Re: [asa] An Intelligent Design Riddle

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 22:49:35 EDT

Hi Murray,

"So, my first run past the post is to ask whether this position isn't an
"evasion" of the question. Analogous to the "answer" to biogenesis offered
by theories of panspermia."

Hmm. So if panspermia was true, we could never know it, because we are
obligated to dismiss it as an evasion.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Murray Hogg" <>
To: "ASA" <>
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 7:46 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] An Intelligent Design Riddle

> Hi Schwarzwald,
> I don't have a great deal of time to engage with this, but I would offer
> two observations;
> First, isn't this merely pushing the question back one step? That is, even
> IF there is some human like intelligence creating multiple universes, then
> how does that solve anything? Surely in order to make "sub-universes" they
> civilization doing so would have to understand very much about THEIR
> universe. And why, then, would THEIR universe be understandable.
> So, my first run past the post is to ask whether this position isn't an
> "evasion" of the question. Analogous to the "answer" to biogenesis offered
> by theories of panspermia.
> Second, on the new atheists - I would be very interested to know what the
> sales figures are for Dawkin's new book "The Greatest Show on Earth". I
> happen to know a number of atheists who were quite put off by "The God
> Delusion" and I wonder if the entire enterprise hasn't been similarly
> coloured by the clear overstatements of the neo-atheist brigade.
> I suspect that atheism of Dawkin's sort appeals to two audiences: those
> too young to know better, and ex-fundamentalists who share his
> epistemology. Anybody who has an ounce of philosophical or theological
> sophistication, however, will, I think, eschew his absolutist
> pronouncements.
> So, yep, I reckon as sort of quasi-religious scientism with a dash of
> undefined theism will be the preferred option for thinking folk.
> I'm gone for the day (again!)
> Blessings,
> Murray
> Schwarzwald wrote:
>> This is a question I've been wondering about for quite a while now, and
>> I'm curious of how christians on this list (and on both sides of the ID
>> debate) would answer.
>> Popular science author John Gribbin recently wrote a book called "In
>> Search of the Multiverse". The multiverse aspect alone is not what
>> interests me, however. What's interesting is that Gribbin is using the
>> multiverse theory to suggest that our universe was created. From the
>> book:
>> "The intelligence required to do the job may be superior to ours, but it
>> is a finite intelligence reasonably similar to our own, not an infinite
>> and incomprehensible God. The most likely reason for such an
>> intelligence to make universes is the same as the reason why people do
>> things like climbing mountains or studying the nature of subatomic
>> particles using accelerators like the LHC – because they can. A
>> civilization that has the technology to make baby universes might find
>> the temptation irresistible, while at the higher levels of universe
>> design, if the superior intelligences are anything at all like us there
>> would be an overwhelming temptation to improve upon the design of their
>> own universes. This provides the best resolution yet to the puzzle
>> Albert Einstein used to raise, that ‘the most incomprehensible thing
>> about the Universe is that it is comprehensible.’ The Universe is
>> comprehensible to the human mind because it was designed, at least to
>> some extent, by intelligent beings with minds similar to our own. Fred
>> Hoyle put it slightly differently. ‘The Universe,’ he used to say, ‘is a
>> put-up job.’ I believe that he was right. But in order for that ‘put-up
>> job’ to be understood, we need all the elements of this book."
>> Gribbin isn't the first person to make this observation. Paul Davies
>> suggested this sort of conclusion became very likely on multiverse views
>> (and he regarded it as a reductio ab absurdum of such views), Martin
>> Rees has apparently suggestly it may be possible or likely. There are
>> others, and variations on the theme (Nick Bostrom's simulation argument,
>> and so on.)
>> But I have two questions for those on this list.
>> To ID proponents: Is John Gribbin making an ID claim here? If not, why
>> not? And if so, what are your thoughts on this?
>> To other christians on the list regardless of ID sympathies: If our
>> universe is, in fact, an intentional creation - even if we speculate
>> that omnipotence may not be strictly necessary to achieve this - isn't
>> it the case that deism, at the very least, is true?
>> And I want to play with a prediction here. A lot of time and attention
>> has been paid to the "New Atheists", though it's been petering out over
>> the past couple years in my estimation. To be frank, I don't think
>> atheism in the style of Dawkins and company has much of a future - too
>> empty, too dogmatic. What I suspect does have a future, however, are
>> speculations like Gribbin's. Personally, I don't think this is atheism.
>> At the same time, it certainly isn't (or is not necessarily, at least)
>> Christianity.
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Received on Tue Oct 20 22:50:04 2009

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