Modern Physics – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

 

Introduction:

Sir Isaac Newton

Godfrey Kneller’s 1689 portrait of Isaac Newton (age 46) – Wikipedia

Modern Physics is the extension of previous levels of physics and is therefore the study of the fundamental and “weird” interactions that occur in our universe. Sir Isaac Newton really founded the study of physics by his understanding of gravity and forces (now called Newtonian or Classical Physics) and since then, modern physics has taken our understanding to a whole new level.

Quantum Mechanics was developed based on the research of atoms and subatomic particles. Quantum Mechanics gets its name from the discovery that energy within atoms is quantized, meaning that the smallest amounts of energy come in small packets or quanta (like integers – only 1, 2, 3, etc), rather than any variable amount of energy (like 2.63 or 5.41 or anywhere in between). Initial research was based on blackbody radiation, the photoelectric effect, and the atomic nature of elements. There are now “several classes of phenomena called ‘quantum effects.’” Some of the conclusions from the new physics can breach on the weird and paradoxical, as we shall see.

In Quantum Mechanics, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that at any given time, you simply cannot know both the position and velocity of an electron. You can know only one, or the other, at any given time and therefore you will not be able to tell where it will be later. The Wave-Particle Duality says that light and electrons act as both a wave and a particle, which seems contradictory and very mysterious. Because particles can have wave properties, quantum tunneling (a particle can instantaneously jump across a solid barrier) is thought to be possible. This phenomenon is theorized to be part of brain activity.[i] Quantum Entanglement is possible in that two or more particles can be in the same quantum state and then, even when separated by a great distance, when one of the particles is acted on, the other(s) is simultaneously affected. Because of Quantum Entanglement, Quantum Teleportation may be possible by acting on one of the entangled particles, which will then cause a reaction of the other entangled particle and thus we may be able to send information, or particles, with potentially “faster than light communication methods.” This means that you could change something locally and instantly affect the universe some distance away without any time needed for the information to travel that distance.[ii]

Two quantum effects are observable on the macroscopic scale with superconductors and superfluids. Superconductors can be created, at the right temperature, to cause the material to have no electrical resistance and therefore able to magnetically levitate. Also, if again we are at the right temperature, superfluids will have no viscosity.[iii]

If none of that seems weird to you yet, consider the most common interpretation of quantum mechanics… the Copenhagen Interpretation.  This interpretation suggests that particles exist in all of the possible quantum states, but when the particle is observed, then the quantum wave function collapses, meaning that you only end up seeing the particle in one state rather than all the states that it may have actually been in before…at the same time. Another interpretation is the Consistent History interpretation in that quantum mechanics only gives the probabilities of the possible histories.[iv] “Quantum mechanics says that we cannot tell for certain what property value will emerge when we take the measurement – all we can ever say is that the value will be a random choice from a selection of possible values.” “It’s as if the measurement process actually creates the property value.”[v] “The very act of observing will cause the phenomenon being observed to change—thus the term observer effect.”[vi] The famous example of this is the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment where either the cat is alive in a box or dead in a box and the theory seems to say that maybe it is both at the same time, until you open the box to observe the one real truth. “Ultimately the only thing that matters are the experimental results”[vii] that are observed.

Scientists are hopeful to use the properties of Quantum Mechanics to create Quantum computers. These will, for all intents and purposes, be able to compute practically every possible scenario simultaneously. There is currently a lot of controversy and challenges to this technology, but many expect this technology to be the way of the future.[viii]

There is evidence that quantum tunneling is a component of our sense of smell, and quantum entanglement may play a part in bird migration and navigation. “Also, supposedly primitive purple bacteria exploit quantum mechanics to make their photosynthesis 95% efficient. They use a complex of tiny antennae to harvest light, but this complex can be distorted which could harm efficiency. However, because of the wave and particle nature of light and matter, although it absorbs a single photon at a time, the wave nature means that the photon is briefly everywhere in the antenna complex at once. Then of all possible pathways, it is absorbed in the most efficient manner, regardless of any shape changes in the complex. As with the previous example, quantum coherence is normally observable at extremely low temperatures, but these bacteria manage at ordinary temperatures.”[ix]

