by Bob Enyart
Real Science Radio 1/27/20
Draft version 0.8 4/27/20
Three is exact. Always. To infinite precision and regardless of how often it is used, in counting and equations, as is true with all integers, three is always precisely exact.
Protons are always exact as are, in our experience, all neutrons. Like those baryons, all electrons are exact and identical to particles of their same kind whether primordial or formed just now through decay. And as with electrons, all the other leptons too of the same kind appear to be identical with others of the same kind including electron neutrinos, muons, and tau neutrinos. Hundreds of thousands of experiments have confirmed the extraordinarily successful mathematics of quantum mechanics leading to the conclusion that all particles of the same kind are identical (Ford, 2005, The Quantum World, p. 100). Yet at 1,835 times the (rest) mass of an electron, the proton is relatively enormous yet always exactly the same as all others and the two particles always have the opposite, yet exactly equal, electrical charges. So fermions, including all the particles mentioned so far, along with the quarks, all appear to be identical with others of their same kinds. The creatively named up and down, strange and charm, bottom and top quarks each are identical to all others of the same kind. And all of the antiparticles, as expected, such as antilepton positrons, appear to be identical with all others of their same kinds. As an aside, positron diffraction had been demonstrated in 1980 but it took almost four decades more to perform the full two-slit experiment with antimatter demonstrating the expected wave-particle duality (Ariga, et al., 2018, arxiv.org). That interference result was first obtained with light in 1801 and then with (normal) matter beginning in 1927 with electrons, then neutrons in 1988, atoms in 1991, and molecules beginning in 1994 with the largest to date in 2013 using a synthetic carbon-based molecule of 810 atoms (Eibenberger, et al., 2013, arxiv.org). And likewise all bosons are identical with others of their same kind including the Z particle, the Higgs, and all photons as the ubiquitous and uniform force carrier of electromagnetism. (That is, all photons of the same energy levels are identical to all other similarly energized photons.) Manufacturing though, has taught mankind about unavoidable tolerances. So, how is it that all like particles, even those just now coming into existence, are apparently all absolutely identical?
The exactness of repeatedly used numbers does not surprise scientists because, though materialists are known to deny this, numbers are not physical. Science itself cannot exist apart from numbers. And because numbers are not physical, scientific inquiry includes the non-physical. Numbers are a kind of information and, also often denied by materialists, information is not physical. Protons appear to be physical but certainly the statement and the concept that they are, is not physical. That statement, and any statement, as often observed, does not consist of the photons transmitting it to your eyes nor the molecules of ink on a page nor of the sound waves expressing it. Materialists may object but they disqualify themselves from being taken seriously. Rules of investigation, whether used by forensic criminologists or corporate accountants, should be valued to the extent that they help discover truth. The rules of the materialist, such as methodological naturalism, are the opposite. Materialism requires adherence to its rules of investigation especially if that means getting the most important answers completely wrong. Reviewing a Carl Sagan title, the famed Richard Lewontin (Jan. 9, 1997, New York Review of Books) admitted:
We take the side of [materialist] science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs [and] in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations...
Materialists’ objections are discarded because they arise from the ultimate bias, which is insistence especially if wrong. Contrary to that lack of humility, the New Testament indicates that even Christianity itself is falsifiable. If Christ is not risen, then our faith is false (1 Cor. 15:14). Yet materialists cannot match such courage, covering themselves in a layer of non-falsifiable anti-science. So because there is no discovery, or scientific law, or technological advancement that requires or affirms atheism (Enyart, 2011, rsr.org/technology), the public posturing of materialism as more scientific than theism is dishonest.
For decades, renowned physicists, many Christians, and others have interpreted quantum mechanics as providing evidence against the materialist worldview. And even more, the observer himself appears to have a special status. Might there be then a specifically Christian insight into quantum mechanics and matter's wave-particle duality?
