Peter Woit comments at Not Even Wrong on his review (paywall; no paywall) at Wall Street Journal of A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes by Zeeya Merali:
My concern about the topic of the book is that it’s Fake Physics, not that religion is motivating the author (and likely motivating the Templeton Foundation to fund this project). A book about the religious views of physicists would be an interesting one that I’d certainly read, and the material in this book on that topic is quite interesting. One of the odder twists here is that the two blurbs from physicists promoting the book are from Sean Carroll and Martin Rees, with Carroll writing
So you want to make your own universe. Zeeya Merali’s new book won’t quite give you an instruction kit—but it’s the closest thing we have at the moment. A fun and mind-expanding ride through modern ideas of how universes come to be.
I don’t see how you can be devoted to fighting for science against religiously-driven pseudoscience, and think that this book is one you’d like to see be the public face of what “modern ideas” about cosmology are. More.
But what is the solution? If they give up all the nonsense, they must face fine-tuning as a fact. There is no use blaming “religion” or “Templeton” or even the crackpot cosmologists who make a living off fronting weird new stuff.
No, from the point of view of naturalist atheism, the facts are wrong. Worse, a new shipment of authentic facts that supports the multiverse cosmology that would save them seems to be unaccountably delayed in transit (in this universe). And humans here did not evolve to perceive reality anyway.
See also: Multiverse explains why progress in fundamental physics is slow? It’s not a blip actually. It’s a trend toward de-emphasizing fact, evidence, and truth in favour of narrative, spin, and talking points.
Atheist cosmologist warns “deeply religious” people not to put their faith in “apparent” fine-tuning Why are atheists so solicitous about theists who, they fear, will lose their faith? The reality is that the only faith many of us are rapidly losing is in government of science by atheists. Take the unstoppable crises of peer review, for example.
Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us
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