Intelligent Design

Many worlds theory supports intelligent design?

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The blog, Anarchic Harmony , operated by William J. Murray, is worth a look. About many world’s theory (= every time you turn right instead of left, a new universe is created in which you turned left) Murray writes,

I thought you might be interested in an argument I came up with in a new blog about how the MWI theory, which scientists are now starting to invoke in order to explain the anthropic principle and the origin of life, supports ID theory and indicates it would in fact be a better scientific model to use in many cases.

Say what? [also, links to Mindful Hack stories below]

The MWI argument is that out of infinite non-productive variations of universes we have one (or more, but we’re in this one) that by chance is so ordered and specific that it has generated product (intelligent, conscious life forms with incredibly specified, complex biologies that are manifest from coded instructions) that utterly defies random, non-directed modeling, as well as an anthropic universe that utterly defies random, non-directed modeling.

Even if our universe is the necessary chance result of infinite, many-world iterations of universes, intelligent design would necessarily be a far better model of description and analysis than non-directed models in many scientific ventures, because an ID model would more accurately described the incredibly ordered, improbable patterns of chance outcomes in this particular universe.

I wonder what Murray thinks of Frank Tipler and versa vice. Tipler is the only genuine Christian materialist I have ever heard of, and he is enthusiastic about many worlds theory.*

I myself am unconvinced by many-worlds theory in any form. One problem is, as Robb Mann, University of Waterloo physics chair, pointed out to me the other day, it means that absolutely every implausible thing must be true somewhere.

Think about it. It’s worse than the nihilists utter unyielding despair – you know, there is no truth, truth is unknowable and all that jazz: Rather, absolutely everything you have ever imagined actually exists somewhere! Sounds too much like magic to me.

I will eventually add Anarchic Harmony to the Post-Darwinist blogroll (Never a Dull Moment …). I will think about doing it today.

*Christian materialist: Not to be confused with the sort of “theistic evolutionist” who appears WITH materialist atheists in debates AGAINST Christian intelligent design apologists. George Hunter explains Darwin’s devout pretty well in Science’s Blind Spot. They seek to protect God’s honour by insisting that natural selection does all the nasty stuff, and God really doesn’t have much to do with it. As if.

Mindful Hack on the Lennox-Dawkins debate.

The Pharyngulite really, honestly, sincerely struggles with The Spiritual Brain

Canadian mystery novelist turns his brain disorder into winning plot idea

Brain disease research not necessarily wise spending choice

Mindfulness explored as aid in struggle against depression

38 Replies to “Many worlds theory supports intelligent design?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    I had a thought about this topic yesterday. I believe in the Theistic interpretation for quantum mechanics, which states that the Infinite and Perfect Mind of God is ultimately in control of every quantum event in the universe, thus God retains His sovereignty and His omnipotence is retained,,,Yet the problem arises of entropy…We can see perfect information being inserted into the universe at the big bang and also see it at the level of parent species, but from then on the decay of the universe and life seems as if God allows the universe and life to decay with entropy although He retains control.
    Is God allowing this to happen for some greater purpose,,,such as teaching us,,His children,,,that it is absolutely essential to have a intimate relationship with him? I really have a hard time reconciling entropy and God’s sovereignty of the universe? Does anyone have any thoughts to help me past this problem?

  2. 2

    Any quantum mechanics theory which relies on observers causing something is unfriendly to materialism. If materialism is true, the observer/non-observer distinction is meaningless.

    Also, there must be a universe somewhere where they proved that there aren’t multiple universes, right? So is that universe correct or those within this one?

  3. 3
    shaner74 says:

    bornagain77 wrote:
    “I really have a hard time reconciling entropy and God’s sovereignty of the universe? Does anyone have any thoughts to help me past this problem?”

    This probably won’t be the response you want to hear, but the only explanation I’ve heard that could account for it is from “Christian Science” A religion started in the 1800’s in USA. If I remember correctly, the explanation it offers is that basically everything is mind, not matter, or rather, what we see as matter is really something like externalized thought. But there are also different levels of mind. The material universe is a conception of “mortal” thought about God – God (Mind) seen through a glass darkly. His universe is perfect, but “ours” is flawed and ends in death. This raises a lot of other questions (and also means God is not even aware of sin) but essentially entropy happens because it is a flawed conception of God caused by sin. I finally just said to hell with it all and just hope if there is a God He will reveal Himself to me in some way I can grasp w/out driving me insane.

