Despite all of the knowledge we have gained through science and despite the technological advances that knowledge has wrought; we are still left with the fundamental question of who are we, how did we get here, and what is our purpose? Science is not good at answering these kinds of questions, though some scientists believe it is all just one big accident.
People of faith, on the other hand resort to religious doctrine found in their holy books. Many, by faith, have a deep and abiding “knowing” that answers the deeper questions. Even scientists and many doctors rely on their faith when it comes to the deeper and more philosophical questions. I was discussing these things with my physician the other day, not mentioning religion at all when suddenly she said, “well the Bible says God created everything. . .don’t you believe that?” It turns out my doctor is a devout Jewish woman who practices medicine with one hand on the Bible and the other on her medical text books.
So the question arises, can science and religion ever be reconciled when it comes to the who are we, why are we here, how did we get here questions? Though the 85% of scientists within the AAAS(American Academy of Arts and Sciences) who claim to be atheists would never admit it, they are just as intrigued by these questions and are busy attempting to answer these questions by positing a number of conjectures involving information storage and transfer. Some of their conjectures many of you have seen in science fiction movies such as The Matrix, or artificial intelligence stories that view human beings as computer generated entities controlled by some outside force.
One conjecture that is gaining popularity with some scientists is the holographic principle that puts forward the hypothesis that our universe is a holographic projection. Here is a definition of a hologram: Holography is a technique that enables a light field, which is generally the product of a light source scattered off objects, to be recorded and later reconstructed when the original light field is no longer present, due to the absence of the original objects. Holography can be thought of as somewhat similar to sound recording, whereby a sound field created by vibrating matter like musical instruments or vocal cords, is encoded in such a way that it can be reproduced later, without the presence of the original vibrating matter. The image can be recorded as a three dimensional reproduction instead of in two dimensions like a photograph.
Information, as well as a physical object, can be reproduced as a hologram. It is this aspect of holography that has some scientists excited by the prospect that our universe is composed of information that exists in reality on the surface of an object that encloses our universe. All of the physical objects that we see in our universe are composed then of information that can be found on a two dimensional surface surrounding our universe. Well, now that I have given you all a headache and you’re wondering what in the world any of this has to do with questions about who we are, why we are here and where we came from, let me try to summarize.
For most of us, even people of deep faith, it is enough to just accept that God is the author and finisher of our faith, that all things were made by and through Him. Others go deeper and ask how or by what process did all of this take place while still holding on to their faith. As a result of the knowledge gained by asking these deeper questions we have gained wisdom and understanding that allows us to better manage our lives on many levels from health care to agriculture. It is my conviction that this wisdom and understanding based on knowledge enables us to see God literally and figuratively. Since many of us who are people of faith believe we are made in the image of God, it seems reasonable to ask, how can this be. How is the image of God transferred to us? Is there a scientific answer that is consistent with spiritual understanding? As difficult as it may be, in the next essay we will explore this question in more depth using the holographic principle as a starting point. We will also explore some of the spiritual disciplines that lay claim to understanding the nature of consciousness and assert in a similar way to the holographic principle that information comes to us from the universe, including knowledge from the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith.
To God Be The Glory
The Hidden Reality, Brian Greene, Chapter 9 Black Holes and Holograms
Holy Bible, Genesis, Chapters 1-3
Complexity: A Guided Tour, Melanie Mitchell