The big bang theory has reopened scientists’ minds to the possibility that the universe was created by an intelligent designer. But if so, has that designer remained involved with the universe? Two discoveries, quantum mechanics and string theory, suggest the answer could be yes.
In 1925, Werner Heisenberg shocked the scientific community by showing that the subatomic world is unpredictable. In fact, it behaves unlike anything scientists had ever imagined and seems to betray common sense. This marked the start of the branch of physics known as quantum mechanics, which is the study of the behavior of microscopic particles. (A “quantum,” in physicspeak, is the smallest amount of any quantity, such as particles like electrons, quarks, and photons.)
What has fascinated scientists is that particles such as electrons, quarks, and photons can appear from nowhere and disappear just as quickly. No one knows why.
Furthermore, a quantum has an undetermined position until it is observed. When observed, it immediately becomes a particle with a fixed position. Why does this happen? Again, scientists don’t have a clue.
In another bizarre phenomenon known as quantum tunneling, a particle can move through a barrier without altering the barrier’s structure. Theoretically, the same might be possible of an object or person. Thus, phenomena such as walking untouched through walls–previously thought to be a violation of the laws of physics–are possible.
Physicists have been perplexed at the seeming contradiction of quantum mechanics and relativity, yet they are convinced that there must be some unifying principle. A newer concept in theoretical physics, known as string theory, may solve the riddle of how these bedrock theories are able to coexist in the cosmos.
String theory likens the behavior of particles to tiny vibrating strings. Different vibrations create different behaviors for particles just as different vibrations on a violin or piano string can alter pitch. Among other things, string theory tells us that at the big bang at least six additional dimensions were created along with the four we observe (length, height, width, and time). These additional dimensions are beyond our ability to see or measure.
The implications of string theory on our perception of reality are mind-boggling and require thinking differently about the universe and what is possible. If we could access other dimensions, the following “impossibilities” would be possible.¹
- Walking through objects, such as walls
- Performing surgery without cutting the skin
- Instant teleportation from one location to another
If these other dimensions exist, a designer could theoretically intervene in our world without being seen. Quantum mechanics and the possibility of other dimensions contradicts materialists’ belief that “if we can’t see and measure it–it must not exist.” But scientists are also baffled about another mystery of the universe that is possibly an even greater challenge to materialism: dark matter and energy.
About 95% of the universe is made up of this “dark stuff” that consists of mysterious exotic matter and energy. Although dark matter is invisible, scientists can convincingly measure its gravitational pull. Theoretically, dark matter pervades our very breath. We are on a hurtling spaceship surrounded by an ocean of matter we cannot see!
Two-thirds of the dark stuff consists of “dark energy.” Although dark matter is an enigma, dark energy is even more mysterious–scientists have no idea what it is. Some scientists believe dark energy holds the key to understanding the great mysteries of our universe.
This mysterious dark stuff that pervades 95% of the universe, along with the quantum world and other dimensions, have fueled new ideas about how a designer could be actively involved in his universe, yet remain unseen. Is it possible a designer operates in another dimension that intersects ours, or controls hidden quantum particle behavior that undergirds our macro world? Or could he be impacting our world from within the dark 95% of the universe that surrounds us?
Taken together, these mysteries of our universe undermine the materialistic world view, and compel us to face the possibility that our universe was not only made but could also be sustained and cared for by a parent who guides the unseen world with his invisible hand. In that case, the designer could be less like a mother who abandons her newborn and more like a mom who stays with and raises her child.
¹Michio Kaku & Jennifer Thompson, Beyond Einstein, (New York: Anchor Books, 1995), 167.