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Is there a need for the existence of God?

I am not a trained philosopher, but being a physicist surely you can not have no philosophical views. I can not write philosophical works, and therefore I treated the collection of articles published under the title "IM ANFANG WAR (K)EIN GOTT. NATURWISSENSCHAFTLICHE UND THEOLOGISCHE PERSPEKTIVEN" edited by Tobias Daniel Wabbel, which was published in 2004 by Patmos Verlag GmbH&Co. KG, Düsseldorf, as a scenario to present my views in this scope, on principle I agree or disagree with the author and why - I present my thoughts on the subject matter. (To be precise, I read that book in Polish.)

To tell you the truth, I have long been expected that eventually fall into my hands a book which is a collection of short articles in this area. Unfortunately, I do not have time to study major philosophical works. Besides, as I remember from college, since it was too verbose and vague this kind of literature was not my cup of tea. On the contrary, this collection seemed to be so cohesive, that I accessed it to be worth reading.

In my essay I refer only to those views contained in the collection, to which I am able to respond using my knowledge or imagination. I am not referring to the positions that do not lie within the limits of my perception.

Article 1 -George V. Coyne SJ - "Origins and creation".

In this article, the author considers the question of whether in order the universe, human life and its intelligence were created was needed God the creator? It presents various views on this matter from extreme pessimism of Stephen Hawking, who claims that if his quantum theory of cosmological origin of the universe without boundary conditions is correct, we do not need God to the extreme optimism of Pius XII, who believed that in the cosmologies of the Big Bang scientists discovered that what was clear from the Book of Genesis, namely, that the universe had a beginning in the act of creation of God.

As you can see from the above people interested in the philosophical implications of physics can be divided into two camps - supporters and opponents of the existence of God.

From the article it can be concluded that the author is convinced of the existence of a creator God, but he rejects the views of the medieval philosophers and theologians about God - dictator, as well as Newtonian God who made the universe as a clock operating with the regularity of the mechanism. Also, it looks as he believes that God can not know what you can not know. At the same time I am not quite sure who God is according to the author. It evokes the idea that God is transcendent, beyond time and space, and at the same time created the universe that contains a certain dynamism and thus it is participating in God's work of creation. Such a view of creation include early Christian writings, especially St. Augustine in his commentaries on Genesis.

Presenting my views I begin with a thought experiment. Let us put the question - how does it happen, or maybe why the laws of physics work, why exist at all?

As a high school student I learned a lot of the laws of physics and began to wonder why they have the form of simple mathematical formulas? So they do not have to be!

Every law of physics binds together some physical quantities. Owing to that, the vast majority of physical quantities can be expressed as functions of other physical quantities. If this function can be expressed as a mathematical formula, then we can say that the physical quantity is an analytic function of other physical quantities.

Therefore, from the above appears that formally the laws of physics do not need to be expressed as formulae, as we are used to studying physics at school. Could it be that, in a world no law of physics could be expressed as maths equation, and yet they would be a laws of physics. It would be enough that the values of physical quantities could be linked to each other by storing them in a very large table. While it would be very inconvenient in practical use, but it would have been a law of physics!

Therefore, I hold a view that it is not coincidental the forms of the basic laws of physics are surprisingly simple mathematically. With a view to probability there is no reason for the laws of physics to be simple mathematically!

There may not be too many answers to the question why the laws of physics operate and do not spoil.

I think that everyone got used to the fact that all machinery and equipment would spoil and all living things die. And computers, even if they are new and working, can crash. As far as the laws of physics, they do not spoil, do not crash and are still working, although we often do not want that.

Have you ever wondered, even once, how does it happen that a law of physics is functional?

Some laws of physics can be explained by the geometric properties of the space, but that way you can not account for the principles of Quantum mechanics .

I hope that you remember the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom, in which the author took non-classical condition for the quantization of angular momentum. Despite its non-classicism the value of 0 is not allowed!