  4. 4
    William J. Murray says:

    Quote: “Think about it. It’s worse than the nihilists utter unyielding despair – you know, there is no truth, truth is unknowable and all that jazz: Rather, absolutely everything you have ever imagined actually exists somewhere! Sounds too much like magic to me.”

    I understand this interpretation, but this is really just how most people normally interpret such a scenario from an “objective world”, single-universe mindset.

    A further examination of the concept reveals that, if this particular interpretation is true, then even the materialists would have to admit that there is a Universe created by a God, and there is a human manifestation of that God named Jesus that died for your sins; that heaven and hell does exist. It’s not that such things, or such a universe **could** exist; it would have to.

  5. 5
    Atom says:

    Denyse,

    George Hunter or Cornelius? (His middle name?)

  6. 6
    magnan says:

    bornagain77: “I really have a hard time reconciling entropy and God’s sovereignty of the universe? Does anyone have any thoughts to help me past this problem.”

    A theistic but non-Christian perspective: Entropy appears to rule this physical world and universe. This does not mean it must rule human beings in their ultimate spiritual form. If souls exist manifesting in human physical form, such souls could partake of the infinite eternal nature of God, but not be ultimately limited and imperfect. It would be the experience of incarnated souls that is imperfect and limited in many ways including by entropy. I’m sure many reasons for this could be conceived.

    This is of course off-topic and metaphysical and theological speculation from a strictly rational point of view.

  7. 7
    William J. Murray says:

    I just read the Tipler piece about christian materialism; once again, I think that the interpretation is everything.

    I think that the demarcation between “materialism” and “non-materialism” is really just an imaginary line drawn mostly by polemics, and if we can get past the rancor involved, we can have at least an agreement in science to dislodge from dogmatic anti-spiritualism, or anti-religion and recognize that scientific investigation can, in fact, explore and embrace previously shunned territory.

    I think what Tipler writes is a good step in that direction – not as truth per se, but as treaty.

  8. 8
    rockyr says:

    Mrs. O’Leary, This is nothing new under the sun. The ancient Greeks knew about such “many world” theory. It’s what one would today call a “perspective” on the world, since each of us sees the world from a slightly different “angle” physically, mentally and spiritually. No other or new universes are really “created” in such a theory, it is the same universe. It’s just poor and misleading usage of the word “created” by Murray.

    Re: “About many world’s theory (= every time you turn right instead of left, a new universe is created in which you turned left) Murray writes,…”

    This isn’t really what “hardcore” multiversists believe, i.e. in the real possibility of real parallel universes, like, for example, in the Stargate sci-fi. Such belief has far reaching consequences. In the case of Giordano Bruno’s parallel worlds, it implied multiple Christs, not one Christ who redeemed the whole mankind, basically undermining and destroying Christianity. The same argument extends into contemporary Christian theology, (in case there may be other intelligent beings inhabiting planets in some far away galaxies), and it is amazing that some modern theologians are toying with such foolish ideas.

    Re: “Say what?… Even if our universe is the necessary chance result of infinite, many-world iterations of universes, intelligent design would necessarily be a far better model …”

    Exactly, Say what !? — It’s just a bunch of incoherent babbling without respect for the big key words Murray uses or misuses — just count them in this one loaded sentence: universe, chance, infinite, many-world, iterations, intelligent, design, model.

    Re: “I wonder what Murray thinks of Frank Tippler.”

    I wrote some time ago (in response to Frank Tippler’s new book) that I wasn’t really interested in reading more of such ideas. However, I will keep an open mind if people like you and Mr. Dembski think there may be something interesting in it. But I need something really solid and novel to be convinced. I had a quick look in the wiki on Frank Tippler, and more red flags came up.

    “Prof. Tipler’s 2007 book The Physics of Christianity analyzes the Omega Point Theory’s pertinence to Christian theology.[8] In the book Tipler identifies the Omega Point as being the Judeo-Christian God,…” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Tipler )

    Again, nothing new under the sun — this was the main idea of that “great” supposedly “Catholic” Darwinist and evolutionist Teilhard de Chardin, whose books are still on the Vatican’s Index of suspect and prohibited books, wasn’t it?