Physics, like biology, is increasingly seen as information based. Some big bang advocates have posited an initial “information wave” (get reference for this unfinished draft). Quantum mechanics obeys some rules that seem almost grammatical. Subject and verb, for example, must agree in number. In organisms, it’s not the acids that encode it but the functional information that is the more fundamental substance. Human beings are body, soul, and spirit and the soul survives even if all atoms of our body are replaced over time and both soul and spirit survive even cremation, so our non-physical selves are of greater substance than our physical bodies.
God exists in three persons from eternity past and created a form for the Son to indwell in which He walked in the garden, and in Nazareth, and in which He will continue to walk eternally including on the new Earth. God is Spirit through eternity past yet the Son has become flesh and taken humanity upon Himself and the Bible describes Him now as inhabiting a glorified body.
The Father, the Holy Spirit, and now inhabiting a glorified body, the Son, these three are reflected in human beings as body, soul, and spirit. As God stamped the creation with His own triune image (see below), might elementary particles themselves bear that triunity? Rather than a wave-particle duality perhaps matter is a wave-particle-word triality. If so, then like with biology and even humanity, it is the non-physical component behind matter that is the deeper substance, the more solid phenomenon, the harder reality.
The exactness of fundamental particles is a bewildering phenomenon, so much so that asking why these are exact is a question either ignored or sufficient to drive the most brilliant men nearly insane. As Richard Feynman said in his Nobel lecture:
I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, "Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass" "Why?" "Because, they are all the same electron!
Rather, consider that the exactness of particles is itself a quantum effect. Perhaps an electron is a mathematical expression. Likewise, perhaps a proton is a mathematical expression, or even a grammatical one, conditionally expressed as a particle or wave depending upon context and the grammatical rules of physics. Long realizing that atoms, and therefore, steel and diamonds, are mostly empty space, brings us to consider that perhaps the baryons and leptons of the atom are, in a way, less than empty space, that is, that they are non-physical. Information, being non-physical, would have no problem passing through either one or two slits, depending upon context. Regardless of how far it may extend through space a sentence requires agreement between subject and verb, just as entangled particles affect each other even over vast distances, seemingly violating the laws of classical physics but not the immaterial laws of math, information theory, and grammar. Quantum tunneling may seem impossible but what physical barrier can impede a probability, a sentence, or an equation?
Of the 77 creation passages in Scripture, the two greatest parallel passages from the Old and New Testaments, Genesis 1 and John 1, both stress a literary, verbal creation. And interestingly, the great creation Psalm 19 does the same. (Note first though, that while "the" Word refers to God the Son who "became flesh and dwelt among us", this paper, not written by a pantheist, of course does not use lowercase "w" word, as in wave-particle-word, to refer to God but rather to information.)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made through Him, and without [the Word] nothing was made that was made.
Nothing. In Genesis, to perform a creative act, He spoke, including when God "said", Let there be light. The Holy Spirit could have inspired Moses to simply write that God made light or God created light, and so on for the next seven instances. But instead, God "said." The nineteenth psalm C.S. Lewis famously described as, "one of the greatest lyrics in the world." The "higher critics", such as those of the Documentary Hypothesis, opining otherwise, describe the chapter as a disjointed concatenation of two unrelated poems (1904, Cheyne, The Book of Psalms, 2nd Ed., Vol. 1, p. 75; etc., etc.). However, they miss the structure whereby the first half describes the heavens in literary terms and the second half describes the Word of God in astronomical terms.
Physical Heavens in Literary Terms:
The heavens declare the glory of God
And the firmament shows [Hb. tells] His handiwork
Day unto day utters speech
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line [Sept., Rom. 10:18, voice] has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
The second part of Psalm 19 describes the Scriptures in terms not as evidently astronomical as the first half is literary, yet we can see it there. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul… The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes…" Then, "Who can understand his errors" (from Hb. shagah) wanderings, as with the wandering planets which the ancients did not understand. Then, of those errors, "Let them not have dominion over me", using the same Hebrew word as Genesis 1 where the "lights in the firmament of the heavens… rule over the day and over the night." Other expressions may suggest the same parallel. For God's Word is as "perfect" as is the Sun's annual "circuit" (v. 6) through the stars, which can "convert the soul", which is an especially unusual Hebrew expression, translated literally as, returning the soul, with this verb reminding us of the Sun which returns "from one end of heaven… to the other" (v. 6).
