The Patterson Theorem: God is in the quantum details

Christiaan Patterson

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One of the many fascinating aspects of being human is the ability to critically analyze the world around us, both what we can see, as well as what is not visible to the human eye.

Many experts agree that one day it could be possible to explain the existence of God through a collaboration of religion and science. It is critical for the future to have a collaboration of knowledge on these two different paths which both seek to explain identical outcomes, rather than working against one another.

In a very broad sense, religion sets out to explain our existence by centering around one solid power that controls all things in the universe. Science attempts to figure out the same ideas only without assuming there is a master controller.

At Oxford University, particle physicist and now Anglican priest John Polkinghorne has worked for the past 21 years to discover if there is “any concrete evidence of God’s hand at work in the physical world.” Both his careers demanded forward thinking to pursue a connection between quantum physics and faith.

During a conference last July, Polkinghorne submitted the idea that the best area to seek the existence of God is within the subatomic realm. However, he warned the laws of quantum physics do not allow for absolute certainty, only probability. Also, there is not enough information available to make any kind of definite finding regarding the universe.

There still lies one idea that both science and religion agree on: Every event that occurs could very well be controlled by a higher or divine intelligence.

For example, a plausible reason a lightning bolt strikes the earth is not a random discharge of energy or a miracle of God, but merely an exact creation of the universe intended to appear at a set time by a master controller.

If God is energy, and not a physical being on a throne dictating what everything and everyone does, then God is quite possible to find by using quantum mechanics. This raises a question of energy, which stems back to the basic laws of physics as discovered by Sir Isaac Newton: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but is merely transformed into another state of being.

Building on this idea, it could be hypothesized that God is inside everything, since all things in existence are made up of atoms and molecules. Polkinghorne said the world as we know it cannot be completely explained without the idea of God filling in the gaps that science can’t fill.

It must be stressed that these scientists are not trying to use God as an answer until another explanation is discovered. Quantum physicist Antoine Saurez in Zurich, Switzerland said physics cannot prove God exists, but modern science is extremely like-minded with religion and can work well together.

For thousands of years, wars have been fought in the name of God and so much blood has been shed while attempting to prove who is right and wrong. Yet, science and religion are both focused on the singular goal of finding out why we are here.