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Skeptic fights back against skepticism about skeptics

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<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue Yes, we know. It’s complicated. Science writer John Horgan might have expected some pushback from his advice to Skeptics: Bash Bigfoot less, pop science more, and he got his wish (!) via Steven Novella at Neurologica blog:

Horgan gives a very superficial analysis, in my opinion to the point of being wrong. He claims they [multiverse, string theory] are not falsifiable, therefore they are pseudoscientific, “Like astrology.” For those of you playing logical fallacy bingo, that is a false analogy. There are many problems with astrology that do not apply to string theory.

Indeed. Astrology eventually became testable* and flunked. It’s not clear that the multiverse or the computer sim universe will ever become testable.

The “non-falsifiable” criticism has been raised, numerous times, by skeptics, and the implications of this have been discussed at length. Briefly, it is true that string theory and the multiuniverse theory are not currently testable, and therefore they are not complete sciences unto themselves. But they do attempt to give insights into what the deeper realities of the physical universe might be by exploring mathematical models for internal consistency, the ability to explain what we already know, and elegance.

If they are not evidence-based and testable, they are not sciences. It is that simple. How did this ever even become a discussion anyway?

They will ultimately come to nothing if we cannot find some way to test them, but that does not mean they serve no purpose now. More.

The trouble is, they do indeed serve a purpose. They keep a high level of evidence-free naturalist nonsense flowing through the sciences, while subtly importing from the top down a new value system that privileges naturalism over evidence. Maybe some like it that way.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG * Apart from astronomy issues, astrology must be difficult to test when everyone believes it. We might then act as if it were true, thus making it seem true.
Set of 3 Link Bowls
For example. If kings are told that a certain conjunction of signs means that kings go to war, they might declare war to give themselves an edge on what they believe other kings will do. Real life experimental disconfirmation would hardly be easy… It’s a wonder it ever happened!

See also: Stop presses: “Moral molecule” another pop science scam Why not wait till findings have been replicated? Oh, wait … there’d be much more trustworthy science, sure, but far less of it overall.

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5 Replies to “Skeptic fights back against skepticism about skeptics

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    But they do attempt to give insights into what the deeper realities of the physical universe might be by exploring mathematical models for internal consistency, the ability to explain what we already know, and elegance.

    Why do we value these things? What are the hidden metaphysical and theological underpinnings of string theory and multiverse theory.

    We can ask that, because we know they are not empirical.


    I am all for any sort of science that helps expose science for what it really is.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:


    Special and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video (reworked)

    (Entropic Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead is the correct solution for the “Theory of Everything” – video

    Albert Einstein vs. “The Now” of Philosophers and Quantum Mechanics – video

    (Centrality Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video

    Scientific evidence that we do indeed have an eternal soul (Elaboration on Talbott’s question ‘What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?’)– video 2016

  3. 3

    The hidden metaphysical underpinning of multiverse theory, is to conceive of choosing in terms of sorting out the best result.

    This is to conceive of choosing as like a chesscomputer calculates the next move, where the chesscomputer is forced to do what it does, and it couldn’t have turned out any other way.

    It is hammered into people’s brains by society, by parents, school, government, your job, people’s own ideals, to always do your best. That’s what leads people to conceive of choosing in terms of sorting out the best result.

    The correct definition of choosing is for the spirit to make an alternative future the present.

    And so with multiverse theory the scientists are obeying this psychologically deeply engrained command to do their best. This is why they propose that in stead of there being 2 futures to 1 present, there are in stead 2 universes. In each universe then everything is forced, which means like the chesscomputer, in each universe everything is calculated in terms of what is best.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video

    The End Of Materialism? – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Of note: To be ‘mathematically consistent’ with the multiuniverse theory the atheist/naturalist would have to believe in fluffy pink unicorns dancing on rainbows.

    Fine Tuning, Multiverse Pink Unicorns, and The Triune God – video

    Why Most Atheists Believe in Pink Unicorns – May 2014
    Excerpt: Given an infinite amount of time, anything that is logically possible(11) will eventually happen. So, given an infinite number of universes being created in (presumably) an infinite amount of time, you are not only guaranteed to get your universe but every other possible universe. This means that every conceivable universe exists, from ones that consist of nothing but a giant black hole, to ones that are just like ours and where someone just like you is reading a blog post just like this, except it’s titled: “Why most atheists believe in blue unicorns.”
    By now I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll say it anyway. Since we know that horses are possible, and that pink animals are possible, and that horned animals are possible, then there is no logical reason why pink unicorns are not possible entities. Ergo, if infinite universes exist, then pink unicorns must necessarily exist. For an atheist to appeal to multiverse theory to deny the need of a designer infers that he believes in that theory more than a theistically suggestive single universe. And to believe in the multiverse means that one is saddled with everything that goes with it, like pink unicorns. In fact, they not only believe in pink unicorns, but that someone just like them is riding on one at this very moment, and who believes that elephants, giraffes, and zebra are merely childish fairytales.
    While it may be amusing to imagine atheists riding pink unicorns, it should be noted that the belief in them does not logically invalidate atheism. There theoretically could be multiple universes and there theoretically could be pink unicorns. However, there is a more substantial problem for the atheist if he wants to believe in them and he wants to remain an atheist. Since, as I said, anything can happen in the realm of infinities, one of those possibilities is the production of a being of vast intelligence and power. Such a being would be as a god to those like us, and could perhaps breach the boundaries of the multiverse to, in fact, be a “god” to this universe. This being might even have the means to create its own universe and embody the very description of the God of Christianity (or any other religion that the atheist otherwise rejects). It seems the atheist, in affirming the multiverse in order to avoid the problem of fine-tuning, finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. The further irony is that somewhere, in the great wide world of infinities, the atheist’s doppelganger is going to war against an army of theists riding on the horns of a great pink beast known to his tribesman as “The Saddlehorn Dilemma.”

