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Discussion 1 to Talk Back 47
Re: The Scientific Bridge to God.

by Teofilo Contreras

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I am no scientist, no physic or mathematician. I have read a little, however, and this is my viewpoint on the scientific status of cosmology.

Thought may be the core of the whole thing. But I guess it all depends how we define the concept of thought. If thought is a mere electrochemical process, that only occurs within biological brains, then the bridge is nowhere in sight.

I'll still play along, though. As far as I understand it, modern physics seem to be converging to the conclusion that particles are completely indistinguishable from each other. That is, that one electron is exactly identical to any other electron, that one photon is exactly identical to any other photon, etc. Apparently these measurements can be done with unprecedented accuracy and repeatability.  I stress this point because the impossibility to differentiate one particle from another one of it's type, does not lie in the accuracy of the measurement. This means that no better measurement will reveal subtler differences that were previously overlooked, at least not anytime soon.

If this is indeed correct and every particle is perfectly identical to all other particles of it's type, then the conclusion can be astounding and relevant for the subject of this discussion. From a very old idea and an excellent explanation in this article: Identity of Indiscernibles.  The indiscernibility of particles, could mean that there is only one electron in the whole universe, one photon, one proton, etc. Again, IF (and I emphasize the IF because this is all speculation, even if scientifically plausible) this is correct, then the universe may not be a physical place with vast spaces and lots of stars and planets and things, as we usually conceive it. It may be that what we see and where we live in, is a possible outcome of one big set of rules that describes the possible interactions between particles, forces, energies, etc.

Just like in a computer program a function can be defined and then called whenever necessary, without it being written several times, the "function" electron can be invoked billions of times into action without really existing more than once. Or not even that once, just a description of what an electron would be like within the complete set of rules for operation of the universe. Imagine a set of rules for chess. The pawns, the knights, etc.; the description of how they move and take other pieces, the description of the board and all other rules of the game. Within these rules, there somehow exist all possible games of chess. There doesn't need to be a single physical piece or board or even a hard copy of the rules in paper. A mere conception of these rules carries within, all possible games or outcomes allowed by them. All these possible games coexist and don't really need to be played in order to be.

If I am getting quantum theory right, all possible universes could coexist simultaneously within the rules. In that case my consciousness, my notion of being, is only aware of events in one of those innumerable possible universes. Furthermore, I only exist in a limited number of possible universes.

Is this what you mean by thought? That god "thought" of these rules and then every possible universe happened or is happening within his "thinking"? That is how I interpret it. And that is why we are agnostic. How are we to know if these "games of chess" are being played in god's "mind" or all by themselves? How are we to know if in other possible universes we make different decisions and our lives turn out different? How can we claim to know that someone originated these rules if we are a mere possible outcome that doesn't really need to happen in order to be? What does morality mean if all possible universes are included in the rules "thought" by god anyway? Once the rules are set, doesn't the amount of love or hate become a matter of chance for each given universe? Do the love and selflessness concepts have a meaning outside biological life at all?

This bridge brings us to no answers, only more questions. Did someone conceive these rules or are they simply the natural rules of all that can possibly happen? Could the rules be different? Is logic the underlying rule which generates all other rules? Could logic be different? Is there a limited quantity of rules or are the rules infinitely subdivided into the tiny and infinitely generalized out to the immense?

We don't seem to have serious answers for these questions. Hey, we don't even know if there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or not. Perhaps god knows every detail of my life, past and future; yet as they say, ignorance is bliss, because our not knowing is what makes life exciting, challenging and, ultimately, a delight to live.