Cosmology Intelligent Design Quantum mechanics

Why physicists adhere to quantum theory despite bafflement

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In a telling anecdote:

Quantum field theory, which describes physics at subatomic scales, makes many mathematicians cringe because of its “algebraic shenanigans,” says Dorota Grabowska, a fellow in the CERN Theory Group. “If I had a conversation with a mathematician about quantum field theory, they would let out a sigh of exasperation. It’s like when your mom tells you to clean your room, so you shove everything in the closet. It looks fine, but please don’t open the closet.”

Quantum field theory is rife with something mathematicians can’t stand: unresolved infinities. In a 1977 essay, Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg wrote that “[Quantum field theory’s] reputation among physicists suffered frequent fluctuations… at times dropping so low that quantum field theory came close to be[ing] abandoned altogether.”

But quantum field theory survives because at the end of the day, it still makes predictions that check out with experiments, such as those at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

“The LHC is like our mother, and when she opens the closet, everything is magically organized,” Grabowska says.

Sarah Charley, “How to break a theory” at Symmetry Magazine (March 8, 2022)

Fair enough but then what do we make of the way the LHC experiments indicate that the universe is not random? See, for example,

“Nothing but… ” is now creating a crisis in science When science writers (and scientists) start using words like “miraculously,” it’s a clue that they are really stumped. As science writer Natalie Wolchover explains, nature appears embarrassingly fine-tuned and resists being reduced to little bits of nothing.

20 Replies to “Why physicists adhere to quantum theory despite bafflement

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    Heh, exactly.
    https://i.pinimg.com/564x/d6/e7/54/d6e754d24aaef324c1595e68583ace7a.jpg

    The biggest problem seems to be synthesizing an interpretation of quantum mechanics that doesn’t falsify deterministic materialism.

    -Q

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “It’s like when your mom tells you to clean your room, so you shove everything in the closet. It looks fine, but please don’t open the closet.”

    But for those who can’t help peaking inside the closet, this is just how ‘mathematically messy’ Quantum Field Theory of the Standard Model actually is.

    The deconstructed Standard Model equation – July 2016
    The Standard Model is far more than elementary particles arranged in a table.
    https://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/the-deconstructed-standard-model-equation

    And indeed, compared to other simple, even ‘beautiful’, equations of physics, the Standard Model is, by all rights, to be considered a hideous monstrosity.

    Top Ten Most Beautiful Equations in Physics – Sam Blind – 2018
    https://owlcation.com/stem/Top-Ten-Beautiful-Physics-Equations

    Mathematics: Why the brain sees maths as beauty – Feb. 12, 2014
    Excerpt: Mathematicians were shown “ugly” and “beautiful” equations while in a brain scanner at University College London.
    The same emotional brain centres used to appreciate art were being activated by “beautiful” maths.,,,
    One of the researchers, Prof Semir Zeki, told the BBC: “A large number of areas of the brain are involved when viewing equations, but when one looks at a formula rated as beautiful it activates the emotional brain – the medial orbito-frontal cortex – like looking at a great painting or listening to a piece of music.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc.....t-26151062

    In fact, and of related interest, Paul Dirac is said to have mathematically discovered the ‘anti-electron’, before it was empirically confirmed, solely through his mathematical ‘sense of beauty’:

    Graham Farmelo on Paul Dirac and Mathematical Beauty – video (28:12 minute mark – prediction of the ‘anti-electron’)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfYon2WdR40

    ‘it is more important to have beauty in one’s equations than to have them fit experiment’
    – Paul Dirac

    Also of related interest to mathematical beauty and the standard model, and contrary to popular opinion, the prediction of the Higgs Boson was not born out of the standard model,,, (As the following article states, “The Higgs particle itself is outside the (standard) model.”)

