THE END OF THE LINE FOR MATERIALISM?
QUANTUM PHYSICS—THE END OF THE LINE FOR MATERIALISM?
Excerpted from Science God and You: The Ancient Theory of Everything
From the Chapter—Matter is Thought
Let’s start with the scientific term—“teeny weeny.” Consider the absolutely teeniest weeniest thing imaginable. The actually smallest particle of the smallest particle—this is the fundamental building block of everything in the “physical” world. Teeny weeny loops of energy called “strings.” Many scientists say they are what everything is made of and they exist and comprise a “unified field.” Unified field is a term scientists give to what is essentially—everything. Take a deep breath. Big news. Everything—rocks, worms, flowers and people—is made of the same thing. This, of course hasn’t been “proven.” There are many sub-theories that comprise string-theory—they defy scientific methodology for experimentation and “proof.”
As you have also heard, scientists have been stumped for years trying to come up with a “theory of everything.” The problem, of course is the huge gap between the seeming mechanical precision of the “macro-world”—the world we see—and the quantum (teeny weeny) world of entanglement (or as Einstein called it—spookie action at a distance), and its unpredictable “probabilities.” The assumption being that there must be a theory that would connect and include both areas in an overarching theory of everything. But what if the reason they are stumped on how to connect the two worlds-- the macro and the micro-- is that there aren’t two worlds—two real worlds, anyway. What if the macro world which seems to be measurable is only measurable because we think it is measurable? It could be that we are just as prone to unpredictable probabilities as the world of vibrating strings is because our macro world is only a world of perception—made up of vibrating strings.
There was a famous French mathematician whose thoughts presupposed the quest for a theory of everything. He seemed to recognize the simplicity which would need to characterize such a theory. He said:
“An intellect, which at a given instant knew all the forces acting in nature, and the position of all things of which the world consists—supposing the said intellect were vast enough to subject these data to analysis—would embrace in the same formula the motions of the greatest bodies in the universe and those of the slightest atoms; nothing would be uncertain for it, and the future, like the past would be present to its eyes.”
There have been many successes in the study of quantum theory, but as physicist, Lee Smolin said, “there are many experts who are convinced that quantum theory hides something essential about nature that we need to know.” Is this a classic understatement? I don’t want to put thoughts in your head (yes, I do) but could this be any more understated? Dr. Smolin in his wonderful book—The Trouble with Physics, goes on to bemoan a state of science in which, “we are accidental descendants of an ancient primate, who appeared only very recently in the history of the world. It cannot be that reality depends on our existence.”
It cannot be that reality depends on our existence!
Is this a valid statement for any scientist to make? Yet it seems to be the stance of the scientific establishment as a whole, and has been for centuries—since Copernicus. So instead of embracing the possibility screamed by what experiments in quantum mechanics obviously indicate, established science looks to “ancient aliens” as a possible source of life. “Realism” is what scientists call the view that there is a real world “out there” independent of what humans might do, say, or think. Some call it RWOT—the real world out there. There are literally thousands of physicists all over the world working feverishly on scientific ways to resolve the “problems” presented by quantum theory and string theory. They either have to find a way to make complete sense out of them or to invent a new theory that resolves these issues. But it could be that the “problem” is science itself—and its self-imposed need to ignore the “supernatural,” the “spiritual,” consciousness or whatever may lie beyond what they see as a “mechanical universe.” This even though their own science is screaming at them that they have reached THE END OF THE LINE ON MATERIALISM.
Jim Gleeson 2016