Mlodinov worked a great deal with popular science literature, together with Stephan Hawking. Here he talks about the fine-tuning of the universe at the Big Bang. How could it bee so finetuned that here could be galaxies and life? If it were to be random, they can imagine many possible universes, a “many universe theory”. Or one can imagine that God created it and fine-tuned it right away.
There was some discussion in the comment section, which I participated in, so I share some comments here.
“Many worlds theory”. What about free will?
If we use the quantum mechanics on the macroscopic level it becomes absurd. That’s the point with Schrødinger’s cat and the many world theory seems more absurd. Schrødinger’s cat is an experiment we can imagine, but we are not able to do it. There are experiments that show quantum effect on the macroscopic level, that’s how we know it, like the doble slit experiment. Bell’s theorem can be shown by three polarizing filters, it’s very fascinating. The conclusion is that quantum mechanics is complete.
But what about life? Animals. Humans. What about our free will? Many educated people think of it in two ways, somehow you have a free will, somehow not, with regards to their theories and then it seems like the question is if it is consistent with their theories. Then it may turn out like the traditional question, is there something wrong with you or with their theories?
The square of a wave-function may have two peaks A and B, where it is likely that the particle may be. But it can’t be in the middle between A and B. If it was like this on the macroscopic level, when you want to travel from A1 to B1 and back, suddenly you are at A1 then on B1 and the on A1, but in the meanwhile you were not in the middle between A1 and B1. In the many world theory you are both in A1 and B1 at the same time, but it has become different worlds, when you mean you are in A1, you are also in B1 but are not quite aware of it. When you mean you are in B1, you also are in A1, but you are not aware of it.
But is this the way quantum mechanics is shown on macroscopic level?
What if you imagine that you are the elementary particle? You refer to the wave function and obeys it, you can be in A or B and it is more like you are in both A and B at the same time. An interaction from the macroscopic level is like when somebody open the box and looked at the cat. But at the microscopic level there must have been another elementary particle with its wavefunction that interacts with your wavefunction. Then you made a choice, let’s say A.
So how could this quantum effect possibly be shown at the macroscopic level? That we are free to choose!
Of course we have a free will and in my opinion it is not very fruitful to discuss it. But what is fruitful is to learn to know what are the good choices. Then the many world theory may be interesting as a theory, but in the way that at the very present time we can choose between different world to go in to. And the valuable point to you is that you can make a god choice to get a good future.
Nature philosophy and mathematics in the Bible and in ancient Greece. I shall not go bow down and carry God. He carries me.
The Bible tells us that God created everything with his Word, so by faith we can understand that what is visible is created out of what is invisible. This fits with modern science, but it was much harder to understand and accept in earlier times, so that they even created gods of sticks and stones. For about 3000 years ago the idea arose in ancient Greece, that the nature is understandable and that gave rise to the Greek natural philosophy, so maybe they got the idea from Gods people.Natural philosophy we find also in the Bible, written in poetry, it is regarded as a part of the wisdom. It is said that king Salomo knew a lot about nature, else it is not said much about it. We find little mathematics for practical use, in trade and in building. In trade they were told to use right measurements. It was used when building the temple. In this way we can say it gets a philosophical point. Mathematics it was important in Greek philosophy and has become a tremendous success in science, technology and economy. Religious interests with moral teaching was attached to it and became tradition. In this way Christianity also was attached to it and also in the way of arguing that it is very unlikely that everything was made for plane nothing, by chance. At a time when I was thinking about this and I went to the free church, someone spoke in tongues and someone translated it, in this way the Lord said to me that I shall not go bent down and carry him, but he will carry me. You see, the gods made of sticks and stones need people to carry them. But the living God rose Jesus from the grave and lifted him up to his throne. By faith in him we experience that he lifts us up and carries us. Symbolically speaking he lifts us from the mud and places us on solid rock, so that it carries us. In that context it meant to me that I was free to be interested in mathematics and use it science and technology without any substitute interests. Such substitute interests were irrelevant and just disturbed me. But now it is very interesting to hear what they say about the finetuning of the universe. The living God is perfect, his Son Jesus Christ is perfect and his work of salvation is perfect. With one offer he has once and for all made those perfect who are sanctified (Hebr.10,14). How are we sanctified? By believing in him, with his Word and his Spirit. He gives us Spirit and life from heaven and it is perfect. So by being sanctified we get finetuned for eternity.
The scientific experiment is repeatable. The method of the gospel about Christ is not repeatable in that sense.
We can all use the scientific methods, the scientific experiment is repeatable, in this sense we can say that we live in the same world.
Christianity has it’s methods, Jesus is the word of God, he said that we should believe in him, love him and love each others. By faith in him we get the Holy Spirit, so that we experience the power of his salvation, the power of his resurrection from the dead, the power of the coming world, we experience power of God. He makes miracles among us, as healing sick people.
This is not repeatable in the sense that he is the only God and he has witnessed about his Son, Jesus Christ and showed us his salvation in him, he is the only Messiah.
Were you there to witness the “resurrection”?
No. The Bible tells us that humans sin divided them from God, but with one offer Jesus took away the sin once and for all. The apostle Paul said to those who had come to believe in him, that then you shall regard it as if you are crucified together with him, and in baptism you are buried together with him. The point is that you shall experience the power of his resurrection from the dead, for it was for you he died. This is also why we can pray for healing from sickness and get it. He gives us spirit and life from heaven and we shall turn our hearts and our minds up to him and receive it.
There is “somthing deeply hidden”, but God reveals his salvation for us in Christ.
We find nature philosophy in the Bible long before the ancient Greek philosophers, written in poetry and regarded as a part of the wisdom. It is said that king Salomo knew a lot about nature, else it is not said much about it. We find little mathematics for practical use, in trade and in building. In trade they were told to use right measurements. It was used when building the temple. In this way we can say it gets a philosophical point. It is a symbol of the body, it is a temple for the Holy Spirit. In the new covenant we get the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus, just because of mercy, for free, not because of anything we have done or can do, but just because Jesus died instead of us. It can’t be measured, so it can’t be used for trade. It also has the meaning that it is infinit. Jeremia prophesied about this in Jer.31 by natural philosophy, talking about ocean waves and light and claiming that the foundation of the earth down there and the heavens up there can not be examined. Light is waves also and it may remind me of the wavefunction too, yes, there is “something deeply hidden”. Now it has been examined quite a lot. But we are limited and so are our examinations. But the Holy Spirit is not limited.
Science and dooms day. Jesus is coming to save us out of it.
Astronomers: astroides may collide with the earth, get warm and explode in the atmosphere, it is more a question of when or of if. So that’s science.
This fits well to what the Bible says about dooms-day, when the “stars” shall fall down from heaven. Jesus talked about his coming in two ways, everything seems good and normal and he comes as a surprise to everyone. And in a dramatic situation, so many believe he comes two times. He said that not even he knew when, only the Father in heaven.
I’m not like those traditional dooms-days prophets that scared the people. God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son, so that everyone that believe in him shall not be lost, but have everlasting life. This is still his good message to the world. Everyone who received Jesus he gave the right to be God’s child. He is the way to the heavenly Father. By going that way we will find that he loves us and cares for us as his children. Then this is important for us in our daily life.
To me science and technology is included in God’s care for us. I’ll put it this way, God cares for his children and for what he has created. Science and technology fits well into this. Jesus is the truth and it is important for us to believe in him and love him. Then we don’t like lies, but we appreciate the truth people find in science and technology.