When I first started covering this beat, about six years ago, it was pretty straightforward. Earnest people were trying to convince me that blind cave fish losing their eyes was just the same thing as creatures developing eyes in the Cambrian. Bacteria junking fancy equipment to survive antibiotic assaults was just the same thing as creating the equipment in the first place.
Life forms, I was told, self-assemble gradually from their component parts via natural selection, without design or purpose, just the way the Corvette had.
Shut up, they explained.
So what’s different now? Unbelievable explanations, not content to remain small and unbelievable, have grown grand and incomprehensible. Increasingly, I hear that there are many universes, and ours just happens to work. Richard Dawkins flirts with this, and here’s another quite recent attempt to make the multiverse plausible.
I am told, those other universes must be out there because if they aren’t, we have no explanation for the fine tuning of our universe, and Darwinism doesn’t work.
As Antony Flew says, it’s like the boy whose teacher wouldn’t believe that the dog ate his homework. So the boy changed his story: A huge pack of dogs ate his homework.
The story must be true because the boy doesn’t have the homework.
My sense is that people who are skeptical of Darwinian fairy tales now are not likely to be persuaded by extravagant cosmologies that support them.
The Darwinians will, of course, continue to get considerable help from the pop science media, which can be relied on to inflate even the slightest glimmer of hope into news of an imminent jackpot. After all what else can they do? It would take years to catch up to the real story.
Also, just up at Colliding Universes:
The number 137 has its own Web page? Why?
Origin of life: Random origin of life was exploded by 1970s discovery – who didn’t get the memo?
Astronomer argues that we can test whether Earth is fine-tuned as a science lab
Our unique solar system is less probable than our universe? – a reader writes