Friday, May 16, 2008

Modern Physics and God

[The following is not LDS Doctrine, it is just for fun. The scriptures are not physics text books]

It is the official opinions of several Christian organizations that the Church of Jesus Christ is not Christian. Their reason seemed to focus on our rejection of the Nicene creed, particularly the "oneness of substance of the Father and Christ" as well as believing God is "confined" to a body so that He cannot be considered Omnipresent. And if God is not omnipresent, then He cannot be considered omnipotent

1. Oneness of Purpose
LDS belief in the Trinity is: One God in Three Persons or three Gods of One Purpose. That is, we believe in the God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. We acknowledge the divinity of Jesus Christ as fully God. The Son is not the Father, and is a manifestation of the Father in the sense of prefect representation. But this is not modalism. We do not believe that the Godhead should be compared to H2O that can be steam, water, or ice. Jesus is the Son of The Father and not the Father Himself. A better comparison is to say that God is like 3 cells in the same organism (God Head).

Jesus Christ reveals that He had a separate will from the Father. But Christ completely subordinated His will to that of the Father and became one in purpose with the Father. The will is our essence, it is eternal and is separate together with the substance. However, the will can be unified in purpose. In other words. the Father and the Son are 2 distinct and separate personages who are one in purpose. But in another sense, the Father and Son can be considered to share the same substance in that they share the same physical and chemical characteristics, but separate in that they don't share the same atoms.

Matt. 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

2. The Father has a Glorified Body
God does have a glorified body. But a glorified body is not all that different than a glorified spirit.

Spirit: purified matter, not tangible, anthropomorphic, glorified
Mortal Body: flesh and blood, tangible, anthropomorphic, not glorified
Resurrected Body: flesh and bone, purified matter, tangible, anthropomorphic, glorified.

We do not consider having a body to be confining. Rather, it is empowering. Since we are not confined to the classical laws of Newtonian physics and understand that God is not confined to time or space, then we understand that God has infinite time and can be everywhere and anywhere and still have a body. The clock does not move for God. He dwells in the Eternal Now. Everything is before Him both past present and future. Therefore, he can visit place A at 1:30, and then visit place X and our clock still reads 1:30. The clock never changes. So, in this way God can be tangible, and have parts, and be made of matter and have a form and still be omnipresent.

There is another way that God can "have His cake and eat it too". As God has a body and a spirit we are told to worship Him in spirit and in truth (notice the parallel structure).

3. The Eternal Now
I have been arguing that God who dwells in the "Eternal Now" can have form, substance, material, and tangibleness such that having a form would localize himself to an exact position. But because God has infinite time (his clock doesn't run) He can physically be in more than one place at the same time according to man's concept of time (reference frame).

Col. 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Rev. 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
Rev. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

But there are other ways that having a form, substance and being made of material does not prevent God's influence from filling the immensities of space.

4. Particle-Wave Duality
Light and electrons behave as individual particles who can be localized to an exact position, but their influence fills a much larger area. Due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle you couldn't measure the position of an electron and its momentum around an atom, with exact precision; that is until entanglement came around. Now you just entangle particles and measure position in one particle and measure momentum in the other (this kinks are still being worked out). Like electrons and light, God can also be thought of as having particle-wave duality. He has a form, and substance, and is composed of matter, but His influence can still be everywhere.

5. Entanglement
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the Quantum Limit said that it was impossible to make exact measurements of electrons around the nucleus of an atom because anything used to make those measurements would change the electrons from their original state. Concequently, man only can obtain an estimation, probability, or perception of the actual values, but not truth itself. With the discovery of entanglement, characteristic of individual particles can be measured with greater precision than the quantum limit allows by measuring for one characteristic in one entangled particle and measuring another characteristic in the other entangled particle. So far, precision measurements using entanglement have exceeded the Quantum Limit but not the Heisenberg Limit.

With our new understanding of entanglement, I think an analogy can be drawn which illustrates the relationship of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. That is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost can be thought of as entangled beings. And through Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, can man arrive at a precise knowledge of the Father.

6. The Force of Nature
One of the pressures against the concept of God having a body, form, substance, etc. was the need for God to be omnipresent such that God's presence filled the immensities of space. It was concluded that if God were to be understood to have a body, and to be composed of matter, that He could therefore be localizable and not omnipresent. So, the concept of God was changed from being anthropomorphic in nature to being a "force of nature" like gravity. A few who subscribe to the idea of "intelligent falling" (spoof on Intelligent Design) claim God is gravity. So, by applying classical physics to God, man stripped God of His reality, form, substance, and tangibleness.

However, modern physics shows us that God can have form and substance, and be composed of matter and still fill the immensities of space and be considered literally omnipresent. Quantum Mechanics and Particle Physics has realized in the "Standard Model" that all forces are mediated by particles. That means that not only is the particle exhibiting a force matter, but the force field itself is also matter. Its all matter just as Joseph Smith said it was.

D&C 131:8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.

In the same way, God can have a form, and substance and exhibit a force that fills the immensities of space and that force would still be considered matter, as all forces are. So, in a literal way, the substance of God, which emanates from God, is God and is matter. Maybe graviton or Higgs boson (mass carrier) could be renamed the "God particle." I doubt that God could be measured with any man-made instruments but the effects of His influence are everywhere.

