Sabine Hossenfelder, Physics, and God

Dr. Samuel M. Frost

In the last couple of years a new name has appeared on my radar: Sabine Hossenfelder. Her education is top notch:

  • Aug 2003: Ph. D., Theoretical Physics 
    J. W. Goethe Universit¨at Frankfurt (Germany)
    Adviser: Prof. Dr. H. Stöcker
    Topic: “Black Holes in Large Extra Dimensions”
  • Aug 2000: Diplom (M.S.), Physics,
    J. W. Goethe Universität Frankfurt (Germany)
    Adviser: Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. mult. W. Greiner
    Topic: “Particle Production in Time Dependent Gravitational Fields”
  • July 1997: Vordiplom (B.S.), Mathematics
    J. W. Goethe Universität Frankfurt (Germany) – taken from sabinehossenfelder.com.

As you can see. Now, Hossenfelder does not at all engage in the “does God exist” arguments like one would find in Hitchens, or Dawkins. They actually state that they can “prove” God(s) do not exist. Of course, most agnostic/atheist arguments, at least historically, were not of this type. Most so called, “atheists” are simply agnostics. I have, of course, read a great deal about science, the philosophy of science, and scientists. There does not seem to be a hard consensus as to what science actually is. In fact, the issues currently surrounding quantum physics is suggesting that we do not know what “is”, is. Maybe Bill Clinton had a point.

Hoffenfelder is a welcome to my eyes and ears. She has a number of YouTube lectures, and her own page. And, she is ruffling a lot of feathers because she is staying straight on target with what science does, rather than what science is. For her, the whole “god question” is without proof; that is science cannot verify whether god(s) exist or don’t exist.

This was, of course, Bertrand Russell’s opinion in Why I am Not a Christian. What has happened, is that some “militant” Atheists have actually stated that they can “prove” the non-existence of God. This is easily countered by folks like Russell, and Hossenfelder. I am not a Physicist. But, she is. To my atheist leaning readers, you’d have to talk to her. That is, I am perfectly fine with “agreeing” with her that you cannot “prove” God’s non-existence. Disagree all you like, but I doubt you are a Physicist, either. Hossenfelder is not at all interested in “truth” – if one defines that as “worldview”. Physics is not in the business of “proving” whether or not Socialism is correct, Green Deal policies are wide, or Capitalism is the best form of economic theory. Physics is involved with method, testability of theory, and outcome (reliability); that is, until “something else” comes along that jacks the current “theory” into the trash bin. Science does not “prove” any sort of “ethic” – and one can read Stephen Jay Gould, another favorite Atheist of mine, for that proposition. For Gould, “purpose” or “meaning of life” is not the concern of Physics, or science.

 P = \sum_{s_{zN}}\cdots\sum_{s_{z2}}\sum_{s_{z1}}\int_{V_N}\cdots\int_{V_2}\int_{V_1} \left | \Psi \right |^2\mathrm{d}^3\mathbf{r}_1\mathrm{d}^3\mathbf{r}_2\cdots\mathrm{d}^3\mathbf{r}_N\,\!

This theorem, General Probability Distribution, does not tell me whether or not Putin is correct for entering Ukraine, or what I should have for lunch, or whether or not Trump is akin to a radical terrorist organization. It says absolutely nothing about human rights, the Constitution, or God. It’s a “theorem”, a “theory” that has “practical value” for certain computations, given the “setting” has all of the right mechanisms and control factors. A Christian can use this equation, as well as an Atheist. Probability Theory (as it is called), is based on random outcomes – and random outcomes cannot be “predicted” (any more than the weather, or the Indianapolis Colts).

What has happened in a great deal of debate among the Atheists/Agnostics is not setting out to “disprove” God -a impossible task – but to show how the source for those who believe in God is radically weak, contradictory, and almost totally unreliable as a source: The Bible. If the Bible, as we have come to know it, is a farce, fable, and fairytale, then, obviously, like Homer’s Odyssey, we won’t be basing any “ethics” from it. Zeus does not exist. The task, then, has been to show not that God exists, or doesn’t exist, but that the Bible is completely unreliable. That’s a task I am prepared for, as a Theologian.

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