    The Higgs Paradox: A Phenomenal Finding Leads To Many More Questions – June 23rd, 2014 | by Michael Keller
    Excerpt: In fact, all of the stuff that the standard model explains represents only 4.9 percent of the universe. Dark matter, which physicists and astronomers can’t actually detect with their instruments, makes up 26.8 percent of the universe, and a whopping 68.3 percent is composed of dark energy, a hypothesized form of energy that is also currently undetectable.,,,
    The Higgs particle itself is outside the (standard) model. When its mass is plugged in, Bagger says, the picture goes wonky and the math says that quantum fluctuations over time should destroy the universe. “There are several options to fix the math, but none of them are within the standard model,” he says.
    http://txchnologist.com/post/8.....ds-to-many

    ,,, but instead the prediction of the Higgs Boson was actually born out of Peter Higgs’s sense of ‘mathematical beauty’.

    As the following article states, the prediction of the Higgs was made because, if the Higgs Boson did not exist then, “the mathematical harmony was spoiled. The equations became complex and unwieldy and, worse still, inconsistent.”
    And as the article goes on to state, “Don’t shove the particles’ masses down the throat of the beautiful equations. Instead, keep the equations pristine and symmetric, but consider them operating within a peculiar environment.”

    How the Higgs Boson Was Found Brian Greene – July 2013
    Before the elusive particle could be discovered—a smashing success—it had to be imagined
    Excerpt: When physicists in the 1960s modeled the behavior of these particles using equations rooted in quantum physics, they encountered a puzzle. If they imagined that the particles were all massless, then each term in the equations clicked into a perfectly symmetric pattern, like the tips of a perfect snowflake. And this symmetry was not just mathematically elegant. It explained patterns evident in the experimental data. But—and here’s the puzzle—physicists knew that the particles did have mass, and when they modified the equations to account for this fact, the mathematical harmony was spoiled. The equations became complex and unwieldy and, worse still, inconsistent.
    What to do? Here’s the idea put forward by Higgs. Don’t shove the particles’ masses down the throat of the beautiful equations. Instead, keep the equations pristine and symmetric, but consider them operating within a peculiar environment. Imagine that all of space is uniformly filled with an invisible substance—now called the Higgs field—that exerts a drag force on particles when they accelerate through it. Push on a fundamental particle in an effort to increase its speed and, according to Higgs, you would feel this drag force as a resistance. Justifiably, you would interpret the resistance as the particle’s mass.,,,
    In 1964, Higgs submitted a paper to a prominent physics journal in which he formulated this idea mathematically
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-the-higgs-boson-was-found-4723520/

    Moreover, the Higgs Boson, due to the fine-tuning of its mass, actually created more problems, (for atheists), in the Standard Model than it solved,,,

    Deepening Crisis In Particle Physics – March 2022
    Excerpt: The Higgs mass seems unnaturally dialed down relative to these higher energies, as if huge numbers in the underlying equation that determines its value all miraculously cancel out.
    Natalie Wolchover, “A Deepening Crisis Forces Physicists to Rethink Structure of Nature’s Laws” at Quanta (March 1, 2022)
    News: “When science writers (and scientists) start using words like “miraculously,” it’s a clue that they are really stumped.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/deepening-crisis-in-particle-physics-rob-sheldon-responds/

    The 2 most dangerous numbers in the universe are threatening the end of physics – Jan. 14, 2016
    Excerpt: Dangerous No. 1: The strength of the Higgs field,,,
    there’s something mysterious about the Higgs field that continues to perturb physicists like Cliff.
    According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity and the theory of quantum mechanics — the two theories in physics that drive our understanding of the cosmos on incredibly large and extremely small scales — the Higgs field should be performing one of two tasks, says Cliff.
    Either it should be turned off, meaning it would have a strength value of zero and wouldn’t be working to give particles mass, or it should be turned on, and, as the theory goes, this “on value” is “absolutely enormous,” Cliff says. But neither of those two scenarios are what physicists observe.
    “In reality, the Higgs field is just slightly on,” says Cliff. “It’s not zero, but it’s ten-thousand-trillion times weaker than it’s fully on value — a bit like a light switch that got stuck just before the ‘off’ position. And this value is crucial. If it were a tiny bit different, then there would be no physical structure in the universe.”
    Why the strength of the Higgs field is so ridiculously weak defies understanding.,,,
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/.....57366.html

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this comment from the OP, “If I had a conversation with a mathematician about quantum field theory, they would let out a sigh of exasperation.,,, Quantum field theory is rife with something mathematicians can’t stand: unresolved infinities.”