Strong nuclear force: Force Particle: quarks, Field Particle: gluons
Electromagnetic force: Force Particle: quarks, Field Particle: photons
Weak nuclear force: Force Particle: lepton, Field Particle: W/Z boson
Gravitational force: Force Particle: Higgs. Field Particle: graviton

7. Near-Death Experiences
I don't understand why some would claim God being a Spirit would mean that He is without form or material substance. Angels, spirits, and devils have form and occupy space even though they are not flesh and bone. Those who have experienced near-death experiences prove this. When they leave their body, they are still anthropomorphic, and have a form in the image of their mortal body. But they are no longer tangible and they can no longer interact with earthly matter directly, (by spiritual communication and influence only). This goes for Satan too who is spirit and appears in the form of a man and angels who are also anthropomorphic. If God is a spirit, why would he be different from all other spiritual beings who are anthropomorphic or at least have form and parts.

8. 3 Generations of Matter
According to the Standard Model of particle physics there are 3 classes of matter. Generation 1 comprises all regular matter consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Generation 1 matter is comprised of a combination of Up/Down quarks and the electron and electron neutrino Leptons. Generation 2 matter is not stable in our known universe and consists of Charm/Strange quarks and the Leptons: Muon and muon neutrino. Generation 3 matter is also not stable and consists of Top/Bottom quarks and Leptons: Tau and Tau neutrino. Particles from the electron, Muon, and Tau families are similar but increase in mass with each generation.

I thought there may be a parallel between the 3 generations of matter in the Standard theory and the LDS doctrine of 3 types of glory/matter as taught in the Bible.

1 Cor. 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

Maybe it could be said that Terrestial Matter is composed of Generation 2 Matter and Celestial Matter is composed of Generation 3 Matter. The difference would be that Each step would be more massive or in other words, exhibit more of God's nature (Higgs particles).

It leads me to wonder what quality and glory of substance the bodies of Moses, Elijiah, and John the Revelator and other translated being are (City of Enoch). They have been changed from a Telestial state (mortal) to an Terrestial state. Did God change them from Generation 1 to Generation 2 matter. Probably not because Gen 2 matter is not stable. But whatever the mechanism its all matter. Power, light, glory is all matter. If it is not matter, then it isn't real and doesn't exist. Even Paul says faith is substance.

Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

9. Neutrinos
LDS doctrine on God, and the difference between spirit and flesh emphasizes tangibleness and not form. According to scripture, spirits bodies of man appear like bodies of flesh except they are said not not be tangible. The characteristics of neutrinos seems to illustrate the concept of tangibleness. Electron Neutrinos are theorized to be a major product of the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium that takes place in the sun. The sun is emitting innumerable numbers of these particles every second. However, because these particles do not have charge, they do not interact with matter and are difficult to detect. Zillions of these particles pass straight through the Earth. Scientist say the sun shines neutrinos down during the day, and up at night. They fact that they are detected at all is because by quantum mechanical oscillations which means the neutrinos briefly turn into something else which can be measured.

New experiments are showing that neutrinos may actually have a small mass. But because there are so many neutrinos in the universe, this could explain the missing mass of the universe. In one sense, neutrinos could be the spiritual glue which holds the universe together. Although neutrinos may be measured to have a mass, they would still be considered to be intangible because they lack a charge. Other particles like photons are completely massless and have no charge but do interact easily with matter. So, its hard to say at this point what it is that makes neutrinos so intangible.

10. Conclusion
My point of this post is not to confining God to formulas and theories. But that is exactly what evangelicals have done. They have confined God to the limits of Newtonian physics in saying that God cannot have form or be composed of matter because that would confine God to time and space. However our new and expanding understanding of the laws of physics makes possible all sorts of previously presumed impossibilities. Modern physics allows God to have form, be material, be real, have a body composed of incorruptible matter, to not be confined by time or space and at the same time fill the immensities of space with His glory and therefore His substance (everything is matter). As we learn more about physics, I expect the evidence to further support the truth about God.

However, there is another critical error in evangelical thinking. That is that if God was composed of matter, he would be confined by the laws of nature. Let me say first, that it is not LDS doctrine that the laws of nature, right or wrong, good or evil, or truth and falsehood are above God and that God is "confined" by them. Justice is not a monster that God has to satisfy its demands. God's justice is God keeping His word exactly as He has said. God's mercy is God keeping His word exactly as He has said. Truth is God's word exactly as He has said. Righteousness is doing God's will exactly as He has said. And wickedness is doing anything other than God's will exactly as He has said.

The Laws of Nature do not confine God, God is equal to them, they are co-eternal with God, they are not limitations, but God exercises complete mastery and control over them. The evangelical view point is in error because if you apply it to yourself then you would be forced to conclude that commandments are limitations and restrictions. However, scripture teaches that commandments are not limitations but directions. Physical and spiritual laws to not restrict but they empower. And Christ Himself promised us that "the truth will make us free" (John 8: 32). And although, concerning man, "the letter killeth , but the spirit giveth life;" this doesn't mean God operates and exists independent of natural laws (2 Cor. 3: 6).

1 comment:

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Dr. B.