Letters: Faith & physics, hope in Boston

Back To God

Regarding “Nagel’s Untimely Idea” (May 17): Rather than use theism to explain consciousness, I’ve found it helpful to use consciousness to explain theism. As one who lost the faith of my childhood, I set out to regain it. So I needed a plausible explanation of God that did not depend on magic and mysticism. I started with the human brain, which is just a more advanced version of my cat’s brain. The brain is the source of consciousness. From what we can deduce, consciousness is organized bioelectrical energy. No, we have not yet figured out how this organized bioelectrical energy produces sentience, nor have we discovered precisely how to arrest the process of aging. But one day we will understand the secrets to both, and probably sooner rather than later.

In that respect, I agree with the views of Kenneth R. Miller, one of the three respondents to Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos. Human intelligence is astonishing, yet that intelligence emanates from the bioelectrical interactions between neurons contained in a structure the size of a loaf of bread. Imagine a brain as big as the earth, or even the universe. What is the nature of dark energy—most of the energy in the universe? If the multiverse theory is true, what about other universes, with different laws of physics, that don’t even permit the formation of matter, but that do permit the formation of other forms of energy? Imagine the comparative omnipotence and omniscience of...

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