To summarize, nothing was created apart from the Word. Logos, there referring to God the Son (Jn. 1:14), with that Greek word also meaning idea, reason. The creation week is characterized by God "saying", and the creation Psalm describes the heavens in terms of speech and knowledge.
Rather than a wave-particle duality, perhaps more complete and leading to more scientific understanding is the description of matter as a wave-particle-word triality. And perhaps as with vegetation, animals, and people, the non-physical aspect of matter is, ironically, the greater substance. Plants have a body, animals have a body and soul (Gen. 1:24; Hb. nephesh), and human beings have a body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12), yet the non-physical realm, which happens also to be the domain of information, is the greatest substance for all three; for plants, animals, and people. If normal metabolism happened to replace every atom in a favorite pet's body, as long as it had breath, still its identity, that is, its soul, would persist. For animals too then, and even aside from their immaterial biological information, the "physical" component is not the greater substance. For human beings, and known through general and special revelation that, as above, our spirits survive even cremation, our physical body is not remotely the greater substance of our existence. And the genetic molecule is not the deepest substance of broccoli. For just as with ink in a book, even with plants, the amino acids of the DNA molecule are not an organism's substance but its essence is the functional information that molecule and other cellular systems carry. In the same way, if fundamental particles have a wave-particle-word triality, the information is the deeper substance, expressing the particle as a wave, or a particle, depending upon the context, both mathematical and linguistic.
All human beings, but especially Christian theologians and quantum physicists, can see a triune stamp on the cosmos. Electrons, physicists have discovered, are of one of the three "flavors" of leptons and one of the three groupings of quarks form protons and neutrons, with quarks existing in one of three "colors" and of multiples of one-third electrical charge. Exactly three generations of elementary particles underlie all matter. Physicist Richard Feynman in his book QED asked how many fundamental actions are there to account for nearly all phenomena in the universe regarding light and electricity to which he answered: "There are Three!" And in his Nobel prize lecture Feynman said, astoundingly, that there are three unique ways of "describing quantum mechanics". Further, unlike our arbitrary earth-based units of measurement, scientists so far have discovered "two natural units", Planck's constant, h, and the speed of light, c. A "still-unanswered question is whether a third natural unit awaits discovery", for such a triune "'all-natural' physics" would "form a basis of measurement as complete as, and much more satisfying than, the kilogram, the meter, and the second." Might there, though, be more, say, of the leptons? Overlooking the theologian, Kenneth Ford, retired director of the American Institute of Physics, wrote, "No one knows why there are three flavors of particles..." yet he concludes, "Surprisingly, physicists feel confident that the third flavor marks the end of the trail—no more lie ahead."
The Christian theologian by the Scriptures knows that God exists as three persons in one Trinity. So, unsurprisingly, man has a triune nature. Christ was three days in the tomb, which Jonah’s three days foreshadowed, as did Abraham’s three days of thinking that he would sacrifice his own son on that same hill called Golgotha, the Skull, and Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22:14; 2 Chron. 3:1). Israel's three patriarchs are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The priestly tribe of Levi is from Jacob's third child (Gen. 29:34) as Leviticus is the Bible's third book. The day the law was given the sons of Levi killed "about three thousand men' (Ex. 32:28), whereas the day the Spirit was given, "that day about three thousand souls" were saved (Acts 2:41; 2 Cor. 3:6).
