I have a question about God and physics. I ask that you help me with this. I’d greatly appreciate your help. I heard (I’m not sure if it’s true) that the laws of physics can create matter on their own. Is this true? If it is why should we still believe in God? Why should we accept God as a brute fact/ultimate cause but not the laws of physics (as a brute fact/ultimate cause)?
The laws of physics do not “do” anything. They just are. A law cannot do anything. But… According to quantum theory, photons can appear spontaneously in a vacuum. Also positrons and electrons can annihilate, creating photons. In Quantum theory, matter is not conserved, but energy is still conserved. By the way this theory is successful at explaining many known observations, so it is fair to say that most physicists believe that the spontaneous creation of photons is real.
Some have tried to use this fact about the universe as somehow proving that God does not exist or as eliminating the need to invoke God to explain the creation of the universe. However, this discovery does nothing of the kind. This argument is a red herring. The fact is that photons do not come into existence from nothing. There has to be a universe within which photons can be spontaneously generated, and this universe contains electric and magnetic fields, as well as gravitational fields. The spontaneous generation of photons in a vacuum is not an example of something coming from nothing, It is something coming from something–the universe with its pervasive energy fields. If there were no universe, there would be no spontaneously created matter.
What quantum mechanics does not solve is how anything at all exists. How does quantum mechanics exist? Why is there anything at all? Does quantum mechanics explain this? Absolutely not. What created the laws of physics? Did they create themselves? Does quantum mechanics explain the existence of quantum mechanics? Why are the laws of nature “tuned” to an absolutely astounding precision, which is needed in order for galaxies and stars to exist, for molecules to exist? Everything that begins to exist has a cause, including the spontaneously created photons or other particles. The universe began to exist. What created it? What caused it to exist at all, never mind with mind-boggling precision for life to exist? Does quantum mechanics offer even a tentative answer to any of these questions? The simple answer is no, it does not.
So, I conclude that quantum mechanics is a beautiful theory, with broad explanatory powers, but it does nothing to undermine reasons for belief in God. In fact, for me, quantum mechanics create wonder and awe at its creation. Laws do not create anything. Laws are caused. Universes do not cause themselves. God is the only conceivable ultimate cause of the reality we observe. The existence of the universe does not prove God exists, but the only reasonable explanation of its existence is that it was brought into existence by a powerful, intelligent Creator. Those who claim quantum mechanics is a good argument against the existence of God better explain their reasoning for this facile claim. This is rhetoric, not an argument.