Reality: can science prove God? (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 26, 2019, 16:44 (194 days ago) @ David Turell

Not fully:

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/can-science-rule-out-god/?utm_source=...

"Can Science Rule Out God?
"We must understand the laws of nature before we can deduce their origins

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"Is the universe infinite and eternal? Why does it seem to follow mathematical laws, and are those laws inevitable? And, perhaps most important, why does the universe exist? Why is there something instead of nothing?

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"Einstein often invoked God when he talked about physics....He was clearly awed by the laws of physics and grateful that they were mathematically decipherable. (“The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility,” he said. “The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.”)

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"Although quantum theory is now the foundation of particle physics, many scientists still share Einstein’s discomfort with its implications. The theory has revealed aspects of nature that seem supernatural: the act of observing something can apparently alter its reality, and quantum entanglement can weave together distant pieces of spacetime. (Einstein derisively called it “spooky action at a distance.”) The laws of nature also put strict limits on what we can learn about the universe. We can’t peer inside black holes, for example, or view anything that lies beyond the distance that light has traveled since the start of the big bang.

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"Cosmologists don’t know if the universe even had a beginning. Instead it might’ve had an eternal past before the big bang, stretching infinitely backward in time. Some cosmological models propose that the universe has gone through endless cycles of expansion and contraction. And some versions of the theory of inflation postulate an eternal process in which new universes are forever branching off from the speedily expanding “inflationary background.”

"But other cosmologists argue that inflation had to start somewhere, and the starting point could’ve been essentially nothing. As we’ve learned from quantum theory, even empty space has energy, and nothingness is unstable. All kinds of improbable things can happen in empty space, and one of them might’ve been a sudden drop to a lower vacuum energy, which could’ve triggered the inflationary expansion.

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"Scientists don’t fully comprehend the quantum world yet, and their hypotheses about the first moments of Creation aren’t much more than guesses at this point. We need to discover and understand the fundamental laws of physics before we can say they’re inevitable. And we need to explore the universe and its history a little more thoroughly before we can make such definitive statements about its origins.

"Just for the sake of argument, though, let’s assume this hypothesis of Quantum Creation is correct. Suppose we do live in a universe that generated its own laws and called itself into being. Doesn’t that sound like Leibniz’s description of God (“a necessary being which has its reason for existence in itself”)? It’s also similar to Spinoza’s pantheism, his proposition that the universe as a whole is God. Instead of proving that God doesn’t exist, maybe science will broaden our definition of divinity.

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"The pivotal role of observers in quantum theory is very curious. Is it possible that the human race has a cosmic purpose after all? Did the universe blossom into an untold number of realities, each containing billions of galaxies and vast oceans of emptiness between them, just to produce a few scattered communities of observers? Is the ultimate goal of the universe to observe its own splendor?

"Perhaps. We’ll have to wait and see."

Comment: A thoughtful review. I still feel a full understanding of quantum dynamics is required. The whole article is worth reading and the author is agnostic.


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