In simple terms; quantum physics states that we cannot predict the outcome of any single quantum event. A favorite example is the photon that bounces off a reflector 95% of the time, but decides, completely randomly, 5% of the time, to go right through it, or to not go through it at all. This means, without needing to twist the facts even slightly, that the underlying fabric of our material world is in a continual state of sheer, utter, unpredictability down to an atomic level, and especially at an atomic level. There are countless billions of atomic events occurring within every moment, all of which are predictable only in a statistically significant way, but never with the knowledge of the outcome of any one of those events. Humans, holding this form as humans, exist only because enough quantum events occur in our favor, tenuously holding these carbon-based frames together.
In other words, we, as humans, are somewhat insulated from this unpredictability (such as an atom randomly deciding to go through a reflector rather than bounce off of it), because we are composed of more than enough atoms to create a statistical probability that is so reliable, it can hold form as a solid object such as a human being indefinitely. But the fact still remains that we are really nothing more than the statistical, but completely unknowable and unpredictable result of the actions of these atoms.
Quantum mechanics can show a pattern over time, but each event that makes up this pattern is completely unpredictable and unknowable. More interesting, though, is that this conclusion about atomic events being unknowable is not a result of a lack of preciseness in any of our measuring equipment or because of gaps in our knowledge pertaining to these events; we can measure any event at an atomic level precisely, but the event itself can never be predicted with 100% accuracy.
Therefore, the concept of time being non-linear couldn’t make any sense in terms of the world we are able to observe now, at least in an absolute sense. Why? – Because the future is unknowable due to the unknowable outcomes of atomic events. The best we can hope for is a statistically possible future, or a series of future events that are nothing more than a set of probabilities.
To further complicate the issue, time changes depending on our position in time and space when we observe it, and as mass grows to infinity at the speed of light, time also comes to a crawl, making it impossible to travel faster than the speed of light in these forms. Even if the theoretical speed of light barrier could be broken, it is agreed that our space traveler wouldn’t suddenly be catapulted into the future; they would instead experience the reversal of time, growing younger as they continued their journey through the universe.
So, an external, all-knowing god bound by physics or quantum mechanics would only be able to see every one of the potential timelines that may come into being the exact moment a particular outcome to a random atomic event occurs, making the predicting an event past the present moment, nothing more than an informed guess.
To me, this unpredictability is humans witnessing the mind of this god at work.
My god does his/her work within the unpredictability of quantum mechanics and quantum events. Since there is no way for us to predict with any precision whatsoever, what the outcome of a single event might be, there is vast room for endless tinkering, endless experimentation if this god, this cosmic intelligence, were not bound by the laws of physics that we, in these carbon-based frames are bound to.
This is a lovely thought, and makes god more alive than ever in my fanatically skeptical mind. I am constantly seeking answers, and despite my desire for a Nisargadatta freedom from desire, this body, this mind, and this spirit desires. I like desire; it brings me untold joy, and lets me experience this existence as fully as I feel I am able to, the short time I am here.
This musing was an addendum to a question that asked me if DARWIN KILLED GOD.