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Quantum Mechanics Spells the End of Materialism

24 minutes reading time

A quantum physicist Richard Feynman once famously said “if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”

Quantum mechanics (hereafter referred to as QM) is the study of how the world works at very small scales. It turns out things get really really weird very quickly and I find it all deeply fascinating, even fun. I know that sounds very nerdy but the implications of QM are out of this world. So don’t worry if any of this confuses you – as Feynman said, just join the club and enjoy the scenery.

In this article, I’ll explain some experiments into QM that lead to some startling conclusions. And I’ll try to explain it all in a way that doesn’t lose you but shows why mainstream modern scientific findings make Materialism completely untenable. As Nobel Prize winning physicist Eugene Wigner put it – “while a number of philosophical ideas may be logically consistent with present QM… Materialism is not.”

What is Materialism?

Materialism is the view that all that really exists is matter and energy. Energy and matter are believed to be the fundamental substance in nature, and all things, including mental states and consciousness, are deductible to material interactions. Of course this philosophy suits atheism perfectly, as atheism is the belief that non-material gods do not exist. Atheists are usually materialists of some sort, rejecting the idea that there exists anything independent of the workings of matter and energy, and therefore anything spiritual.

This is not to say that every atheist is a materialist. While materialism often entails atheism, it’s not essential that an atheist is a materialist. For example, Buddhism is an atheistic doctrine but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a strictly materialistic viewpoint. Either way, generally speaking atheists have clung to materialism as their foundational viewpoint – and that’s fair to say. For example, Richard Dawkins argued that we are nothing apart from physical matter consisting of atoms, and this is intimately tied to his denial of consciousness beyond the physical realm.

Materialism is an extreme form of Philosophical Realism, which is the common-sense idea accepted by many that a physical reality exists independent of our observation. The directly opposing view to Realism is called Idealism: the seemingly absurd idea that reality is a mental construct that doesn’t exist independent of observation. But, as we shall see, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to ditch Idealism as too absurd to be of any value.

Most normal people are intuitively Realists. Children just two years old gain ‘object permanence,’ which is the understanding that physical objects still exist even while they’re hidden from view.

For many physicists at the turn of the 20th-century, Realism was the only acceptable philosophy in town. However, this worldview was shaken to its core with the advent of QM – the study of physical quanta, or of how the physical world behaves at very small scales.

It all started with one simple scientific experiment that defied scientific explanation and has continued to puzzle the greatest minds of several generations.

What is light?

In the late 1600s Newton proposed that light was a stream of corpuscles, or particles. But at the same time, a Dutch physicist called Huygens proposed that light was a wave produced by vibrations in the “ether.”

A later physicist, Thomas Young, thought Huygens was on to something, and in 1801 he demonstrated that light did indeed act like a wave in the famous “double-slit experiment” that involved a source of light shining on an opaque surface. This surface had two narrow slits that let narrow bands of light through to a photographic plate behind it. When the slits were almost as narrow as the wavelength of the light, the pattern that appeared on the plate wasn’t just two lines, as it would be if light was made up of individual minuscule “bits,” or particles, but a line of visible spots with decreasing intensity toward the edges.You can do this experiment yourself at home with just a laser pen, a piece of card, and scalpel and a dark room. If the slits are clean and fine enough, you’ll see the same result.

The diffracted pattern of light on a photographic plate
The diffracted pattern of light

So why do we see this line of dots when the light is shining through just two slits?

Think of it like two breaches in a sea wall, with water on both sides. A wave comes from the ocean side, hits the wall and the energy of the wave dissipates through the two slits, now forming two circular ripples that spread out from each gap. If the gaps in the wall are much wider than the waves are high, then the waves wouldn’t spread out as circular ripples but they’d just follow straight through – hence why the gaps need to be close to the width of the waves to see the effect of the waves in Young’s experiment.

Now, as these waves spread out, they interact, and where the waves of these ripples cross they combine to make a higher wave – this is known as constructive interference. But where the peak of one wave meets the trough of another they cancel each other out – this is destructive interference.

Now imagine there’s another wall (in place of the photographic plate) further back from the sea wall. The two interacting ripples splash against it, and where the two rippling waves cross, the higher intersecting waves create a higher splash on the dry wall.

