Saturday, February 9, 2013

Einstein, God, and Game Theory: slaying the flying spaghetti monster

The Heisenberg principle is a principle in quantum mechanics which postulates that increasing the accuracy of measurement of one observable quantity, increases the uncertainty with which another conjugate quantity may be known.  In other words, “if you measure something really precisely, that just messes up your measurements on something else, thereby making it impossible for you to every really, accurately measure the whole of anything.”  It would be like measuring the height of something, but that messes up the width, so it is impossible to ever know the true diameter. That is fundamentally the Heisenberg principle as it affects subatomic particles.

This is interesting because, while the real purpose of this blog, “Thinking Outside the Box”, is to do just that, see things from a vantage point the average person never considers, a secondary theme is the idea that truth permeates all spheres of society, whether they be religious, scientific, or my day-to-day world.  For example: faith is part of Christianity, but also scientific experiment, and the fact that I have to be at work at 8:30 AM and have faith in my wristwatch.  So, it is sort of contrary to the Heisenberg Principle in asserting that certain principles can be applied across all spheres of our world, physical, spiritual, behavioral, etc. So, I assert there is truth that permeates everything.

So, here is Albert Einstein. I purposely chose a photo of him that is a bit silly. It illustrates the “mad scientist” stereotype and, when one reads about him, it becomes quite probable that he made his hair stick out like this on purpose, just for fun. He was at once highly focused, yet possessing a remarkable sense of humor.

Game theory is something they teach in business school.  One aspect of game theory is the “zero sum game” which states that one party’s gain is an opposing party’s loss.  This is actually the basis for the Cold War’s “mutually assured destruction” philosophy, whereby strategic planners would arm heavily with nuclear weapons, the idea being that both sides possessing the power to obliterate each other would cause neither to actually use “the bomb”.

So, now to bring this all together.  Albert Einstein believed in God.  In fact, as a younger man he actually wrote and sang songs of praise to God, He was serious about his Jewishness, and he was definitely was a proponent of “intelligent design”, which basically means God created everything.  People who despise Christians in the name of science, like Richard Dawkins, the physicist who coined the term “the flying spaghetti monster” to deride God as a fairy tale, don’t like much to talk about this. They despise God, so they explain it away as a foible of their hero, Einstein (I’ll let you in on a secret: A lot of scientist today DO believe in God…even Jesus, no less).  So, Einstein’s philosophical view of the world rivaled that of Heisenberg.  Einstein saw God resonate in all things. Even his Theory of General Relativity illustrated this: He proved an increase in energy does not DISSIPATE matter.  It is all the same.  Matter, in a sense, is just energy in a different form.  This idea can be applied to international relations, economic, human relations and nearly every other field of endeavor.  For instance, in economics, when I increase my prosperity, others can prosper as well (a principle of free trade). In human relations, when I am kind and respectful to others, it elevates my own humanity and we both become more decent and noble.  I also reap what I sow:  I will receive kindness from another person at some point. 
Einstein had a friend and colleague, Niels Bohr, who was also a venerate scientist.  They had friendly disagreements about the Heisenberg principle and auxiliary issues that emanated from it. 
Bottom line: I think Einstein adhered generally to what I have tried to convey in my own highly flawed way: There is an order to the universe. There are universal principles created by God. Often, man manufactures lines of demarcation between science, God, and human behavior which don’t entirely exist. These are not separate fields of consideration.  God created all. All is interrelated. The principles and laws of God may often be found in all areas of life.  The zero sum game is a fallacy. Christ came to bring peace and unity to His creation by eliminating sin and rebellion to His created order, and there is no mutually assured destruction between Christ and Satan. The enemy will simply be vanquished.  Christ will permeate all creation.


  1. The uncertainty principle only shows the limits to human knowledge. We can have faith in a God of certainty.

  2. Amen to that, David.