Traditionally, Western science has stubbornly held to the Modernist worldview that rejects the supernatural, or realm of the spirit, relegating it to religious superstition. But this Enlightenment paradigm has pretty much run its course., and it doesn’t bode well for naturalism.
I’ve been accused by atheists of not knowing what I’m talking about and that I cannot make a connection between the quantum world and the spiritual world. I readily admit that I’m no expert on this subject but I can read and there are experts who agree with me. I’ve already shared what theorists who are not making a case for theism have said along these lines. So before I leave the subject, it’s time to hear from a couple of experts who do believe in God.
Jean Staune is a French professor of Philosophy. In writing on the idea that science and religion are converging, he’s pretty much making the point of my last three posts here:
“The central idea of all monotheistic religions is that the world in which we live –the world of time, space, energy, and matter –cannot be its own cause because it has been created by a transcendent principle: God. The science of the 19th century seemed very close to demonstrating that the world caused itself. Science not only failed in this demonstration, however, it has actually demonstrated the opposite. Science has suggested through quantum physics that it alone cannot provide a complete picture of reality. It has provided the basis for a credible way to understand the existence of God, because the world no longer limits itself to our level of reality. Quantum physics does not prove the existence of God. It nonetheless takes us through a giant step from a scientific materialism that ruled out the existence of God, to a position where, on a scientific basis, we can start to understand the concept of God’s existence. A belief in materialism is still possible under quantum physics, of course –but only if it is transformed into a kind of “science fiction” materialism, somehow able to integrate the “de-materialization of matter.” New experiments show that matter itself does not have a strictly material reality.” (Staune, “On the Edge of Physics“, quote from Phil Mason, “Quantum Glory“, p.98 *)
Raymond Chiao is a Catholic believer. His day job is quantum physicist and researcher, formerly at the University of California in Berkeley, currently at University of California in Merced. Chiao writes:
“The Bible asserts that God created the quantum world and that it has been uniquely designed and crafted to respond to the creative voice of God…. The quantum world view of a nonlocal universe has been borne out time and again. Specifically, the Uncertainty Principle has taught us that the classical world view is untenable. Work by Einstein, Bell and many others, including our experiments on quantum tunneling at Berkeley, have told us that it is impossible to believe in a local, “realistic” universe. This has opened up new possibilities for religious understanding. At the heart of quantum physics is the wave-particle duality. In particular, in the Born interpretation of the wave function, a detection of a particle can be thought of as the materialization of the particle at a particular place at a definite time, out of a wave which is not localized in space nor in time. Although the wave function is itself not directly observable, its properties can be inferred from the manifestations of the particle, which are directly observable.” (Chiao, “The Quantum Wave of Faith”, Science & Spirit, 1999 *)
Going along the lines of reality being like a virtual construct (see second video in “Reality…what reality?), Chiao writes the following in an article titled, “Quantum Non-Localities: Experimental Evidence”:
Thus the existence of the universe itself is contingent upon the continual observations of the Creator. The idea of contingency of existence, in the sense of the utter dependency of the universe for its properties and existence at each moment upon its Creator, is thereby introduced via quantum physics into philosophy and theology …Furthermore, this viewpoint suggests a new meaning of the immanence of the Creator with respect to creation, since God is acting everywhere at once in the universe. Thus God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent…The neo-Berkeleyan viewpoint introduced here suggests not only a continual creatio ex nihilo qua creatio continua by an immanent Creator, but also a singular creatio ex nihilo by a transcendent Creator. Moreover, the above Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effects imply a quantum non-separability, which ties together the universe non-locally as a whole.” (Quote from this article *).
By the way, Chiao is no light weight. According to his bio, besides being professor for 38 years at UC Berkeley, where he earned international acclaim (including the Willis E. Lamb Medal and the Einstein Prize for Laser Science) studying nonlinear and quantum optics, Chiao is pursuing a new line of groundbreaking research on gravitational radiation at UC Merced.
Finally, one more quote from Staune from “On The Edge of Physics”:
“Quantum phenomena prove the existence of another level of reality; one, which lies outside space and time since non-locality is its principal characteristic. We have a very extensive knowledge of some characteristics of quantum phenomena, and it is this scientific knowledge that demonstrates the existence of a level of reality that escapes time, space, energy, and matter, and yet still has a causal effect on our material level of reality.”
When we say “spiritual” we mean non-corporeal, non-material. But no Christian theologian, philosopher, or scientist is suggesting that the non-local world is itself a spirit entity. It’s merely the non-material framework or realm where the spiritual world likely operates. But this non-local world is still part of creation. We believe God exists outside of the material and non-local frameworks altogether, yet He interacts with it personally and intimately.