The Copenhagen Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction And Worldview Assessment -- By: Jeremy Royal Howard

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 11:1 (Spring 2007)
Article: The Copenhagen Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction And Worldview Assessment
Author: Jeremy Royal Howard

The Copenhagen Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction And Worldview Assessment

Jeremy Royal Howard

Jeremy Royal Howard holds a Ph.D. in Christian Apologetics and Worldview Studies from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has held numerous church positions, including head pastor, and currently works as an independent writer. He is co-author of The New Eve: Smart, Bold Femininity in a World of Opportunity (Broadman& Holman, forthcoming 2008) and co-editor of The Men’s Fraternity Bible(Broadman & Holman, 2007).

By the science of physics we discern something of the powerful logic that stands behind the world. In tracing the ominous sweep of faraway giants in the dark of space, in following the mechanics of nutrient transport in the human circulatory system, in setting man’s feet on the surface of that lesser of two great lights, the moon—in these and countless other exercises we are not eyeing cold trivia about our world; we are learning yet again something of He who stands back of it all.

Physics does not yield a full-blown theology, but by its light we see evidence of a God of order, consistency, and deeply powerful intellect. Physicists believed this once. From Newton’s ascendancy to the dawn of twentieth century, most scientists held some form of Christian belief. They also assumed it would be possible to describe all physical entities by Newtonian physics. On this assumption, tracing the activities of any inanimate object should be as simple as obtaining values for position, momentum, and trajectory, and then projecting outcomes by Newton’s laws. Underlying this are presuppositions that the world is rational in structure and operation and that the scientific investigator is a mere observer rather than a participant in the experimental results he obtains.

Confidence in classical mechanics was so pervasive that some believed an omniscient intelligence could know the future exhaustively if it could grasp perfectly in an instant all the forces, components, and relations that compose the natural realm.1 But foretelling the future based on physics was never more than fairy tale. The fact is humans are not omniscient and everyday mechanical systems can exhibit chaotic behavior.2 Thus, mechanical determinism is an ideal that is inapplicable to any system. Nevertheless, the inability of Newtonian mechanics to eliminate chaotic elements is more a result of the investigator’s limited knowledge of relevant factors than genuine irregularity in the natural order.3 This is an important distinction from the tendency among physicists who...

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