    As to just how mathematically unsatisfactory this is, the following article states, “The theory was glued together with hopes and prayers. Only by using a technique dubbed “renormalization,” which involved carefully concealing infinite quantities,”,, “It is what I would call a dippy process,” Richard Feynman later wrote. “Having to resort to such hocus-pocus has prevented us from proving that the theory of quantum electrodynamics is mathematically self-consistent.”,,, “This is just not sensible mathematics,” wrote Paul Dirac, a groundbreaking quantum theorist.”

    How Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics – 2020
    Excerpt: There was just one problem: The theory was glued together with hopes and prayers. Only by using a technique dubbed “renormalization,” which involved carefully concealing infinite quantities, could researchers sidestep bogus predictions. The process worked, but even those developing the theory suspected it might be a house of cards resting on a tortured mathematical trick.
    “It is what I would call a dippy process,” Richard Feynman later wrote. “Having to resort to such hocus-pocus has prevented us from proving that the theory of quantum electrodynamics is mathematically self-consistent.”,,,
    “This is just not sensible mathematics,” wrote Paul Dirac, a groundbreaking quantum theorist.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-renormalization-saved-particle-physics-20200917/

    Of related interest, one of the major mathematical stumbling blocks for theoretical physicists in trying to find that hypothetical mathematical “Theory of Everything’ has been the problem of quote unquote ‘renormalizing’ the infinities that crop us when one tries to mathematically unify Quantum Mechanics with General Relativity.

    “The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory.”

    Theories of the Universe: Quantum Mechanics vs. General Relativity
    Excerpt: The first attempt at unifying relativity and quantum mechanics took place when special relativity was merged with electromagnetism. This created the theory of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. It is an example of what has come to be known as relativistic quantum field theory, or just quantum field theory. QED is considered by most physicists to be the most precise theory of natural phenomena ever developed.
    http://www.infoplease.com/cig/.....ivity.html

    After nearly two decades of work, it only became possible to unify Special relativity and Quantum Mechanics when the “infinite results” between the two theories were dealt with by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman referred to this mathematical sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”

    THE INFINITY PUZZLE: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe
    Excerpt: In quantum electrodynamics, which applies quantum mechanics to the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter, the equations led to infinite results for the self-energy or mass of the electron. After nearly two decades of effort, this problem was solved after World War II by a procedure called renormalization, in which the infinities are rolled up into the electron’s observed mass and charge, and are thereafter conveniently ignored. Richard Feynman, who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga for this breakthrough, referred to this sleight of hand as “brushing infinity under the rug.”
    http://www.americanscientist.o.....g-infinity

    One of the ‘unacceptable’ side-effects of renormalizing the infinity between quantum mechanics and special relativity is that it also came at the cost of also brushing ‘the measurement problem’ and/or ‘observation’ itself under the rug.

    As Nobel Prize-winning Sheldon Lee Glashow himself stated, “Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.”

    Not So Real – Sheldon Lee Glashow – Oct. 2018
    Review of: “What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics”
    by Adam Becker
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and their contemporaries knew well that the theory they devised could not be made compatible with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. First order in time, but second order in space, Schrödinger’s equation is nonrelativistic. Although quantum field theory is fully compatible with the special theory of relativity, a relativistic treatment of quantum measurement has yet to be formulated.
    https://inference-review.com/article/not-so-real

    Yet, ‘quantum measurement’ is precisely where quantum mechanics makes its ‘weirdness’ fully evident.

    As the following delayed choice experiment with atoms found, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice with atoms) quantum experiment confirms – Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    “Quantum physics predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, a PhD student who worked on the experiment.,,,
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    Thus, in the process of “brushing infinity under the rug” in order to unify quantum mechanics and special relativity, it appears that they also brushed the, by far, most interesting part of Quantum Mechanics itself under the rug. Namely, Quantum Field Theory apparently also brushes the entire enigma of quantum measurement itself under the rug as well.

    But anyways, although special relativity and quantum mechanics were, via the mathematical sleight of hand of renormalization, mathematically unified with one another in order to produce Quantum Electrodynamics, no such mathematical sleight of hand exists for unifying General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics.

    Professor Jeremy Bernstein states the situation as such, “there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.”

    Quantum Leaps – Jeremy Bernstein – October 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Divergent series notwithstanding, quantum electrodynamics yielded results of remarkable accuracy. Consider the magnetic moment of the electron. This calculation, which has been calculated up to the fifth order in ?, agrees with experiment to ten parts in a billion. If one continued the calculation to higher and higher orders, at some point the series would begin to break down. There is no sign of that as yet. Why not carry out a similar program for gravitation? One can readily write down the Feynman graphs that represent the terms in the expansion. Yet there remains an irremediable difficulty. Every order reveals new types of infinities, and no finite number of renormalizations renders all the terms in the series finite.
    The theory is not renormalizable.
    https://inference-review.com/article/quantum-leaps
    Jeremy Bernstein is professor emeritus of physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    And as theoretical physicist Sera Cremonini stated, “You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,”

    Why Gravity Is Not Like the Other Forces
    We asked four physicists why gravity stands out among the forces of nature. We got four different answers.
    Excerpt: the quantum version of Einstein’s general relativity is “nonrenormalizable.”,,,
    In quantum theories, infinite terms appear when you try to calculate how very energetic particles scatter off each other and interact. In theories that are renormalizable — which include the theories describing all the forces of nature other than gravity — we can remove these infinities in a rigorous way by appropriately adding other quantities that effectively cancel them, so-called counterterms. This renormalization process leads to physically sensible answers that agree with experiments to a very high degree of accuracy.
    The problem with a quantum version of general relativity is that the calculations that would describe interactions of very energetic gravitons — the quantized units of gravity — would have infinitely many infinite terms. You would need to add infinitely many counterterms in a never-ending process. Renormalization would fail.,,,
    Sera Cremonini – theoretical physicist – Lehigh University
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/why-gravity-is-not-like-the-other-forces-20200615/

    Dr. William Dembski in this following comment, although he was not directly addressing the ‘infinite’ mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, offers this insight into what the ‘unification’ of infinite God with finite man might look like mathematically:, Specifically he states, “The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhDs. Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Philippians 2:8-9
    And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    December 2021 – When scrutinizing some of the many fascinating details of the Shroud of Turin, we find that both General Relativity, i.e. gravity, and Quantum Mechanics were both dealt with in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/in-time-for-american-thanksgiving-stephen-meyer-on-the-frailty-of-scientific-atheism/#comment-741600

    Video and Verse:

    Jesus Christ as the correct “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8–eE

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    Dillinger’s Theory explains their adherence.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/4

    Moreover, when we rightly allow the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, (as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders,,,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands with the closing of the “freedom-of-choice” loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), then rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead bridges the infinite mathematical divide that exists between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics and provides us with an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”

    No, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t matter how many times you post this, it’s still incoherent.

    “God did it” is not a theory of everything, it’s not a theory of anything because you have no more idea of how your God did whatever you think he did than materialists have of how it all came about through natural physical processes.

    So, for explanatory purposes, it doesn’t really matter whether God is allowed in or shut out as a causal agency. It makes no difference.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Seversky,

    Don’t you see the problem with the theory of Nature creating nature from nothing? For example, how did space-time create space-time?

    -Q

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states: “No, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t matter how many times you post this, it’s still incoherent.”

    Well Seversky, not to be too nit-picky, but if you are going to be able to rightly separate what is logically coherent from what is logically incoherent, should you not, at least, first endorse a worldview that is able to ground logical reasoning??.. instead of dogmatically clinging to your Atheistic Naturalism/Materialism which is unable to ground ‘immaterial’ logic??

    As Dr. Egnor points out, “logic — is neither material nor natural.,,, logic,, is outside of any naturalistic frame.”

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: The hallmarks of the mind — intentionality, qualia, restricted access, the generation of propositions and logic, etc., have nothing whatsoever to do with matter. Matter, as understood by physics, isn’t intentional — it isn’t about anything. Matter is not inherently subjective, it doesn’t generate propositions or logic, etc.,,,
    Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    On top of that, the resolute denial of the reality of free will by Atheistic Naturalists also directly undermines the atheist’s claim that they are making, (and/or that they are even capable of making), logically coherent arguments in the first place.