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Einstein developed his theories of General and Special Relativity to explain that gravity and an objects speed will change the length and mass of an object and the passage of time. With more gravity and more speed, time will slow down.[x]

Particle Physics and Quark Theory have also arisen, which is adding to what we know about the elementary particles. “According to the [Quark] theory, there are six types of quarks. Many particles, such as protons and neutrons, consist of the combination of two quarks. The different combinations of quarks lead to different particles…In recent years, particle physicists have in similar fashion developed string theory. Physicists have noticed that certain patterns among elementary particles can be explained easily if particles behave as tiny vibrating strings…As theoretical physicists refine their theories and we build new, powerful particle accelerators, physicists expect that one day we can test whether string theory is true, but for now there is no experimental evidence for string theory… Currently, most physicists think that string theory is a very promising idea. Assuming that string theory is true, there still remains the question as to which particular version of string theory is the correct one. You see, string theory is not a single theory but instead is a broad outline of a number of possible theories. Once we confirm string theory, we can constrain which version properly describes our world. If true, string theory could lead to new technologies.”[xi] But some think that “string theory has many problems”[xii] so it remains to be seen if this theory will hold out or be replaced as more tests are completed.

Modern physicists are currently working on combining the different theories of modern physics into one unified Theory of Everything (TOE). “Consequently, resolving the inconsistencies between both theories [relativity and quantum physics] has been a major goal of 20th and 21st century physics. Many prominent physicists, including Stephen Hawking, have labored for many years in the attempt to discover a theory underlying everything. This TOE would combine not only the different models of subatomic physics, but also derive the four fundamental forces of nature – the strong force, electromagnetism, the weak force, and gravity – from a single force or phenomenon. While Stephen Hawking was initially a believer in the Theory of Everything, after considering Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, he has concluded that one is not obtainable.”[xiii] Other researchers are still hopeful to unlock the ultimate Theory of Everything.

Do we really understand Modern Physics? What do we really know for sure? How will our understanding of physics change in the future? Does physics tell us anything about God?

 

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

Einstein’s theories of relativity show that around black holes, time will be slower the closer one gets, until, within the black hole, time would actually stop, or rather, would not exist. Stephen Hawking explains how this would be true and that there was no time “before” the big bang. Hawking also describes how in quantum physics, particles can “pop” into existence from nowhere and therefore there is no problem with the idea that an entire universe explodes from nothing, out of nowhere. It is even possible that the universe is uncaused, because there is no time for a something or some creator to cause the universe. Therefore, there is no need to say that any creator caused the universe.[xiv]

Living organisms appear to have evolved to use quantum mechanical advantages within nature. “In artificial systems, quantum superposition and entanglement typically decay rapidly unless cryogenic temperatures are used. Could life have evolved to exploit such delicate phenomena? Certain migratory birds have the ability to sense very subtle variations in Earth’s magnetic field. Here we apply quantum information theory and the widely accepted “radical pair” model to analyze recent experimental observations of the avian compass. We find that superposition and entanglement are sustained in this living system for at least tens of microseconds, exceeding the durations achieved in the best comparable man-made molecular systems. This conclusion is starkly at variance with the view that life is too “warm and wet” for such quantum phenomena to endure.”[xv]

As scientists continue the study and understanding of modern physics, there will be better explanations for everything and therefore completely overwhelm the need that many people have to resort to God or any sort of gods as the original cause. Naturalistic processes can explain everything, even the origin of the universe. Part of the excitement is the mystery in the things that we don’t know and understand yet, and that is what makes the process of science so great. The god of lightning, the sun god, the moon god, the rain god and multitudes of other gods have been successfully dethroned. Based on this, there is an extremely high probability that there is no need for any other god, not one. It would be foolish to resort to believing in a magical god just because some questions and mysteries are still unanswered.

