“Quantum Entanglement” – Dr. Vins Sutlive

September 11, 2017

“The truth is that we neither live nor die as self-contained units. At every turn, life links us to God, and when we die, we come face to face with him.  - Romans 14:7-8 (J. B. Phillips translation)

Quantum entanglement is a term physicists use to describe the relationship between small sub-atomic particles. The states of two or more objects must be described in reference to each other, even with the objects physically separated by a great distance. In other words, the study of one particle changes the condition and behavior of the other, despite the particles being far apart.  It is as if one particle “realizes” something has changed about the other, even though there is no observable connection (remember, these are subatomic particles).  Albert Einstein described the phenomenon as “spooky.”  Does this relationship apply beyond subatomic particles?  Are other aspects of nature similarly connected and interdependent?

In Romans, Paul described this aspect of our human experience: we neither live nor die as self-contained units (14:7). At times we may wish it was different, but we are entangled with the lives of others, including some people we may not even know. We cannot completely separate ourselves. Even when not physically present, our thoughts and behaviors have an effect on others, just as their thoughts and behaviors affect us. The entanglements we experience can be good or bad, positive or negative: Do we pray for someone in trouble or do we gossip? Do we celebrate another’s accomplishments or are we envious and resentful?  Do we forgive a perceived wrong or do we hold a grudge?  Either way, our thoughts and behaviors affect others and ourselves. Moreover, Paul reminds us, at every turn life links us to God (Romans 14:8).  Much of scripture, but particularly Jesus’ teaching and ministry, show us the path that leads away from the negative toward the positive entanglements of life.

CORNERSTONE:  Mission

- Dr.Vins Sutlive, Chair of the Department of Science & Health

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