Wave interference diagram
Wave interference diagram

This was what Young found was happening with light travelling through two narrow slits – it travelled as a wave that interacted with itself just like waves of energy travelling through water.

Later the same century, Maxwell further confirmed light’s wavelike nature when he showed that light is a wave of oscillating electric and magnetic fields.

The plot thickens – light is also particles

It seemed the case was closed on light existing just as waves. This was cool but not yet earth-shattering, until, to make things stranger, in 1905 Einstein solved the problem of the photoelectric effect (the phenomenon of materials releasing electrically charged particles when hit by electromagnetic radiation – think of solar panels and LEDs) by proposing that light was made of particles. So it seemed that either one of the conclusions about light (particle or wave) was mistaken, or somehow light must exist as both particles and waves at the same time.

After Einstein, Louis de Broglie then proposed that if light behaved as both particles and waves, normal “everyday” particles that make up people, tables and the moon must also display wave-like behaviour. So physicists carried out Young’s double-slit experiment again, but this time using electrons, and later neutrons, and de Broglie’s theory of matter’s wavelike nature proved to be true. Even though we know that electrons and neutrons both exist as particles, they went through both slits and produced an interference pattern as if they acted as waves. The upshot is that if physical matter can act as both particles and waves then so can light. This mysterious combo became known as a particle-wave duality.

This means that literally any object could exhibit a diffraction pattern, but of course only if it passes through a narrow enough slit. This would be pretty tough for a person no matter how much you diet, so that’s why you don’t wobble around and bump into yourself on the other side of every doorway you go through.

But it’s not just tiny particles like photons and electrons that do this magic which double-slits. In 2013, Sandra Eibenberger and her collaborators found the same magic feat performed by a larger molecule consisting of 810 atoms, weighing more than 10,000 protons or 18 million electrons. That’s a little smaller than a virus. Although we don’t often observe quantum weirdness at human scales, the phenomena isn’t confined to the subatomic realm.

Gradually, a new big-picture scientific implication of these findings emerged – that Newtonian physics (kick a ball and it will fly) aren’t fundamental, but rather that these Newtonian-like physical laws emerge from QM as scales increase.

Weirder still – it’s both

But how could pieces of matter produce an interference pattern like a wave? Physicists are smart, so they wondered if somehow each of the particles of matter were in fact purely physical objects that were simply bouncing off each other like many balls in a ball pool, producing a wavelike pattern between them. So they decided to push things further with a low-intensity experiment that sent just a single electron toward the double-slit.

Each electron produced a single blip on the photosensitive screen. But as they continued to run the experiment with one electron at a time, something strange happened. As each individual electron added its individual mark to the screen, together they produced an interference pattern, spot by spot. This showed that each single electron went through both slits and interfered with itself just like a wave. Furthermore, because the overall pattern the electrons made together matched a diffracting wave pattern, they realised the brightness of patches on the wave pattern could be considered a map of the probability that an electron (or photon, or neutron, or any particle) would end up in a certain place.

Cartoon of a skier passing on both sides of a tree
Passing through both sides

When they worked out the mathematics, their findings became stranger still – according to the prevailing ‘Copenhagen Interpretation,’ it seems each particle goes through both slits, and yet it goes through neither, and it goes through just one, and it goes through just the other. All these possibilities are in “superposition” (a fuzzy combination of all possible states) with each other, all true at the same time. Now of course that doesn’t really make sense. How does a particle perform this witchery? Does it split itself in half? This is a mystery of quantum theory. It seems incorrect to say it goes through slit A, slit B, through both, or through neither. That’s why physicists often give up trying to interpret and just say that its path is a superposition of A and B.

Baffling.

When is a wave not a wave? When someone’s watching.

This definitely didn’t make sense, so physicists decided to peek to see which slit individual particles actually went through. They added a measuring device to track the location of particles on their way to the photographic plate and then let the experiment fly. But the quantum world is far more mysterious than they could have imagined. What they found cracked reality wide open and upended some core assumptions of modern science.

When they observed individual electrons sent through one at a time they all started acting like single particles, not creating an interference pattern of many. If we observe which slit it goes through then the interface pattern disappears. The very act of measuring, or observing which slit electrons went through meant they actually only went through one slit, not both.

