Intelligent Design

If naturalism is correct, the multiverse is not mad. Or sane.

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soap bubbles/Timothy Pilgrim

Or correct. Or incorrect. Nothing is. Physicists are simply beginning to act as though they realize that and it’s okay. We are animals and animals are never wrong. We just win or lose power struggles.

Yesterday, we noted that Peter “Not Even Wrong” Woit thinks that 2016 was the worst year ever for fake physics. He noted an item by Marcus Woo, at ScienceFriday, “Why the Multiverse Isn’t Just Madness”

The multiverse—the idea that infinite universes stretch beyond our own—has gained traction among physicists. But others think it’s just a multi-mess.

Alternate realities, parallel dimensions, and multiple universes. Whatever you call it, the notion of other versions of existence is one of the most popular tropes in science fiction. In some other universe, you’re not reading this sentence but skydiving. In another, you’re nothing but a cockroach. In yet another, not only is life impossible, but atoms don’t even exist.

In recent years, though, such seemingly crazy ideas have shifted from fantasy and speculation toward bona fide science. Even among physicists, the multiverse has gone mainstream.

Theoretically, infinite universes might stretch beyond our own, like endless bubbles in a sea of boiling water. Each bubble has its own laws of physics, and although we may never visit or even see another bubble, some physicists say growing evidence is making the multiverse increasingly plausible—and even probable.

“Fifteen years ago, when you talked about the multiverse, the attitude of many physicists was just ridicule,” says Alex Vilenkin, a physicist at Tufts University. “But there has been a great change in attitude.” More.

The change in attitude has been a more clearly stated willingness to accept non-evidence-based theorizing over evidence from this universe (because the evidence from our univese suggests fine-tuning or design).

As that attitude metastasizes, science disciplines will change beyond recognition. Persons with an attractive, though evidence-scant, theory will certainly like and promote the change. And science becomes politics by other means.

Note: Dr. Woit writes as if he thinks that the Templeton Institute is to blame for all this but it is actually implicit in naturalism, and is only now becoming obvious. We will see stranger things.

See also: 2016 the worst year ever for fake physics? Some think it is reasonable to believe in a multiverse, without evidence, because one must otherwise confront the evidence that our universe is designed as actual evidence. Such thinkers will always find whatever multiverse they are looking for.

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6 Replies to “If naturalism is correct, the multiverse is not mad. Or sane.

  1. 1
    john_a_designer says:

    It is logically possible that other, multiple universes besides our own exists. However, at least for the present that is not something that can be studied empirically by modern physics.

    A more interesting question is: why would a physicist or for that matter anyone be interested in the idea of a multiverse?

    I think it is because it probes one of the most fundamental philosophical and theological questions which confronts mankind. What is the ultimate cause of our existence? Of course, theists believe it is a “who”, not a what.

    In other words, in the right context– a philosophical/theological one– the idea of a multiverse is perfectly valid and reasonable. As a theist I am open to exploring such ideas. However, the non-theist has to accept that this is a philosophical question not a scientific one.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to,,, “theists believe it is a “who”, not a what.”

    If it was not a “Who” then there are no other whos left to ask if it was a “Who”:

    8.) The argument from personal existence
    1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist.
    2. I do exist!
    3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
    – Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – 2012 lecture
    University of Wyoming J. Budziszewski – above quote taken at the 34:30 minute mark
    http://veritas.org/talks/profe.....er_id=2231

    Agent Causality (of Theists) vs. Blind Causality (of Atheists) – video
    https://youtu.be/7pnnT0QvWr4

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    Verse:

    John 8:58
    “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT:

    Rumors of Darwin’s deathbed conversion are without basis. Darwin put his faith in mindless evolution and lost his faith in God.
    It’s a shame. Almost 160 years after The Origin of Species appeared, the case for intelligent design is stronger than ever. The origin of the first animal forms in the Cambrian explosion; the origin of the first microscopic life; the cellular world of sophisticated molecular machines; the origin of a finely tuned universe from nothing — each is part of a march of discovery since Darwin’s day that has taken us further and further from a world empty of final meaning, and deeper into one charged with the grandeur of some extraordinary design.
    That’s something worth celebrating this Darwin Day, and every Sunday.
    — Tom Bethell
    —(Praised by Tom Wolfe as “one of our most brilliant essayists,” Tom Bethell is author of the new book Darwin’s House of Cards: A Journalist’s Odyssey Through the Darwin Debates.)
    https://spectator.org/the-lords-day-meet-darwin-day-and-shudder/

  4. 4
    jstanley01 says:

    IMHCO Woit’s own rant about “Fascism and the Current National Emergency” is additional evidence that the establishment is coming psychologically and emotionally unglued.

    Evidence? We don’t need no stinking evidence!

  5. 5
    EvilSnack says:

    I’m tempted to wonder if Michael Moorcock is getting any royalties from any of this chatter about the multiverse.

  6. 6
    JDH says:

    Belief in the far-fetched is always the cost of supporting ideas which are most probably false.

    The more that standard scientific observation of the cosmos points that there must be a Creator, the more ridiculous will become the scaffolding supporting the improbable idea there is not.

    Bertrand Russell is famous for claiming that God hid himself. I would rather say the Bertrand closed his eyes.

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