Meissner, a physicist: «universal laws are a hint of God»
The famous physicist Albert Einstein was so enchanted by universal laws and cosmo’s order, that he caught sight of the work of an “infinitely superior Spirit”, as he liked to say. Plus he affirmed: «Considering such armony in the universe which I am able to recognise, despite my limited human mind, there still are people who affirm God doesn’t exist. But what really makes me angry is that they mention me in support of such opinions».
Einstein’s stance is surely reflected on Krysztof Meissner‘s words, he is professor of theoretical physics at Univeristy of Warsaw and one of greatest scientist of particle physics in Europe. Meissner has worked in the most important research centres of the world and at the moment he’s working at a “overstated” version of the standard model of universe, searching for a second «God particle», after Higgs Boson. In these days he has participated to “Cortile del dialogo” (Debate yard) in Warsaw, organised by the archdiocese with the Pontifical Council for Culture patronage.
In a recent interview about the difference between an atheist scientist and a believer one, the catholic Meissner hasn’t answered by denigrating those who don’t have faith, like Dawkins or Odifreddi, militant unbeliever activists who talk about science, usually do. He just explained that there are «no differences in making science, none. Both use same means, same mathematics. The difference resides in the approach to the final result. The laws which govern the universe are eventually simple, elegant, with some kind of perfection in their own essence. If someone doesn’t believe in God, he just certifies this perfection and stops right there. If someone is a believer, he can see a glare of God perfection. What really changes is basically the meaning assigned to the discovery, the perspective from which we can see them and so can appreciate them».
Meissner is now 52, he spent his entire life to study physics and he’s still enchanted by universal laws, «simply, elegant, perfect laws, which all the things respond to. A universe born by chance should be chaotic. If there were any laws, they could not be universal in time and space. It’d be a certain correlation measure between those things, but nothing more. The presence of universal laws, which is the condition of the opportunity of scientific reasearch, of laws that don’t change from time to time, is something astonishing, something that doesn’t stop to amaze me after so many years. I consider it more than a hint, almost an evidence of the presence of a trascendent reality, a proof that there’s something bigger than the world we live in. What this trascendence is, a personal God or a pantheistic divinity, is a question we need faith to answer. But, I repeat, to me as scientist it is evident there is a dimension trascending the world».
He advises it needs to be careful to not «refer to divine intervention to fill the gap of our knowledge. It’s necessary to say that till the end of XIX century prevailed an idea of science , also originated by the influence of the French Revolution, an idea of science strongly deterministic […]. A determinism which concerned the man as well. All the phenomena were considered comprehensible and predictable. Quantum physics has broken the chains of that severe and simplicistic determinism and have made the world far more interesting. We could say it has recreated the conditions to medidate on the second great mistery which, according to me, incites to consider the existence of a trascendent reality and that escapes from determinism: the man free will».
One more advise we believers need to take to heart is the approach to the Big Bang which has not to be confused with the Genesis the Bible speaks about: «First of all because we don’t know if the Big Bang really had happened, or rather to say: our theoretical physics instruments allow us to understand the universe only up to a certain density spot, beyond that they can’t support us. It could have been a zero point, a beginning of everything, but we can rule out, going backwards, to enter in a sort of negative time, further the zero point. I’ve always considered hazardous make parallel the Big Bang and Genesis. Even the believers should never forget that the Bible is a revealed truth about the relation between man and God, and not about the relation between man and material reality».
Meissner’s considerations have been inserted in the page, here on this website, which collects the most interesting quotes about the relation between science and faith of several important modern and not modern scientists.
The editorial staff