Archive for April, 2014

The Physics and Philosophy of the Bible

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

The Physics and Philosophy of the Bible, a synopsis

The Physics and Philosophy of the Bible is a work of Christian apologetics that shows how science, especially modern physics (Relativity and quantum mechanics), supports the truth of the Gospel and of the Old Testament as well. In addition, it exhibits major correlations of philosophy, particularly that of ancient Greece and most especially that of Plato/Socrates, with Judeo-Christian Scripture and shows how history and the Bible connect with one another in a way wherein the one reveals the logic and reality of the other.

This work begins by disclosing my thought, my point of view, my mindset, my beliefs, and my methods, and it tells how I came to think as I do and learn what I know. It describes my experience and relates some of my experiences in my attempts to soar to the heights of unbounded imagination and plumb the depths of the timeless and the tiny. I promise from the outset that I shall be objective and honest to the best of my ability, and I enunciate a theme that is central with regard to this entire book, which is that little or nothing is as it seems in our time-bound, that of our physical senses.

In completing my introductory material, I note and admit that we Christians are imperfect and capable of hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and even occasional dishonesty. Such imperfection makes it particularly difficult for us to obey the command of our Lord to spread and recommend His Gospel and results in our de-emphasizing His mercy and substituting a legalistic doctrine for one of loving Him and doing our best to follow Him. It is therefore a matter of struggling as we try to imitate our God and attempt to cultivate common sense and disdain nonsense to the point of urging prospective votaries to carefully count what the cost of total allegiance to the one true Lord of all might be.

The rest of part 1 of this work consists of six chapters that compare Christianity with other religions and investigate whether science could possibly take its place. In chapter 2, we find (in my view) that it has essentially no competition among other faiths except possibly in the case of Judaism. I compare Christianity with the Jewish faith and with the other more common faiths of our world in the year 2014 AD. Chapter 3 explains why pure science is my third choice after Judaism and Christianity as a worldview of reason that is essentially religious because it is about beliefs, not facts, such that it is just as much a matter of faith as is religion. Pure science, especially modern physics, eminently supports belief in the supernatural and in the truth and truths of Judeo-Christianity, but, though it is compatible with the reality of a timeless realm of pure thought, especially mathematics,  it is flawed in several ways.

Chapters 4 through 7 tell of these defects, showing that, while pure science provides us with worldviews that are compatible with reason, it must and indeed does entail faith in a real way because the precepts of science are no more certain than are those of theology. Also in these chapters, we see that science must desert its cornerstone, cause and effect, if it is to account for the ultimate origin of all that exists and that its disciplines cannot clarify their most fundamental precepts. Relativity, quantum physics, and mathematics fall short of providing us with information that tells us why or even how math is utterly consistent and accurate in its ordering all physical events, why or even how electrons move because of electrical imbalance, or why or even how leukocytes in our blood streams “know” to move to a site of infection and how to go about getting there. Modern physics is so mysterious in its showing how the impossible becomes possible and even true in the domain of the smallest of the small or how space-time can warp, bend, so that the velocity of light in a vacuum never varies. I spend so much ink on science because I was raised to revere it, and I still do.

In part 2, The Physics and Philosophy of the Bible deals first with my ideas concerning the possible origin of God, though, because reality is timeless, He may need no origin. Science deals with reality as we perceive it with our physical senses, and it cannot avoid materialism as part of its foundation. Therefore, it can have nothing to do with origin, and, when the pure scientist tries to account for Beginning with doxa, our world as it appears to us with our senses, it becomes entangled with the issue of time vs. timelessness and is unable to analyze the evolution of our universe prior to 10-43 seconds after the big bang. The discipline of cosmology is non-existent during that period, and one must therefore turn to theology and possibly philosophy in that period in order to shed any light on beginning/origin. As there was no matter during that infinitesimally short time-span, one must turn to the immaterial, i.e. abstraction or abstractions, in order to try to talk sensibly about what happened “then.” In my opinion, it is The Truth that characterizes and orchestrates the first 10-43 second of the existence of our world.

