A Supreme Deity versus Physics
A Supreme Deity versus Physics Various theologians and other religious philosophers have over many, many centuries, given a list of what traits or properties a Supreme Deity or Maximally Greatest Being would have. Physicists refrain since the list in question makes little if any physics sense, as we’re about to discover. Much of what follows stems from an on-line debate I had with my old ‘friend’ the “Accidental Meta-Physician”. While I admire his all gun’s blazing theological faith, his physics leaves a lot to be desired.
According to one well known modern religious theologian, William Lane Craig, the entity (i.e. – Supreme Deity) behind the creation of the Universe had to have been itself uncaused, beginning-less, changeless, eternal, timeless, space-less, an immaterial all-powerful being who is a personal agent, endowed with freedom of the will. Hopefully, by the time you’ve reached the conclusion of this essays, these characteristics will be viewed as total nonsense.
PHYSICS: DEBATING THE EXISTENCE OF A SUPREME DEITY
“Things”, like a Supreme Deity would have certain properties. Things with certain properties have structure and substance. Things with structure and substance are physics things. Physics things can have an effect on other physics things. Non-physics things, like Wednesday, have no structure and substance. The concept of Wednesday cannot have any physics effect on say a billiard ball. A billiard ball cannot have any effect on the concept of Wednesday. So, non-physics things cannot affect physics things, and vice-versa. Since a SD, being, according to some theologies, a non-physics entity cannot therefore have any effect on or create or destroy physics things. However, non-physics concepts can have an effect on other non-physics concepts. If the Universe was say composed of a total of 1000 atoms, then any Supreme Deity (SD) who created the Universe couldn’t be composed of any atoms otherwise the sum total of atoms in the Universe would add up to more than 1000. Thus any SD, any supernatural creator, must be non-physics according to some theists. Unlike theists, I say that the non-physics cannot create the physics. Not even a SD can create something from nothing, especially if that Supreme Deity was also non-physics.
Once upon a time there was this Supreme Deity, who was non-physics, who was eternal but not infinite. For some unknown and unexplained reason(s), He / She / It decided* somewhere on down the track, to create a physics universe, complete with life and just everything. How do you do that if you have nothing physics to work with? Even if this SD were physics in and of itself, it wouldn’t have any raw materials from which to work on or with. So, here’s a variation on some standard cosmology. The SD – a physics SD – literally went all to pieces, came apart at the seams, and scattered Himself / Herself / Itself into the void and became as one with the Universe. The SD is the Universe and goes by the name of Mother Nature!
So here we have this omnipotent entity, this Supreme Deity (SD), who is non-physics, who has existed for all eternity (but not infinitely so which seems a contradiction to me but apparently not to religious theologians), and in a timeless state to boot. Then for some totally unexplained reason this entity crossed over the Rubicon into time by creating a physics cosmos, but not an infinite cosmos; created it out of absolutely nothing for no apparently good reason other than “what the heck; why not; I’m bored” (my quotes). Do you, the reader, have any comprehension of how utterly ridiculous that sounds? If you came across that scenario or concept for the very first time in a novel, you’d be right to question the author’s sanity or their drug use.
Timelessness is a ridiculous impossibility since that would require an operating temperature of absolute zero (negating any possible change, therefore motion taking place, therefore making the concept of time meaningless). A state of absolute zero is not actually achievable. If you have even the smallest amount of change, therefore motion, you have time. I wish those advocating pockets of timelessness might, using their powers of philosophical deduction, point out a place(s) in the Cosmos that currently exist(s) in a state of timelessness.
The transition from a state of timelessness to a state of time by anyone is impossible since a change (a mental thought, electrons in motion at the minimum is required) would of had to have occurred while still in a timeless state which cannot be. You have to think of going from your timeless state into a state of time before you actually do it.
An actual non-physics thing is nonsense. A “thing” here is an actual something with substance and structure. Non-physics ‘things’ are just mental concepts without associated substance and structure. One can imagine a Santa Claus of course, but that Santa is non-physics. That non-physics Santa cannot make a transition from that mental state of non-physicsity ‘reality’ into a physics reality. That equally applies to the mental concept of a non-physics Maximally Great Being. As in the case of Santa, just because you can imagine it doesn’t of necessity make it so in a physics reality.
And therein lies the central problem. Theologians can’t do a “show and tell” and give us the SD’s body to gawk at. Religious theologians can’t give us the physics mechanism or even the theoretical equations that make the something from nothing mechanisms real mechanisms. Then some theologians toss around meaningless and nonsense terms like existence in a state of timelessness or existence in non-space, and then they expect people to take them seriously on just their say-so.