The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics aligns with the Bible

The Copenhagen Interpretation asserts that an “observer” is required to collapse the Wave Function of the electron and thus make atoms “real.” Does anyone agree that this “observer” is God, and thus every atom in our bodies is made “real” through his constant love (or observation) of us?

I see two problems with using the Copenhagen Interpretation in a literal sense:

  1. Quantum systems are inherently indeterminate.
  2. The results of wave function collapse are independent of the observer.

This would mean that God could not control the outcomes as an observer, according to the Copenhagen Interpretation.

However, I think it could work quite well as a metaphor. It could also work quite well as a metaphor for human relationships.



As a physicist who has published on this area, I would claim to be competent to comment. There are still controversies. The Copenhagen school divided physics up into macroscopic entities such as pieces of apparatus that can measure and observe, and microscopic entites to which quantum theory applies. The observer does not have to be conscious, although one school of thought believes otherwise. It probably doesn’t help to make God the observer. The big question is how to draw the line between microscopic and macroscopic, and this question is not answered yet. Ever bigger entities, such as molecules, have been shown to display quantum properties, but the experiments that show this become very delicate and difficult. Assuming that God observes everything, one still needs to assign a role to human observers and pieces of macroscopic apparatus. It’s a fascinating area.


You didn’t happen to see Sean Carroll’s comment on Julian Barbour’s book The Janus Point?

“The origin of the arrow of time is arguably the most important conceptual problem in cosmology, and the prospect that it can be solved in a universe where time flows ‘backward’ in the far past is as exciting as it is provocative.”


This gets us away from the original question. I think that a discussion of the nature of time requires another Biologos thread. It’s a subject that has been going on for a long time. Why not start another Biologos discussion?

With Janus points, they seem far away, but it’s impossible to tell :slightly_smiling_face:

Continuing the discussion from Barbour's The Janus Point:

This is certainly not about the Copenhagen Interpretation.

I have not read “The Janus Point” but it seems to relate to theories of cosmology in which there is a Big Bang in which the mathematical dimension of time extends in two directions, one of which is the time in our own universe. The other section of time extends in the opposite direction, from our point of view. But this is effectively two conjoined universes that in some sense meet at this point which is the initial point of both. I’m not sure whether this makes sense physically, as opposed to mathematically. As far as I can see, neither universe can affect the other, in which case there can be no observational evidence for either of them in the framework of the other. In which case we are just playing intellectual games. Ignore it! (But if this misinterprets Barbour, please put me right.)
For more discussion of these cosmologies, you could see my book “Signposts to God”.


What a great looking book! I came to generally agree with Barbour based on something I saw with the problem science has in determining boundary conditions to the world. Whether it is in the distant past or quantum space, science can’t tell whether the events ocurring are representative of a universe that is beginning or expanding.

Blame it on Paul Draper :slightly_smiling_face: In his philosophy of religion class 20 years ago I saw him acknowledge an infinite series cannot be created through successive addition, but why couldn’t the universe/reality exist as infinite series, like a brute fact, to which events are added in the present?

Hmmm… I thought to myself, I know what else looks like that…

1 Like

The principle problem with your suggestion is that in physics, an observer is just a measuring device and nothing requires this to be a conscious sentient being. There is nothing about a conscious sentient being in any of the laws of physics, and thus this has nothing to do with the Copenhagen interpretation.

If God does observe everything all the time then this would seem to make quantum computers impossible because the qubits could never be in superposition.

I also don’t think God the Micromanager (Femtomanager?) fits with the Bible’s message. God is not described as personally managing every particle interaction across the entire universe so that they obey the equations we humans wrote up in the last century and a half.

1 Like

Perhaps in the same way that you can travel infinitely in a straight line across the planet Earth.


Hence your determinism?

That has nothing to do with determinism.

If reality doubles back on you acting, I don’t understand how you wouldn’t see it that way

Is that what you think happens when you circumnavigate the Earth? Do you travel back in time? Do you get your physics from the movie “Superman”?

1 Like

We were talking about the possibility of an infinite past

I vaguely recall reading about a set of experiments where the observers were various instruments that would or wouldn’t observe a given experiment randomly, so the actual researchers wouldn’t know whether for any given iteration whether it was observed or not; they stayed away while the setup did its thing.

Ouch – that’s spendy for an ebook!


This is something that has fascinated me: scripture represents God as upholding the existence of the universe at every moment, but not as determining everything that happens. That’s why I say that God sustains everything in existence in accordance with the rules He chose. If those rules involve “playing dice”, then that’s how He runs it.

If you have infinite time to do it.

Which disappears murkily into a singularity?

1 Like

Compounded by its potential to be eternally present.

This looks like it’ll be worth watching