Thursday, August 6, 2009

Heisenberg and God

Heisenberg and God in “Physics and Beyond” of Werner Heisenberg (Nobel Prize laureate), a book not only scientific but as well political, moral, and about philosophy and religion :

Wolfgang (Pauli, Nobel Prize laureate in physics) asked : “When you say that one could not understand anymore the quantum theory, do you want to say by this that physics is not only composed by experimentation on one side and mathematical formulas on the other, but that at the junction of both some true philosophy should be done? Said differently, that there it has to be tried, using the natural language, to explain what does really happen in this margin between experimentation and mathematics? I suppose besides that all the difficulties that one meets in order to understand the quantum theory are precisely at this place where the positivists, generally do not stop…” (See the part : “Positivism, metaphysics and religion”)
“Positivists, did I say (Heisenberg Nobel Prize laureate in physics), do defend with a particular virulence against all the formulations of problems which, as they say, present a prescientific feature…” (See the same part)
“For my part, continued Niels (Bohr, Nobel Prize laureate in physics, also reserved about positivism), I can obviously not agree with such a language shrinkage…”(See the same part)
Heisenberg is adding later :
“In science, the central order can be recognized by the simple fact that we can use some metaphors such as : “nature is created following this plan”. And this is here that my conception of truth is bound to the state of things to which religions do refer. I think that all these correlations can be better thought now, since we have understood the quantum theory. Because in this theory, we can formulate in the mathematical abstract language a unified order extending on some very wide domains…” (See the same part)
“Yes answered Wolfgang, I believe that this model of thought is very understandable…” (See the same part)
Wolfgang did ask me in a quite abrupt manner :
“Basically do you believe in a personal God?…” (See the same part)
I answered : “Can I formulate differently the question that you did ask me? It should be then asked like this : Can you, or can one, communicate as directly with the central order of things or phenomena (the existence of this order being not doubtful) as one communicate, eventually, with the soul of a human being?...” (See the same part)

It seems thus easier for a religion to separate from the notion of God, the first cause and the central order (See Buddhism), than for sciences and especially at the basis the quantum mechanics (then chemistry…). Thus my work is not religious (there is no cult), and even when I relate about morality, I stay at the level of the moral advice.

No comments: