Now, from a religious point of view, how does the Neuroverse Hypothesis hold up? Does the Bible support or refute such an idea? Of course, I haven’t yet made a case for what the Bible is. Nevertheless, its opening verse makes a fairly bold statement: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” 1
I have also provided evidence that it contains details about the early universe and its particles, as well as DNA and other biological processes. Therefore, I think it has earned the right to be considered in relation to questions about God. Does it have anything to say about God’s origin and nature?
In earlier chapters of this letter, I showed how Ezekiel’s vision matches up very well with a scientific description of the early universe and the formation of atoms. Ezekiel said he saw “visions of God.” This could mean visions given by God, but it could also mean he saw visions of God’s actual form and substance. Indeed, at the end of his vision, he saw something like a man sitting on a throne, which is perhaps unexpected, given that the rest of the vision is so unusual. However, the book of Genesis says that we are made in God’s image and likeness. 2
Theologians tend to interpret this metaphorically, and assume it means we have the same qualities as God. While I think this is true, perhaps there is also a deeper truth to it. For example, the human brain has two hemispheres, and is made up of a sea of neurons, along with electrical and chemical activity that flows through them. This might give us a clue about God’s mind. Not that I am saying God is merely a super-sized brain, but I am suggesting that the way the human brain works may somehow be a reflection of God’s form or mind.
After writing about his own bones being written in God’s book, King David touched briefly on God’s mind. “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I count them as much more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” 3
Before the Neuroverse Hypothesis, atheists could object to the idea of God, with the argument that God must himself be at least as complex as the things he created. David says that God’s thoughts are vaster than the sand on the seashore, but our hypothesis explains how God’s mind could have emerged out of a sea of relatively simple components, just as an individual grain of sand is relatively simple.
It is also curious how David says, “I awake, and I am still with you.” It is as if he recognized that his own thoughts and dreams, even while asleep, must be minuscule compared with the sum of God’s thoughts.
In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet writes, “’Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?’ says YHWH.” 4 This is an intriguing statement. Many believers assume God is somehow outside of the universe, but the Bible says he actually fills the heavens and the earth, the very thing he created! This would place God right here with us in our universe.
The prophet Isaiah writes, speaking on behalf of YHWH: “No God was formed before me, and neither shall there be after me.” 5 This doesn’t directly say God was formed, but neither does it rule out the idea; although it definitely rules out an infinite regress of gods before or after.
Isaiah also writes, “This is what YHWH says, the king of Israel and his redeemer, YHWH of hosts: ‘I am the First, and I am the Last; and apart from me there is no God.”6 “First” is the beginning of a sequence, implying either that God had a beginning, or that he was the beginning.
Incidentally, the same title is also used by the Son in the Christian book of Revelation, who says about himself: “I am the First and the Last.” 7 This is why mainstream Christian churches argue that the Word, the pre-human form of Jesus Christ, couldn’t be another god created later on, but must be part of God somehow. God says there is no God apart from him, and no God formed before or after him; and the Son is given the same title as God himself – namely, the First and the Last.
Curiously, there are no scriptures where God himself categorically states he had no beginning. However, we do find passages where prophets perhaps imply this. For example, Habakkuk asks, “Are you not from everlasting, YHWH my God, my Holy One?” 8 However, the Hebrew word here translated “from everlasting” (mqdm) simply means “from before,” “from old” or sometimes “from the east.” This is why God is sometimes called the “Ancient of Days.” 9
Moses perhaps gets closest to such a statement, when he writes: “Lord, you have become a dwelling place for us in all generations. Before the mountains were born, and you brought forth the earth and the productive land, and from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” 10
The Hebrew word here translated “everlasting” (oulm) can also refer to an age or a long period of time. In other words, this could be translated as, “from age to age, you are God,” which would be consistent with his mention of “all generations.” It may have been Moses’ way of saying, “for all time,” which would mean time from a human perspective.
But even if Moses intended his words to mean forever in the past, and forever in the future, I would suggest he is speaking within the framework of his most famous statement, that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In other words, Moses understood that God must somehow transcend “the heavens and the earth” and therefore time as we know, perceive and measure it.
This is perhaps reflected in the statement he makes next: “You turn back mortals into crushed matter, and you say, ‘return, you sons of Adam.’ For a thousand years in your eyes are as yesterday when it has passed, and a watch in the night.” 11
This sounds remarkably similar to the principle discovered by Einstein thousands of years later, that time is relative. For example, if you were on a planet, and you were somehow able to peer inside a passing spaceship that was traveling at close to the speed of light, you would see the ship’s clock moving much more slowly than your clock. The people onboard would also appear to move in slow motion.
If we take the words of Moses at face value, the opposite would be true from God’s perspective. To him, a thousand years worth of human activity would look like it took place, as it were, in one day.
