Angels At Our Side Heavenly Army, Help! V

“The idea that angels move instantaneously from one place to another without passing through any space or time dates back to St. Thomas Aquinas un the thirteenth century Mortimer Adler, an American philosopher, said when he explained St Thomas’s theory of how angels move to Niels Bohr, the great twentieth-century quantum physicist, he was amazed. Bohr said, “That’s exactly the point of modern quantum theory. So a thirteenth- century theologian discovered one of the basic principles of modern nuclear physics seven hundred years ago!” Aquinas had deduced from philosophical principles a kind of movement that modern science induced from observation and experiment.”[1]

That is not the exact point of modern quantum theory. Scientists make mistakes during the course of experiments.

  1. The brilliant Thomistic philosopher, Mortimer J. Adler, told a brief story in his book,Angels and Us.He had occasion in the early 1920’s to attend a luncheon at the University of Chicago and was the only philosopher at a table of eminent physicists, among them Niels Bohr who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. The physicists, Adler wrote, were marveling over the novelty of Bohr’s atomic model and the quantum movement of electrons. According to his atomic model, electrons move in circular orbits at fixed distances from the nucleus, jumping instantaneously among them without moving in between. It was like nothing they had ever heard before! Citing angelic motion, Adler pointed out that this idea was not novel at all.

The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, wrote about instantaneous movement of angels some 650 years before Bohr’s atomic theory. Because they are spirits without bodies, angels can move discretely from one place to another instantly. An angel can “quit the whole place, and in the same instant apply himself to the whole of another place.” (ST.I.53.1) Angels move in what we might today call a “quantum leap.” Adler also noted that this reference made the physicists uncomfortable, which is not surprising since Niels Bohr was an atheist. Adler himself was, at the time, a self-described pagan.[2]

A noted physicist and applied physicist offered a qualification to this discussion of Quantum Mechanics, Bohr and Einstein.

Bohr’s remarks in the 1920’s was an early opinion of the trajectory of an atom which would be proven untrue. Science is filled with discarded theories by noted individuals in the field.

However, Einstein in his work on the photovoltaic effect will show that light is exhibited as a wave or as discreet bundles of energy called photons or particles. It is this wave-particle duality of light which is fundamental to quantum mechanics, not atoms.[3]

Photons do move ‘instantaneous’ (speed of light, massless) from one location to another, these transitions are to different energy states without intermediary steps. Experiments for light can only demonstrated either wave or photon/particle/ discreet wave packets effect not both together. The photonic view of light does mirror the movement of angels that Adler/Aquinas mention.

We do not lose what we are in resurrected bodies.

Solace to reasonable part of our nature. We don’t believe something contrary to our nature. Aquinas had access to grace and truth. Reason shows how angel’s move.

Science vindicates theology at some point. Perhaps not a proof but does not deny.

[1] Odell & Savistskas 241

[2] https://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2014/08/trasancos-padre-pio-niels-bohr/  accessed August 19, 2021

Cf Adler 131-132

[3] https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/quantum-physics/photons/a/photoelectric-effect  accessed August 23, 2021 for a more detailed discussion of the the photoelectric effect