No, Michio Kaku Has Not “Found Proof” That God Exists

From Christian Today:

Top scientist finds proof that God exists, says humans live in a ‘world made by rules created by an intelligence’

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, who is known as one of the developers of the revolutionary String Theory, said theoretical particles known as “primitive semi-radius tachyons” may be used to prove the existence of God.

Tachyons are hypothetical particles believed to be moving faster than light and are supposedly capable of “unsticking” universe matter or vacuum space between matter particles, leaving everything free from the influences of the surrounding universe.

After conducting tests on these particles, Kaku made a very interesting conclusion: that human beings, like what has been depicted in the movies, live in a “Matrix.”

“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence,” the renowned physicist said, as quoted by the Geophilosophical Association of Anthropological and Cultural Studies.

I see some difficulties here. First, how does one conduct “tests” on a “hypothetical” particle, and what kind of “tests” were they? Surely Kaku, as a theoretician, spends his days working on mathematics rather than conducting experiments? And what exactly are “primitive semi-radius tachyons”? Googling the phrase brings up other accounts of what Kaku is supposed to have said, but nothing else. Maybe they’re related to “sodomized electrons“?

Christian Today is only one site among many to have drawn attention in the last few days to the supposed quote as published by the Asociación Geofilosófica De Estudios Antropológicos Y Culturales (AGEAC). AGEAC mainly promotes the teachings of a certain Oscar Uzcategui, a Venezuelan esotericist (“Universal Gnosticism”) also known as V.M. Kwen Khan. The AGEAC article comes with an embedded video of an interview with Kaku taken from Big Think, although its contents do not reflect the quote attributed to him.

However, the AGEAC article is itself derivative – the earliest reference I can find to the story was published in May 2011, on a Brazilian website called Pbagora, under the headline “Cientista garante ter encontrado prova que Deus existe”. This version includes the detail that his tests had used technology devised “in 2005” (thus discounting the possibility that “tests” might have been a garbled understanding of “hypothetical calculations”). Pbagora cites as its source Scientific American, although no link is given and there doesn’t seem to be any article published by Scientific American that fits the bill.

This Portuguese version mentions “semi-raio primitivo de táquions” rather than “semi-radius”, but it still doesn’t make any sense. From there, the story made its way onto the website of the Instituto Allan Kardec de Estudos Espíritas (named for the founder of Spritism), and later to Jornal VDD, a Brazilian news-site which comes with the disclaimer “Não acredite em tudo que você lê por ai. Este é um site de humor que publica notícias que deveriam ser verdade, ou não” (“Do not believe everything you read out there. This is a humour site that publishes news that may be true or not”).

The Jornal VDD site version was translated into Spanish by Noticia Cristiana, at which point “semi-raio primitivo de táquions” became “semi-radio primitivo de táquiones”. The article came under a certain amount of derision from Spanish-speaking sceptics, particularly due to the link to Jornal VDD. Various English versions subsequently appeared on blogs, but it seems likely that the earlier Spanish version forms the basis for the AGEAC article, which for some reason does not include the “2005” detail. AGEAC’s version has now captured the imagination of sites ranging from Christian Today and Catholic Online to WND (“Big hit! Renowned scientist’s video shows God exists”) and Before It’s News.

If the quote is genuine, then, it has travelled from English into Portuguese, then into Spanish, and then back again into English. However, it looks to me more likely that the Portuguese version was either fabricated or is so garbled that it bears no relation to anything Kaku actually said.

But even if the quote is genuine, what would it signify? I’m not a scientist, and like most people I can only comprehend science through popular works – but I know enough to understand that a scientist’s grand assertion is not proof of anything. We’re told nothing about his reasoning, his data, or – crucially – what his peers have to say on the subject. These silly articles are simply meant to assure us that a Very Intelligent Person has a very good reason to believe in God, even if we can’t follow the details. Hence the quote’s fascination for a rather weird rag-bag of religious websites (although the Dawkins cult is perhaps a good example of the flipside of this sort of thing).

Kaku’s theism seems to be real enough, though. In 2011 a University of Virginia scholar named George Michael published an article in World Future Review on “Michio Kaku’s Religion of Physics”, in which he noted:

From the perspective of string theory, if the universe can be viewed as music vibrating through hyperspace, Kaku asks, “Is there a composer?” Kaku’s vision of God aligns with Einstein who believed in the God of Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza rejected the notion of a providential God. Instead, he believed in a supreme being who created the cosmos, but had no specific interest in human affairs. Likewise, Kaku’s worldview is deist, in the sense that it implies that a supreme being may have created the laws that govern the universe in the first place, but does intervene thereafter. Invoking the concept of teleology, he maintains that string theory, with its elegant symmetries, if proven correct, suggests a creator. To this end, he has long searched for the elusive equation or formula “perhaps no more than one inch long,” that will explain all physical laws in the universe.

If accurate, this is Kaku’s personal philosophical extrapolation from his work as a scientist – but it hardly amounts to a scientist “finding proof” of the existence of God, or even claiming to have done so.

4 Responses

  1. “… but does [not] intervene thereafter.” I see the error is from your source.

  2. Honestly, it would seem one could as easily take a Buddhist/non-theist approach as the theist one the original article took. These modern people that still insist on “looking for the fingerprints of God in the book of Nature” are seriously behind the times. That boat sailed with the advent of modern science.

    • U still don’t believe that God exist? Gof have metcy on you. ” God said it and i believe it and that settles it for me” “God is good all the time” God is Omnipotent, Omnicient, Omnipresent. The heavens
      declare theglory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork ..

  3. Dear author,
    In al-quran, it said if you want to find god, you must explore the nature. Then, you will find his fingerprints (prove).

    Which i conclude by my own from the al-quran verse, we can only watch god physically in hereafter.
    Lastly, i hope you will find god fingerprints before you died in this short life in this world.
    Please dont stop to explore science. I believe you will find god (his fingerprints) by explore sciences.

    Sorry i forgot which is that verse in al-quran. I hope you can find that word by yourself.

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