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Can the laws of physics refute God?

When I heard the following question at the seminar that Einstein first raised, I still believed in God (I am now an atheist), but was shocked by its elegance and depth: “If God created the entire universe, it The laws of physics, will God follow God’s own laws? Or can God replace his own laws, such as traveling faster than the speed of light, so as to be able to be in two different places at the same time?” The answer can help us prove whether God is Does it exist, or is this a place where scientific empiricism and religious belief intersect without real answers? David Frost, 67 years old, Los Angeles.

When I received this question, I was locked out and immediately became interested in it. This is not surprising-tragic events such as pandemics often make us doubt the existence of God: if there is a merciful God, why would such a disaster happen? Therefore, the idea that God may be “bound”

; by the laws of physics (which also governs the limitations of chemistry and biology and medical science) is worth exploring.

If God cannot break the laws of physics, then she may not be as strong as you expect. But if it is possible, why have we not seen any evidence that the laws of physics are broken in the universe?

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To solve this problem, let us break it down. First, can God travel faster than the speed of light? Let us look at the problem on the surface.Light travels at a speed of about 3 x 105 Kilometers per second, or 186,000 miles per hour. We learned in school that nothing can be faster than the speed of light-when its double lithium crystal is set to maximum, even the USS Enterprise in “Star Trek”.

But is this true? A few years ago, a group of physicists believed that particles called velocons travel faster than the speed of light. Fortunately, it is extremely unlikely that they will exist as real particles. If they do exist, they will have a fictitious quality, and the structure of time and space will be distorted, leading to a violation of causality (and possibly a headache for God).

So far, it seems that it has not been observed that the speed of objects can exceed the speed of light. This in itself does not say anything about God. It just enhances the knowledge that light does spread very quickly.

Things become more interesting when you consider how far the light has traveled from the beginning. Suppose the traditional Big Bang cosmology and the speed of light are 3 x 105 km / s, then we can calculate that the light has spread about 10twenty four The existence of the observable universe during the 13.8 billion years of existence of the universe or more precisely.

The universe expands at a speed of about 70 km/s per Mpc (1 Mpc = 1 Megaparsec ~ 30 million kilometers), so current estimates indicate that the distance to the edge of the universe is 46 billion light years. As time goes by and space increases, light must travel a longer time to reach us.

The Hubble Space Telescope has seen more universe than we thought, but the most distant object we have seen is a Milky Way, GN-z11. This is about 10twenty three The distance is kilometers or 13.4 billion light years, which means it took 13.4 billion years for the light from the Milky Way to reach us. However, when the light “extinguishes”, the Milky Way is only about 3 billion light years away from our Milky Way.

Since the Big Bang, we have not been able to observe or see the development of the entire universe, because the time from the first fraction of a second to the present is not long enough for light to reach us. Some people think that, therefore, we cannot be sure whether the laws of physics can be broken in other regions of the universe-maybe they are only local accidental laws. This brings us into something bigger than the universe.


Many cosmologists believe that the universe may be part of a broader universe, a universe in which many different universes coexist but do not interact.The idea of ​​pluralism is supported by inflation theory-the universe has undergone a huge expansion 10 years ago-32 second. Inflation is an important theory because it can explain why the universe has the shape and structure we see around it.

But if inflation happens once, why not happen multiple times? We know from experiments that quantum fluctuations can cause pairs of particles to suddenly exist, but only disappear in an instant. If such fluctuations can produce particles, why not the entire atom or the universe? It has been suggested that during chaotic periods of inflation, not everything happens at the same rate-quantum fluctuations in the inflation may produce bubbles, which will explode into the universe on their own.

Contains pictures of bubbles in the universe.
Are we living in a bubble universe?
Juergen Faelchle / Shutterstock

But how does God adapt to the multiverse? The fact that cosmologists have a headache is that our universe seems to be fine-tuned for survival. The elementary particles produced in the big bang had the right properties to form hydrogen and deuterium, which produced the first stars.