I stress that according to classical mechanics it is impossible for bound electron in an atom to have the value of angular momentum equal to 0. However, in the nature the value is allowed.

The Bohr model assumes that the value of electron angular momentum is given by the following formula (Bohr quantum condition)

Mp =mevr = nħ,

where ħ - is Planck’s constant divided by 2π, and n - principal quantum number that can take on values 1,2,3,... but not 0.

According to both the classical mechanics and the quantum one energy levels of the electron in hydrogen atom obey the formula (1)

En = - μZ2e4/2ħ2n2,

but in quantum mechanics the total quantum number n = n' + l + 1, where n' - the radial quantum number, and l - the azimuthal or orbital-angular-momentum quantum number. Since n' and l can take on positive integer or zero values, n can have the values 1,2,... .

The value of the (orbital) angular momentum of the electron in quantum mechanics is given by the next formula

Mp = [l( l+1)]½ ħ,

which does not agree with classical mechanics but experience confirms the value of quantum mechanics.

Despite of widespread use of the Bohr model as an illustrative one, you can see from the above that you must not imagine the motion of an electron around the nucleus in an atom as a simple analogue of planets movement around the sun. You can not classically understand that the electron orbiting the nucleus has the value of angular momentum equal to 0!

I hope that a longer list of physics laws similar to the above one would have convinced you, with a little imagination, that our world is a mathematical and non-geometric model. Thus I put the question, what properties does have the space of our world that performs flawlessly mathematical laws of physics? As for me, there is only one explanation.

Therefore, I do agree with a number of the author's views. I agree with the fact that God created the world, and what does this creation consist in let the best would render the words of the author, "... Creating means to set up all reality, that is to exist. Setting-up a whole does not mean to cause a change in it; creation is not a work on some existing material or work with it. If previously there was already something, then the producer would not be the full cause of this new thing. And that full causality the creative act consists in. Thus creating means giving the existence, and with respect to their existence all things depend on God. God does not take nothing in order to make ‘something’ from it ... ".

I agree that science tells of a God who must be very different from God perceived by medieval philosophers and theologians.

I absolutely disagree, however, that God can not know what we can not know. We are only human, and we will never know what we can or can not know. In my opinion, the ruthlessness of laws of physics and the way the matter performs them exceed the human imagination. It does not lie within the boundaries of science, it does not lie in the realm of human perception. For more difficult calculations in physics we need computers, the nature does not need them and we do not know how does it work. We know only the mathematical rules that reproduce the results of the laws of physics, but we have no idea how do these laws work. We have to realize that our science is only the work of man, we only discover the existence of the laws of physics, we try to understand and use them, but why and how do they work is beyond our understanding.

I also do not agree that if "... there are random processes, it turns out even God could not be certain as to the outcome. ...".

The fact that there are random processes which we can not make deterministic, just means that only we can not do that! This is due to the fact that we discover the laws of physics making some measurements. We can not just look into the matter as in a computer program and determine what an algorithm it uses. The fact that we can not measure something does not mean that it is not deterministic. It only means that we can not fix it, because we do not have suitable tools to do that. From this it does not follow that God does not know the result of a random process, it means only that we are unable to discover such a law!

As well, I do not agree with the quoted by the author doubts that"...let us assume that (God) had a theory of everything, knew all the laws of physics, all the basic forces. Could he be sure that the human life will be created? ...". In my opinion, someone who is God does not need anything to get to know, he already knows everything of himself, he created all things, invented and designed everything just as we construct hardware and software. Having such doubts means one attributes to God the human mind. Unless, Mr Coyne and I differently understand who is God. Unfortunately, it is not entirely possible, at least for me, to understand how the author perceives God and where lies the crux of his views.


1 Leonard I. Schiff - Quantum Mechanics - Third Edition, McGrawHill Book Company 1968, §14. Spherically Symmetric Potentials in Three Dimensions, § 16. The Hydrogen Atom