Moses goes on to say: “You flood them, they become a morning sleep, like the grass that grows in the morning. In the morning it blossoms, and grows until the evening, when it is cut down and dries up.” 12
If human lives appear to God as blades of grass that grow up in the morning and dry up in the evening, then conversely, God would appear to be “from everlasting to everlasting” from a human perspective, even if he did still have a beginning.
However, my biggest argument is simply that none of the prophets ever have God himself saying anything like, “I had no beginning,” which would be an easy enough statement to make in Hebrew. Instead, the closest they get is God saying, “no God was formed before me, and neither shall there be after me.”
Isaiah also says to Israel: “This is what YHWH says, your redeemer, the one who formed you from the womb: ‘I am YHWH who made everything, the one stretching out the heavens alone, the one hammering out the earth. Who was with me?’” 13
In the New Testament, the author of John’s gospel begins with a somewhat unusual statement: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This one was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through this one, and without this one, not one thing came to be which has come to be.” 14
This idea is fairly familiar to most Christians, but might sound bizarre to skeptics and atheists. Maybe it sounds like something an overly ambitious theologian would come up with on a lonely Saturday night. It also sounds like a contradiction of God’s claim to have stretched out the heavens alone. How can he have done it by himself, if something called “the Word” was with him from the beginning?
The nature of the Word, and whether this one was created or not, was a bitter source of controversy for the early Christian church. However, the opening of the gospel of John actually makes perfect sense if God’s mind formed in the manner I have previously suggested.
In order for language and thought to develop, God’s mind would need to form in two parts, to allow for communication. After all, without an “other” to communicate with, there would be no need for words in the first place, and therefore no thought or language beyond “I am” could fully develop.
Thus, the second part of God’s mind could appropriately be called “the Word,” because it could be the origin of God’s language and intelligence. It would be a second “I AM,” but still be a part of God. This is how God can stretch out the heavens by himself, and yet how John can still talk about an “other” present in the beginning.
Now, if all of this merely sounds like Christian nonsense, consider something even more remarkable, which couldn’t be the product of any theological scheming. The elements that make up the ordinary matter of our universe consist of protons, neutrons and electrons. In turn, a proton is made up of three quarks – two “up” quarks, and one “down” quark. For all practical purposes, a proton doesn’t decay.
A neutron is basically a mirror image of a proton, in the sense that is made up of two “down” quarks and one “up” quark. However, a free neutron is unstable, and will decay to a proton while releasing an electron and antineutrino, in about 880 or 888 seconds, depending on how the measurement is made. 15
The remarkable thing is, the same language used in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews to describe the Father and the Son, also describe a proton and a neutron remarkably well.
Of the Son, the author writes: “At many times and in many ways in the past, God spoke to the forefathers by the prophets. In these last days, he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed as heir of all things, through whom he also made the worlds, being the brightness of the glory and the imprint of his substance, upholding all things by the declaration of his power.” 16
The Greek word (charakter) here translated “imprint” refers to an instrument used in engraving or carving. This is why many translations use the word “image” or “reflection” here. The word translated “substance” (hypostasis) is more difficult to interpret, since it has many different meanings. However, it literally means “under standing.”
Thus, the phrase here translated as “the imprint of his substance” is ambiguous. It could be that the Son is a reflection of the original, a mirror image, a second “I AM” from the name “I AM THAT I AM.” At the same time, this one could also be the source of God’s understanding, and therefore of communication itself, which would explain why John calls this one “the Word.”
The description of the Son here also sounds remarkably similar to a neutron. A neutron is an image of a proton. Furthermore, no element beyond hydrogen can exist without neutrons, and therefore no worlds could exist without them. Neutrons literally uphold all elements past hydrogen, yet neutrons cannot exist for longer than about 888 seconds by themselves without returning to a proton. Curiously, in the ancient Greek language, each letter also had a numerical value, and the Greek for Jesus (iesous) adds up to 888.
Elsewhere, the Son is described as “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creation. For by him all things were created, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or principalities or authorities. All things were created through him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things hold together.” 17
The Greek word here translated “hold together” literally means to stand with or have cohesion. Again, this also fits the description of a neutron. The first element in the periodic table is hydrogen, which is really just a single proton circled by a single electron. The atoms of all the elements beyond hydrogen “hold together” because of neutrons. In that sense, it is also “the firstborn of every creation.”
On the other hand, the author of the book of Hebrews writes, in the same chapter quoted earlier: “You, in the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; and everything will wear out like a cloak; and like a garment, you will roll them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will never fail.” 18
While all things are subject to entropy and decay, including the heavens, protons themselves, which are all “the same,” essentially do not decay. Their “years will never fail.” Curiously, the Greek word here translated “roll them up” (helixeis) implies spinning or whirling. Protons are somewhat like a spinning top, with angular momentum.