The Truth is all-Goodness, everything that is good, particularly everything that is good for cognitive individuals. The two most basic and important aspects of goodness that come to mind are The Law of Human Nature, which is the irrefutable rules of human behavior, and mathematics. Noting that Stephen Hawking, a very smart man, at least implied in A Brief History of Time that something must have been sufficiently compelling to initiate the world, because we do exist, I say that The Truth is the most compelling entity ever and that it must therefore be the “Arche’,” the  “Ruling Principle” that gave rise to everything else that is. I further claim that the Arche’ has to be irrepressible and that, in the absence of mind, it could do only a single thing, personify. Doing so, this Truth became a perfect person, and all-Goodness is perfect. This Person had to be pure mind, and, as such, He could and can think, and His thought, which is (logically) just as compelling as the Truth, is reality, such that whatever He imagines exists. (I do deal with gender in this work, but I shall not do so in this synopsis.) Mind is thus primary in our world, as Sirs Arthur Eddington and James Jeans noted early in this century. Hence we have the first chapter of part 2.

In the second chapter thereof, chapter 9, I show that the precepts of modern physics, especially those of Relativity, prove that we all live forever (though not all of us are likely to experience eternal life happily. Our universe as logos, which is our world as reason and of the mind’s eye, includes timelessness and therefore eternal existence in its make-up, and it is, according to Albert Einstein, ultimately real, whereas our time-bound universe is not, as it is fraught with entities that are not as they seem, such as time and space, more correctly called space-time. Thus, there is ultimately no past or future, only an eternal present, such that time is not what it seems to be, and death, which is caused by time, is also not as it seems, such that we all live forever. The only reality is in the present, and we are alive in the present; therefore, we live eternally.

Perspective, one of the most important aspects of our lives on earth, is tremendously well-illustrated by death. How the dying person perceives it is likely a lot different from the way that observers of the death scene view it. The latter, in my view, experience it as the termination of a worn-out person who often appears to be afraid, while the expiring person experiences transition, either to a realm of joy or to one of darkness and eternal misery, depending upon whether he or she has devoted him or herself, in life, to The Truth, the Source of everything. Many people appear content at death, thought many do not. Jesus is the difference; Corrie ten Boom, formerly in a Nazi concentration camp, analogized by saying that the last thing her father did before he put her on a train was to give her her ticket, and it seems to me as though the death of a Christian is ultimately like awakening from a bad dream.

Chapter 10 of part 2 concerns the phenomenon of quantum observation, which is the precept that nothing exists until it is observed. Thus, a tree that falls in a forest has not actually fallen until a cognitive person observes its falling. I reiterate here that mind, specifically that of God, is primary in our world, such that there can be mind without matter, as in the case of spirits, but not matter without mind. The thought of something’s living without a body is extremely strange to us, but it is no more so than virtually the entire science of quantum physics, which is, in fact, the division of science that proves that the concept of matterless mind is valid. The most fundamental truth of quantum mechanics, i.e. quantum physics, is that matter has a dual nature, existing as minuscule packets and also as waves, which are matterless. (Our entire bodies, including our brains, could exist with all their atoms in the wave state, and that in itself proves that matter is ultimately an abstraction because, in that state, we have form but no substance.) Quantum physicists have found and shown that, when the most fundamental of the parts of matter, elemental particles such as quarks and electrons, are under observation, they exist as quanta and that, when they are not being watched, they exist as waves. Thus, we clearly have, as an irrefutable principle of our world, that mind is foundational in it while matter is not.

Chapter 12, preceding some conclusions and a glossary, relates quantum observation to the creation of our world as described in Genesis. This process is two-fold, wherein God created the potential of the existence of our universe as in, “Let there be … ,” and then actualized it with ” … and God saw that it was good.” This method of creation jibes perfectly with what we observe in laboratories of quantum physics, and, since no other God is recorded as having created in this manner, the Judeo-Christian God must be the true God. Hence, we share the actualization aspect of creation with our God, though we cannot perform His creation of potential.