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

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[i] Friedrich Beck, Synaptic Quantum Tunnelling in Brain Activity, NeuroQuantology, June 2008, Vol 6, Issue 2, p. 140-151, http://www.neuroquantology.com/index.php/journal/article/view/168/168, accessed July 19, 2014.

[ii] Rupert Ursin, Thomas Jennewein, Markus Aspelmeyer, Rainer Kaltenbaek, Michael Lindenthal, Philip Walther, Anton Zeilinger, Brief Communications, Communications: Quantum teleportation across the Danube, August 19, 2004, Nature 430, 849, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v430/n7002/abs/430849a.html, accessed July 21, 2014.

[iii] Quantum physics, Genesis Mission, http://www.genesismission.4t.com/Physics/qm.htm, accessed July 19, 2014.

Jonathan Sarfati, Should creationists accept quantum mechanics?, November 25, 2011, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/creationists-quantum-mechanics, accessed July 19, 2014.

Luke Mastin, Quanta and Wave-Particle Duality, 2009, Main Topics: Quantum Theory and the Uncertainty Principle, The Physics of the Universe, http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_quantum_quanta.html, accessed July 19, 2014.

[iv] Quantum physics, Genesis Mission, http://www.genesismission.4t.com/Physics/qm.htm, accessed July 19, 2014.

[v] Andrew Thomas, The Quantum Casino, http://www.ipod.org.uk/reality/reality_quantum_casino.asp, accessed July 21, 2014.

[vi] Desmond Allen, An Apology and Unification Theory for the Reconciliation of Physical Matter and Metaphysical Cognizance, February 22, 2008, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/physics/reconciliation-of-physical-matter-and-metaphysical-cognizance/, accessed July 21, 2014.

[vii] Interpretations of Quantum physics, Genesis Mission, http://gscim.com/phy/Quantum_Mechanics/Interpretations_of_Quantum_Mechanics.html, accessed July 19, 2014.

[viii] Nicola Jones, Computing: The quantum company, D-Wave is pioneering a novel way of making quantum computers – but it is also courting controversy, June 19, 2013, Nature, http://www.nature.com/news/computing-the-quantum-company-1.13212, accessed July 21, 2014.

[ix] Jonathan Sarfati, Should creationists accept quantum mechanics?, November 25, 2011, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/creationists-quantum-mechanics, accessed July 19, 2014.

[x] Danny Faulkner, The New Answers Book 2, Chapter 30: Do Creationists Believe in “Weird” Physics like Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and String Theory?, September 2, 2010, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/physics/do-creationists-believe-in-weird-physics/, accessed July 19, 2014.

[xi] Danny Faulkner, The New Answers Book 2, Chapter 30: Do Creationists Believe in “Weird” Physics like Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and String Theory?, September 2, 2010, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/physics/do-creationists-believe-in-weird-physics/, accessed July 19, 2014.

[xii] Russell Grigg, Stephen Hawking: Key to the Cosmos, August 21, 2012, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/key-to-the-cosmos, accessed July 19, 2014.

[xiii] Quantum mechanics, Wikipedia, last modified July 14, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mechanics, accessed July 19, 2014.

Stephen Hawking, “Gödel and the end of physics,” last modified November 23, 2011, Strings 2002, Cambridge, July 15-20, http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/events/strings02/dirac/hawking/, accessed July 19, 2014.

[xiv] Did God Create The Universe?, August 7, 2011, Curiosity, Discovery Channel, http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/did-god-create-the-universe.htm, accessed July 18, 2014.

[xv] Gauger, E.M. et al., Sustained Quantum Coherence and Entanglement in the Avian Compass, Physical Rev. Lett. 106: 040503, 2011 P-I-P-E doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.040503.

Jonathan Sarfati, Should creationists accept quantum mechanics?, November 25, 2011, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/creationists-quantum-mechanics, accessed July 19, 2014.

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