The Hebrew Scriptures comprise three sections, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (Luke 24:44), and the Bible names three archangels. The most noteworthy women are Eve, Sarah, and Mary. The magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. Three persons (one being the Son) started their public service at thirty years of age: Joseph (Gen. 41:46), a deliverer of his people; David (2 Sam. 5:4) seated on the messianic throne (2 Sam. 7:12-13); and "Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age" (Luke 3:23). God could have led Esther to fast for two days, or four; and He could have kept Jonah in the whale for one day, or a week, but three days and three nights prefigures God’s plan of salvation for Christ’s time in the grave. For Jesus "rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:4). Thus the triune Christian God, the mystery of the Trinity, three Persons in One God, is the only true God. And even theoretically, unlike the unitarian Allah and any of the alleged pagan idols, the God of the Bible is the only one whose testimony we would be able to trust, for His triunity answers both the philosophical problem of the one and the many and it answers Socrates' challenge against theism titled Euthyphro's Dilemma. For, how could God Himself know that He is good, and not evil? Allah could not know that. But with the Triune God, the Son testifies that for eternity past, the Father has never wronged the Son, and the Father of the Spirit, and the Spirit of the Son, an eternal threefold testimony for by the testimony of three witnesses the matter is established (Deut. 19:15; Eccl. 4:12; Mat. 18:16; John 5:31-39; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19; Heb. 10:28).
Even the one who never heard a Bible verse can notice that the Creator has imprinted our world with a triune nature. Space exists in three dimensions, height, width, and length, as does time in past, present and future. The electromagnetic force operates in positive, negative, and neutral, and in light, red, green, and blue blend into the hues of the rainbow whereas in pigment the three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. We human beings live on this third planet from the Sun; we're made of atoms built of "just three basic particles", protons, neutrons, and electrons; and we have trichromatic color vision. Mankind's first known states of matter were solid, liquid, and gas and his first known number system used the Sumerian term "man" for 1, "woman" for 2, and the word "plurality" for 3, with math itself happening in the realm of positive, negative, and zero. His strongest shape for building is the triangle. Writers often give three examples and artists group in threes as in interior design, sculpting, and even movie directing, as compared to trilogy (1, 2, 3) there is no actually used word for any other number of films. Photographers use the rule of thirds. Logicians use the three laws of logic as genetic scientists learned that DNA uses only three-letter words. It's not that only the number three describes reality (see rsr.org/360 and rsr.org/300). Rather, as known by architects, authors, and composers, a theme is most appreciated in the context of greater variety. If well designed, the greater the variety, the more appreciated the theme.
So we humans are body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23), made in the image of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. People live here, in heaven, and in hell. Those who love God cry, "Holy, holy, holy."
Consider a hypothesis that is consistent with, well, just about everything, and that if true would help to answer many questions. Rather than a wave-particle duality, matter is a wave-particle-word triality, with "word" meaning information or, perhaps better, functional information. Quantum states are probabilistic and probability is conceptual, not physical. A photon, like every other elementary particle, is primarily a functional information packet expressing itself, based on context and the rules of physical grammar, so to speak, as a particle and as a wave. (In quantum mechanics, a particle's probability is not based on a lack of information, as with a classical shell game with its one-third probability that the ball is under a particular cup. The probabilistic quantum state does not refer to a lack of knowledge about the state but to the state itself.)