They wondered whether the act of measuring an electron somehow interfered with the experiment. So they observed just one of the two slits, allowing them to infer if a particle went through the unobserved slit without directly observing it.

But the same thing happened. The electron “decided” to act differently, as if it was aware it was being watched, even indirectly.

What is matter – balls or waves? And waves of what? And what does an observer have to do with any of this?

Quantum interference diagram
Quantum interference diagram

Then a man named John Wheeler jumped into the scene, and did his own variation of the Davisson–Germer double-slit experiment. Wheeler decided to ‘sneak’ up on the particle and catch it in its tracks, in order to figure out why the particle behaved differently once observed.

Wheeler’s delayed-choice variation on this experiment is clever: he decided to wait until after the photon passes the metal screen, and only then decide what to measure – path A, path B, or a superposition. In his words, “let us wait until the quantum has already gone through the screen before we – at our free choice – decide whether it shall have gone ‘through both slits’, or ‘through one.’” The results have caused no end of confusion. It turns out what we choose to measure after the photon has passed the screen determines what the photon did, or at least what we can say about what it did before we decided to measure it. The experiment showed that the path of the photon was not fixed until the physicists made their measurements. This experiment has challenged our understanding of the normal order of time, since in the subatomic realm, it appears, although perhaps it’s too early to tell, that the present choice affects the past. It’s all becoming a bit sci-fi.

A quick recap

  1. When scientists send a single photon of light (or an electron etc) toward two slits, not observing which slit the photon went through, the photon creates a single dot on the photographic plate;
  2. As they send more photons, not observing, together all the dots make up a interference pattern, like a wave;
  3. When scientists send a single photon of light toward two slits, this time observing which slit it went through, the photon again creates a single dot on the plate;
  4. But as they send more photons, still observing which path they take one at a time, together the photons make up just two bands of light, as if they’re acting as individual particles, not a wave;
  5. When physicists decide to observe the location of passing photons after they would have gone through a slit, they act as particles, not producing a wave pattern together. So observing the location of particles determines whether they act as particles or waves.

Why do physicists like poisoning cats?

In 1935, Erwin Schrödinger was discussing the Copenhagen Interpretation with Einstein and he objected to the idea of superpositions. He demonstrated the absurdity of the paradox with a thought experiment, which came to be known as Schrödinger’s cat.

In this scenario, a live cat is put into a sealed box containing a flask of poisonous gas. The flask has an atomic trigger mechanism that over the course of one hour, has a 50% chance of breaking down and releasing the gas into the air, killing the cat, and a 50% chance of remaining stable, leaving the cat alive. For people outside the box, before they opened the box and observed what had actually happened, both the atom and the cat would exist in a superposition. The atom would exist in a superposition, simultaneously decayed and not decayed and the cat would also be dead, alive, both dead and alive and neither dead nor alive, all at once.

But what would the cat experience, as a conscious observer in its own right? The divide between quantum systems became known as the Heisenberg cut. This is the conceptual dividing line that exists between systems while they remain informationally independent, like the line dividing the world inside the box from the world outside the box before the lid is opened. This cut is arbitrary and moveable.

What quantum physicist Časlav Brukner found out in 2019 was a surprise – from the cat’s perspective, the cat is in a definite state – it is the observer outside the box who is in a superposition.

Remember, the theory of superpositions doesn’t simply posit that a system in superposition may as well be either one state or another as far as observers are concerned, but that for the observer in question, the elements of the system in a state of superposition actually are simultaneously in both and neither states.

The superposition persists until and unless information flows from one side of the Heisenberg cut to the other, joining the two quantum systems into one (e.g by someone lifting the lid or tracking the path of an electron). This dissolving of the Heisenberg cut collapses the superpositioning of the cat (as the physicists see it) from a wave of potentiality into one definite, local and defined outcome.

Still with me?

The moon waits for you to watch

The implications of these findings are really quite astonishing. One night, the Dutch physicist Abraham Pais was walking with Albert Einstein and they were discussing the implications of QM on objective reality. Stopping in his tracks, Einstein asked Pais “do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it?”

This counterintuitive idea is known as the “observer effect”, the fact that the outcome of a quantum experiment can change depending on whether or not we choose to measure some property of the particles involved.

