14 thoughts on “Quantum Christianity”

  1. Check out Ross McKenzie’s blog – a Queensland professor of Quantum Physics who is also a Christian.
    I’m sure he’d be open to answering any specific questions you might have.

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  2. Last time I tried to do that was when I was in high school and preparing for my final physics exam (though quantum physics wasn’t part of the syllabus). It was fun at the time, but I think my theology has moved on a bit since then, and physics has moved on a whole lot since then and left me behind.

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  3. My first thought is that reconciliation presupposes estrangement; could you possibly detail for us the grievances between the parties?
    I’ve always been genuinely amused to come across those books from the 50s with satellite dishes on the cover and titles like “Christianity in a Age of Science and Technology!” — when for those who grew up a generation later, no disconnect with transistors or satellites ever even suggested itself.
    How is quantum physics (in any form it takes) going to be any different to those things, whose novelty is now so blunted as to be mundane if not bordering on quaint when set beside the internet or nanotechnologies?

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  4. Well, I see no issue with the physics itself, but some of the intrepretations of the physics throw up some curley issues. For example, Copenhagen interpretation, which posits multiple histories for the universe, is not nearly as easily reconcilable with the historical emphasis of Christianity as some of the retro-causality interpretations.

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  5. Hi Matt,
    Process theology has worked to integrate a lot of the insights from ‘modern physics’, including quantum mechanics, since early in the 20th century.
    Alfred North Whitehead kicked it off, Chalres Hartshorne made it a very influential school of thought in the post-war period, and people like Sallie McFague, John Cobb, Rita Nakashima Brock, and our own Charles Birch have done some great work in the last 2-3 decades.

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  6. Hi Matt — Is the issue that multiple histories are extra work, or is the problem something different?
    Could multiple histories be more work than, say, Molist Middle Knowledge? This was a solution between simple timeless foreknowledge and full blown fore-ordination, proposed by de Molina in the 1500s, which argues that God knows the future without overriding human freedom by awareness of all the possible future outcomes of human freedom. It’s a finite number of finite universes, so no extra ‘time’ for a timeless being to work it out. Is this the kind of issue that you’re thinking of with other time-streams?
    Also, on “historical emphasis”, God need not of course have acted the same way in different time-streams, any more than he need have done so on different worlds in the same universe, so we needn’t see our particular outworking of redemption as trans-universal.

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  7. Yes it is a HUGE and very important topic. The understanding of which provides the key to resolving the seemingly never-ending conflict between reductionist conventional religion and the ideology of scientism (as distinct from science as a method of open-ended free inquiry into the nature of conditional manifest existence)
    Modern quantum science tells us that everything is only light, that all of reality – every person, every object, every iota of space and time – is nothing but waves in an ocean of light.
    But what science does not tell us is that that this light is not merely an impersonal force or a mass of energy. It is CONSCIOUS; it is ALIVE – in fact, it is a Great Person of Light, a Radiant being of Infinite Brightness. Even better put, in REALITY, Light Is the Divine Person, the Great One, Living as everything, Appearing as everything, and yet, paradoxically, Always and Only Conscious Light.

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  8. With regard to mulitverse: it seems to me that one possible response is to take hold of Barth’s idea that Christ is the heart of spacetime. If I’ve understood the idea aright it would mean that Christ was/is the centre of space-time around which the whole of the rest is ‘built’. Of course this means getting our thinking out of the linear time business and seeing the Christ-event as as a cause of what went before in linear time (however the paradox of this is not, probably, a problem for this kind of cosmos); or the Christ even as an attractor of lines of history such that all the possibles converge (are fulfilled) by the Christ event and diverge therefrom. What this would mean is that there could be a variety of timelines but they would form a nexus at the cross. There would be a salvation history appropriate to each timeline but Christ would be all in all.
    I think ….

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  9. Justin, the problem I have with process theology is that it tends to make the Creator and the creation codependant. I find that diffcult to reconcile with scripture. So, while I think Whitehead offers some stimulating things to consider, I’m ultimately looking for something more compatible with creation ex nihilo.

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  10. @Nigel. You said, “God need not of course have acted the same way in different time-streams, any more than he need have done so on different worlds in the same universe, so we needn’t see our particular outworking of redemption as trans-universal.” I’d say that’s far from self evident. Consider that Papua New Guineans existed in isolation for much of Christian history and were only exposed to the gospel comparatively recently. Effectively it was a different world. Do we say they were saved apart from knowledge of the savior? If we were to say no, then how could we say any different for other worlds? If we say yes, then are we denying the uniqueness of Christ? The multi-world hypothesis stirs up all sorts of issues like this. An advanced action interpretation of quantum physics bypasses it quite nicely though. Which is more correct? Well, obviously we have to let science be science and not judge in advance of evidence, but at presence the evidence for either is inconclusive.

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