There’s an anti-religion website called Disbeliefnet, evidently created by comedian Bill Maher, which trumpets the motto, “You won’t believe what people believe.”
He’s right. People buy into a lot of outlandish and fantastical stuff that defy common sense and the laws of nature — in a word, miracles. Such propositions are so foreign to our five senses that it’s no wonder that so many academics and other highly educated people have no tolerance for them.
Here’s a sampling of bizarre, other-worldly, and downright fanciful notions that some people believe:
- There are other dimensions beyond our own.
- Certain entities can move through solid walls.
- Some things can be invisible.
- Certain things can travel back and forth through time.
- The same entity can be in multiple distinct locations at the same time.
- Certain entities can communicate instantaneously with other entities that are billions of light years away.
Bill Maher could have a field day with this stuff.
In centuries past, people believed in the supernatural because they didn’t have science to explain things. Now, we’re nicely ensconced in the age of science and reason; if it’s not explainable by science, goes the thinking, then it can’t be true.
Or maybe not.
It turns out that the strange notions described above are championed by top physicists.
That’s right. The weirdness falls into the realm of quantum physics, the branch of physics that seeks to explain how subatomic particles behave.
Physicists often use the adjectives “bizarre” or “weird” when describing quantum physics because things happen that defy classical physics or common sense. And they admit they can’t explain how such things happen.
So let me get this straight. The secular elite disparages religion because they find silly the notion that there are spiritual beings that can exist in different dimensions, be invisible, go through solid walls, time travel, and carry out other seemingly miraculous activities. Yet, renown scientists are telling us that subatomic particles can do all of these things.
If one accepts that, then it’s by no means a stretch to infer that there is a spiritual world in which similar things occur.
Far from being in conflict with each other, science and religion are complementary. Twentieth-century physicist and Nobel Prize-winner Eugene Wigner pointed out that materialism, the atheistic worldview that reality only consists of physical matter, is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”
Another Nobel Prize winner, neuroscientist John C. Eccles, posited that the spiritual mind and physical brain are independent entities, and that the two interact through quantum physics.
In quantum physics there are systems, laws, and observers. “There is something about observers like us that’s not reducible to (classical) physics,” said University of Delaware physicist Stephen Barr.
He explained in a 2012 Research on Religion podcast interview that once you accept the nonphysical reality of our own minds, then it’s easier to accept the reality of greater minds, such as that of God. And given how incredibly orderly the universe is from a mathematical standpoint, which suggests a supreme designer, “Modern physics ought to make every particle physicist in the world get down on their knees,” he remarked.
The dictionary defines the term supernatural as “not existing in nature or not subject to explanation according to natural laws.” It’s also defined as “of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.”
If that’s the case, then to me, modern science indicates that the supernatural must exist. “An order of existence beyond the visible observable universe” immediately evokes dark matter and dark energy.
Astrophysicists widely agree that the visible observable universe only makes up about 4 percent of all matter. The rest is matter that is invisible to us, known as dark matter, as well as dark energy. Scientists know it’s there because without the gravitational effects of dark matter, galaxies would fly apart.
Some physicists, notably Lisa Randall at Harvard, theorize that dark matter comes from higher dimensions, and that gravity is “leaking” from these dimensions. Apart from that, string theory has long predicted hidden dimensions. And at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, they’re working hard on finding evidence of other dimensions.
Oxford physicist David Deutsch considers there to be vast numbers of parallel (albeit not spiritual) worlds, and that perhaps someday we’ll be able to contact them using quantum computers.
To be sure, scientists very rarely use the term supernatural when describing quantum physics. If there are other dimensions, most physicists consider them to be physical, not spiritual, dimensions. Whatever the case, all this talk of other dimensions blurs the lines between the definition of physical and spiritual.
And one thing is certain: for evidence of the supernatural, the theologians have a much stronger case than the secular elite. Science confirms it.
Patrick D. Chisholm is a writer and editor whose articles have appeared in many publications including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, National Review, and Christian Science Monitor. Previously he worked for financial and business publications, and in the State Department's Office of Mexican Affairs. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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