    As Martin Cothran explains, “By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself.”

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    As a shining example of just how logically incoherent the atheist’s worldview actually is, the following statement by militant atheist Jerry Coyne should literally be the number one example of a logically self-refuting argument that is given in philosophy 101 classes.

    “Free will is an illusion so convincing that people simply refuse to believe that we don’t have it.,,,”
    – Jerry Coyne – The Illusion of Free Will – Sam Harris – 2012

    Moreover besides, (via their denial of free will), undermining any claim that they themselves are even capable of making logically coherent arguments in the first place, Darwinian atheists, (via their belief that the universe itself is, at base, the result of random chaos instead of being the result of a rational and Intelligent Mind), undermine any claim that the universe itself should be rational.

    As Einstein himself stated, (according to the presuppositions of atheistic materialism), “a priori one should expect a chaotic world which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way.”

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – 1952
    Excerpt: You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori one should expect a chaotic world which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way. One could (yes one should) expect the world to be subjected to law only to the extent that we order it through our intelligence. Ordering of this kind would be like the alphabetical ordering of the words of a language. By contrast, the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for instance, is wholly different. Even if the axioms of the theory are proposed by man, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the “miracle” which is being constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles”.
    https://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    And indeed, as Einstein himself pointed out, it is, by all rights, to be considered a ‘miracle’ that mathematics should even be applicable to the universe.

    One fairly huge clue that it is a ‘miracle’, Mathematics, (like logic), is profoundly immaterial in its foundational essence,,

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    And since mathematics, (like logic), is profoundly immaterial in its foundational essence, Darwinian materialists simply have no realistic clue why we should even be able to understand ‘immaterial’ mathematics in the first place, nor do they have any realistic clue why the universe itself should be describable by ‘immaterial’ mathematics.

    Like Einstein, Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner also considered the applicability of mathematics to the universe is to be a ‘miracle’.

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,, certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Darwinian atheists, (besides having no realistic clue why ‘immaterial’ mathematics should even be, ‘miraculously’, applicable to the universe in the first place), simply have no realistic clue why we, of all creatures on earth, should uniquely possess this, ‘miraculous’, capability of grasping the immaterial mathematics that lay behind this universe.

    As Michael Egnor states, (and as far as our ability to think about immaterial ‘abstract’ concepts is concerned), “We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals
    Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    So thus in conclusion, Seversky may try to, (repeatedly), claim that Christianity is a logically incoherent worldview, but alas, it turns out that it is Seversky’s very own worldview of Atheistic Naturalism/Materialism that is profoundly, and utterly, logically incoherent in its foundational essence.

    Moreover, this logical incoherency that is inherent to his atheistic worldview is literally built right into the foundational ‘random chaos’ presupposition that lies at the heart of his atheistic worldview.

    Whereas, on the other hand, logic, and/or ‘divine reasoning’, is literally built right into the foundational presupposition of the Christian’s worldview,,, and thus the Christian has more than sufficient reason to presuppose the universe to be rational and reasonable in its foundational essence.,, (and indeed it was that ‘logical’ presupposition that led to the founding of modern science in Medieval Christian Europe).

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos also happens to be the root word from which we derive our modern word logic?
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    Of supplemental note:

    Keep It Simple – Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: “Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem ­immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.,,,”
    – per first things

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    “God did it” is not a theory of everything, it’s not a theory of anything because you have no more idea of how your God did whatever you think he did than materialists have of how it all came about through natural physical processes.

    We know quite a lot more about how God did it than we could know from materialism. Just by eliminating some causes we have some knowledge.
    Natural physical processes (materialism) is a single entity – there is nothing more or less. So, how can the physical world create the physical world? It’s a circularity and illogical.
    Therefore, we know that God did not use physical nature to create physical nature, since the cause of the thing’s existence cannot be equivalent to the thing (the cause must preceed the existence of the thing). So, we know how God created the universe at least much more than materialism’s claims by stating, logically, God used immaterial means.
    Immaterial means for the creation of things begin with design – in the mind.
    So, it’s a strong inference that God designed the universe with His intellect.

