Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

But the space program is NOT worth funding if the multiverse rules


Someone asks if NASA is worth funding:

A recent report from the U.S. National Research Council found that the public does not consider investing money in the space program a priority. This poses a problem for NASA, which, with its current level of funding, will never be able to undertake a massive endeavor like a manned mission to Mars.

Public apathy toward NASA, a lack of understanding of the benefits of a space program, and more pressing matters all lead people to
ask: is NASA worth funding at all? Couldn’t that money be better spent working on the economy, homelessness, or the housing market?

Actually, standards of living were lower when NASA was big. But people who cared about humans walking on the moon were not especially interested in glitz toys instead.

He concludes,

So why should we fund the space program? Ultimately, it all boils down to one reason.

For Science.

Completely oblivious to the fact that that is exactly the problem.

If the multiverse rules, why bother with science anyway? Cosmology can be just whatever someone dreams up, like the storytellers of old. Sure to be true somewhere, somehow.

But why pay a huge amount for it?

For a brief look at the trajectory of why we don’t go to the moon any more but profs explain what we should do if space aliens arrive on the doorstep, see, The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).

bornagain77 says “leenibus, you are missing the main point of News’s comment, “If the multiverse rules, why bother with science anyway?” The main point is that science itself becomes meaningless in a godless, untestable, random, multiverse." Hello bornagain77, No, I understood the main point of News’s comment perfectly well - I simply think her statement (and yours) is utter nonsense. “Meaning” is an abstract construct of the human mind, and as variable as the total number of people who have ever inhabited the Earth. Why do you assume that an absolute meaning imposed by some mysterious outside being is required to render science "meaningful" and justify the human pursuit of knowledge? And a multiverse, should one exist, does not render this universe unworthy of exploration. leenibus
leenibus, you are missing the main point of News's comment, “If the multiverse rules, why bother with science anyway?" The main point is that science itself becomes meaningless in a godless, untestable, random, multiverse. As Berlinski put it:
"Why is Newton's universal law of gravitation true? No need to ask. In another universe, it is not" (Devil's Delusion, p. 124). But Who Needs Reality-Based Thinking Anyway? Not the New Cosmologists - Denyse O'Leary January 2, 2014 Excerpt: Logic and reason are likewise irrelevant. Consider the multiverse claim that there are "infinite copies of you and your loved ones leading lives, up until this moment, that are absolutely identical to yours." Mathematician George F. R. Ellis notes that, if so, the deep mysteries of nature are too absurd to be explicable and that the proposed nine types of multiverse in one scheme are "mutually exclusive." True, but in a multiverse, "inexplicable" is okay. "Absurd" and "mutually exclusive" are meaningless concepts. It is equally meaningless to assert that one event is more probable than another. As David Berlinski puts it, "Why is Newton's universal law of gravitation true? No need to ask. In another universe, it is not"(Devil's Delusion, p. 124).,,, Science writer John Horgan pointedly asks, "Is theorizing about parallel universes immoral?" "These multiverse theories all share the same fundamental defect: They can be neither confirmed nor falsified. Hence, they don't deserve to be called scientific, according to the well-known criterion proposed by the philosopher Karl Popper. Some defenders of multiverses and strings mock skeptics who raise the issue of falsification as "Popperazi" -- which is cute but not a counterargument. Multiverse theories aren't theories -- they're science fictions, theologies, works of the imagination unconstrained by evidence." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/01/but_who_needs_r080281.html
Basically, bad philosophy equals bad science in that bad philosophy (naturalism) drives science into epistemological failure:
Believe Science Has All the Answers? Evolutionary Biologist Austin Hughes Says, Open Your Eyes - Fall 2013 Excerpt: How does scientism justify moving into areas traditionally explained by philosophy? "What they say is, "Philosophy has never solved anything. It's just nonsense or religion." They don't realize that they themselves are incapable of answering the really big questions. Take these multiverse theories. Basically, they're just a way to deny that the universe has the appearance of design. "The universe was not designed," these scientists say. "It's just that there are lots and lots of other universes, and we just happen to be in one that's favorable to life." But that doesn't solve the metaphysical problem, does it? Where did all of these universes come from? Who established the rules within each universe? Who established the rules by which new universes are generated?" http://salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo26-science-faith/blinded-by-science.php "The multiverse comes with a lot of baggage, such as an overarching space and time to host all those bangs, a universe-generating mechanism to trigger them, physical fields to populate the universes with material stuff, and a selection of forces to make things happen. Cosmologists embrace these features by envisaging sweeping "meta-laws" that pervade the multiverse and spawn specific bylaws on a universe-by-universe basis. The meta-laws themselves remain unexplained - eternal, immutable transcendent entities that just happen to exist and must simply be accepted as given." Paul Davies, physicist, SETI director
But this epistemological failure inherent within naturalism really should not be that surprising:
BRUCE GORDON: Hawking's irrational arguments - October 2010 Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse - where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause - produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the "Boltzmann Brain" problem: In the most "reasonable" models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/ Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True - video Excerpt: "Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life." Richard Dawkins - quoted from "The God Delusion" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs The Historical Alliance of Christianity and Science - Kenneth Richard Samples Excerpted quote: "Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism." ~ Alvin Plantinga http://www.apu.edu/cris/pdfs/historical_alliance.pdf
News says: “If the multiverse rules, why bother with science anyway? Cosmology can be just whatever someone dreams up, like the storytellers of old. Sure to be true somewhere, somehow. But why pay a huge amount for it?” Cosmology is a mix of theory and speculation based on present knowledge, and the multiverse is also speculative. Even if there are many universes, however, we are stuck in our present one. The space program is science - observation, exploration and measurement. If ID claims to be science, it should be supporting attempts to find out the true nature of this universe. Or do you prefer a cosy cocoon of ignorance? leenibus
Spot on, Mung. I'm a multiple Nobel laureate in quantum mechanics in one world. How about that! And here, I'm nowt but an old duffer, though I think I might have got 'O' Level Physics at school. Though probably not. I think we'd opted for Arts or Science before those exams became a consideration. Still, since you guys are such 'straight arrows', you're a little 'light' on the serpentine wisdom for polemics with these crazy, atheist numpties. So, periodically, I have to introduce y'all to a little of the vile, devious, tortuous, serpentine, ambagious, crafty, louche, labyrinthine, Byzantine, 'corkscrew' caste of mind of the Arts student - and pace Barry - the stock-in-trade of lawyers, when your dove-like simplicity re the uses and abuses of language invites exploitation by the dark side! Axel
NASA is USA, and there are links to the "Military Industrial Complex". Can't have weaponry and their delivery systems without Science. Science, improving weaponry ever since the spear. ppolish
Why bother with Science in a Multiverse? If all Religions were true, would it make sense not to bother with Religion? Course not. Space Travel is based on "escaping" Earth. Spreading human beings across the Cosmos. Humans are so special. "Pale Blue Dot" insignificance my keester. Pale Blue Dot Launching Pad of Awesomeness. Go NASA. ppolish
Axel, if you're a scientist and it turns out your theory is wrong in this world, at least you can find solace in that it must be true in some world, right? Who wouldn't want to be a scientist? Mung
'If the multiverse rules, why bother with science anyway? Cosmology can be just whatever someone dreams up, like the storytellers of old. Sure to be true somewhere, somehow. ' A very wry point you make, O'Leary. And all the more pungent for being perfectly factual. Axel

Leave a Reply