Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are We Living In A Designed Universe?

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." -- Psalm 19:1

"All things were mixed up together, then Mind came and arranged them all in distinct order." -- Anaxagoras, philosopher, 5th century B.C.

"Then I heard someone who had a book of Anaxagoras, as he said, out of which he read that mind was the disposer and cause of all, and I was quite delighted at the notion of this, which appeared admirable, and I said to myself; If mind is the disposer, mind will dispose all for the best, and put each particular in the best place ...." -- Plato, philosopher, Phaedo, 360 B.C.

"There are some too who ascribe this heavenly sphere and all the worlds to spontaneity. They say that the vortex arose spontaneously, i.e. the motion that separated and arranged in its present order all that exists. This statement might well cause surprise. For they are asserting that chance is not responsible for the existence or generation of animals and plants, nature or mind or something of the kind being the cause of them (for it is not any chance thing that comes from a given seed but an olive from one kind and a man from another); and yet at the same time they assert that the heavenly sphere and the divinest of visible things arose spontaneously, having no such cause as is assigned to animals and plants. Yet if this is so, it is a fact which deserves to be dwelt upon, and something might well have been said about it. For besides the other absurdities of the statement, it is the more absurd that people should make it when they see nothing coming to be spontaneously in the heavens ...." -- Aristotle, Physics, Book II, 350 B.C.

"... nor again could it be right to entrust so great a matter [nature] to spontaneity and chance. When one man said, then, that reason was present -- as in animals, so throughout nature -- as the cause of order and of all arrangement, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors. We know that Anaxagoras certainly adopted these views, but Hermotimus of Clazomenae is credited with expressing them earlier." -- Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book I, 350 B.C.

Telegraph: Are we living in a designer universe?

If our universe was made by a technologically advanced civilisation in another part of the multiverse, the designer may have been responsible for the Big Bang, but nothing more.

If such designers make universes by manufacturing black holes – the only way to do it that we are aware of – there are three levels at which they might operate. The first is just to manufacture black holes, without influencing the laws of physics in the new universe. Humanity is nearly at this level, which Gregory Benford's novel Cosm puts in an entertaining context: an American researcher finds herself, after an explosion in a particle accelerator, with a new universe on her hands, the size of a baseball.

The second level, for a slightly more advanced civilisation, would involve nudging the properties of the baby universes in a certain direction. It might be possible to tweak the black holes in such a way that the force of gravity was a little stronger than in the parent universe, without the designers being able to say exactly how much stronger.

The third level, for a very advanced civilisation, would involve the ability to set precise parameters, thereby designing it in detail. An analogy would be with designer babies – instead of tinkering with DNA to get a perfect child, a scientists might tinker with the laws of physics to get a perfect universe. Crucially, though, it would not be possible in any of these cases – even at the most advanced level – for the designers to interfere with the baby universes once they had formed. From the moment of its own Big Bang, each universe would be on its own.

This might sound far-fetched, but the startling thing about this theory is how likely it is to happen – and to have happened already. All that is required is that evolution occurs naturally in the multiverse until, in at least one universe, intelligence reaches roughly our level. From that seed point, intelligent designers create enough universes suitable for evolution, which bud off their own universes, that universes like our own (in other words, suitable for intelligent life) proliferate rapidly, with "unintelligent" universes coming to represent a tiny fraction of the whole multiverse. It therefore becomes overwhelmingly likely that any given universe, our own included, would be designed rather than "natural".


Jeffery Keown said...

"Since Darwin, we can no longer believe that a benevolent God created us in His image, … Intelligent Design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God. … The job of apologetics is to clear the ground, to clear obstacles that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of Christ. … And if there’s anything that I think has blocked the growth of Christ as the free reign of the Spirit and people accepting the Scripture and Jesus Christ, it is the Darwinian naturalistic view. … It’s important that we understand the world. God has created it; Jesus is incarnate in the world." --William Dembski February 6, 2000, at a meeting of the National Religious Broadcasters in Anaheim, California

"This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science … It’s about religion and philosophy." --Phil Johnson as quoted by Jay Grelen, “Witnesses for the Prosecution,” World, November 30, 1996

ID, in their own words, isn't science. It is about replacing the search for knowledge with a Christian worldview.

Jeffery Keown said...

If you still think ID is science, here's another:

"The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a "wedge" that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the "thin edge of the wedge," was Phillip ]ohnson's critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe's highly successful Darwin's Black Box followed Johnson's work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions." --Dr. Stephen Meyer, et al, Discovery Institue "Wedge Document", c.1999

OilIsMastery said...

I really don't care whether it's science or not. History and truth trump science.

OilIsMastery said...

"If, occasionally, historical evidence does not square with formulated laws, it should be remembered that a law is but a deduction from experience and experiment, and therefore laws must conform with historical facts, not facts with laws." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, polymath, 1950

OilIsMastery said...

"That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt." -- Immanuel Kant, natural philosopher, 1781

Jeffery Keown said...

Either way, this is not the kind of ID that the BS Artists at the Disco Institute are pushing. These folks in the article are talking about a guy with a particle accelerator in another universe, not the God of Abraham, etc...

If our universe was created by the aforementioned guy with a particle accelerator, he's not due worship or reverence of any kind...maybe we could buy him a "Gee, Thanks!" lunch, but I'm sure his own universe was very impressed and gave him many accolades.

I bet he was on their version of Oprah.

Jeffery Keown said...

I really don't care whether it's science or not. History and truth trump science.

Hmm... so if some guy three thousand years ago, wrote a scroll that claimed storks delivered babies, then you would argue against gestation?

I suggest you examine the idea that I've put forward many many times, those guys might have been wrong, mislead, ignorant, or very loose with their facts. Not to mention the very human capacity for lying.

As usual, your logical failings can be quantified and easily debunked.

Today's fallacy is one of the Appeal to Authority.

Appeal to authority is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:

1.Source A says that p is true.
2.Source A is authoritative.
3.Therefore, p is true.
This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of the claim is not necessarily related to the personal qualities of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it).

On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.

Alexander Maccabee said...

If one had a zillion monkeys typing on a zillion typewriters for a zillion years, eventually one of the monkeys would hammer out a word for word copy of a Shakespearean sonnet.
Jewish religion stems from a national revelation, meaning that over 600,000 people witnessed G-d interact with Moshe at Sinai.