Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Friday, November 17, 2017

Artificial Intelligence


The advances in robotics are related to the advances in quantum computers that work fast and both are related to advances in Artificial Intelligence.
Google uses "Artificial Intelligence" in its search engine. It has also made the driverless car driven by a robot, and (with NASA) created the first quantum computer commercialized this year by D-Wave and ready for purchase by organizations. On November 10, IBM announced an upgrade of its quantum process system, its "20 qubit IBM Q Commercial Quantum Computer." Microsoft is working on its "quantum computer" to be released shortly. Other companies that make driverless cars include Ford, BMW, Audi, General Motors, Volvo, and Toyota.
Artificial Intelligence is also used for marketing of Amazon.com products online...If you buy a book from Amazon.com, the next time you open the Amazon.com page, you will notice that it displays a set of books/items that you would be interested in buying.
Movies that show futuristic-machines usually give the impression that humanity may one day be enslaved to artificially-intelligent computers. The use of such automated systems by military forces is already found in missiles owned/used by current armies in battles. However, the human mind is still in control. International treaties are signed to protect humanity from the calamities of going to war with the threat of using advanced technology as weapons!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Quantum Universe!


So many developments have taken place since I last wrote my article "The Quantum Synthesis" in October 2013 about quantum physics...Please read  mine here:
http://todayquestions.blogspot.ca/2013/10/the-quantum-sign-of-life.html And Stephen Barr's here:
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/03/faith-and-quantum-theory

Here are some newly found facts about the reality of quantum physics since the Big Bang (from the most recent to the older):

At the writing of this article, physicists all over the world are looking for a theory that unifies all fields of inquiry (A Unified Grand Theory). Two theories are competing: String Theory (Point-like particles are replaced with one-dimensional objects called strings that propagate through space and interact with each other) and Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG).  LQG begins with Einstein's Theory of General Relativity (which predicts Gravitational Waves - See Nobel Prizes below) and attempts to add quantum features.


In October 2017, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss (MIT), Barry Barish (Caltech), and Kip Thorne (Caltech) for their contributions in the LIGO detector that confirmed Einstein's Theory of General Relativity re space-time curvature and the existence of quantum gravitational waves that go back to the Big Bang (see here).


In 2016, NASA and Google confirmed that they have been working on a quantum computer model (see here and here too). In 2016 too Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau gave a little lecture to students to encourage them to work on this advanced technology (see here).


In 2015,  Leo Kouwenhoven at TU Delft in Amsterdam, the Netherlands gave a talk in which he showed how nature itself works through quantum processes...As an example, a plant leaf takes the light of the Sun and, through quantum superposition, electrons find a way to efficiently bind to the oxygen molecule thus they together produce oxygen that is necessary for human life...Professor Kouwenhoven was speaking about building quantum computers already made in the lab (see here)...


I personally think that it is possible that the Father has been active in the entire cosmos through His Word and by the power of His Spirit. The Triune God of Christians created the entire existing cosmos or multiverses to reflect the eternal joy of self-giving from the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father bound by the love of the Holy Spirit. Thus the quantum effect in the cosmos continues to be explored in galaxies far away as much as in the sub-atomic particles. 


Some background:


Quantum Physics and Theology:


Quantum Entanglement (Article in 2017 here): In 1982, Alain Aspect and his team were able to experimentally prove that two photons emitted from the same atom will still be in contact tens of miles away... The reader may wish to listen to his lecture here.

John Polkinghorne, retired professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University, wrote, in one of his latest books: Quantum Physics and Theology in 2008, about relationship as science is attempting to discover it at the subnuclear level: “Quantum theory brought to light a remarkable form of entanglement between subatomic particles that have once interacted with each other (the so-called EPR effect), which implies that they remain effectively a single system however far they may subsequently separate spatially- a counterintuitive togetherness-in-separation that has been abundantly confirmed experimentally as a property of nature. The physical world looks more and more like a universe that would be the fitting creation of the trinitarian God, the One whose deepest reality is relational.” (Cf. John Polkinghorne, 2008, "Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship" Published by Yale University Press). Dr. Stephen Barr has written extensively on the relationship of quantum physics and theology (See, for example, his article in First Things here).
The above findings support the 2 most important observations in quantum physics:
1. The probabilistic nature of particles which yields the Uncertainty Principle
2. The communication between particles at long distances (quantum entanglement)
From 2 above, everything must be in a relationship to live. In Christianity God is a relatedness or a relationship of selfless love. It is our belief that God the Father being love (1 John 4: 8) abandons the fullness of divinity and gives all he has to his image the Son (John 10:30; Col 1: 15-19; Phil 2: 6-11 ) who in turn returns this  love in the Holy Spirit who is the binding love of Father and Son (John 15). The concept that God is relatedness or relational is found not only in Holy Scriptures but also in doctors of the Church including St. Thomas Aquinas and, in our days,  Joseph Ratzinger (Bishop of Rome Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI). 
If this is true, then we can say that the cosmos is signed by the stamp of the Triune God of Christians. 
From 1, we all live in a cosmos still  in development. Certainty is achieved beyond this life when we are in the togetherness of the family of the kingdom of God.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Gifted Jesuit Henri Boulad

