There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet. Act 1, Scene 5
As someone who was educated in a materialist worldview, one of the first challenges to that worldview that I experienced came in the form of the British-Australian physicist Paul Davies' book God and the New Physics (1984), the reading of which I found to be a breathtaking experience. Not that Davies claims that modern science proves the existence of God, but he certainly led me to conclude that modern physics has demonstrated that materialism - the belief that all the phenomena of reality have material causes only - is an untenable philosophical position because it simply cannot account for all the data of which science is now aware. Now, I have always been oriented towards the humanities rather than the sciences, so Davies' book and the personal revolution in thought it set in motion resulted in a journey of discovery through the reading of philosophy and eventually theology, which finally led me to orthodox Christian belief. That's a journey on which I might comment in future posts. In the meantime, here's a recent article on the challenges quantum mechanics presents to materialism as an explanation for the phenomena of human consciousness :
"Materialism is an atheistic philosophy that says that all of reality is reducible to matter and its interactions. It has gained ground because many people think that it’s supported by science. They think that physics has shown the material world to be a closed system of cause and effect, sealed off from the influence of any non-physical realities --- if any there be. Since our minds and thoughts obviously do affect the physical world, it would follow that they are themselves merely physical phenomena. No room for a spiritual soul or free will: for materialists we are just “machines made of meat.”
Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things. No less a figure than Eugene Wigner, a Nobel Prize winner in physics, claimed that materialism --- at least with regard to the human mind --- is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.” And on the basis of quantum mechanics, Sir Rudolf Peierls, another great 20th-century physicist, said, “the premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being ... including [his] knowledge, and [his] consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing.” "What is missing in the materialist explanation of human consciousness, I contend, is the soul.
Read it all here.
HT Gene Veith