    P.S.

    You may interested in reading the feature article “How Does Consciousness Happen” in the Oct 2007 Scientific American.

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    Hey, is there a universe where I made the foul shot and won the game and made the playoffs when I was in high school. I wondered what happened to me afterwards.

    It would be nice to meet some of the infinite other me’s.

    Side question. Is there a number big enough to count the number of new universes formed every nano second? Remember since the big bank the number of universes have been expanding geometrically every nano second. So a whole lot of universes have been accumulating.

  10. 10
    mullerpr says:

    It is very reassuring to know that I have came to a similar conclusion as Prof. Robb Mann. The question is to create successful rhetoric that will stop this metaphysical madness that is picking up its own rhetoric momentum.

    I also read a New Scientist article (“Parallel Universes born again”) where they discuss parallel multiverse notions as a solution to some quantum mechanics issues. It seems to say little but for the fact that they want to, arbitrarily, use multiverse notions to describe probability aspects of QM phenomenon. This can be concluded from the fact that “branching universes gives the illusion of probabilistic outcomes to measurements” as opposed to the “Born rule” that gives the same answers without invoking parallel universes.

    I hope there is someone with better QM knowledge that can look into this and help me out.

    My personal position comes from a different post where I argued as follows: (Design at many levels #35)

    “There is another interesting thing about the possibilities of an materialist world of infinite multiverses. That is the fact that in their world our thoughts are material also. If our thoughts are instantiated in the material world there is noting to stop it from becoming the blueprint of some other material form of that thought, in fact it happens all the time – think of writing, robots etc.

    Like if you think of a spaghetti monster and you have an instantiated infinite number of universes then in some or an infinite number that spaghetti monster must be real in all the blueprint attributes you and I gave it separately. Just think if the material realities of our thoughts – Stephen King’s included, meet each other? In fact, in an infinite reality that has to happen because if you can think about jumping between universes or space time curves touching at different points then it will happen.

    Lucky for us this is not part of our reality and we can empirically conclude that reality is uniform in its created state and our thoughts are metaphysical with limited impact on our physical reality.

    Who ever guessed that the materialist will open the “gates of hell” with their multiverse hypothesis. I always thought metaphysics, ghosts and spaghetti monsters are part of religious thinking.

    Just another reason why I am not a materialist or believe in an infinite causal regression.”

  11. 11
    William J. Murray says:

    Quote: “Side question. Is there a number big enough to count the number of new universes formed every nano second? Remember since the big bank the number of universes have been expanding geometrically every nano second. So a whole lot of universes have been accumulating.”

    The problem with addressing such a potential is that one is constantly running into conceptual misapprehension, as one attempts to understand “many-worlds” from a “one world” mindset.

    Another way of looking at it is quite parsimonious;instead of having to answer why this universe exists, and not any other; or why this state of reality exists, and not any other is to elegantly state that everything exists.

    How would “everything” exist? One could probably only describe it through analogy or metaphor; a ocean of quasi-particles that is whatever an observer makes of it(oversimplified, sure). Universes aren’t created with every action or thought; one just designs their experience out of infinite potential.

    In any event, ID would still be a better model in an intelligently designed experience, or in a universe so unlikely it acts as if intelligently designed.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    William J. Murray:
    In order to arrive at your number, I suggest you first simplify from nanoseconds to plank time which is 5.39121 × 10-^44 sec.

    As well the other plank units of length, mass, charge and temp., may be of help to give you a ballpark figure:

    Planck units are only one system of natural units among other systems, but might be considered unique and foundational in that these units are not based on properties of any other prototype, object, or particle (that could be thought of as arbitrarily chosen) but are based only on properties of free space.

