One can at least point a direction by now. I began this series by asking, what has materialism (naturalism) done for science? It made a virtue of preferring theory to evidence, if the theory supports naturalism and the evidence doesn’t. Well-supported evidence that undermines naturalism (the Big Bang and fine tuning of the universe, for example) attracted increasingly speculative attempts at disconfirmation. Discouraging results from the search for life on Mars cause us to put our faith in life on exoplanets — lest Earth be seen as unusual (the Copernican Principle).
All this might be just the beginning of a great adventure. World-changing discoveries, after all, have originated in the oddest circumstances. Who would have expected the Americas to be discovered by people who mainly wanted peppercorns, cinnamon, sugar, and such? But disturbingly, unlike the early modern adventurers who encountered advanced civilizations, we merely imagine them. We tell ourselves they must exist; in the absence of evidence, we make faith in them a virtue. So while Bigfoot was never science, the space alien must always be so, even if he is forever a discipline without a subject.
Then, having acquired the habit, we began to conjure like sorcerer’s apprentices, and with a like result: We conjured countless universes where everything and its opposite turned out to be true except, of course, philosophy and religion. Bizarre is the new normal and science no longer necessarily means reality-based thinking.
But the evidence is still there, all along the road to reality. It is still saying what the new cosmologies do not want to hear. And the cost of ignoring it is the decline of real-world programs like NASA in favor of endlessly creative speculation. It turns out that, far from being the anchor of science, materialism has become its millstone.
But now, what if the ID theorists are right, that information rather than matter is the basic stuff of the universe? More.
See also:Science Fictions
“Yes Chad, the multiverse is an existential crisis in physics”
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