An attempt to situate the soul in the subatomic realm, and a consideration of what may happen to it after the death of the body.
The science of physics may just be the tool to locate the soul, says physicist Chambers in this enjoyable, sometimes mind-bending and sometimes vexing inquiry. He starts with a brief overview of developments in physics during the last few centuries, displaying his talent for communicating the gist of complex topics to his intended lay audience. But sometimes “including only the salient points while leaving out the extra fluff” can be counterproductive, if some of that “fluff” leads to clarification. To say that “a black hole stores all its information on its outside surface” isn’t enough—some meaningful explanation is required, or lay readers won’t follow the thread. The author later tenders some pretty fantastic stuff that a willed suspension of disbelief won’t accommodate. Chambers asks readers to appreciate that physicists have increasingly come to view information as conceptual, and that matter and energy arise from it, rather than vice versa. Hence, thanks to the law of the conservation of energy, information cannot be destroyed—“Everything that ever was will always be a part of this world.” He states that the same applies to one’s soul, which is the information that comprises our capacity to be mortal beings. That information is “defined by the states of individual electrons, but also by their relationship with each other,” which allows for ghost electrons of the quantum potential to drive themselves to self-referential experience upon brain death. Near this point, readers may be lost trying to understand how electrons coupled with the spin lattices of loop quantum gravity “could associate themselves with the physical electrons of a newborn,” resulting in reincarnation. It is also difficult to square that the Higgs boson “makes your soul possible,” but that it’s still unclear whether the particle actually exists. Then again, the author’s reflections on singularity, consciousness, solving the clone problem, time travel and the breathtaking capacity of holographic physics positively shimmer as alternative understandings.
Notes toward a breaching of the science/spirituality divide, told with freethinking verve and scientific skepticism.