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Thoughts from Steven: A Scientist “Found” “God”

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Several months ago, several articles appeared claiming that theoretical physicist and proponent of string theory Michio Kaku claimed to have found evidence that the universe was created by an intelligence. These articles had titles such as, “World renowned scientist says he has found proof of God! We may be living in the ‘Matrix,’”i “Scientist Michio Kaku surprised with finding irrefutable evidence: God does exist,”ii “String Theory Co-Found: Sub-Atomic Particles Are Evidence the Universe Was Created,”iii and “Top scientist claims proof that God exists, says humans live in a ‘world made by rules created by an intelligence.’”iv

It would be a spectacular thing for a highly reputed scientist to make such a claim. The claim itself would be spectacular and to have such an endorsement would also be spectacular. However, these stories actually provide a cautionary tale rather than the much-sought-after “proof of God.” In fact, there are two notable cautions from this tale.

The first caution is: always check original sources. Many of the reports mentioned above reference an article in the Geophilosophical Association of Anthropological and Cultural Studies. Unfortunately, every link to the original article that I have found leads to a page of nonsensical text. A search on the Geophilosophical Association of Anthropological and Cultural Studies‘s website reveals no article mentioning Michio Kaku. This is not to say that the original article never existed, but it makes it hard to verify the original claims when the documentation of those claims no longer exists. Fortunately, two websitesv say that the original article references a Big Think video titled “Michio Kaku: Is God a Mathematician?” and that video can be easily found on YouTube.vi

In the Big Think video, Michio Kaku makes no claim that he discovered God or proof of God. Instead, the video is about the relationship between mathematics and physics. Not only is the subject different, the specific claims differ. Many of the articles listed in the opening paragraph claim that Kaku’s research of “primitive semi-radius tachyons” lead to his conclusion that the universe was created. Tachyons are not even mentioned in the Think Big video. No part of the video bolsters the claims made by the various articles. Again, this is not to say that the article in the Geophilosophical Association of Anthropological and Cultural Studies never existed or fabricated its claims, but with no supporting documentation, it is impossible to know if the claim that Kaku discovered God is a faithful representation or an exaggeration of a much less spectacular claim.

The second caution is: always check definitions. While Michio Kaku does not make a claim that he found proof of God, he does mention God in the Big Think video. He says that the goal of physicists is to unify all of the forces in the world into a single equation that will allow us to “read the mind of God.” Wow! That by itself is spectacular. Imagine, a theoretical physicist claiming that the purpose of physics is to “read the mind of God.” Why, it almost sounds like that oft-repeated quote from astronomer Robert Jastrow,

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Michio Kaku has finally done it! He scaled the mountain and he is ready to take his place among the theologians who have been waiting for centuries for someone like him to arrive.

Except whatever “god” Kaku is referring to is not the God I know. Here is what Michio Kaku actually says about God in the Big Think video:

[T]he final resolution can be that God is a mathematician. And when you read the mind of God, we actually have a candidate for the mind of God. The mind of God, we believe, is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11-dimensional hyperspace. That is the mind of God.

God is music? God is the harmonious vibration of strings in hyperspace? That is the mind of God? Such an idea makes no distinction between God and the physical world. God is simply the expression of physical laws, the natural course of action, even the universe itself. At best, this is pantheistic, at worst, “god” is reduced to a metaphor.

For the record, creationists should be very cautious about using Robert Jastrow’s quote as well. Apparently, Jastrow thought that understanding the Big Bang was an important step on the way to the peak of the mountain.vii Matter of fact, Jastrow described himself as an agnostic, not a believer. Again, he might have reached a god, it may even be a facsimile of the God of the Bible, but it would be a god who created the world through a long, natural process instead of the God who created the world in a mere six days.

The tale of Michio Kaku’s “discovery” of “God” should give us pause. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Scattered references to “primitive semi-radial tachyons” is a long, long ways from a proof of God, especially when said proof is not backed up by sufficient documentation. Moreover, while some people are desirous to find or claim the existence of God, they often end up finding a version that suits their own needs or preconceived notions. It is for these reasons that I will always be skeptical of any claim of a proof of God. Instead, I will stick to the Word of God, the only source of knowledge that I know of that is truly extraordinary and the only place God ever describes Himself, as my sole evidence of God.

iBy Marshall Connolly at http://www.catholic.org/news/technology/story.php?id=69335

iiAt http://novaevolutionoficial.blogspot.com/2015/05/scientist-michio-kaku-surprised-with.html

iiiBy Barbara Hollingsworth at http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/string-theory-co-founder-sub-atomic-particles-are-evidence-0

ivBy Andre Mitchell at http://www.christiantoday.com/article/top.scientist.finds.proof.that.god.exists.says.humans.live.in.a.world.made.by.rules.created.by.an.intelligence/87994.htm

vhttp://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/34234/does-michio-kaku-claim-he-has-found-proof-of-gods-existence and https://www.quora.com/Michio-Kakus-claim-of-God-is-based-on-primitive-semi-radius-tachyons-which-can-%E2%80%9Cunstick-space-matter-What-does-that-all-mean-in-laymans-terms

vihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jremlZvNDuk

viiBy Robert Jastrow at http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth18b.html and by anonymous at https://gotquestions.org/big-bang-theory.html

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