    In the ultimate logical backfire of all history, the materialistic/atheistic conjecture of an infinity of universes to try to ‘explain away’ the fine tuning of this universe insures, through the ontological argument, the 100% probability of the existence of God:

    Ontological Argument For God From ‘Possible Worlds’ – William Lane Craig – video

    God Is Not Dead Yet – William Lane Craig – Page 4
    The ontological argument. Anselm’s famous argument has been reformulated and defended by Alvin Plantinga, Robert Maydole, Brian Leftow, and others. God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being, a maximally great being. So what would such a being be like? He would be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and he would exist in every logically possible world. But then we can argue:
    1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.
    2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.
    6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
    7. Therefore, God exists.
    Now it might be a surprise to learn that steps 2–7 of this argument are relatively uncontroversial. Most philosophers would agree that if God’s existence is even possible, then he must exist. So the whole question is: Is God’s existence possible? The atheist has to maintain that it’s impossible that God exists. He has to say that the concept of God is incoherent, like the concept of a married bachelor or a round square. But the problem is that the concept of God just doesn’t appear to be incoherent in that way. The idea of a being which is all-powerful, all knowing, and all-good in every possible world seems perfectly coherent. And so long as God’s existence is even possible, it follows that God must exist.

    What is the Ontological Argument? (William Lane Craig) – video
    “It (This argument) puts the atheist in a very awkward position. The atheist must deny, not merely that God exists, he must maintain that it is impossible that God exists. And that is certainly a radical claim that would require great justification.”

    Simply put, the atheist cannot argue it is logically impossible for God to exist when he has already conceded that it is logically possible for an infinity of other possible worlds to exist.

    Also of note to the supposed ‘mathematical consistency’ of string theory:

    The part of the book (‘The Trouble With Physics’) I found most interesting was the part which tells how the string theorists were scammed by Nature (or Mathematics). Of course, Smolin doesn’t put it exactly like this, but imagine the following conversation.———
    String theorists: We’ve got the Standard Model, and it works great, but it doesn’t include gravity, and it doesn’t explain lots of other stuff, like why all the elementary particles have the masses they do. We need a new, broader theory.
    Nature: Here’s a great new theory I can sell you. It combines quantum field theory and gravity, and there’s only one adjustable parameter in it, so all you have to do is find the right value of that parameter, and the Standard Model will pop right out.
    String theorists: We’ll take it.
    String theorists (some time later): Wait a minute, Nature, our new theory won’t fit into our driveway. String theory has ten dimensions, and our driveway only has four.
    Nature: I can sell you a Calabi-Yau manifold. These are really neat gadgets, and they’ll fold up string theory into four dimensions, no problem.
    String theorists: We’ll take one of those as well, please.
    Nature: Happy to help.
    String theorists (some time later): Wait a minute, Nature, there’s too many different ways to fold our Calabi-Yao manifold up. And it keeps trying to come unfolded. And string theory is only compatible with a negative cosmological constant, and we own a positive one.
    Nature: No problem. Just let me tie this Calabi-Yao manifold up with some strings and branes, and maybe a little duct tape, and you’ll be all set.
    String theorists: But our beautiful new theory is so ugly now!
    Nature: Ah! But the Anthropic Principle says that all the best theories are ugly.
    String theorists: It does?
    Nature: It does. And once you make it the fashion to be ugly, you’ll ensure that other theories will never beat you in beauty contests.
    String theorists: Hooray! Hooray! Look at our beautiful new theory.
    ———- Okay, I’ve taken a few liberties here. But according to Smolin’s book, string theory did start out looking like a very promising theory. And, like a scam, as it looks less and less promising, it’s hard to resist the temptation to throw good money (or research) after bad in the hope of getting something back for your effort.

    One final note to atheists/naturalists. The Christian founders of modern science called and they want their science back since you have now completely ruined it:

    (Centrality Concerns) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Death as the “Theory of Everything” – video

    Psalm 118:22
    The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:


    How studying science led this atheist to God – May 2016
    Douglas Ell was shocked to discover overwhelming evidence for God in an unlikely place
    Excerpt: At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) he achieved undergraduate degrees in maths and chemistry, then trotted down to the University of Maryland to obtain an MA in theoretical mathematics.
    Despite his great talent for such subjects in an abstract field, the jobs were much like the numbers: theoretical.
    Ell obtained work for a few years as a computer programmer before figured out what he really wanted to do for a job, and went to law school, graduating with honours.,,,
    Ell found that Christianity drew the sciences together for him in seven distinct ways:
    Evidence for the beginning of the universe
    The apparent ‘fine tuning’ of the universe
    The specified complexity of life, and the lack of any reasonable explanation for its origin
    The futuristic ‘technological’ nature of life
    Evidence against unguided Neo-Darwinian evolution
    The unique and special nature of Earth
    The universal language of Mathematics
    Ell’s training in law had educated him in how to construct cogent and considerate arguments, and the more he considered it, the more science pointed towards God’s existence and the truth of Christianity. Finally, Ell accepted that Christianity must be true

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