The Hidden Reality

I started reading The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene. It covers quantum mechanics and our universe. He writes:

Maybe…the familiar notion that any given experiment has one and only one outcome is flawed. The mathematics underlying quantum mechanics -or at least, one perspective on the math- suggests that all possible outcome happen, each inhabiting its own separate universe. If a quantum calculation predicts that a particle might be here, or it might be there, then in one universe it is here, and in another it is there. And in each such universe, there’s a copy of you witnessing one or the other outcome, thinking – incorrectly – that your reality is the only reality. When you realize that quantum mechanics underlies all physical processes, from the fusing of atoms in the sun to the neural firings that constitutes the stuff of thought, the far-reaching implications of the proposal become apparent. It says that there’s no such thing as a road untraveled. Yet each such road – each reality – is hidden from all others.

Now I am way out of my depth talking about such things, but being mildly Van Tillian, I have to approach this all from the Christian point of view, and that suggests that there cannot be other actual instantiations of me, you and most of all, Jesus, in an infinity of multiverses. I suppose all of these other universes could exist as counterfactuals based on our choices, matter in motion, and so on, but I wonder if they aren’t just possibilities that exist in the infinite mind of God? I don’t mean to identify the universe with His mind, so I don’t know how that would hold up to scrutiny either. I guess I am interested in how quantum theory and classical Christian theism can co-exist peacefully? I note articles that I need to read here, here and here.

2 thoughts on “The Hidden Reality”

  1. When you brought up presuppositionalism, it made me wonder if theories like Greene’s show his presupposition of a postmodern view that wants liberation from one truth and one reality (whether the Christian or Enlightenment version). The uncertainty of quantum mechanics would seem to be a gift to postmodernists, and you raise a good issue for Christians to think about.

    I hope that as you read the other articles, you’ll blog about what you learn there, too.

  2. Thanks Scott. Yes, it certainly does dovetail nicely with our current assumptions about philosophy – a bit too neatly. I’m way out of my league talking about this stuff, but that shouldn’t stop me.

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