The Quantum Enigma

Finding the Hidden Key Original Article

Quantum physics is not usually accessible to the lay reader. In this case, Discovery Institute Fellow and physicist Wolfgang Smith provides a treatise that can be read not only by scientists but also by readers unacquainted with the technical literature on quantum reality. One would not accept such an accessible book from an author who graduated from Cornell University at age eighteen with majors in physics, philosophy, and mathematics before going on to earn his Ph.D. This book is a must read for those interested in how intelligent design can apply to major questions facing contemporary physicists.

Following the overthrow of classical physics by the findings of quantum mechanics, physicists have proposed a broad gamut of alternative theories. This book begins with the major recognition that each of these solutions suffers from a certain “residual Cartesianism” that has been smuggled in unconsciously. Smith explains that the moment one discards this hidden and problematic premise, quantum theory begins to “make sense” in a way that it never has before.

Smith explains ways to integrate the findings of quantum physics into a worldview that is neither forced nor ad hoc, but conforms to the permanent intuitions of humankind. In particular, Smith notes that quantum mechanics has invalidated “determinism, the notion that the state of the universe at any initial moment of time determines its future states.” (pg. 109) According to Smith, the principles of quantum dynamics imply a transcendent reality which is above our own, and governs it. Thus there exists “a primary causality which acts, not in some distant past, but in every here and now” for “space and time are not only brought into being, but held in existence, by this primary causation.” (pg. 114) Smith terms the nature of this causation “vertical,” implying an intelligent agent is at work.

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The Quantum Enigma: Finding the Hidden Key