Further, every particle, regardless of its state, is an expression of a quantum packet of information. So one consequence of the wave-particle-word triality hypothesis is that every particle is always in a quantum state. Of proton (and quark) manufacturing, so to speak, why are the tolerances exact? Why can't some protons (or their quarks), with the mass of more than 1,800 electrons, perhaps have only 99.7% or 100.1%, of the inverse charge of an electron? Why are all fundamental particles, even long after the Fall, apparently exactly identical to all others of the same kind? Elementary particles of the same kind are identical to one another because each is the expression of a mathematical and linguistic information packet, which packets are the essence of matter. A bottom quark is identical to all other bottom quarks almost in the way that the number 3 is exact and identical regardless of how many times it is expressed. Though it obeys a grammar and is fundamentally information, neither a particle nor a wave is an illusion. They are not non-physical in the sense that they only exist in one's perception. The wave does not occupy any abstract higher-dimensional Hilbert space (2016, The Quantum Handshake: Entanglement, Nonlocality and Transactions, John G. Cramer, Springer, p. 71; 2006, Cramer's transactional interpretation and causal loop problems, Synthese, Vo. 150, pp. 1-40). Instead, both the particle and the wave are actual "physical" expressions of the quantum information packet. (Should that be called a quip?) Why would a particle heading toward two slits transform itself into a wave? Why must a subject and verb agree in number? Why must the spin of a far-distant entangled particle equal zero with its entangled twin? Why grammatically is a singular subject typically paired with a plural verb when in a counterfactual subjunctive mood? These are the rules of language, human language and the language (punctuation, syntax even, grammar and composition) of physics. In both, context determines which expressions are appropriate. If we can't conceive of a particle going through two slits simultaneously, we also cannot conceive of any way that such a problem could challenge a non-physical entity. Information is not physical. It exists and flows in a non-physical dimension that is interfaced with our physical universe. Information can be generated by a man's spirit, which spirit itself is interfaced to his body. In some similarly bewildering manner, quantum information is interfaced to our physical cosmos. So, not aware of that functional information nor its role, one camp says "shut up and measure" arguing against even trying to understand. And another broad camp visualizes, in the place where the quip interfaces to the physical realm, either a multiverse or multiple non-existent physical dimensions, all because they are unwittingly trying to physicalize something that cannot be physicalized.
When Newton described universal gravitation, he gave little thought to its mechanism, satisfying himself with describing what it does. Mankind has benefited ever since. Quantum physicists describe in precise detail what electrons do, for example, when they instantly jump between energy levels, but not why or how it is that they do this. (Participles, by the way, like adjectives, must agree with their substantives in case, gender, and number.) Likewise, with its invariant zero mass we know that the velocity of a photon upon creation is light speed but why is it that speed? We know the electric charge of a proton but why is it so? Similarly, if matter is a wave-particle-word triality, that gives us a clearer idea of what it is and what it is doing and even some insight into the why, even if we have no conception of the how. For example, the triality insight is supportive of the view of the particle as a mathematical equation, for, the quantum packet of functional information would include any such mathematical formulation. And this triality may help to better understand what is called the quantum conservation of weirdness. Particles can superimpose because their inherent mathematical expressions can superimpose, and the information packet containing those expressions also contain the grammatical rules to discern the proper contexts for such behavior. And a quantum state can be split because division is a valid operation on its mathematical expression. Particles can tunnel because experiment has shown that the rules of quantum syntax and grammar permit a flow of information such that these tiny physical barriers cannot prevent it. God thought E=mc2 and implemented that equality and many other beautiful mathematical equations in His creation. Likewise, design considerations and functional requirements led our inexhaustibly creative God to implement the quantum world. This provides a robust foundation for the macro world. And it also makes available these astounding microscopic capabilities to achieve otherwise impossible precision (as in navigation and smell) in biological organisms and for creative human inventors to exploit including by enabling information technology that could blur the distinction between easy and hard computational problems.
