God, Heisenberg and “Quantum Theology”

An area that I find fascinating to study is quantum theory and the world of sub-atomic reality.  Here is a world that is more bizarre than any science fiction story.  Things are both particles and waves.  Particles can be in two places in the same time.  Once particles interact they can affect one another instantaneously, although separated by great distances.  Time speeds up and slows down.  Reality is affected by the simple act of observation.  (We have to wait until the box is opened to find out if that live/dead cat is actually either one.)  Things pop into and out of existence.  And chance and randomness and probability seem to be the order of the day. 

One of the basic tenets of quantum theory is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.  In essence, this principle states that you cannot know both the position and the momentum of any particle at the same time.  This is due to the wave-particle duality of those little devils that make up the matter-energy-space reality we call the universe.  Without going into detail trying to explain this (which I really couldn’t do anyway), this means that the essence of physical reality is uncertain and random.  We live in a world based in uncertainty.  The only reason we see the order and certainty we do is because of the mass of quantum probabilities functioning all at the same time.  Indeed, it appears that we live in a world of probabilities.

And yet, we live in a world of such extraordinary order and structure that we have entire scientific systems to classify, categorize and understand atoms (the periodic table), molecules (chemistry), living creatures (taxonomy), weather (meteorology), our planet (geology), and the cosmos (astronomy).  The obvious structure and orderly composition has been seen for centuries as solid evidence of the existence of a Great Designer.  He, the Cosmic Engineer, has created a universe that amazingly complex and wonderfully constructed.  All around us we see organization, purposeful pattern, and meaningful arrangement.  Remarkable!

How can this be?  How can all this order be rooted in random, quantum fluctuations of wave/particles on a sub-atomic level?  Is it really true that we only experience the massive results of microscopic probabilities?  Is there no certainty in reality itself?  I don’t think so.  I firmly believe that we live in a world of great certainty, orderly construction, and purposeful design.

Perhaps there is another reality here.  Could it be that the Grand Designer of all Nature (and Supernature also) has chosen in His infinite wisdom to accommodate into His orderly construction of the universe the very random and uncertain realities of quarks, leptons and bosons?  Could it be that all the quirky weirdness of the quantum world was not only planned by Him, but incorporated into His overall blueprint for a marvelously designed universe?

I believe this is the case.  It is in many ways a mystery.  I can’t fathom the depths of how He did all this.  But He did.  And believing this to be true also helps me to grasp another mystery just as puzzling.  How can a God who is completely and totally sovereign, who rules and controls all things, down to the smallest atom—how can such sovereignty also allow for individual free will and human moral choice?  This conundrum has puzzled philosophers and theologians for generations.  The easiest solution is to deny one or the other—to say that God is not truly sovereign, or that man is not truly free.  Yet, if we are to believe the Scriptures, we do not have this liberty.  The Bible presents both statements as equally true:  God is sovereign; man has choice.

Understanding only comes from accepting both propositions as equally valid and equally true.  We accept that somehow (beyond our reckoning) the sovereign Lord of the universe has chosen to actually incorporate into His sovereignly controlled design the free choices of the bumbling, stumbling little creatures called human beings.  And just as He has used the randomness and uncertainty of quantum reality to fashion and maintain a universe of complex order and beautiful form, so He uses human decisions as part of a sovereignly determined scheme for all time and eternity.  Amazing!

Such thoughts cause my soul to erupt in the only appropriate response—adoration and worship…

I sing the mighty pow’r of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flow’r below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God, art present there.

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