Bob O’H: Seriously, what is the IDers’ answer to the “who designed the designer” question?
(failure to answer this will – of course – immediately condemn all IDers as poopyheads, despite any efforts by the Federation of Creationist Scientists, International/Overseas to suppress this categorisation)
and it was replied to:
Barry Arrington: Bob, have you ever heard the old saw “there’s no such thing as a stupid question?” It is false. Stupid questions abound. The one you just asked is one of them. As has been pointed out on these pages 1,303,261 times (all of which apparently sailed right over your head), the design inference is independent of the provenance of the designer.
Okay. A lot depends on what one wants an explanation to do. From J. Warner Wallace at Cold Case Christianity:
Imagine if someone said, “Christians sometimes point to the appearance of fine-tuning in the universe as proof that God exists. But you don’t need God to explain this fine-tuning.” How would you respond to such a statement? Here is a conversational example of how I recently replied:
He draws on extensive case files from his career as a homicide detective, then adds:
The universe is so incredibly fine-tuned, and even atheists admit there is an appearance of fine-tuning. At the foundational level, the constants of the universe; all the forces in the atom, including the weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, in addition to the forces of electromagnetism and gravity (along with many more universal constants) are incredibly fine-tuned to assure the existence of our universe and the appearance of biological life. At a regional level, our galaxy possesses a particular shape, size, mass, density, and location that allows life to emerge. Our solar system is also fine-tuned for the existence of life. Our sun’s location in the galaxy, it’s size, mass and nature are perfectly life-permitting. Finally, at what I call the ‘locational’ level, Earth is also finely tuned with a particular atmosphere, terrestrial crust, size, tilt, distance from the sun and existence of a moon that allows life to emerge.
Given all these levels of apparent fine-tuning, it’s reasonable to ask the question: how do we explain these layers of tampering, while at the same time, rejecting the existence of a tamperer? There are only a few ways to do this. First, you might ask: is this fine-tuning the result of chance? When you investigate at the improbability of this explanation, especially when we recognize the multi-layered nature of the fine-tuning, it’s unreasonable to explain what we see as a matter of chance. Another way to explain the appearance of fine-tuning is to argue that it’s inevitable based on the existence of the ‘natural laws’ than govern the universe. But this second explanation is rejected even by atheist astrophysicists. Many of these scientists claim our universe could possess entirely different universal constants (although an alternate universe of this nature would be unable to support the existence of life like ours). Finally, multiverse theories are growing in their popularity as an explanation for the fine-tuning in our universe. If there’s an infinite number of universes in a multiverse system, one like ours could exist simply on the basis of probability. But multiverse theories are incredibly controversial, even among atheist scientists, because the evidence for a multiverse is not commonly recognized and multiverse theories necessitate the existence of every kind of possible universe, including parallel universes (and even universes in which God exists – a notion unacceptable to atheist thinkers). More.
But are there no other options? What about this?: The laws that create fine-tuning, however they came to be, are the basis of the universe. The universe is their possibly inevitable outcome.
The laws include moral laws (which explain moral intuitions that cannot really be derived from vulgar claims about Darwinian fitness). That is, people would obey the moral law (or not) irrespective of whether their descendants survive and breed.
In the Eastern conception of karma, one cannot escape the choices one has made in a past life because these laws operate as natural laws. So the idea of rebirth is not an escape from death but rather a requirement that those who have acquired bad karma rebalance the system to zero via good karma, after which they can be liberated from existence.
I am not saying I believe this. I am wondering why it would not work as an explanation for a fine-tuned universe where intelligent beings have moral intuitions not derived from observations of animal nature. What observations does it not address?
See also: Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.
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