Then, the laws of physics governing nuclear reactions in these stars produced the matter of life—carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. So, how do all the laws and parameters of physics in the universe have the value to allow the development of stars, planets and ultimately life?

Some people think this is just a lucky coincidence. Others say that we shouldn’t be surprised when we see bio-friendly laws of physics-they make us after all, so what else can we see? However, some theists believe that this shows that there is a God who creates favorable conditions.

But God is not a valid scientific explanation. On the contrary, the multiverse theory solves this mystery because it allows different universes to have different laws of physics. Therefore, it is not surprising that we happen to see one of the few universes where we can support life. Of course, you cannot refute the idea that God may have created a multiverse.

This is very hypothetical, and one of the biggest criticisms of the multiverse theory is that because our universe does not seem to interact with other universes, the concept of multiverse cannot be tested directly.

Quantum weird

Now let us consider whether God can be in more than one place at the same time. Many of the scientific techniques we use in space science are based on counter-intuitive theories of the tiny world of atoms and particles called quantum mechanics.

The theory realizes something called quantum entanglement: weird connected particles. If two particles are entangled together, even if they are far apart and do not interact, you will automatically manipulate its partner when you manipulate it. The description of entanglement is better than the description I give here-but it is simple and I can follow.

Imagine a particle decomposed into two sub-particles A and B. The attributes of the child particles must add up to the attributes of the original particle-this is the principle of conservation. For example, all particles have a quantum property called “spin”-roughly speaking, they move like tiny compass needles. If the “spin” of the original particle is zero, then one of the two sub-particles must have positive spin, and the other sub-particle must have negative spin, which means that each of A and B has a 50% chance Has positive or spin. Negative rotation. (According to quantum mechanics, by definition, particles are different states mixed together until you actually measure them.)

Even if the attributes of A and B are independent of each other, they are entangled with each other, even if they are located in separate laboratories on separate planets. Therefore, if you measure the spin of A, you will find that it is positive. Imagine that a friend measures the spin of B while you are measuring A. In order for the principle of conservation to work, she must find that the spin of B is negative.

But-this is where things go dark-like child particle A, B has a positive probability of 50:50, so when the spin state of A is measured as positive, its spin state “becomes” negative. In other words, information about the spin state is immediately transferred between the two child particles. This transfer of quantum information is obviously faster than the speed of light. Given that Einstein himself described quantum entanglement as a “strange action at a distance,” I think all of us can forgive the discovery of this rather strange effect.

Therefore, after all, there is something faster than the speed of light: quantum information. This does not prove or disprove God, but it can help us think about God from a physical point of view-perhaps like a cluster of tangled particles, passing quantum information back and forth, occupying many places at the same time? There are even multiple universes at the same time?

Artist's concept of entangled particles.
Strange action.
Jurik Peter/Shutterstock

I have this image of God, spinning the galaxy-sized plates and juggling planet-sized balls-throwing information from one crumbling universe to another to keep everything going. Fortunately, God can perform multiple tasks-maintaining the structure of running time and space. All it takes is a little faith.

Is this article close to answering the questions raised? I suspect it is not: if you believe in God like I do, then the idea that God is bound by the laws of physics is nonsense, because God can do everything, even faster than light. If you don’t believe in God, then this question is equally absurd, because without God, nothing can spread faster than light. Perhaps this question is indeed a question of agnostics, who do not know whether there is a God.

This is indeed the difference between science and religion. Science needs to prove that religious belief needs belief. Scientists do not try to prove or disprove the existence of God, because they know that no experiment can detect God. If you believe in God, then the discovery of the universe by scientists is not important-any universe can be considered consistent with God.

Our view of God, physics, or other things ultimately depends on perspective. But let’s end with a truly authoritative quote. No, this is not the Bible. It is not a cosmology textbook either. From “The Reaper” by Terry Pratchett:

“Light thinks it spreads faster than anything, but this is wrong. No matter how fast the light spreads, it will find that darkness always gets there first and is waiting for it.”

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