    Here is the complete list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_units

  13. 13
    nullasalus says:

    Just to note, I believe Peter VanInwagen (rather well-known philosopher, particularly when it comes to free will) is another christian materialist, or at least physicalist. I’m pretty sure there are others, though Tipler’s probably the most well known in ID circles.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    William J. Murray,
    Also of interest in arriving at your number, if it is indeed possible, will be the probability bound defined and refined by Dr. Dembski

    * 10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    * 10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur (i.e., the inverse of the Planck time).
    * 10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    thus 10^150 minus 10^9 equals 10^141 number of quantum events in the universe’s history!
    To get to your number of universe’s generated since universe’s inception it is necessary to assign a number other than infinity to the number of quantum states possible for a quantum event.
    Now, since I don’t know how to assign a proper number to this, this is where I run into trouble… I believe Richard Feynman got around this problem somehow, Anyone know a way around this problem or how Richard Feynman did it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....lity_bound

  15. 15
    Paul Brand says:

    bornagain,

    Regarding entropy. I may not understand entropy well, but it seems to me that some level of entropy is necessary for life to exist. The distribution of heat is better somewhere between maximally concentrated (an instant after the Big Bang) and complete entropy (all heat is evenly distributed). Thus, to some extent entropic decay is a good thing. After a certain point in time, it becomes a bad thing. In general, I’d say we are in pretty good times right now, and I’m not sure if entropy is helping or hurting right now. It probably depends on where you are in the universe.

    I’m not sure what this has to do with quantum events, though I don’t think it necessary for the Christian God to have control over every quantum event. I probably lean more toward the other extreme, where God’s intervention is mostly front-loaded (except for examples of divine revelation) at the Big Bang, and that quantum events, are generally random without intervention. I’m uncertain whether God sometimes intervenes at the quantum level. I don’t see it as problematic to my faith either way.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Paul Brand,
    This really is a most interesting problem,,,for if God exerted His “total” continual influence over everything, then absolutely no digression from His optimal state would be possible,,,yet on the other hand if God did not exercise at least some control on everything that was happening in this universe, He would in effect be giving up some of His sovereignty to make anything He wanted to happen to happen in this universe!
    Really the only way I can make peace with this paradox is to state that God allows “entropy” to happen with his permissive will.. Which like you state is a good thing in and of itself,,for if God did not allow less than optimal states we certainly would not be around to discuss it,,Would we?

  17. 17
    DrDan says:

    Hello Bornagain,

    I think you are placing some sort of humanistic qualities on entropy. Entropy is neither good nor bad. God can be in complete control and entropy would still occur. Why is it when entropy occurs, this is bad and seen as lack of control on God’s part

  18. 18
    William J. Murray says:

    #14:

    That would only be the number of states that would be computable given what one observes from this particular universe or kind of existence/observational platform.

  19. 19
    StephenB says:

    To me, postulating infinite multiple universes creates more problems that it solves. If we are going to make sense of our world, we should fortify ourselves with a few common-sense assumptions.

    We should assume the we are rational beings, that we live in a rational universe and that there is a correspondence between the two.

    We should assume that the one universe we live in is complicated enough and we should refuse to multiply that complexity by infinity simply to provide answers to materialist objections that are irrational in the first place.

    We should assume that a thing cannot be true and false at the same time and under the same formal circumstances.

    We should not conduct an investigation to find out if these things are true. We should take them for granted and use them they way they were meant to be used–the necessary tools with which to begin the investigation

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    William J. Murray
    If you are just computing observational states possible in the MWI , That would clearly be less than total quantum states possible…And in either case we would still have to find a rational number, other than infinity, for total quantum states possible for a single quantum event!
    Anyone know a way around this problem or how Richard Feynman did it?
    William, I truly don’t think that it is possible to compute the max. number of universe’s in the MWI of quantum mechanics, for, if I recall correctly, Feynman “swept the infinities problem under the rug” so to say.

  21. 21
    Paul Brand says:

    born again,

    Talking about optimal states. I don’t consider it unreasonable that an optimal state would be a state that lacks total control. If I were God, I think I might prefer something in between the extremes, where the universe is pure arbitrary randomness, to one where only I control the outcomes. In my perception of the Scriptures, God allows chaos and uncertainty to occur. That’s not to say that God never intervenes. He always has the power to do so, but often chooses not to.

    Perhaps the universe may be more analogous to a stochastic simulation with finely-tuned initial parameters, than a deterministic scenario where God is constantly involved in absolutely everything.

  22. 22
    Paul Brand says:

    Talking about the universal probability bound. Though I understand the factors that Dembski uses, I’m not sure I agree with merely multiplying them. It seems to me that things that happen are not just contingent on one event, but on multiple events, in which case, I think we should be using factorials, which would result in a drastically higher UPB.

