Physicists are divided between two alternate theories that explain the universe. How we understand these theories can shape our politics, and even our thinking about religion. The theory of general relativity (think Albert Einstein) explains the universe on a cosmological scale, showing that time-space is a constant, and predictable. General relativity allows us to understand the force of gravity, and the bending effect gravity has on light.
Quantum field theory (think Max Planck), on the other hand, reveals a random, irrational, and unpredictable universe at the most submicroscopic levels. According to quantum physics, the tiniest elements of the universe are constantly changing and seemingly jump in and out of existence at random. Depending on the question a researcher asks, the same element may be a particle or a wave. This is best illustrated by Schrodinger’s cat:
Margaret Wertheim is probably best known for her knitting. That is, as a scientist, you’re likely unfamiliar with her work. But her TEDtalk about hand-knit coral reefs has gone viral. Her conversation with Krista Tippett on the On Being podcast is called, The Grandeur and Limits of Science. You should download and listen to it. Their conversation strays far and wide, from religion, to philosophy, to global warming, to neuroscience and being an identical twin.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." -John Muir
Intersecting is a blog about the connections in life.
Russ is an MBA candidate at Pepperdine University and has an MA in theology. He is married to a psychologist.