Now, let me make clear the wider point I am making. In previous chapters, I proposed that Ezekiel’s “visions of God” described atoms consisting of protons, neutrons and electrons being like fiery coals or torches, and electron shells or clouds as the “wheels” around the nucleus of an atom. We were told that “the spirit of the living creature is in the wheels.” In other words, “spirit” is energy in the form of electrons.
In the New Testament, the writers use language to describe the Father, the Son, and God’s Spirit, in terms that also match up remarkably with the descriptions of protons, neutrons and electrons respectively.
For example, according to the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit was distributed to a small group of Jews who were to become the basis of the Christian church. They were in a room together, when there was the sound of a mighty wind from heaven. It filled the whole house in which they were sitting, along with the appearance of cloven tongues as if of fire that sat upon each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues, talking about the works of God to the foreigners in Jerusalem in their own languages. 19
In the Greek, the description of the fiery tongues (diamerizomenai) means parted or divided. The King James Version translates this as “cloven,” which would then link it to the foot of the living creatures in Ezekiel’s vision, which was likened to a cloven calf’s foot.
At the same time, electricity and lightning can have the appearance of being parted. I am not saying this group of Christians was struck by lightning. I am simply suggesting that the sounds and sights were meant to represent the nature of the Spirit itself.
In fact, let me make what I am saying even more explicit. I am suggesting that at least one of two propositions is true. The first proposition is that the atoms of the universe, made up of protons, neutrons and electrons, have been fashioned in a manner that reflects the nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
For all practical purposes, the proton doesn’t decay. Incidentally, the word “proton” in Greek means “first.” The neutron is effectively a mirror image of the proton, and holds the elements together, but decays within 888 seconds and returns to a proton when separated from a proton. Electrons bind atoms together, but can also flow freely to create electrical current.
The second proposition is that God is actually made up in some way of all the protons, neutrons and electrons in the universe; or at least, some subset of these, such as all of the protons. They are, in effect, God’s mind and body. This is how he can “fill the heavens and the earth” as Jeremiah wrote.
Certainly, if we look at Ezekiel’s vision and his description of God, it does seem as if there are at least two parts to God that are almost or actual mirror images of one another. He says: “I saw what looked like fire inside it and around what appeared to be his waist and upward, like the sparkle of amber; and from what appeared to be his waist and downward, I saw what appeared to be fire, and a brightness all around. Like the appearance of the bow which comes in the cloud in a day of rain, this is how the brightness around him appeared. It was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of YHWH.” 20
The appearance of a “waist” seems to be the dividing line between the upper and lower part of God’s “body,” which could perhaps correspond to protons and neutrons that are effectively mirror images of one other. It is also worth recalling that the word “electron” derives from the Greek for amber (elektron).
Now, which of the two propositions I just suggested are true, or if they are both true, I cannot say, and I will admit that such conclusions may be hard to fathom or even accept at first. However, I will end this discussion on the origin and substance of God with a few intriguing quotes attributed to the apostle Paul.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote about the Son, saying that God has “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, up over every principality and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And he subjected all things under his feet and made him head over all the churches, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” 21
Elsewhere in the same letter, he writes: “One God and Father of all, the one over all and through all and in you all.” 22 If God really does “fill the heavens and the earth,” as the prophet Jeremiah stated, and is “in all” and “through all” as Paul said, then I would suggest that protons, neutrons and electrons make strong candidates for being at least some part of God’s mind or body. After all, the Earth, and we ourselves, are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons.
In the human brain, electrical and chemical signals flowing through the neurons create thoughts. If God’s mind is a neuroverse, then perhaps energy flowing through a sea of “neurons” could create virtually unlimited thoughts. To repeat what King David said regarding God’s thoughts: “How vast is the sum of them! I count them as much more than the sand.”
If this energy is what God’s Spirit is, it would explain why Paul said in a different letter, in reference to the mysteries of God, that “God reveals them to us through his Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man that is in him? So also, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 23
1 Genesis 1:1. 2 Genesis 1:26. 3 Psalm 139:17,18. 4 Jeremiah 23:24. 5 Isaiah 43:10. 6 Isaiah 44:6. 7 Revelation 1:17. 8 Habakkuk 1:12. 9 See Daniel 7:9,13,22. 10 Psalm 90:1,2. 11 Psalm 90:3,4. 12 Psalm 90:5,6. 13 Isaiah 44:24. 14 John 1:1-3. 15 See the article "Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen", Quanta Magazine, February 13, 2018. The "bottle" measurement is around 14 minutes and 39 seconds. The "beam" measurement averages around 14 minutes and 48 seconds. 16 Hebrews 1:1-3. 17 Colossians 1:15-17. 18 Hebrews 1:10-12. 19 Acts 2:1-8. 20 Ezekiel 1:27,28. 21 Ephesians 1:20-23. 22 Ephesians 4:6. 23 1 Corinthians 2:10,11.
LetterToTheAtheists.com | Contents | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >>>