Quantum physics and the nature of reality

I read a fascinating book recently called What is Real? on the search for the “meaning of quantum physics” by science journalist Adam Becker. It is interesting because of how much crossover there is between quantum science, philosophy and even theology.

For instance, many of the leading figures in the discovery of quantum theory (like Niels Bohr and the “Vienna Circle”) were all deeply influenced by the philosophy of logical positivism which basically says that if something is not observable, it does not exist.

At this point in quantum science, things are starting to sound very weird. Physicist Carlo Rovelli and other quantum physicists have determined that when it comes to the nature of physical reality, there is “no absolute world of tables and chairs with defined mass, position, momentum, etc but instead an entirely relational world”.

Any observable properties of a physical system are entirely relative to the observer. According to physicist and philosopher Bernardo Kastrup: “measurement doesn’t reveal properties that were already existence prior to measurement, but it actually brings those properties into existence. In summary, the physical world has no standalone reality“.

Kastrup goes on to theorize that if the physical world has no standalone reality and is entirely relational, then there is “necessarily a deeper non-physical but absolute layer of reality that grounds the physical world”.

This reminds me of philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich, who calls God the “ground of being”. Tillich posited that God is not a type of being or presence but was the source of all being or the “Power of being”. That kinds of sounds like a “deeper non-physical but absolute layer of reality” to me.