A labour saving strategem

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God had been summoned. He found himself knocking on the door of Issac Newton's mansion in one of the most prestigious parts of heaven. Any other soul would have visited God, but even in heaven Newton is unique. God was directed by a man-servant to a study in which the soul of Newton was playing a game of darts. The board had a modern configuration, but the background comprised a portrait of Robert Hooke that had once hung in The Royal Society. Newton was playing a game against himself and was winning. In heaven he found his theoretical understanding of the flight of the darts translated into a mastery of the practicalities of this game.

God gave a polite cough to attract his attention.

"Sir", said Newton on seeing his visitor, for none dare address God by his real name. "Do please forgive the impertinence of my requesting this conversation. As you know, my interest in the properties of my mundane home continues postmortem and ..., I found an anomaly".

"An anomaly?" prompted God to overcome Newton's taciturn nature.

"Precisely", responded Newton. "Things are not quite right down there, not classical".

Newton threw his final dart at the board. It lodged in the tip of Hooke's nose. "If I may make so bold, it seems that your divine universe has now taken on a more probabilistic aspect than the simplicity that characterised your creation during my residence there. Perhaps you might assign a more contemporary physicist to investigate."

Now God distinctly remembered constructing the universe using classical mechanics, and he prided himself on the reliability of his memory. Hence he made a request to Albert Einstein to make an investigation. Einstein was also a resident of heaven. On his entry into Paradise God, in a mischievous mood, had challenged Einstein to a game of Yahtzee and used the score of the deceased physicist to determine the district in which the soul of Einstein would reside. As a result the spiritual essence of the great man lived in a pleasant but unpretentious suburb. God called, and found Einstein playing a Mozart sonata on his violin. On seeing his visitor Einstein immediately put down the instrument, gave a formal bow and called on his serving nymph to bring two glasses of ambrosia.

"And how do you find the state of the physical laws in nature," asked God, getting straight to the heart of the matter.

"Quantized," replied Einstein. "I saw that particles may only have discrete amounts of energy. Objects have both the properties of particles and waves and the location of each is determined by a probabilistic function."

"And how will this impact upon man" asked God. For God had constructed only the integers and personally he rather disliked solving differential equations, which he saw as being the tool of usurers and men connected with the lower trades.

"Well the quantum properties of nature are only apparent at a sub-atomic level. Hence the great majority of your creations are unaware of these details as they do not normally manifest in the human world. That is apart from car keys which, uniquely, do seem to display quantum effects at a macroscopic level. They exist only when being directly observed. Once put down, they can vanish, to reappear in some other place entirely."


When God is angry, the whole of heaven trembles. He called a meeting with Ordinatio and Confusio, both celestial beings from the Dominion hierarchy of angels. Normally angelic creatures rejoice at being in the presence of their god, but neither Ordinatio nor Confusio felt like rejoicing. Gods halo was a bright red, going on purple. His voice was quiet and measured yet with every word he spoke the room bounced about as if subject to an earthquake.

"What have you done to my creation," asked God as he brought his hand crashing down on the table around which the three were sitting.

"We have maintained it Divine Father as you instructed." said Ordinatio.

"We tend every atom." added Confusio.

"Ensuring your creation is there whenever anyone looks at it." continued Ordinatio.

"So you haven't changed anything" asked God.

Ordinatio looked at Confusio, who was apparently taking great interest in the floor and avoiding making eye contact.

"Well," said Ordinatio, "we did just. ..."

"Only the slightest of tweaks," said Confusio.

"Your atoms weren't stable" continued Ordinatio. "The electrons kept wanting to transmit electromagnetic radiation and spiral into their nucleus."

"And we had to keep refreshing all the matter even though no one was looking at it" said Confusio.

"Which took up an infinite amount of our time" said Ordinatio.

"Couldn't even take a toilet break." said Confusio, still looking at the floor, "so we made just the slightest of changes, and ...".

"Now we only have to maintain stuff when someone is looking at it," said Ordinatio.

"Reducing an infinite amount of labour into a finite quantity" said Confusio, "and giving us time to take a daily lunch break".

"But ...," said God

"And its only the small stuff, the sub-atomic. No one will notice." concluded Ordinatio.

"But my divine plan requires the continued existence of atoms against the laws of classical physics. This is the miracle that will bring men to a proof of my existence."


God returned to his mansion at the highest most peak of heaven. Rather than enter this most splendid of buildings however, he walked through the magnificent gardens at the rear to a shed where He constructed his works. He removes an iron chain, forged from nails, from around his neck. On the chain is a key. The key is made from a combination of cedar, pine and cypress wood. God unlocks a door in the wall of his shed. Inside there is a button, coloured red and bearing ancient Hebrew letters which roughly translate into the word "Reboot". God's hand hovers over the button, his holy thumb extended.

There are only two possibilities: yes or no.

About the Author: 
Retired after an education in physics and career in telecommunications.