It seems to undermine the basic Realist assumption behind all science: that there is an objective world out there that exists independent of us. If the way the world behaves depends on how – or if – we look at it, what can “reality” really mean?

Major interpretations of cold, hard-headed modern science posit that the screen you’re reading this article on ceases to exist in a definite location when you close your eyes. Though note – what it means to “observe” atoms is about more than just looking. The theory states that whenever you measure and consciously come to know something about a particle, like its location or path, that act of measuring and knowing will cause that particle to start actually acting as a particle from your perspective, and when you stop observing where it is or which path it takes (known as “which-path information”) it acts as a wave stretching out throughout the entire universe, with peaks and troughs corresponding to the probability that you would find that particle in each location if you chose to observe whether or not it was actually there.

If you have done much research into QM you may have heard about ‘The Schrödinger wave equation’, and that is what this is about – the equation describes, using mathematics, what quantum systems do when no one is trying to measure them. When you don’t look at individual photons, the “particle” acts and behaves as a wave, but if you do look, the wave function instantaneously collapses into a single position and you detect the particle along a particular pathway. So choosing to look collapses the wave and gives the system a particle history.

Now I know you’re probably confused, it took me several attempts to get my head around this, and I admit I’m still reserved in being conclusive – but basically we’ve got a situation in which reality at the quantum level does not exist as something “material” until it is observed. Before that it hangs as a sort of mathematical concept / probability. A particle’s “wave” existence appears to be a mathematical function that describes the probability that we would find the particle in any given place if we observed its location.

That’s mind-boggling.

The world entangles

As we have discussed, when particles are consciously observed they turn from a mathematical concept (wave function) to a physical property – which is weird. It seems to suggest that we as conscious observers participate in defining physical reality. But the weirdness carries on – when two particles interact physically they can relate to each other regardless of how far apart they are removed from each other. This is called entanglement. Let me illustrate with an example about electrons.

Electron spin is strange. Objects like frisbees can spin slowly, quickly, or anywhere in between. Not an electron. If you measure its spin along any axis, you find that there are just two possible answers – what we call ‘up’ or ‘down’. It’s as though the electron can spin either clockwise or counterclockwise, but at only one speed.

Entanglement is also strange. Place two spinning tops side by side, and you can describe each top and its spin separately. But you can’t do that for two entangled electrons. They have to be described as though they were one indivisible object, no matter how distant they are from each other. For instance, a physicist can entangle the spins of two electrons so that if the spin of one electron is up, then the spin of the other electron is always down. It also holds no matter how far apart the electrons are – 5cms or a billion light years apart – same results.  If you measure the spin of the electron near you, then you instantly know what you would find if you measured the spin of the other electron a billion light-years away. This is counterintuitive to most of us – since it seems to imply that as soon as you measure one electron, this affects the reality of the other electron. Entanglement is one of the odd effects of Quantum mechanics – the fact that two widely separated objects can appear to behave like one system with a set of shared properties.

Entanglement dismantles the intuitive idea of locality – the idea that things can only affect other things according to their physical proximity. As such, it is yet another example of the way that QM overturns the idea that the physical world is primitive, with consciousness being merely a manifestation of a higher order of physical matter and energy.

Are minds made by stuff or is stuff made by minds?

Perhaps you’re like me and feeling a bit brain dead. That’s okay. Let’s rewind back to the beginning and think about the bigger picture.

Remember how earlier we talked about Materialism? The philosophy of Materialism insists that matter and energy are fundamental. In this view, anything else that exists must arise from particular arrangements of matter and energy. Minds, therefore, are made out of matter. The great promise of Materialism is that future advances in neuroscience, psychology and computational theory will one day demonstrate how our conscious minds are completely generated by arrangements of matter. This is an issue of dogma, a statement of faith based on presuppositions.

Of course, while neuroscience can demonstrate great correspondences between aspects of the mind’s perception and physical neural matter, this can only go so far, as an argument from epilepsy demonstrates. We can pull the levers and tweak the voltages, but we just can’t get the ghost to rise out of the machine.

Explaining the existence of conscious minds is widely known as “the hard problem of consciousness” precisely because it buts up against the core presuppositions of Materialism. Consciousness has been staring Materialism in the face for a long, long time, but now QM has also stepped into the ring, and it doesn’t allow us to understand the world apart from the existence of conscious minds. If consciousness is indeed fundamental to the construction of reality, then matter and energy must be relegated to either coexistence, at best, or at worst they must be wholly derived from consciousness. Either way, this implies that you can’t invoke solely materialistic processes to account for the origin of the consciousness.

