Re: [asa] Multiverse and ID

From: Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net>
Date: Sat May 09 2009 - 14:07:49 EDT
Well I confess to being inclined toward the latter. Just looking at trends over our time frame, it has been our experience that as we discover more and more about ourselves and the universe we live in, we have found ourselves being less distinctive or unique, rather than more so among our own bio-companions here on Earth. And, we are more interconnected biologically with other things. That's not to diminish what we represent in terms of ration and choice and creativity and problem-solving, and so on, but from a biological heritage, we seem to increasingly find more ways and greater extents to which we are relatives in our own biosphere.

Aside from that, we have found more and more biological artifacts and building blocks floating around in our solar system, and even falling on our little blue marble, AND we are constantly discovering more and more planets orbiting about distant (but quite nearby in astronomical terms) suns/stars. And that is just in the vicinity of one rather ordinary star, one of hundreds of thousands in our own galaxy alone, to say nothing of the compounding of numbers that comes with the recognition of immense and increasing numbers of other galaxies. If it is a part of God's plan to have people-kind in at least one off-center location in this incomprehensibly large Creation, then why would we not think that he might (at least possibly!) have expectations of (or intentions for) other parts of that same Creation? If we are IT, why are we not somewhere in the center of all this, and why even bother with such an enormous creation of stars and galaxies and distance and chemistries (and carbon!!) and such if we are the focal point of Creation? Perhaps to just impress us?  Off-center just to humble us?  I like who and what we are, but that takes more than a little ego to surmise!

These sorts of considerations lead me to be far more unsure then many others about our uniqueness (to whatever extent we want to define the term) in all of Creation. Moreover, I just do not find this possibility of larger landscapes of emergent life forms precluded by Scripture, as much as by our own sense of and desire for uniqueness.

When it gets down to probability estimates of the sort mentioned, they appear meaningless and valueless to me because we simply do not have enough knowledge to make such estimates. What we do have, though, to make us suspicious of estimates in these circumstances, is a recent awareness of structure and complexity that can arise from seemingly small influences and rules and such (a glimpse afforded us by the complexity and chaos theorists). So in a nutshell, we don't have a clue as to how to estimate such probabilities in our universe, given our state of knowledge. So my sense is that  we are at great risk rationally in offering probabilities given the state of our understanding of the basics of our universe. I think we should be suspicious in another way in the face of any estimate of probability of what God can't accomplish by ANY means, even if it is (shudder) evolutionary in nature.

Or so it seemeth to me.....
JimA   [Friend of ASA]

Just why is it so immense if we are IT and we are not even in the center?

dawson wayne wrote:
2009/5/10 Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net>
You know, it's hard for me to swallow that a 10^(-1018) probability represents anything even vaguely "realistic". It basically says that we don't know enough to cough up a realistic estimate.  JimA  [Friend of ASA]
By "realistic" I mean that someone is finally admitting that the odds are pretty small.  Even 10^(-100) would have satisfied me for that matter. I did urge caution.  Just as to much talk has sounded like life should be popping up everywhere in the universe, let's not start pounding the drum over here like this is some football rally.
 
Wayne (ASA member)




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