Hi WormholeRiders and Science Fans!
My name is Sandra or if you follow me on Twitter Redone68, and I am very pleased to announce a brand new analysis reviews series here at WHR, Science Behind the Science Fiction! My focus will be on television episodic and full length motions pictures in reviews here and on the new news sites from WHR. We will start with Science Channels new series “Through The Wormhole” featuring narration by the outstanding actor Morgan Freeman. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do in writing for you.
Morgan Freeman took us on an imaginative ride through the wormhole Wednesday night as he asked the ultimate question “Is there a creator”. However, the answers we got to this question are anything but simple. He gave us three cutting edge theories from three different different sources. Physicists who believe that God can be explained mathematically, neurologists who believe that God exists in the brain, and computer programmers who believe “God is one of them and our world is nothing more than his simulation”. He promises that the answers we get will be “quite a trip” and “some of what we find almost defies belief”.
Freeman starts his story with an ant farm that he purchased for his daughter when she was young. In looking at the ant colony, he compared himself observing the ant colony to God observing our world.
The first theory that Freeman talks of is the mathematical theory that simply states “nature’s grand book is written in the language of mathematics.” There are two sets of physics; the one for the tiny atoms that is called quantum mechanics, and one for giant stars and galaxies called general relativity. When physicists tried to combine the two theories together they did not fit. We meet 4 scientist with theories that explain creation in a mathematical sense. The first physicist we are introduced to is Garrett Lisi. Lisi developed a “theory of everything” that is a unified field theory that he believes unites the small and the large. Lisi believes he has found a way for gravity to fit into everything. His “theory of everything” is a complex theory and Freeman states that “If he is right, then God could be one heck of a mathematician.” The video below is a short clip from “Through the Wormhole” where Lisi explains his unified field theory. Freeman takes us back and states “it’s possible there is already evidence for a creator in the math.”
Lisi talks about the “Higgs Field” and the way it gives mass to everything we know. The LHC at CERN in Geneva Switzerland is in search of the Higgs Boson particle or what is also known as the “God particle”. The Higgs Boson is a hypothesized particle that is thought to exist in the standard model of particle physics. In the video below Freeman explains the Higgs Boson and the LHC.
Andy Albrecht is a cosmologist and a professor of physics at UC Davis, and he explains the 4 forces of our universe. The four forces are gravity, electromagnetism, weak force, and the strong force. Dr. Albrecht explains each force. Gravity is what holds everything together and keeps us on earth electromagnetism “tells us how the chemistry works”; weak force is responsible for radioactivity, and strong force is something like the sun that is like a nuclear reactor. Dr. Albrecht states that “all these forces have to exist just as they do for life to exist.” This is also called the “Goldilocks Paradigm”.
Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne did research on the quark which is a subatomic particle. He is an Anglican priest that believes in God. He also discusses the four forces, and agrees with Dr. Albrecht that for carbon-based life to exist all four forces have to be just right. However, he believes that God is responsible for this “fine tuning.”
Professor Alan Guth is a theoretical physicist and a cosmologist who developed the theory of inflation. Inflation theory states that the universe doubled in size 100,000 times in a fraction of a second. It is an “accepted theory of how the universe began.” However, there is something in this theory that is mind boggling. It suggests that we don’t have just one universe, but that we are but one in a multiverse. Dr. Guth speaks of “eternal inflation” and how “pocket universes” emerge. Each universe would have it’s own set of physical laws. In the video below other theorists explain the multiverse.
The second theory that Freeman talks about is a theory that suggests God is in the right hemisphere of your brain. He asks the question “To see God what if all you need is a magnet on the right hemisphere of your brain?” Dr. Michael Persinger is a neuroscientist that uses his invention the “God helmet” to reproduce religious experience. He explains that when humans “forcast their own deaths” it creates a level of anxiety. We overcome this anxiety by developing a concept that would mean we were infinite and life would go on forever.
Dr. Persinger demonstrates how the “God helmet” works on a subject named Dominica. She is a nursing student that lives in Ontario. The demonstration takes one hour. The helmet produces a magnetic field that stimulates the right side of Dominica’s brain. He suggests that the right hemisphere “has a second sense, and when you experience it it’s called the sense “pre-sense” and we think that’s the prototype of the god experience.” Dominica sensed 5 “p re senses” during the experiment. She said they were “just chilling” and they were faceless. Dr. Persinger states that it’s always in the upper visual field, and the reason for this is because the temporal lo be is being stimulated. Dominica explains that “she didn’t feel like her head was attached to her”. She also experienced a sense of fire coming up around her. This was an unpleasant experience. However, she did state that she liked the “floating” part. Dr. Persinger asks us to imagine how Dominica would have perceived this experience had she been in a church or synagogue. He suggests that all religious experiences are created from the “hard wiring” of the brain. He gives an example of Luther who was struck by lightning giving him visions that were attributed to God. Dr. Persinger calls this the “God Experience.”
The third theory suggests that God is real and he is a computer programmer. Will Wright is the creator of the Sims video games. He creates his characters to be life like so we will be able to identify better with them. Freeman states that we have made great advances in computer programming. He states “it shows no sign of abating and the level of computer simulations is bound to keep pace with it.” Will Wright said the lines of real experiences and virtual experiences are starting to blur.
four requirements for what he thinks God ought to be; He should be an inter-dimensional being, he would be connected to everything, a creator responsible for the universe, and he should be able to change the laws of physics. Terrile thinks that these characteristics “sound an awful lot like what programmers do when they create simulated environments.” He suggests that in the next decade computers will be 500 times faster than the human brain. The question is can the computers create beings like us to populate the world.
Terrile uses an example of a model brain and a laptop in a box. He states that if “he has both in a box and starts asking them both questions but can’t distinguish which one is answering then he has to assume that if the brain is conscious and self aware then the laptop also has to be the same”. Terrile believes that “if science shows God can exist then maybe he already does. ” Maybe we are the Sims and the creator is sitting at the controls of a super computer.”
“The rise of the machines is close at hand.” This is what Freeman says as he talks about how computers already control much of our daily lives. Terrile believes that we are computer generated and the way to prove this is through pixels. Anything that is computer generated is broken down into pixels. The physical world around us is broken down into atoms and this is what we call quantum mechanics. Terrile states that everything is “quantized”. Terrile takes us to Cal-tech where he conducts an experiment with electrons. He fires electrons into a ball of graphite, and shows where each electron goes. Each electron senses where every atom in the graphite is. He performs this experiment to offer proof of his next statement. He states “matter does not have a finite form in the physical universe.” He suggests that when we look at matter it looks like a form, but when we look away it loses its form. He said our world is “pixilated.” He also said we are “50 years away from manufacturing God.” Terrile considers himself spiritual, and he considers this a form of religion. Below is a picture of a computer simulation that Terrile suggests the computer creator would create.
These three theories are mind blowing to say the least Freeman does an exceptional job at presenting the science behind these theories in a way that even the non-physicist can understand. All of the scientist believe that we are within reach of getting an answer to the question of is there a creator? What do you think?
I hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to leave a comment here of visit me on Twitter by clicking my image avatar to the right. Make sure to tune in this Wednesday night to the Science Channel at 10:00 pm to watch a new episode of “Through the Wormhole”!! This weeks episode is about black holes. Thank you.