Reflections on quantum physics, mathematics and atheism

Past ISCAST fellow Nick Hawkes reflects in these two articles on the significance of quantum physics for mathematics, atheism and God.

In "The Challenge of Quantum Physics for Atheism," Nick proposes that the necessity of an observer “for matter to exist in physical form” is an argument against atheism: reality needs God as the external “observer.” The article reflects on the quantum world’s famous “double slit” experiment. Here, it was found that a subatomic particle collapses from being a "cloud of potential" that is in superposition with itself, into being a tiny piece of matter only when it is observed. In other words, consciousness, either on the part of the observer, or the subatomic particle, is required for matter to exist in physical form. This presents problems for atheism. An atheist should not exist as a physical reality unless his or her constituent particles have first been intentionally observed. And, according to Nick Hawkes, for that to happen, you would need God.

In "What Is Mathematics? Clues from Quantum Physics," Nick reflects on the nature of mathematics; is mathematics "simply a language we invent, or [is it] a strange new land with discoveries waiting to surprise us?" Nick claims that overlaying maths with the principles of quantum physics "allows for the unknown surprises of maths to exist and then to collapse into a mathematical language when observed."

Both articles are available as PDF downloads:

"The Challenge of Quantum Physics for Atheism"

"What Is Mathematics? Clues from Quantum Physics"