Schrödinger's God in a Box

Stephen Terry



The physics parable of Schrödinger's Cat illustrates how thngs can exist in two different states simultaneously at the quantum level. The cat is in a box and exposed to a lethal substance. As long as the box remains unopened to our view, puss is still alive. However, once we peer into the box we find the luckless animal expired. Theoretically, it is our observation of the animal that changes its state. The question arises. Is the poor kitty truly changed because we peered into the box, or is what we see shaped by our inability to observe an object in two physical states at once? Is our understanding of reality real, or is it limited by our perception and therefore less than real? We can perhaps understand this better if we try to mentally envision the end of an infinite number line. We cannot, for no matter where we end up on that line, there is always more beyond. Unable to visualize infinity, we instead symbolize it with a figure 8 on its side. When we bring these realizations to theology, we begin to understand that no matter how big the box we construct, it no more adequately reveals the truth of God than the infinity symbol does about infinity. Why do we cosntruct the box in the first place? For the same reason we made that symbol. We cannot visualize the infinite.

If God exists simulateously at every place and time, then by definition he can exist in two states simultaneously. But we need to recognize that this is also a box, one constructed by Schrödinger. It seems reasonable that omnipresence would have God exsiting in an infinite number of states simultaneously. If we acknowledge that we cannot, by nature, observe an infinite number of states, either simultaneouosly or even sequentially, we begin to see the problem of proving the existence of such a being. The atheist peers into the box that is holding quantum reality, and it appears that what is called God does not exist. Have they, as Schrödinger states, removed God from the universe by the sheer power of observation that confined God's existence to non-existence, or have they instead simply observed God's state in one of the infinite number of states they are incapable of seeing due to the limited nature of thier powers of observation?

Quantum physics causes us to question how much of our reality simply shields us from the staggeringly incomprehensible? Our perception of reality delivers stability and sanity to our finite minds and allows us to function meaningfully in a universe that transcends every reality box we have ever constructed. Perhaps placing God in a box is necessary for similar reasons. But we should always remember that the box is a construct, a symbol, and the reality we enjoy based on the box is an infinitessmally small subset of the eternal reality that exists in infinite states both inside and outside the box and appears or does not appear to us based on our ability to observe those various states, whether we are looking into the box or not.



This Article is Provided by Still Waters Ministry