Wolfgang Smith [b. 1930] is a scholar and researcher in the fields of mathematics and physics, yet he is also a writer on theology, metaphysics, and religion. Because of his rare qualifications in both scientific and theological disciplines, he is able to write with great authority on many topics of concern to religious and scientific scholars today. He graduated at age eighteen from Cornell University with a B.Sc. in mathematics, physics, and philosophy. Two years later he obtained an M.Sc. in theoretical physics at Purdue University, following which he joined the aerodynamics group at Bell Aircraft Corporation. Smith was the first to investigate the effect of a foreign gas on aerodynamic heating, and his work on the effect of diffusion fields provided a key to the solution of the re-entry problem for space flight. He received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University and has held professorial positions at M.I.T., U.C.L.A., and Oregon State University until his retirement in 1992.
Professor Smith has published extensively on mathematical topics relating to algebraic and differential topology; yet since his youth he has had a deep interest in metaphysics and theology. Following a period of study under the tutelage of Swami Nikhilananda [1895-1973], he traveled extensively in India to deepen his acquaintance with the Hindu tradition, and spent time in the company of Sri Anandamayi Ma [1896-1982], one of the great spiritual luminaries of the twentieth century. His thought presents a unique encounter between contemporary science and the universal and timeless wisdom that is neither of the East or West. It was after returning to his Catholic roots that he took up his vocation as an author, and has written numerous books: Cosmos and Transcendence (1984), Teilhardism and the New Religion (1988; republished as Theistic Evolution, 2012), The Quantum Enigma (1995), The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology (2003; republished as Ancient Wisdom and Modern Misconceptions, 2013), Christian Gnosis (2008), Science and Myth (2010), Unmasking the Faces of Antichrist: Interview with Dr. Wolfgang Smith (2017), In Quest of Catholicity: Malachi Martin Responds to Wolfgang Smith (2016), Rediscovering the Integral Cosmos (with Jean Borella, 2018) and Physics and Vertical Causation (2019).
Wolfgang Smith is the Founder of the Philos-Sophia Initiative Foundation. In January 2020, a full-length film was released on the life and work of Professor Smith, entitled The End of Quantum Reality (Producer: Richard DeLano; Director: KTEE Thomas). This interview, which was conducted at Wolfgang Smith’s home in Camarillo, California on November 29, 2019, focuses on the long-awaited release of this epochal film and Professor Smith’s legacy.
Samuel Bendeck Sotillos: If you were asked to give a brief synopsis of your film, The End of Quantum Reality how would you articulate this for audiences unfamiliar with your work?
Wolfgang Smith: What we hope to accomplish is to deliver the audience from an erroneous worldview imposed upon us in the name of science, and in so doing deliver them from a chronic state of schizophrenia which is a consequence of this worldview. Physics has long claimed—on supposedly solid scientific grounds—that all things are simply composites of so-called fundamental particles. What we have proved—on the basis of quantum theory itself—is that such is not in fact the case: the world in which we live, and move, and have our being does not in fact reduce to mere particles! This means that the world we normally perceive by means of our five senses is not after all illusory, as we have been taught to believe since the Enlightenment.