  23. 23
    mullerpr says:

    Hallo Paul Brand,
    You said:”Perhaps the universe may be more analogous to a stochastic simulation with finely-tuned initial parameters, than a deterministic scenario where God is constantly involved in absolutely everything.”

    I think this is quite agreeable with our reality including free will and the fallen state of nature. Though, God told us that He is constantly aware of all of reality, future past, the whole picture. It is the whole picture that is in His control, that in itself is absolute control.

    On this subject we can refer back to post #13 that mentions VanInwagen’s work. I only know about him thourgh exposure to Alvin Plantinga’s work. I personally like Plantinga position on naturalism and how he dealt with VanInwagen’s objection’s (With fear and trembling he humbly refuted VanInwagen or tried, as he would put it.). Both of them are Christian philosophers and I think advances in Design Theory will help them greatly and visa versa.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    In the many worlds vain. How about the many dimensional postulation of Theism which, contrary to the many worlds postulation of materialism, actually has stunning validation in thousands of documented Judeo/Christian NDE’s?

    This one NDE in particular I find very interesting…There are video links in the site and I was impressed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Storm

    Storm describes that he felt he was dying, and after saying goodbye to his wife, eventually passed out. He was a life-long atheist and contemptuous of spiritual matters, but found himself outside of his body. He says he was drawn by voices calling his name and followed them, but eventually realized that he was being led into darkness and the creatures were malevolent. They turned on him and attacked him savagely, and his NDE became a negative experience, rather than the type of NDE typified by a “being of light” or sensations of peace and calm. His book chronicles an experience that involved being torn to pieces by the creatures, yet he retained consciousness and experienced severe pain.

    Here is scientific evidence backing up NDE’s as authentic.

    http://www.nderf.org/vonlommel.....sponse.htm

  25. 25

    Dawkins usually references the string theory “landscape”, and Many Worlds isn’t the same thing, nor is it a part of mainstream interpretations of the physics, which isn’t to say that there isn’t a point still to be made.

  26. 26
    Patrick says:

    Talking about the universal probability bound. Though I understand the factors that Dembski uses, I’m not sure I agree with merely multiplying them. It seems to me that things that happen are not just contingent on one event, but on multiple events, in which case, I think we should be using factorials, which would result in a drastically higher UPB.

    Would such a UPB even be practically useful? On a side note, I saw a comment from Behe the other day where he said that Dembski’s UPB was way too generous and he preferred a UPB of 10^80 or 10^90 or thereabouts.

  27. 27
    garygagliardi says:

    Perhaps someone can help me understand the debate between materialism and non-materialism. I agree with Mr. Murray in #7, where he suggests the demarcation is just a battle line with little meaning.

    “Materialism” made sense in the nineteenth century, when we thought we understood what made up the physical universe, but quantum mechanics, which reduced energy and matter to a probability destroyed the determinism on which its concept of physicality was built. Recently, matters have gotten even worse. To explain the observable universe, we need “dark matter” and “dark energy,” which is basically as fancy way of saying that we have no clue what 90% of the universe is made up of. All we know is that whatever it is, it obeys no known physical laws. Whatever it is, it isn’t ordinary matter or enegy as we current understand it.
    By the way, bornagain, if I remember correctly, Richard Feynman trick is called Feyman path intregals or what is popularly known as “sum over histories.” Sparing you the integral mathematics that I don’t know well and certainly don’t know how to enter in html , the idea is that doing the calculation to integrate infinite path histories, the contributions far from the “stationary action” history (as defined by Lagrange and Hamilton)cancel each other out. When you do the integration calculus, only the histories very close to the one for which the action is large and stationary will contributions reinforce their neighbors, rather than cancel them out, because there will be a large bunching of phase angles in the same direction. This makes the classical history the major contributor to the total amplitude of the integral with small corrections from quantum paths that are not quite classical but close enough to no quite cancel out. Is that helpful at all?
    For Paul Brand, about God’s “interventions:” Your statements assumes that God exists within and is bound by time. God is commonly understood to have no past, present, or future. He is, unchanging. For him, what we perceive as time is one, complete whole. An “intervention” at any moment in our time exists at the same divine moment as the Big Bang. A quantum “random” action at this moment in our time is the same choice for God as sending all the little waves and particlas on their merry way during the Big Bang. All the “random” quantum acts summed through all time can be simple described “the will of God.”
    The “infinite worlds” theory is just a method to introduce infinite possibility into a mindless universe. However, unlike the “steady state” universe (before the Big Bang) that gave evolution access to infinite time to work its magic, any infinite worlds hypothesis is safely beyond testing against any evidence as is, of course, any divine mind. Both infinite universes and an inifinite mind violate any rule of parsimony, but being beyond proof, it hardly matters.
    In the end, the choice comes down to whether or not people want to believe that their lives have any teleological meaning or planned purpose. Those that do, will believe in a divine mind as the source of that purpose. Those who do not, will believe in a mindless infinity of one sort or another that gave rise to their individual life for no reason at all.