Considering further this contrast between what and how, the spectacular discoveries of what the laws of science describe expose the physicist's ignorance of why and even of how they do it. The 2018 Oxford University Press text Conjuring the Universe: the origin of the laws of nature by Peter Atkins wears its author's atheism on its sleeve with the dust jacket claiming that the laws of nature leave "very little, if anything at all, for a Creator to do" and the Preface beginning, "The workings of the world have been ascribed by some to an astonishingly busybody but disembodied Creator… My gut recoils from this…" Chapter 1, The nature of laws, says only two specific things about its topic: that they describe actions, and "that some are intrinsically mathematical and the others are adequately verbal" (p. 13). Thus many of nature's laws were discovered by thought experiments on such things as idealized gas, radiators, and spatial points (LaGrange), and even on things like trolleys and falling bodies. The hypothesis in this paper, that matter is fundamentally non-physical, has as a corollary, that the laws of quantum mechanics, like all laws, are themselves non-physical. The most fundamental of the laws of physics, found in the probabilistic quantum world, appear to be not only conceptual, but also declaratory. Thus an electron shall be offset by a proton; it may not decay (a prohibition); and its wave state will proceed until observed. Extrapolating from the quantum world, some of the classical laws seem to be declaratory rather than physical. For arguments sake, we can concede that methodological naturalism could possibly explain something like the inverse square law. Consider though, that classical objects shall attract each other; elements' properties shall recur in the periodic table; every action will produce a reaction. This paper's hypothesis suggests that no purely physical reason will ever be found to explain why or even how it could be that unlike the neutron, the charge of the proton and the electron are equal and opposite. Meanwhile, substantives like pronouns (current social insanity aside) are only masculine, feminine, or neutral. The corresponding electrical charge of various particles may exist because the respective quantum information packets of those particles are multi-field data records that have a sexagesimal value of plus or minus one unit in their respective electrical charge "fields", fields that is, not in the coulomb sense but in the data structure sense in information technology. So even with the inverse-square law, which has perhaps the most physicality of all the physical laws, as a particle is approached, force increases yet it does not reach infinity. Why not? Because its maximum value, is declared, not unlike when God said, "Let there be light", that is, as in computer programming, max value is set by definition. That definition is set either within the quantum information packet itself, or more likely it resides in a mathematical universal constant which is referenced by a pointer from within the packet, which provides part of the context within which that packet exists and can be expressed.
Meanwhile, the non-physical is crashing down on the materialist from all sides. As though themselves glorious, numbers are not physical. Math is not physical. Information is not physical. Grammar is not physical. Logic is not physical. Reason is not physical. Ideas are not physical. Science is not physical. Concepts are not physical. Morality is not physical. Truth is not physical. Souls are not physical. Spirits are not physical. Codes are not physical. The square root of negative one is not physical (and so like everything else, by its use in the implementation of quantum mechanics, etc., therefore the √(−1) reveals the Creator). Infinity is not physical. Consciousness is not physical. Genomes are not physical. Pain is not physical. Your mind is not physical. Laws are not physical. And God is not physical. For ninety years now, various quantum physicists have even been arguing that particles themselves may not be physical! And they might be right. So the apparent exactness of all elementary particles may itself be evidence of their underlying non-physical numerical essence, with that exactness occurring by each particle's constant quantum expression of its value and worth in the eyes of the Beholder. So to the materialist, if it turns out that along with everything else, that matter itself is non-physical, well then, that's just piling on.
For as Paul wrote to the Colossians, Christ "is the image of the invisible God… For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible" and He Himself is Spirit and for whatever it means, "in Him all things hold together."
This draft is unfinished as of 4/9/20. RSR notes toward finalizing this article reside in RSR's shared Google Docs folder Quantum Mechanics including RSR's List of Quantum Mechanics Rules. Members of the RSR Research Team meet online via a Google Hangouts video conference on Monday nights at 5 p.m. Mountain Time. To join and get access to that and scores of other private team resources, see rsr.org/research-team. And please, your comments may help Bob decide whether to submit this draft to a creation journal, so don't hesitate to send them along to Bob@rsr.org. Thanks!
RSR's Quantum Thoughts:
- 2018: Quantum Biology Pt. 1: Doing what standard chemistry and physics can't
- 2019: QB Pt. 2: Our seemingly impossible sense of smell
- 2019: How Quantum Computers Do It: Finally, a Helpful Illustration
- 2019: Google's Quantum Supremacy
- 2019: Top Mathematicians: Ants & Bees, Mold & Amoebas
- 2018: Coincidence or Determinism? Quantum theology and physics
- 2015: An RSR preview show
- 2020: Bob's draft rsr.org/wave-particle-duality-is-a-triality (this page) aka rsr.org/quantum and rsr.org/triality.