Celebrity physicist Brian Cox said he thinks science has shown men do not have souls. According to the Express, he said on the Joe Rogan show that there is “no measurable evidence of humans having souls that could live on after death.”
To prove this, Cox noticed his own arm (Joe Rogan brings out odd qualities in his guests) and announced, “It is made of electrons and protons and neutrons.” From this keen, but incomplete, observation, Cox deduced:
“If I have a soul in there, something we don’t understand but it’s a different kind of energy or whatever it is we don’t have in physics at the moment.
“It interacts with matter because I’m moving my hand around.
“So whatever it is, it is something that interacts very strongly with matter.”
Even though scientists strained their inferior rectus muscles to the snapping point, they have never seen a “fifth force of nature” that could account for the soul. Therefore, thinks Cox, “the human soul can be ruled out on the most fundamental level imaginable.”
“I would go as far as to say,” he continued, “it [the soul] is ruled out by experiments.”
The idea of experiments led to the suggestion that near death experiences might confirm the existence of life after death, therefore proving the existence of the soul.
You’ve heard of NDEs. The bright light, urge to travel through a tunnel, the feeling of being beckoned. That sort of thing.
The Express reminds us that NDEs are often reported by those “briefly declared clinically dead while on the operating table.”
Yet there is an infinite distance between clinically or mostly dead and all dead. A mostly dead person is still alive, because alive is not dead. Once a person is all dead, only a miracle can bring them back. Which has happened. Several times.
Because some all dead have returned to life, we know that men have souls. For the soul is the living essence of a man. It is the thing itself that separates the living and the dead. A surgeon can coax the mostly dead man back to health. But only God can restore the missing essence that is life itself.
An essence is not made of stuff. It is a pure form, an intangible thing. The soul, then, does not have weight. It is also not any kind of energy or force. This is why physicists haven’t found it with instruments. And why they never will.
Cox’s, and many other scientists’, difficulty is with empiricism and materialism, the ideas that to be considered real a thing must be measurable, and that only measurable things exist. These aren’t unnatural ideas for scientists trained in the modern way, where measurement is king. Particles exist, they say, because they can be measured, albeit indirectly. Force fields, like gravity and magnetism, can be measured.
Therefore, inverting the thought, a soul doesn’t exist because it can’t be measured.
Physicists are not consistent in their metaphysics, though. Not everything they declare real can or has been measured, and not everything in which they believe is material.
Strings, for example, which are not ordinary three-dimensional objects, but of smaller dimension, are made, it seems, mostly of math—and math is not real stuff. Maybe strings are wrong, and it’s something else that are “below” quarks. There isn’t unanimity on the point: and anyway, no strings have been observed. Yet many believe.
This debate is not important to us. The idea that as things get more basic or fundamental they become more like math, or thought, if you like, is of definite interest.
I don’t mean some kind of naive idealism, where everything, tangible and intangible, is said to be thought, but a more profound idea that all forms and essences originate, and are held, in the mind of God. The closer physical objects become like math, the more this must be so.
Here is something every physicist believes:
No mathematician, and no physicist, have ever observed any of the items in that formula, and none ever will. But the formula is held true—it is true. And being true, it is real, though it is not material.
None of the terms are subject to measurement, either. You can approximate the measurement of , maybe, but you can never measure it totally. It would require infinite resources. Besides, we don’t have to measure it. We know its value (but only because we believe many other formulas like this).
If physicists were consistent in their materialism and empiricism, they’d have to toss out math and logic and other intangibles. Not just the soul.
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