  28. 28
    professorsmith says:

    Re Jerry’s comment (#9):
    We could conceivably calculate how many universes would have spawned from this one every nanosecond by basic algebra. We would have to assume how many could spawn, the multiply by the number of nanoseconds. Of course, if you allow for our child universes to also spawn their own, the number gets much larger much faster. If you also take into account that our universe would most likely have come from a previous universe, then the number for all intents and purposed may as well be infinity.

    Re StephenB (#19):
    I highly disagree that we should assume such things. Science is not about assuming, it is about showing. We should show such things. It is reasonable to infer that we live in this universe and this universe alone because this is the only universe that can be shown to exist. IOW, we don’t need to assume such things, they can be shown scientifically.

    Re the OP:
    I disagree that MWI can be used to support ID. ID is a scientific concept, MWI is not. MWI was developed by materialists as a feeble attempt to counter fine tuning, which leads to a fine tuner, a designer. The MWI is simply an unscientific hand-waving argument designed (no pun intended) to proclaim materialism in the face of evidence to the contrary. Although we may feel a sense of schadenfreude in turning a materialists argument against materialism, we should refrain from stooping to that level when we can win the battle through empirical data and observation from the only universe that we know of and can test for.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Prof. Smith,
    I believe the MWI of quantum mechanics is actually used by materialist to counter the probability arguments put forth by IDers to refute evolutionary scenarios for complex systems in molecular biology. IOW, MWI has the same fondational constants across a infinty of world’s. Whereas the Multi-Universe hypothesis was put forth by materialists to counter the fine tuning that is found in the anthropic principle.
    Both suffer from no substantiating evidence ansd in fact the multi-universe suffers from a fatal flaw in logic…that being…if an infinite of other types of universes exist then why is it not also infinitely possible for God to exist? They open up a can of worms logically speaking,,,if it is infinitely possible for God to exist as it is in the multi-universe hypothesis, then God certainly does exist, And since God does exist all possibilities are subject to Him since He is by definition omnipotent!

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Not only would a God exists but there would be an infinite number of Them and increasing in number every planck second.

    What folly!

  31. 31
    Paula says:

    bornagain77:

    From your posts on other threads, I assume that you are familiar with the writings of (astrophysicist) Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe… Perhaps you also have heard him suggest that some of the apparent contradictions of Christian theology (including predetermination vs. the free will of man) might have their explanation in the fact that, although God exists outside of time and space, He is comfortable operating in at least 10+ dimensions (our present four plus the six or more that have rolled up). I have also heard Ross say that our present universe, with its bondage to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, was designed in its present form to permit the conquest of evil.
    I’d like to digress a little myself on the topic of free will… I’ve sometimes thought that one factor that is overlooked in design discussions is that, as Christians understand the cosmos, free will was one of the primary design goals. I think this might be one reason that there is no absolutely compelling evidence for origins–or why, as I believe Carl Sagan once asked, we don’t see a cross when we look up into the heavens… Otherwise God would be conquering our intellects by brute force. But since He is also incomprehensibly merciful and unwilling that any man should perish (as well as having a delightful sense of irony), I am still praying that Richard Dawkins will show up at one of his debates with scales on his eyes after a “Road to Damascus” experience on the airplane… And yes, I do believe that human prayers can and do alter the course of history (although they will never deprive Richard Dawkins of his free will).
    But are the answers to prayer “front-ended” into history or are they “on-the-spot” interventions? From the point of view of a God outside of time, are the two possibilities distinct?
    From your description of your own unusual answer to prayer in another thread, I gather that you do believe in “miracles”— I wondered when I read your experience what it was that prompted you to think of it as a “miracle” … the seemingly non-random nature of the event? But does “non-random” require any suspension of the laws of physics? (I am not a mathematician or a physicist, so I don’t know how the laws of probability interact with the laws of physics—and I certainly do not understand quantum mechanics.) I noticed that on Amazon.com that one reader of Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution had asked “Just exactly what is a non-random mutation, anyway?” I, too, would appreciate seeing further discussion of “non-random” means. For from what I can see, it is all that separates Behe’s view of the biological world from that of many TE advocates—unless perhaps it Behe’s willingness to “go outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he [Jesus] bore.”

