Quantum Physics & its Meta-Physics

Conference on Technology, Religion and Cultural Identity- An Exploration from Comparative Multi-Polar Perspective, Department of Christian Studies, University of Madras 13.12. 2017

The four models of the relationship between science and religion are Conflict, Independent (contrast), Dialogue (contact) and Integration (confirmation). This paper presents the integration model between science and religion based on the metaphysical implications of quantum physics. Quantum physics offers astonishing suggestions about reality and is therefore closely allied to metaphysics Thomas Aquinas suggested that the real world is intelligible. Newtonian science treated it as deterministic. But, at the dawn of 20th century, the deterministic view melted into the abstract mathematical world of quantum physics, with sets of probability waves in Hilbert space, entangled particles and multi-dimensional, curved space-time. As the universe came to be seen as a strange, counterintuitive realm of imprecision and unpredictability in which paradoxes became the norm, intelligibility was questioned, pointing to the need for metaphysics. For quantum physicists like Neils Bohr, the physical world is mysterious–reality is veiled, and all we can know is how things appear when we observe them. Immanuel Kant calls this “transcendental idealism.” The famed Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that probabilities are ineradicable from Physics, leading Einstein to respond, “God does not play dice.” Two metaphysical implications of quantum physics are presented in this paper to build a bridge between religion and science, namely the role of the observer in the double slit experiment and the quantum entanglement. Modern cosmology has confirmed that there is something outside space-time, from which space-time originates, having a rich mathematical structure which could be interpreted as a supernatural reality. Further, the laws and the initial conditions of the universe are finely-tuned, and there are numerous mysterious coincidences, pointing to a supernatural intelligent ultimate reality. Science comes to its limit, or the edge of physical reality, at Planck time and religion reveals that God is on the other side of this boundary. ‘Substance Dualism’ argues that persons are pure spiritual substances, whose soul can continue to exist after the death of the body. Though many suggest that ultimately there is only one material entity – the brain, substance dualism receives support from the metaphysical aspect of quantum physics, which proves that there can be dimensions beyond observable reality.