  10. 10
    Querius says:

    Querius: Don’t you see the problem with the theory of Nature creating nature from nothing? For example, how did space-time create space-time?

    Silver Asiatic: Natural physical processes (materialism) is a single entity – there is nothing more or less. So, how can the physical world create the physical world? It’s a circularity and illogical.

    Bornagain77, Kairosfocus, and others here often mention that REALITY seems to be based on information and conscious observation. For example

    This concept is now widely accepted by quantum physicists. Vlatko Vedral is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College. As a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, here’s how he expresses it:

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information––and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”

    The key insight here is the realization that when we simply observe light, electrons, even small molecules or viruses in the famous double-slit experiment, it determines results in either a particle or a wave pattern depending on how they’re observed.

    June 3, 2015
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.

    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.

    “Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.”

    https://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-theory-weirdness.html

    Nevertheless, Seversky and others here continually bring up their same often-falsified 18th century conceptions of material reality regardless of how many times we post the current experimental evidence in quantum mechanics. I can only conclude that this demonstrates symptoms of ideological poisoning within a titanium cranium.

    -Q

    P.S. I’ve also noticed and complained that detractors here rarely bring anything substantive to the table, only their unsupported assertions and ad hominems, which apparently they consider as irrefutable proof.

  11. 11
    PaV says:

    Seversky:

    I wish to quibble with this:

    “God did it” is not a theory of everything, it’s not a theory of anything because you have no more idea of how your God did whatever you think he did than materialists have of how it all came about through natural physical processes.

    So, for explanatory purposes, it doesn’t really matter whether God is allowed in or shut out as a causal agency. It makes no difference.

    First, “God did it” is not a “theory,” but an “hypothesis.” As in: “If God is the Creator of all things, then . . . .”

    Second, and perhaps you agree here (given your remark about ‘materialists’), “Evolution did it” is not much of a “theory” either–it’s no more than an assumption.

    Third, I think you’re simply wrong when you say that “for explanatory purposes,” it doesn’t matter whether God is allowed in or shut out as a causal agency.

    Yes, it does matter. In fact, it’s critical. It’s why we have experimental science in the West.

    Christians, “assuming” that God put things in motion, also then believed that there must be something in the ‘created order’ that keeps these things moving: it’s called, ‘inertia.’

    Atheism is a recent phenomena; but science in the West goes back to 13th century seminaries–which, nowadays, we call ‘universities.’

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius @ 10

    You quote:

    reality does not exist if you are not looking at it

    I’m posting this because it was provided as a brute statement. Anyone like Dr. Andrew Truscott who says or writes something like that needs to accept it for what it is. If he means something else, then he shouldn’t make that statement – agreed?

    The idea that reality does not exist unless you’re looking at it (or maybe it doesn’t exist at all) is a notion that WJM supports as well as BA77 and I think you are posting this because it is your belief …

    I’d just start with the idea that there are quite a lot of things that I am not looking at – right now, or at any given time.
    For example, last week I looked at a little seedling. It had 2 leaves. Today I looked and it had four leaves. Scientifically, since the plant did not exist while I wasn’t looking at it – the 2 new leaves didn’t grow over time but the new leaves just appeared fully formed today, not as something that gradually came out of the stem slowly.

    Going farther, in fact, there are many things that I have never looked at. So, Dr. Truscott would need say they never existed at all. In fact, he has never looked at me. So for him, I do not exist.

    I think we can we see how this destroys any claim to coherent thought. How is this not more insane than the belief of materialists?
    I’ve mentioned this before to BA77, that in the admirable desire to destroy materialism, all of reality was destroyed in the process (except for what I am looking at for any given instant).

    There are other, more sane ways to look at quantum measurements rather than to have to conclude that reality does not exist unless you are looking at it.
    That idea is beyond just “weirdness” but is just intellectual chaos.

    Or am I missing something here?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Well SA, as much as it may upset your a-priori picture of the world, the experimental results from Quantum Mechanics are what they are.

