Re: [asa] Multiverse and ID

From: dawson wayne <>
Date: Sat May 09 2009 - 03:05:49 EDT


Perhaps there is some room to gloat, but I would urge caution. We know very
little about the world we live in.

I was glad to see that Koonin admitted a 10^(-1018) probability. It did
seem like more realistic odds and it was one of the very rare signs of a
little frank honesty I have seen in years. I couldn't help but feel some
suspicion when the multiverse argument popped up in the paper. It does read
funny and is slightly jarring. But all that said, let's not forget the we
do not __know__ the truth. Science is always tentative. Though I admit I
have felt some of this was hokum, we cannot rule out the possibility that
there really is some hard wiring in the fabric of the universe that does
allow some sort of anthropic principle to prevail regardless. Maybe the
weak anthropic principle is a fundamental parameter (or weight) a theorist
could play around with. Steven Weinberg has used the anthropic principle in
arguments in string theory. Maybe he is right. In fact, the anthropic
principle has a teleology in this respect because it is selecting from an
infinite set. I'm not defending the use, and we religious folk have
often been brutally criticized for using it, but Weinberg is a good
scientist (though regrettably an atheist), so it isn't like he hasn't
thought seriously about it before.

At any rate, let's not forget that Paul says, "but we preach Christ
crucified, a stumbling block for the Jews and foolishness to the
gentiles". Our faith is made perfect in weakness. He does argue that God's
invisible handiwork is "plain to see", but let's not be too quick to think
we know what "plain to see" means. Whatever it is, it is far deeper than we
imagine. Paul was there around the height of the ancient world. I think
that should tell us what we need to keep our focus on preaching on.
by Grace we proceed,

2009/5/9 Ted Davis <>

> This is great stuff for a new thread, Mike. As one of the triune
> moderators, I am intervening with a quasi-trinitarian omnipotence to change
> the title, in order to convey more accurately what this one is about. List
> members are asked to keep this heading for future posts related to Monton's
> comments and Koonin's "abracadabra" "model" for the origin of life.
> At least this member of the relevant trinity thinks this stuff is
> equivalent to the kind of "magic" that Polkinghorne says that God doesn't
> get involved in. As I like to say sometimes, once you invoke infinity all
> bets are off: this is truly a multiverse of the gaps. I wish I'd been asked
> to be one of the reviewers for this "science." At least now the
> resurrection becomes no longer impossible scientifically, does it? Somehow
> I sense that Dawkins would figure out a way to mis-use the anthropic
> principle to keep divine action from getting too close for his comfort, even
> if apparently it means to him that *anything* can happen, no matter how
> improbable it really is. There just has to be universe, somewhere, where
> Frodo keeps his finger and another one where Peter Pan really can fly; but
> somehow the anthropic principle would just have to rule out the existence of
> a universe in which Dawkins believed in God...
> This type of *$%^ is the best argument I have seen for considering joining
> the ID movement. Certainly it supports ID arguments about the arbitrariness
> of ruling out "non-natural" causes, even when those causes have some of the
> attributes usually associated with the "intelligent designer". The
> multiverse is infinite in space and time (if you don't agree, look at how
> many times Koonin uses that word), the ultimate ground of being, the source
> of every good and perfect gift (namely, worlds that produce life
> "intelligent" enough to believe anything is possible), the giver of life,
> and our only hope--which is of course that we have no hope.
> I've often told students that Aristotle's heaven had some of the attributes
> of divinity--perfection and eternity--which strike me as an implicit
> commentary on Greek polytheism. Christian Aristotelians rightly removed the
> latter and eventually telescopic observations put the former to rest.
> Penzias & Wilson added the observations to put the former into serious
> question for those who did not have confidence in revelation, but now it
> seems that eternity is back on the menu. Of course, this time, it won't be
> subject to observational refutation--but only b/c, when it comes to other
> universes with which we will never in principle have any contact, nothing is
> subject to observational refutation. I am reminded of what Galileo's
> interlocutor Salviati, said to the Aristotelian Simplicio in his famous book
> about the Copernican system, “our discourses must relate to the sensible
> world and not to one on paper.” Now that Simplicio has been reborn, in the
> person of Mr. Koonin, can!
> we bring back Salviati on behalf of Galileo?
> If anyone hears about pigs taking flight, somewhere, please do send me the
> reports. I'll submit them to Biology Direct for possible publication.
> Ted
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Received on Sat May 9 03:06:25 2009

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