Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Confounding World: Duality

On Duality:
Here I continue a series in which I intend to raise questions about those things in this God ordained world of which I just can't quite wrangle my mind around. (Visual Cues taken from the film Sliding Doors, 1998, directed by Peter Howitt)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philipians 2:5-11 ESV

Once, whist a voice cried out in the wilderness, a great man came forth. His name was Jesus from the region of Galilee. He performed miracles, spoke many things, died, and then appeared in the flesh to his followers many others after his death.  This guy certainly made a mark on history. As amazing as his miracles of healing and wine making were, while indeed amazing, they never specifically stated that Jesus was anything other than a powerful human. No, it is His words that testified to much more than this. Jesus is the Messiah to the Jewish people. More than this, He is the Messiah to the Gentile people. More than this, He is God. Yet, He also was man.

Jesus is God and Man. I'm pretty sure that Aristotle would say that these two things are logically exclusive. One cannot be that which is infinite and omnipotent (God) and simultaneously finite and limited (man). This breaks the laws of nature; the laws of our brain.

Nevertheless, the God who came into history has spoken of this truth. Proper exegesis of the New Testament remains as a standing witness to this oxymoronic reality.

I can't understand how the Son of Man can also be the Father of all Creation. It is beyond my comprehension. Attempting to fathom such things leaves my brain vulnerable to much systematic breakage.

Now, I don't know if this is a great mercy, or a further means by which to simply remain in humility and a state of proper hair-pulling-outness, but it appears that the Son of God's duality is not the only verifiable logical contradiction on the block.

Behold, the photon! What is it? It's a packet of energy. A shot of Four-Loco. A kick in the nards. A wave function. A particle. Both. It is a wave and a particle. In my feeble brain those things are irreconcilably different. Apparently not.

When I think of a wave, I think of a ripple in a pond. Motion. It's the flow due to some form of displacement. A particle, on the other hand, should be the rock. The rock can be chucked into the pond to cause wave splashingness, but these waves are never the rock itself. The rock remains a rock, only now it's a rock under the water. Apparently, however, the ways of photons tells us that they are simultaneously rocks and the ripples of effect. further informs us,
Just one of the effects of this wave-particle duality (or particle-wave duality) is that photons, though treated as particles, can be calculated to have frequency, wavelength, amplitude, and other properties inherent in wave mechanics.
Okay, okay, okay... light is a tricky little vermin. Perhaps the trickiest of all the physical elements abounding amongst us. Whoopidee-doo! It's all theoretical, eh?

Then came 1929, the year Louis De Broglie won a Nobel prize. De Broglie showed through experimentation that it's not just light that gets to have all the Jekyll and Hydeian fun. No sir! We slabs of mass get smothered in the pie as well. Gee-golly-willickers!
The de Broglie hypothesis showed that wave particle duality was not merely an aberrant behavior of light, but rather was a fundamental principle exhibited by both radiation and matter. As such, it becomes possible to use wave equations to describe material behavior, so long as one properly applies the de Broglie wavelength. This would prove crucial to the development of quantum mechanics.
Hannah is the wave, Miley is the particle.
Realistically, the amount of waveness that we exude is too slight to have any sort of impact on our livenesses, but still people! We ourselves are the ripple! We are the wave, we are the sea!

I'll likely post further on topics dealing with quantum mechanics in this series. This aspect of duality (remember that zombie cat?) is particularly intriguing to me in that it brings up these elements that aren't really thinkable. They don't make sense as to what we can conceive. There is no physical, observable aspect of this sort of thing in the world of the upright walkers... unless, of course, you count that Jesus fella...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it... And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-5, 14 NAS


  1. Interesting thoughts.
    My sister did her research honors project on Quantum Mechanics and free will. Interesting stuff. (.... unfortunately I can't remember much else about it except the topic...). But... yes.

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