Max Planck, widely regarded as the father of modern QM, once described it this way: “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clearheaded science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about the atoms this much: there is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together… We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

Can’t we just dump consciousness?

Some materialists, such as Daniel Dennett, go as far as claiming that consciousness is an illusion. Now, if you find mainstream interpretations of QM too absurd, why don’t you try this kind of Materialism instead? According to Dennett’s philosophy, this sentence isn’t the result of a conscious mind so it is devoid of intended meaning. Your consciousness is also an illusion, so you are also not reading this article as a conscious “you” does not really exist.

Illusions are misinterpretations, and just like interpretations, misinterpretations also require an interpreter in order to exist, otherwise there’s nothing misinterpreting, no one observing an illusion. For consciousness to be an illusion it must be a wrong perception that a (mis)perceiver is misperceiving. Furthermore, if it is true that my consciousness is an illusion caused by brain states, then there is no “I” who can understand and believe that idea to be true. If it is true I can’t believe it and if it is false I shouldn’t.

The fact that Materialistic philosophers feel the need to entirely eliminate consciousness demonstrates the poverty of Materialism.

But what can you know with more confidence – that your own mind exists or that physical matter exists? Both systems of Materialism and QM claim both mind and matter exist with a high degree of mystery as to how each generates or interacts with the other. You don’t get to choose a philosophy that is devoid of mystery; you just have to pick your miracle.

Max Planck stated that “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” Physicist Andrei Linde of Stanford University concurred: “the universe and the observer exist as a pair. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of the universe that ignores consciousness.”

Interpretations of QM often appear counterintuitive but in this case both logic and QM coact to compel us to treat consciousness as a very real (and perhaps even fundamental) phenomena.

QM’s erosion of atheism

Both empirical evidence and associated mathematical proofs in QM simply rout the materialist dogma that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications. This is a problem for most atheists, since atheism first arose out of a materialistic worldview, which QM now threatens.

It really does appear that the universe responds to conscious minds and orders itself according to our knowledge, not that minds are illusions wholly determined by matter. So far as we can tell, minds are required for the universe to gain physical resolution. If the knowledge that a conscious observer has of a physical system has such a fundamental impact on the properties of matter, Materialism is therefore simply untenable.

The bedrock of Materialism, Realism, holds that matter is neither reducible to universal mind or spirit nor dependent on a perceiving agent. Idealism, on the other hand, holds that all knowable things are dependent on the activity of mind, not existing independently of mind.

QM has shaken the Realist foundations of Materialism. But unfortunately, just as the 18th C Enlightenment found out, a widely held dogma can be very stubborn to overturn. But science is at its best when it is honest, curious, teachable and ready to entertain new ideas well before it can satisfactorily accept them. 

QM undermines Materialism, and on that basis, most atheists will need to find a new foundation.

Am I God?

Not only has QM challenged the common foundational view of atheism, but perhaps it also threatens Judeo-Christian theism too. However you and I began to exist, if our observation of the world causes it to resolve physicality, so that we ‘participate’ in the creation/ realisation of the world, then does that make us equal to God?

Or to express the problem more powerfully, if we can do experiments showing something is in a superposition, therefore unobserved, does that rule out the existence of an omniscient God who is observing all of the physical world? God is very rarely depicted as having blind spots. And that’s a bit of a problem. Why? The only reason we know about the observer effect is that sometimes no observation is being made. This is clearly evident in the quantum double slit experiment we mentioned earlier. When a human makes an observation at the appropriate time, there is one result. When a human does not, there is a different result.

However, if an omniscient God were observing things, then there would never be a “no observer” result to this experiment. If God observes the physical location of every particle at all times, even just by knowing the location of every particle (as for our purposes knowledge = observation) then wouldn’t His “God’s eye view” always collapse every superposition into a physical, determined state? The events would always unfold as if there were an observer, God. But instead, it appears to us that matter does act differently when it is not being observed by a person. Therefore, is it the case that either God’s knowledge of the world does not affect matter the way our minds do (which is begging the question) or that God does not know information about the world? If either of these are the case we’re left with a small god or a nonexistent god.