For so many years, Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. , who turns 87 this year, has been speaking and writing about Christ and Christianity with a focus on the goodness of things created by the God of love. In his book "All is Grace" as well as many other books in French and Arabic, the Jesuit scholar has followed The Exercises of the founder of his order: Saint Ignatius of Loyola in which any action is measured according to the goodness it carries forward in a world of rivalry. Boulad's conferences and retreats focus on the hard questions of life such as the mystery of existence; human hope; a response to false predestination claimed by certain ideologies; and goodness of life. The humanist approach of Fr. Boulad can be linked to humanist saints such as St. Francis of Assisi; St. Thomas More; and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. 
Fr.  Boulad is gifted too with the ability to paint pictures showing a high level of imagination. This is clear in his book "Jesus yesterday and tomorrow" written in the 1990s.  Fr. Boulad will be visiting Toronto on Saturday October 28th. He will celebrate the 5:30 pm Mass at Transfiguration of Our Lord parish in Etobicoke followed by an authentic Middle Eastern dinner in the parish hall where he  will be joined by Cardinal Thomas Collins and many other bishops, priests, as well as hundreds of lay persons. For people in the Greater Toronto Area who wish to take part in the event, visit boulad.eventbrite.ca.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Information Systems

Information systems are found in the entire cosmos from the sub-atomic particles to the huge galaxies. Thanks to automated systems, Big Data of whole galaxies including the speed with which stars and their planets are moving away from others, can be retrieved through modern telescopes. In living organisms, genetic engineering has shown a certain pattern of data in molecules called the DNA. (see Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the human genome project,  explain the link between science and creation here). Computer systems speed up human work on using and manipulating natural resources.Quantum Computers work in parallel processes which speed up any functions multiple times (see Prof. Leo Kouwenhoven here. One implementation of quantum computing is the so-called nanotechnology (see this link). No matter how you slice it, there is no escape that every person needs information rather than raw data. Telescopes without analysis of what they find in the galaxies are not meaningful. As the Big Bang Theory has been accepted as the standard model of evolutionary development, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1955) is credited with
interpreting it, and so is Rev. Georges LeMaitre Professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven (1894-1966) for initiating the thought about it attributed to Edwin Hubble.
Information systems exist too at the sub-nuclear level. It is still a mystery how two photons, that were together in the same atom, continue to be in contact miles away from each other. This is the effect of quantum physics proven experimentally by Alain Aspect and his team in 1981.
There is a critical difference between raw data and intelligible information in any reporting system.
Regardless of the size, information could not have come from nothing. There must be a source, and the source must be intelligent enough to create such huge and complex database systems. If it is a finite source, then the question could be asked whether there is more knowledge that this source could not have. In the philosophical inquiry, the unlimited source would be the creator of all things. The question would then be for this unlimited and eternal creator that we call God. Could he be enjoying looking at his knowledge for all eternity without sharing it? Would not this god be full of himself (the ego complex in analytical psychology)? It follows that God must be able to share his being with another yet remains one. Since sharing is a step towards full love, it becomes clear that God of all creatures is the God of Christians (1 John 4: 16). In His eternal existence, the Father loves the Son so much that He gives all He has (His Divinity) to the Son; and the Son receives the Divinity of the Father and in gratitude to His Father returns the fullness of Divinity to His Father. The binding love that unites the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit "The giver of life"...In 2002, the Jesuit scholar Fr. Henri Boulad explained this Christian dogma.
* Since I am the  author of the above article, I wish to clarify that I have over 30 years experience in the development, implementation and teaching of database information systems and a Master's degree in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in the United States.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Selected Books by Scholars

I have read a few books by a number of scholars:
1. Christianity -  The First Three Thousand Years (over a 1000 pages), by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University;  2010...
2. The Essential Pope Benedict XVI, by John Thornton and Susan Varenne; 2007...
3.  Man and the Mystery of Time, (Original in French, translated to Arabic) by Henri Boulad, S.J.; 1995...

Today, I wish to only reflect upon Fr. Henri Boulad's book...This is decidedly the work of a giant and an encyclopedia since he is able to cram so much information with meditation in a small book. He offers a reply to question after question on the meaning of time...He quotes the philosopher Henri Simon "Man is an animal that has memory so he can plan...think, and feel sorry... He is then able to bring the past to the present in his consciousness..." And comments on it: "Memory in Man is a sign of the distance between him and his self...  When I speak of things in the past, I put a distance between them and the present in which I live. La Fontaine tells us 'The ant stores its food in Summer for Winter by instinct.' Man is the only animal that fears, worries and  hopes...Modern Man knows his history more accurately than in any earlier age.". I agree with Fr. Boulad - Today we have technology such as the Internet that allows us to search the world using Google.
Henri Boulad writes "Rather than feeling sorry for my sins of the past, it is better that I rebuild my self in the same way that the car company rebuilds cars from broken material". This can be done with the help of the grace of God that we seek! God loves everyone. In my own opinion, the entire creation is an act of love that reflects the eternal love of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father in the binding power of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Boulad mentions the time when St. John wrote his Gospel three generations after the Resurrection of Christ - This is when the theological thought started to grow in the Christian community. "The mystery of Christ appeared in a new light...and has been understood in a deeper sense...If we search the history of Israel, we find that God refused to reveal his name - This means that God refuses to be bound in a word...God is the living One...He reveals himself in history".
In my thought taken from the Church, Christ is the center of history. He revealed the Father. He is love that died on the cross to restore life to humanity, and rose from the dead to justify Christian witness...
One more comment, Fr. Boulad mentions Maurice Zundel as a thinker. Maurice Zundel wrote that God knelt before Man - when Christ washed the feet of the Apostles on the night before he was crucified.
May the Lord grant us all his peace.

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)







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