A world-renowned quantum physicist, performing an experiment to discover the true nature of the universe, announced to the world earlier this month that he had discovered incontrovertible proof of the existence of God. Some lauded his declaration of faith as a sign that science finally accepted religion, but a religious physicist in Israel was not impressed. He challenged scientists to take their faith one step further.
Michio Kaku is a highly respected American theoretical physicist. After conducting tests on what he calls “primitive semi–radius tachyons”, Kaku came to a remarkable conclusion: the only explanation for his results is that there must be a God.
“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence,” he told the website Ferocesmente in an interview. “Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore.
“To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”
Kaku co-founded the revolutionary string theory, a widely-accepted theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. In an article he wrote in Big Think, he defined this complicated subject in decidedly religious terms, claiming his theory “makes the statement that we are reading the mind of God”.
“It’s based on music or little vibrating strings thus giving us particles that we see in nature,” wrote Kaku. “The laws of chemistry that we struggled with in high school would be the melodies that you can play on these vibrating strings. The Universe would be a symphony of these vibrating strings and the mind of God that Einstein wrote about at length would be cosmic music resonating through this nirvana… through this 11 dimensional hyperspace – that would be the mind of God.”
He described science and religion as having the same goal: “To determine our true place and our true role in the Universe.”
In many ways, Kaku is trying to make peace between science and religion. “There has essentially been a divorce in the last century or so between that of science and the humanists,” Kaku told Big Think, “And I think that it’s very sad that we don’t speak the same language anymore.”
Despite his claiming an alliance with religion, Kaku’s scientific perception of God, whom he calls a “mathematician”, may not be compatible with the God to whom religious people pray.
“There really are two kinds of Gods. If God is the God of intervention, the personal God, the God of prayer, the God that parts the waters, then I have a hard time believing in that. Does God listen to all our prayers for a bicycle for Christmas, or to smite the Philistines? Einstein believed in the God of order and harmony, simplicity and elegance. The universe is gorgeous and it didn’t have to be that way.”
Professor Natan Aviezer of Bar Ilan University, a physicist and religious Jew, has a problem with Kaku’s explanation. Aviezer, who discussed the relationship between science and faith in his book “Modern Science and Ancient Faith”, says that Kaku’s belief is deism: a belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe.
“This is an old idea, that the universe is intentionally designed so there must be a God,” Professor Aviezer told Breaking Israel News. “William Paley, an 18th-century Christian theologian, gave the watchmaker argument. If you find a watch in forest, then you can assume there is a watchmaker, because complicated things do not occur by themselves. In the same way, the universe proves the existence of its maker.”
However, “This argument is wrong,” stated the professor. “Complicated items do form by themselves. Crystals and chemical reactions are the most complicated things and they happen by themselves. My favorite example is snowflakes, which each form uniquely by themselves. But that is not proof there is a God.”
Men of faith, explained Aviezer to Breaking Israel News, are theists: believing in the existence of one God as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures.
“You can’t prove the existence, or the non-existence, of God,” said Aviezer. “Our faith is simply that: faith. These arguments have always been around and there are no end of examples because this is what happens when secular scientists become amazed at their discoveries. What these scientists are doing is bringing supporting arguments. They aren’t proofs.”
Professor Aviezer concluded as only a religious scientist could. “It’s what I would naturally expect to see if there really was a God who made the world, but it doesn’t prove the existence of God.”