But do you remember Schrödinger’s ambiguously alive cat? While the box remains closed, from the perspective of everyone outside the box (on the other side of the Heisenberg cut), the cat is both and neither dead and alive. But from the cat’s perspective, on its side of the Heisenberg cut, it is very definitely only alive or definitely dead, and everyone else outside the box is in a superposition.

So realities (we have to put the word in plural form) remain uncertain for each observer until information about a system from another observer’s perspective is shared. Therefore, a God’s eye view of reality wouldn’t force the collapse of particle-wave duality or make a cat dead or alive in reality as experienced by Schrödinger unless a super-observer like God dissolved the Heisenberg cut by transferring information from one side of the cut to another, e.g by telling Schrödinger about the fate of his cat before he opened the box. In other words, God always knows the cat but we don’t, so nothing is in a superposition for God, but it is for us.

If you have the time and interest here’s a more detailed thought experiment demonstrating this complex paradox, involving four people, two labs and some contradictory states in the macro world: New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong.

The Rise of Original Mind

Explorations into how the world works at quantum scales is a profound and mysterious pursuit. The ever-deepening and increasingly bizarre nature of fundamental forces and fields easily lends itself to metaphysical fantasy. We must be careful to not leap to conclusions too quickly, getting caught up in the “quantum woo” of pseudoscientific mysticism. We still do not have a clear understanding of quantum theory. In particular, we cannot fully grasp its meaning: why the theory is the way it is. As a consequence, we cannot come to terms with the many paradoxes it appears to lead to—the so-called “quantum weirdness”.

But what we must do is ask ourselves which worldview comports most closely with evidence and with the widely-held scientific consensus of well established, clear-headed science. A materialistic worldview favoured by atheism clearly isn’t compatible with recent discoveries in QM.

Quantum theory smashed widely held intuitions about objects by denying that they have definite values of physical properties that are independent of whether, or how, they are observed. Spacetime and its objects are not fundamental. But if spacetime is not fundamental, what is physics all about? They must be superseded by a more primitive building block. But if spacetime is not the bedrock of reality, not the preexisting stage for the drama of life, then what is it?

I would suggest it is consciousness. An ultimate consciousness.

We’re drilling down in physics and finding the mind to be, as Max Planck said, the “matrix of all matter.” Consciousness precedes matter and is a necessary foundation for it.

Christianity claims that there is an original, infinite mind. This mind exists far beyond all matter, yet knows, creates and permeates all of reality. This mind speaks other minds into being. These minds, being children of the great creative mind, therefore share similar characteristics in their own limited fashion.

Quantum theory and Christian theology together weave a fairly consistent story. Quantum theory tells us that mind (or consciousness), not spacetime and all the matter in it, is the more fundamental reality – an idea atheists have historically scoffed at. And Christian theology tells us that God – the ultimate conscious being – is the foundation for our reality, and being created by Him, we also share His creative power.

Of course, God has not yet allowed Himself to be constrained to a number on a physicist’s blackboard. His hand has not yet appeared in a computer simulation (although perhaps we’re getting close). The map of scientific discovery contains no thick black line directly from QM to an original super-mind, let alone the God of Christianity, but we can no longer pretend Materialism is a tenable alternative. That option has been killed off.

But just like Jesus, the Judeo-Christian view of reality just won’t stay dead.

The father of modern quantum mechanics, Max Planck, regarded the ground of all matter to be a conscious and intelligent mind. Quoting the poet Epimendes, Paul spoke of God, saying “in Him we live and move and have our being.” Moses encountered the great mind, asked Him His name and was answered “I AM THAT I AM.”

Just before he gave his life Jesus claimed “I am the truth.” As the prime cause of the universe is an intelligent mind, reality at its most fundamental is a person. The universe is intelligible because it is an expression of intelligence. Ultimate truth can be known in as much as we are created with a capacity to know that truth and as much as that truth decides to make Himself known.

We’ll coincide with a final quote from Planck’s Lecture on the relationship between religion and science: “Religion and natural science are fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against scepticism and against dogmatism, against disbelief and against superstition, and the rallying cry in this crusade has always been, and always will be: ‘On to God!’”

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