves what we can observe is the same math we use to prove what we cannot observe. The math is absolutely accurate; we just can’t see it because it’s not in this realm.
So how would these first century people describe someone walking through walls, appearing and disappearing? They would simply report what they saw. They didn’t need an understanding in quantum mechanics to believe. And this brings me to something remarkable about observing strange phenomenon that defies natural explanation.
Even though many people saw Jesus appear and disappear in the 40 days after His resurrection (up to 500 people at one time), remarkably, some still doubted:
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. (Matt.28:16 *)
This only shows why even seeing something with your own eyes doesn’t mean you’ll believe. Believing is not an evidence issue; it’s a heart issue: “for with the heart one believes unto righteousness” (Rom.10:10). Jesus said we need to receive the kingdom like a little child because their heart is always open to the wonder of a world so much bigger than their understanding.
The bottom line is this: faith in God means trusting in Someone you cannot see who framed the world you can see:
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible. (Heb. 11:3 NET *)
And this is the most valuable form of evidence, as Jesus said to Thomas:
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29 *)