  32. 32

    If it requires an infinite number of universes to account for the “appearance of design”, then it is more probable that some kind of “ordering principle”, (structure principle), is behind the otherwise unexpected configuration that is observed, than a multiverse.

    “appearance of design”
    -Lenny Susskind and Steven Weinberg

    Any multiverse interpretations has to be justified by an as yet non-existent complete theory, or its usage is nothing more than a non-observable speculation that cannot supercede the natural expectation for a resolution via first principles, until this is accomplished.

  33. 33
    cartex says:

    God is cited in Genesis evaluating the creation saying that “it is very good”.
    My understanding is that with sin, decay and entropy entered our universe. This is not God’s world and it’s not the only creation. The afterlife is another creation, another universe. Jesus told his disciples that he will prepare “a place” for them. Jesus is logos, logos is the creator of the world.
    I understand why so many have problems with God looking at this universe. But this is not the initial design, it’s a broken universe compared with the original. The evil we see in this world is the consequence of the sin and not of God’s impotence or indifference.
    Last note, I think of this universe as a gigantic simulator with God as it’s programmer. Nothing that happens would be outside his control. We use our free will to go from decision to decision. God is outside the time and space, he already knows everything. But we don’t.

  34. 34
    William J. Murray says:

    When 99% of the comments on blogs like these about ID are essentially christian apologist assertions that “the designer” behind ID is the Christian god, one can understand why science is so reluctant to seriously consider this issue.

    While it is reasonable to expect science to seriously consider the design inference separate from the “movement” purporting it, there is no reason whatsoever to assume that the “designer” behind ID is anything other than an as-yet undiscovered or unrecognized natural phenomena – such as MWI or other emergent property of the universe.

    There’s no reason other than polemic to insist that the origin of the design is divine. Let the materialists construct a material explanation for design, so what? Who cares? Isn’t the important thing to get ID recognized as a valid scientific model?

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    Paula,This link is an Excellent essay by Dr. Dembski dealing with evil in the world that I think you will appreciate.

    http://www.designinference.com.....eodicy.pdf

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    As a side light to this,,,I believe it is highly probable (in fact, I would argue that it is almost mandatory) that the only reason God would allow evil (however you want to define evil, whether, willful disobedience or entropy in creation) to come into creation, was that God foresaw that much greater good would come out of it in the future than would be lost in the present.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Paula you stated:
    I, too, would appreciate seeing further discussion of “non-random” means. For from what I can see, it is all that separates Behe’s view of the biological world from that of many TE advocates.

    ME TOO!!!! More specifically,, I would like to see such questions addressed as,,,Exactly how was the complex information implemented???,,,Can we possibly mimic such implementation?? What are the specific limits to harmful mutations in organisms? Is the genome of a parent species irreducible complex as far complex information concerned??? Only ID seems to promise to search these areas of inquiry!!!

    Behe goes to where the rubber meets the road, scientifically speaking, and says that random (entropic) methods are insufficient to generate the numerous protein-protein binding sites necessary in a evolutionary scenario…In order to defeat the “normal” nature of mutations in molecular systems..it is necessary for Intelligence to actually generate the specified complexity witness!!! TE’s are very vague about this one crucial point..Whereas ID advocates are very specific!!!
    Thus it seems TE falls into the camp of evolutionists as being a science stopper, or at least an impediment, for they are not actively engaged in determining exactly what is required to build this complexity…
    At least TE is not as bad as evolution is, for evolution denies that there is even anything to be searched out in the first place as far as implementing the tremendous complexity we are finding in molecular biology!!!

  38. 38
    StephenB says:

    professor Smith” We ASSUME nature is both rational and consistent. You disagree with that?

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