Wednesday 21 November 2007

Quantum Theology- How I think the Universe Works, and Why

I guess its about time to unify past sporadic posts on theology/physics theory and explain EXACTLY how I think the universe works, exactly the point of life is, how it is interpret that in a theistic way, and how this influences my overall life philosophy.

Firstly, let me explain that those who know me know me to be quite defensive about my Catholicism, though I'm sceptical about the literal truth of its claims.

Secondly- and this is why they are surprised, I'm pretty much an extreme rationalist. I tend to roll my eyes at the 'there's got to be something there' types, much as I would at a Scientologist. I rarely disagree with Dawkins, have no truck with anything I see as tradition for tradition's sake and no blind faith in anything. Much of worldview owes a lot to two of the most atheist philosophers you can think of, Messrs Marx and Nietzche.

But nevertheless, in my view the facts only permit of one possible interpretation. The universe IS conscious. It IS directed, and we are ALL part of that same consciousness, being driven on to serve one purpose.

And if one stands back and look at that one great movement, the one huge reaction burning away, that huge rising wave, still beginning it's upward curl, to the huge crest that lies so far in the future, we cannot comprehend what will have become, before the slow road down to its end, THAT reality, is something it is impossible not to feel privileged to part of.

OK. WE need to think logic here. What MUST exist? Our universe came from somewhere. But none of its properties need exist outside its existence.
So what does?
Only possible answer; an infinite amount of possibilities, the likes of which we cannot comprehend. But outside this existence, logically anything and everything possible to be conceived by UNLIMITED consciousness, exists.

What does that means? It's not worth trying to think about it. We can only ever hope to have understanding if one of the things that exist. This one. It exists, because all possibilities exist.
And everything that exists, must be solved.
By solved, I mean, if it is there, and begins, it most be soluble, because it is finite. Finite things have bounds.

This particularly reality, has the property that it is quantifiable. Do all realities? Meaningless question. All realities are unique.

This reality is solubale by being quantifiable. That is, it has quantity. It is composed of a finite sequence of quanta. As soon as it starts, it starts to solve itself.

That is what the laws of thermodynamics are, the solution. The universe just counts up all the quanta and uses them up.
There's nothing really that mysterious about the laws of thermodynamics- all they are is this;
At the start all the particles occupy the same position. At the end, they all need to sit in different ones. That's all that happens- the particles get separated.
So it starts with the initial expansion, separating them out.

But they are all going in different directions. How this happens, is every planck tick the universe moves each particle, at light speed, to an adjacent position. However it can not initially change their direction. They keep colliding. At this point, they occupy, for a planck tick, the same space, and need separating.

Fortunately, over time, the warping of space by the particles in it, allows some particles to get trapped in space itself, by going round on themselves in an ever decreasing trajectory until they get stuck- these locked particles manifest themselves as 'massed' particles.

And each planck tick the universe is able to look at the options ahead. These are the laws of thermodynamics. It WILL take quickest route. So yes, it has a huge amount of possibilities. But it NEVER makes the WRONG move- it will use the minimum amount of planck ticks to separate all the particles.

It uses the particles to help use eachother up. It evolves. It develops better and better chain reactions to accelerate its ability to solve itself down to nothing.

Stars, those huge chain reactions, using up untold numbers of atoms in their lives, the first masterstroke of a universe already conscious way beyond any intelligence we could ever conceive.

And on, how many times we cannot say- but surely not just here- to organic life. The chain reaction that would acquire consciousness. Consciousness able to help the universe achieve its aims. Because life would need to use up plenty of energy to enjoy the gift the universe gave it to serve its own ends.

The more life there is, the more energy is used up, faster. Using energy, is helping the universe solve itself.

The greater the destiny of life, the more the universe is solved.
Which is why, you can be sure, we were evolved with great things in mind.

And God? Well God, surely is the master of the universe.
The universe isn't quite going to let us master it, but I think it intends us to gain all its secrets and its power.

Certainly, the Gods of mythology will pale beside our descendants.


Anonymous said...

But I thought Crushed was the master of the universe. Was I wrong?

Did you know that if the sun disappeared from the sky, it would take us 7 minutes to realize it before we were in complete darkness?

Anonymous said...

Funny that, Crushed. I wrote a post today mentioning Masters of the Universe and that sort of thing. With this much constant thinking about Life, the Universe and Everything, I'm worried about our respective brains wearing out before their time.

Anonymous said...

Lost today I'm afraid. Maybe a second reading will make it clearer, but maybe not.
I don't believe we are anywhere near knowing all the secrets the universe even though knowledge is growing by geometric progression. Do you think we'll still be amazed by it all if we ever do understand?

Anonymous said...

Brain is wearing out as well.. you want to phone me I sexy asian lady..?

Anonymous said...

No one ever explained thermodynamics to me before! Very interesting, Crushed. I need to read it again but I'm not scientific enough to understsnd it all, even then.

Anonymous said...

I read it a few times and I'm afraid I still don't see a resolution of the dichotomy. Your beliefs in the mysteries of Catholicism (is it still believed that the wafer and wine are literally transmogrified into the body and blood of your God which you then eat?) and the apparent hard logic of thermodynamics still in my tiny mind seem incompatible. But then I realise that the solution offered by quantum mechanics and the scientists differs only from the giant turtle theory and Greek and Roman Gods and Aboriginal Dreamtime and Catholicism only in the language it choses to say the same thing, "We don't know." In the end all these theories are discussing the theories and the people who invented them far more than they are illuminating the origins of the universe.

Anonymous said...

All interesting, but if you are interested in a thoroughgoing Catholic model of How The Universe Works, it is to be had at

Anonymous said...

Good post, CBI. Have you heard of the omega point idea, written about by Polkinghorne but expounded by Frank Tipler?

Essentially it just means that in the event of a big crunch the collapsing universe is able to recreate every existence state there has ever been. A sort of resurrection through a process analogous to computer emulation.

But I know I'm talking like Malcolm and Cressida out of Viz's Modern Parents, talking about butterflies causing volcanoes and things....