    If you believe that a material/physical reality exists before measurement, (or more precisely, if you believe that a material/physical reality exists before we “choose” what to measure), then the impetus is on you to provide experimental evidence from quantum mechanics to the contrary, because right now the experimental evidence simply does not exist.

    Quantum Mechanics, as weird as it predictions may seem to you, has passed every experimental test that has been put to it with flying colors.

    Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?
    Inexplicable lab results may be telling us we’re on the cusp of a new scientific paradigm
    By Bernardo Kastrup on April 19, 2018
    Excerpt: ,, according to the current paradigm, (materialism and/or physicalism), the properties of an object should exist and have definite values even when the object is not being observed: the moon should exist and have whatever weight, shape, size and color it has even when nobody is looking at it. Moreover, a mere act of observation should not change the values of these properties. Operationally, all this is captured in the notion of “non-contextuality”: ,,,
    since Alain Aspect’s seminal experiments in 1981–82, these predictions (of Quantum Mechanics) have been repeatedly confirmed, with potential experimental loopholes closed one by one. 1998 was a particularly fruitful year, with two remarkable experiments performed in Switzerland and Austria. In 2011 and 2015, new experiments again challenged non-contextuality. Commenting on this, physicist Anton Zeilinger has been quoted as saying that “there is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure [that is, observe] about a system has [an independent] reality.” Finally, Dutch researchers successfully performed a test closing all remaining potential loopholes, which was considered by Nature the “toughest test yet.”,,,
    It turns out, however, that some predictions of QM are incompatible with non-contextuality even for a large and important class of non-local theories. Experimental results reported in 2007 and 2010 have confirmed these predictions. To reconcile these results with the current paradigm would require a profoundly counterintuitive redefinition of what we call “objectivity.” And since contemporary culture has come to associate objectivity with reality itself, the science press felt compelled to report on this by pronouncing, “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality.”
    The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/should-quantum-anomalies-make-us-rethink-reality/

    Moreover SA, saying that material/physical reality does not exist until we choose what to measure is a far cry from saying “they never existed at all” as you are trying to imply.

    It merely falsifies (Atheistic) materialism and/or physicalism as the ultimate substratum of reality, and leaves Theism on the table as the only rational alternative to Solipsism. As Professor Richard Conn Henry of John Hopkins university put it, “a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism,”

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism,
    (Of note: solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist).
    (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Of note: Leggett’s Inequality was violated, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Personally, and as a Christian, I happen to be very comfortable with the ‘infinite Mind of God” sustaining this universe in its (Planck) moment by (Planck) moment existence, and God being the ultimate substratum of all reality.

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Supplemental notes:

    Eight intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness must precede material reality

    1. Double Slit experiment,
    2. Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries,
    3. as well as the recent (somewhat tentative) confirmation of the Wigner’s friend thought experiment,
    4. Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, (Quantum Eraser, etc..)
    5. Leggett’s Inequalities,
    6. Quantum Zeno effect,
    7. Quantum Information theory and the experimental realization of the Maxwell demon thought experiment,
    8. and last but not least, the recent closing of the ‘freedom of choice’ loophole (by Anton Zeilinger and company).

    Putting all these lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics together, the argument for God from consciousness can now be succinctly framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality (Jerry Coyne). or is an intrinsic property of material reality, (panpsychism, Philip Goff)
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality (Jerry Coyne). or is an intrinsic property of material reality, (panpsychism, Philip Goff), then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Also see:

    How Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness Correlate
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f0hL3Nrdas

    Verse:

    Acts 17:28
    For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    Moreover SA, saying that material/physical reality does not exist until we choose what to measure is a far cry from saying “they never existed at all” as you are trying to imply.

    Could you explain this? You’re agreeing with the statement I posted (Querius posted it):

    reality does not exist if you are not looking at it

    I said, if I never look at something, then it never exists. Reality only exists when I look at it. Plus, a lot of people never look at me – so for them, I do not exist.
    You’re saying that’s a “far cry” from what it means. But you didn’t explain.
    I gave you an example of my plant. When I look at it, supposedly, it exists. When I don’t look, it doesn’t exist. So, it never grew new leaves. They just popped into existence the next time I looked at it.

