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Eric Hedin and our cultural moment

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UD welcomes our new News anchor. As a starter for reflection, let’s clip from his current book:

Naturalism holds that nature is all there is,
and that the order of the universe, including the order of the living world,
is merely the result of the laws of nature, or, as some put it, of “chance and
necessity.” [Jerry] Coyne went a step further. He insisted that this view cannot
even be questioned in a public university science course—or to be more
precise, cannot be questioned even in a cross-disciplinary course on sci-
entific discoveries and their larger cultural implications.
But the question as to whether philosophical naturalism is true is
too important to shove into a corner. This and other closely related ques-
tions are precisely those anyone striving to live an examined life will ask . . . .
They include: Are
matter and the laws of matter all there is? Do the things we have discov-
ered about physical reality undermine or support a conclusion of human
significance? When we experience a sense of wonder in contemplating
the vastness of our universe, what if anything does that feeling signify? If
we feel small and lost as we contemplate the vast reaches of the universe,
what if anything does that tell us? Is either emotional response informa-
tive? How do we fit into the overall scheme of things? Is life meaningful,
or meaningless? Can science shed light on what we might most earnestly
desire to know? What are the implications of the fact that our universe
is not eternal, but had a beginning? Why is there something rather than
nothing? What about intelligent design (ID), the idea that certain fea-
tures of the natural world are best explained by reference to an intelligent
cause rather than to any purely mindless material cause? And going be-
yond that hypothesis, can science provide support not just for intelligent
design but for the existence of God?

Well worth reflecting on. END

PS, it will probably help to put three points of evidence on the table by way of diagrams, to help anchor us to facts:

FACT 1, a presentation of fine tuning, as in it is a fact that this is contemplated seriously:

Barnes: “What if we tweaked just two of the fundamental constants? This figure shows what the universe would look like if the strength of the strong nuclear force (which holds atoms together) and the value of the fine-structure constant (which represents the strength of the electromagnetic force between elementary particles) were higher or lower than they are in this universe. The small, white sliver represents where life can use all the complexity of chemistry and the energy of stars. Within that region, the small “x” marks the spot where those constants are set in our own universe.” (HT: New Atlantis)

FACT 2, what Crick thought by March 19, 1953:

Crick’s letter

FACT 3, some reflections on protein synthesis:

in further detail:
Protein Synthesis (HT: Wiki Media)

6 Replies to “Eric Hedin and our cultural moment

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Eric Hedin and our cultural moment . . .

  2. 2
    asauber says:

    Yes, the Big Questions are still out there.

    Few of us want to think about addressing them.

    My lovely wife can only take this stuff by the drop. Like feeding a baby bunny. 😉

    Andrew

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    But baby bunnies are super cute!

  4. 4
    JVL says:

    Asauber: My lovely wife can only take this stuff by the drop. Like feeding a baby bunny. ?

    I doubt you meant it to be thus but do you know how condescending this sounds?

  5. 5
    asauber says:

    “I doubt you meant it to be thus but do you know how condescending this sounds?”

    JVL,

    And here I thought it was poetic. lol

    Andrew

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Andrew,

    Same with my lovely wife. She tolerates it in small doses.

    But then in her field, I’m the baby bunny.

    -Q

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