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Miracles Vs. Laws Of Physics

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Posted by Mark on October 24, 2001 19:34:04 UTC

Hi Alex,

That is exactly what I was saying, I believe you put it very succinctly.

First I'd like to point out that the terms, "Laws of Physics" and "Miracles" seem so contradictory, that they don't even belong in the same sentence. This is the canyon drawn out between devout religious faiths and the scientific community. Personally, if I was forced to choose sides, I'd definitely go the way of science... because I myself do not believe in outright violations of logic and physics in the name of magic and bible stories (Moses splits the Red Sea with a magic wand). We all know that before science and logical knowledge came about... spirits were responsible for bringing the rain, gods threw lightning at the Earth, and demons caused disease and crop failure.

However, what I am about to show, is that perhaps an intelligent entity can "bring rain", and perhaps he can "throw lightning at the Earth", without in any way violating the Laws of Physics. In fact, he can even INVOKE the very mathematical structure of nature itself, and use the logical behavior of the universe to HELP him to carry out his deeds.

What causes the collapse of a wave function? and what forces a particle to "choose" one path over the other?

Why does nature behave so randomly and unpredictably on the micro-scale, when on the macro-scale it behaves like CLOCKWORK?

How is it that an electron can remain in two contradictory states at once (spin up/spin down), until it interacts with "microscope"?

It is a known fact of science that there must always exist a nonzero uncertainty in the measurement of any quantum state. Although [h-bar/2] is a small constant indeed, it is none-the-lees not zero. I interpret this to mean that no matter how "knowledgeable" man thinks he is, and no matter how many "rules" he writes in his physics books to explain reality, there will always exist a "smokescreen" behind which God can operate. We simply cannot know with precise certainty, what God is up too...
And that's a good thing too!
Because perhaps if we could see what was going on in the micro-world, then we actually would see "magic" at work...(???) I like to think of "uncertainty" as being "the principle which allows God to break the laws of physics, without actually breaking the laws of physics." It's as if quantum mechanics gives nature a little leeway in determining the future, so long as we can't "see" what is behind this "decision making".

Are you shaking your head, Alex? Or do you think that perhaps the notion of "God" isn't necessarily ruled out on grounds of physics and logical explanation?

Allow me to give a couple of anecdotal examples, to show how in just such a way that God(s) (or any arbitrary intelligent entity) can "legally" influence the events that take place in the universe.

When I say "legally", what I mean is that God can create "miracles" without breaking any laws (that is, laws of physics).

A man stands atop a very tall high-rise that is currently undergoing repairs, after a fire damaged the upper floors and roof. He is about to step off the roof onto a platform when all of the sudden he loses his footing and plunges Earthward. He falls 900 ft but is suddenly stopped by an invisible force that allows him to hover 6 ft above the ground. To an astonished gathering crowd, the man's life was spared by nothing short of a miracle! The man softly floats to the ground and brushes himself off. He's a little shooken up, but thankfully still alive. One bystander shouts "Hey, that man goes to my church!" Newspapers around the world take notice, and the man is immediately called by several talk shows! The word "MIRACLE" makes headlines...

Unlikely scenario? I should think so. Save it for the fairytale books! Not only were several laws of physics outright violated (gravitation, conservation of momentum & energy, etc.) to say the least... but any possible logical explanation goes right out the window. This simply cannot happen, at least in this universe for sure!

However, this is how an entity really can intervene...

The raging fire that took place a week earlier, was a relentless force! It knocked out several floors and ceilings, caused major structural damage to the roof area, and nearly completely destroyed three whole stories. Luckily, however, the damage was confined to the top five floors.

Fire, being a series of quantum mechanical interactions carried by photons between the electrons of multitudes of atoms (including most importantly, oxygen atoms), is what's called an exothermic chemical reaction. The heat given off in the hordes of reactions that take place, is known to severely disrupt the strength of structural steel and other materials (like wood, to name one). Since it is a series of quatum mechanical events that directly threaten the structural integrity of the building, so it stands that the aftermath of a fire is a state that can't be fully predicted using the laws of physics. It is only a potentiality that can be mathematically recognized as a probability.

Now let's say that in conjunction with the fire, God invokes the forces induced by many impacts of individual atmospheric molecules. In every day terms, we call this "wind". Say to further set the stage, God even tinkers with the wave functions of H2O molecules in the clouds, to subtly influence their motion, which will cause "rain" the next day. All of these "probabilities" are setting the initial conditions for the evolution of a chaotic system. This is a miracle in the making! Most importantly, no laws of physics have been violated....

Over the next couple of days, the elements of nature cause the building's roof to shift and sag. A major collapse takes place but luckily it is confined within the building, and now there is no longer any roof for Jon to have stood on in the first place. Unaware that a "miracle" had taken place, Jon's life was "saved" before he even knew that it was in jeopardy. No newspaper headlines, no talk shows, no dramatic miracle... but God still accomplished his objective. Jon can now be used to play a role in the set up of another quantum story plot; this is his so-called "purpose in life". Once fulfilled, he can fall off a roof, he can catch a disease, he can get hit by a bus... however God chooses to "call his number" via quantum initial conditions.

Why the fire in the first place you may ask? Perhaps God was ready to call a few numbers that day, but he was not yet ready to call Jon in the following week...

Are quantum events truly random? Or is there a purpose for every interaction that takes place? Perhaps they only seem random because they serve a purpose in setting up the initial conditions for a seemingly randomly behaved chaotic system, but nevertheless predetermined. This requires a mathematical explanation that is statistical rather than direct.

One more question one might ask is, "How can God account for freewill? Just because he sets the stage, doesn't mean the actors have to cooperate as planned...
To this I answer: perhaps the all intelligent being anticipates freewill with a plan B, and a plan C (and a plan D,E,F,G,H,I,J,k,etc.) so that if you jump out of the way of a bullet, it will surely hit the big gas-tanker rig sitting behind you.

Also as said above... the mathematical structure of the macro-world may perhaps aid God in doing his work. Can you imagine going through all that trouble in setting up a meteor strike a billion years in advance, to rid the Earth of dinosaurs... only to have the asteroid jump out of the way at the last second? Thank goodness for F = ma.

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