    I think you’ve got quite a lot to explain and I haven’t seen anything yet.

    For example also – it’s quite easy with that quantum view to say “Moses never existed”.
    I never looked at Moses, and reality only exists when I look at it – so obviously, Moses never existed.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    SA, let me ask you a question, in your mind does the word ‘reality’ equate to materialism or to God?

  16. 16
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA – “reality” is just everything that is real. The material world, God, angels, human beings, the human soul, rocks, trees, ideas, stars, energy forces, immaterial essences – they’re all part of what we call “reality”.
    So, God created the physical universe – that’s a major part of reality. He also created heaven, for example – that’s also real.
    Things that are not real are those things that have never existed, or could not exist.

    I think Genesis 1:1 causes the conflict. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

    That conflicts with the idea that reality does not exist unless I’m looking at it.

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @12,
    No, you’re not missing anything.

    The quote you’re challenging is an extrapolation of the concept of collapsing wavefunctions, which are mathematical probability waves. A probability wave is no less “real” than a particle, but is non-material. Here’s an analogy. If one throws a spinning coin into the air, there’s a 50-50 chance it will turn out to be heads when it lands. That probability is as real as the coin.

    Where one can get off track is assuming that only particles are “real” and they wink in and out of existence. I don’t think that’s what Dr. Truscott meant, but I know what you’re saying.

    -Q

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    SA, EVERYTHING is ALWAYS dependent upon the reality of God for its own ‘reality’.

    i.e. God did not just create a material reality apart from Himself and walk away (i.e. Deism).

    And this is not some foreign concept to Christianity but was laid out by Aquinas, via Aristotle.

    A few notes to that effect:

    What Is Matter? The Aristotelian Perspective – Michael Egnor – July 21, 2017
    Excerpt: Heisenberg, almost alone among the great physicists of the quantum revolution, understood that the Aristotelian concept of potency and act was beautifully confirmed by quantum theory and evidence.,,,
    Heisenberg wrote:
    ,,,The probability wave of Bohr, Kramers, Slater… was a quantitative version of the old concept of “potentia” in Aristotelian philosophy. It introduced something standing in the middle between the idea of an event and the actual event, a strange kind of physical reality just in the middle between possibility and reality…The probability function combines objective and subjective elements,,,
    Thus, the existence of potential quantum states described by Schrodinger’s equation (which is a probability function) are the potency (the “matter”) of the system, and the collapse of the quantum waveform is the reduction of potency to act. To an Aristotelian (like Heisenberg), quantum mechanics isn’t strange at all.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/what-is-matter-the-aristotelian-perspective/

    Aquinas’ First Way
    1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
    3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
    4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
    5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
    6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
    7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....t-way.html

    1) Change exists in nature (evidence)
    2) Change is the actuation of potentiality, and an essential chain of actuations cannot go to infinite regress. A fully actual Prime Mover is necessary (logic)
    3) That Prime Mover is what all men call God (conclusion)
    – Michael Egnor – 2020
    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/03/jerry-coyne-hasnt-got-a-prayer/

    Or to put it much more simply:

    “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”
    Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....first.html

    “It’s impossible for something to put itself into motion. Therefore, anything in motion is put into motion by something else. There isn’t an infinite regress of movers in motion. Therefore, there is a prime mover, something that moves without itself being in motion, God.”
    – summation of Thomas Aquinas’ first mover argument

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA

    i.e. God did not just create a material reality apart from Himself and walk away (i.e. Deism).

    Good point. Yes, that’s important.
    God is the sustainer of all reality – making physical processes possible, the source of energy … in Him we live and move and have our being.
    So, we could say that “reality is always being observed” in that sense. God’s presence causes things to be real.
    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth …” Adam and Eve weren’t around, so human observers were not necessary for reality to exist. But maybe we could say “God’s observation” was the necessary element.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    SA 19, “By Jove! I think we’ve got it!!!!”

    By Jove! I think we’ve got it!!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUXanWDGzYI

    Joshua 1:9
    “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

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