Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The New Physics and the Doctrine of Heaven

Are you familiar with the traditional song children sing about heaven?

"Heaven is a wonderful place,
Filled with glory and grace.
I want to see my Savior's face!
Heaven is a wonderful place!"

For readers not versed in American children's music, enjoy this YouTube video rendition (sung by the Pistoia Gospel Singers of Italy) and then come back....

That was fun, wasn't it? Throughout the ages, Biblical scholars have thought of heaven as a place somewhere out there in "the heavens," and mostly definitely not under our feet. (That's where hell might be.) A place where the River of Life flows, and the Tree of Life bears fruit all year long. A place where we meet our Savior.

This sounds like a mythical place to the average scientist. What does physics have to do with heaven? It turns out that string theory has spawned the notion of a multiverse, a set of parallel universes alongside the universe we inhabit. Parallel universes are similar to our universe, but differ in that their constants in physics equations may not be identical to ours. There is no reliable way to communicate information from one universe to a parallel universe, according to physicists, but it may be possible to travel from one universe to another via a black hole, if physics author Brian Greene is right.

Could it be that heaven is a parallel universe? If so, how does God transfer the stuff of which we consist into the universe: do angels accompany the spirits of the departed to the nearest black hole, then carry them through? Angels could probably create a small black hole for a fraction of a second, I reckon, so maybe they wouldn't have to travel to the center of our galaxy to do the job! Fun to think about....

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