The Lord’s resurrection on what is now celebrated as Easter Sunday certainly challenges our modern assumptions about physics. Not only did this miraculous event require radical reverse entropy (the reversal of disorder and decomposition), the Lord’s restored physical body seemed to have also gained new capacities. For instance, the Lord could completely disappear from the tomb and reappear before Mary Magdalene. His physical body could ascend to heaven and descend back to earth. He could suddenly be present in a room with shut doors as well as be physically touched by His disciples and even eat fish.
Did the resurrection event require God to suspend the laws of nature or make use of laws that were already in place? If it is the latter, which I am proposing, then new and richer scientific concepts are required for unveiling the hidden nature of reality. If the natural world is not the ultimate reality then it must be a lawful expression of some greater dynamic.
Some serious scientists, whom I have studied and become acquainted with, feel that the answer to the Easter miracle may have something to do with quantum physics. Quantum physics does seem to be tied to “consciousness,” however, its uncertainty principle offers us very little information about how an all-knowing Creator does things. In fact, quantum physics needs to be reformulated. If science and theology are to be united, Divine action in the world should show that nature’s laws are consistent with God’s nature, which is Infinite Love. And, Divine action is certainly purposeful.
Like Einstein and David Bohm, I reject ontological indeterminism. Rather than fundamental reality consisting of irreducible chance, there is irreducible love. The reason for this faith-based thesis is that quantum behavior, while it seems to us to be random, generates the regularity we see in the classical world of Newtonian physics. Randomness is at odds with nature’s compulsion for self-organization. The wave function and its superposition principle do not explain how outcomes of measurement (actualization) lead to an orchestrated universe.
Love offers us a principle for potential actualization that is every bit as legitimate as randomness (which I tackle in my next book, Proving God).
We live in a world that is ordered, has orientation, and is unified. Since the essence of love is to unite, I have maintained that love is the creative causal principle and formative substance (substantia prima) of creation and the ultimate science. The world is unified through shared utility. For something to exist, previous things must coexist. And coexistence emerges from mutual support and interdependence.
All self-organization finds its existence in some form of utility, which is an analog of altruism and spiritual love. A God of love cannot create anything that is not ultimately useful. What this means is that higher causal levels of order and activity (like conscious love) adapt the lower level forms of nature to their own disposition (emergence of complexity). The scientist/theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg, called this top-down self-similarity the science of correspondences.
The closest idea to Swedenborg’s science of correspondences I have found in modern thinking is the concept of supervenience, whereby higher leveled phenomena, like ethics, morality, and altruism influence the lower level properties of nature and biological structure. The unity of nature is a causal consequence of Divine Love.
The science of correspondences implies that the laws of nature are, in fact, an extension of spiritual laws and forces into the constraints of spacetime. This means that the universe and its laws are perfectly fine-tuned for the Easter resurrection to occur.
God’s heavenly spirit supervened into a human body provided by the virgin birth, where it reached its ultimate actualization in the measurement outcomes of the Lord’s life of fulfilling Scripture on earth. Making the Word “flesh” was a lawful process by which higher-level realities and lower-level realities became perfectly united. Put into scientific terms, the a-temporal and a-spatial dynamics of the hidden microworld became fully expressed in the Lord’s macro bio-structure or physical body. So “quantum tunneling” through the shut doors of the room where the disciples had gathered after the crucifixion was no problem for the Lord’s resurrected body.
Do you think science and theology can be unified? Would that strengthen your faith?