Quantum mechanics

I just finished reading, Can science explain everything?, by John Lennox, and enjoyed it immensely. I was given this book by a close friend. I had asked my friend if he was aware of any RZIM material directly related to the discussion of quantum mechanics and faith. In his book John made only one cursory reference on page 77 to quantum thought. Can you direct me to any further, more in-depth material regarding this subject? Thanks.

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Hello @lshenricks.

Perhaps you would enjoy the following resource:

There are several areas in which I disagree with Polkinghorne, but I found this an interesting and helpful read on this topic.

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So grateful for the link, Joshua.
This is the exact type of reading material I was hoping to find.
Have already ordered the book!:smiley:

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I would love to discuss the ideas further as you read through.

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Hi @lshenricks, with @Joshua_Hansen I also depart from John Polkinghorne on numerous points (most notably his embrace of process theology in some of his writings), however, when I read your question I immediately thought of his book Science and the Trinity!

The book is not exclusively about quantum theory by any means, however he does engage in some theological reflection on quantum-relevant topics. Outstanding to me is his consideration of quantum entanglement as potentially inferring that deep relationality is at the very heart of creation/ reality/the universe!

It is rare to find someone wrestling with the concept of God / theology and quantum theory, but rarer still to find someone thinking about the Christian Trinitarian God in relation to quantum theory. For me, this work has definitely been worth engaging with even if I cannot follow Dr. Polkinghorne in all his commitments; many of his insights hold true even apart from these and are very worthwhile.

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Will certainly post my thoughts, definitely more on the practical side as I am a builder by vocation not an academic :laughing:

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Haha! No problem! I have not studied any science on a college level. It has all be just a passionate avocation for me. You don’t have to be a fancy pants academic to have a love for learning!

As an encouragement, Christopher Langan, a man with one of the highest IQs ever recorded, is a bouncer. He is self taught in many areas of science.

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Hello Ellis,

Just saw this post, thank you for the question. I’m not in my office so I don’t have access to my books relating scientific theories of God, especially Quantum, but when I return, I’ll take a look and see what I can come up with.

The subject of Quantum is profoundly interesting and causes me great consternation. I more or less admit quantum observations but reject many principles and interpretative theories. However, I don’t feel alone, as many scientists have (had) great difficulties with the interpretation of quantum observations such as Einstein, Bell, de Broglie, and Nelson. Further, scientists are distributed broadly between about 20 or so interpretative schools of quantum thought, ranging from deterministic to stochastic. But the three most popular schools of quantum thought tend to be the Copenhagen, Many Worlds, and EPR (Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen) Paradox (I hold to this latter view).

The vastly different interpretations of these three views of the same quantum observations illustrate the profundity of the quantum question on the nature of reality. Both the Copenhagen and Many World views hold that reality is an unrealizable artifact because it is either undetermined and probabilistic (Copenhagen) or decohered (Many Worlds). EPR however, holds that reality does exist and the bizarre quantum observations are explained by hidden (unknown) variables (John Bell).

So, when we first approach quantum, we must differentiate between the observations / theories that allow us to predict quantum behaviors and interpretation of the observation / theories. The observations / theories themselves stand on solid ground, but the interpretations are (so far) subjective. The next step may be to understand the difference and applications for two major view of the quantum theory: QED (Quantum Electrodynamics) and QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics). Both QED & QCD require renormalization to eliminate infinities (this means that there may indeed be some serious gaps in quantum theories). QED is directed towards photonic interactions between charged particles (electro-weak force) and QCD is directed towards sub-nuclear particle interactions (strong force).

EPR nicely admits the integration of the Standard Model (of particle physics). So, to me this EPR plus the Standard Model is the most satisfactory answer. The implication of this on theology has less dramatic impact than Copenhagen or Many Worlds theories has. EPR + SM is at least theoretically compatible with a classical (Newtonian) understanding of reality (i.e., no fundamental conflict with theology). Copenhagen and Many Worlds views tend to treat reality either as an artifact or an indeterminable; thus, the impact on theology is potentially profound—scientifically profound (i.e., in terms of cosmogony & cosmology) and philosophically profound (i.e., lack of an objective reality, no morality or ethics, etc.).

Thank you again for the interesting question.

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Hello Eric,
Thanks for your thoughtful and extensive response to my question. You indeed are much more versed in this topic than am I so I do appreciate your insights and knowledge regarding this subject. I have been slowly working my way through John Polkinghorne’s book recommended by Joshua and appreciate the parallels he sees between his vocations as a theoretical physicist and a theologian. The substance of his writings (and videos of his presentations on YouTube) has indeed been very satisfying in my quest for deeper understanding of the correlation between my Father’s creation and His character.

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