Sunday, September 4, 2011

String theory, God and Consciousness

Eleven dimensions, parallel universes, a world made of vibrating filaments -- it’s not science fiction: It’s string theory. And it is scientific speculation that helps spotlight the dance in which science and religion are entwined.
 String theory?Image by trailfan via Flickr
If you remember your high school physics, the basic particles of the universe -- electrons, protons, neutrons, and for the younger generation, neutrinos, quarks, photons -- are the “letters” that make up all matter.  Remember your basic models of atoms that your teacher held up. 

String theory says otherwise.

According to this cutting-edge theory, if we could examine these particles with even greater precision -- a precision many orders of magnitude beyond our present technological capacity -- we would find that each is not point-like but instead consists of a tiny, one-dimensional loop. Like an infinitely thin rubber band, each particle contains a vibrating, oscillating, dancing filament that physicists have named a string.

So we are all really particles with vibrations.   When we touch something, we are just one vibration oscillating against another vibration.  When we think,  the microtubes that make up the  neurons in our brains are ultimately particles with vibrations oscillating against each other.
An alternate version of :Image:Calabi-Yau.png....Image via Wikipedia 
For the first time in the history of physics we have a framework with the capacity to explain every fundamental feature upon which the universe is constructed -- gravity, electromagnetism, forces that hold the atom together, light, etc. For this reason string theory is sometimes described as possibly being the “theory of everything” or the ultimate or final theory. These terms convey the concept of the deepest possible theory of physics -- a theory that underlies all others, one that does not require or even allow for a deeper explanatory base.

String Theory permits us to understand the great activities of the cosmos.  How stars are born, live and die. How galaxies billions of miles away interact in a swarm of large vibrations.  

Theologians from the beginning of time have grappled with the question of how to reconcile our understanding of the material world with our spirituality.  Each time there has been a major shift in science, theology has shifted as well. 

Vatican Observatory staff member Jesuit Fr. William Stoeger urges us to theologically think bigger: “Many times the God that we image is extremely small, and I think that both the science of the very small and the science of the very large forces us to abandon images of a small God and espouse an ever-expanding concept that God is beyond anything that we can really define or characterize.”

 Everything is interconnected at the sub atomic level, which our native ancestors have always known. Do our thoughts bring about physical changes around us? Yes indeed! Do material changes affect our thoughts and feelings?  Yes.

I believe God is in here somewhere as well and that his or her vibrational energies are resonating within us as well.   I wonder if God himself is a string? :)

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