Intelligent Design Multiverse

Multiverse is science based on zero evidence, science writer complains

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Quantum Space

It’s unusual for a science writer not to be head over heels in the multiverse hogwash but, well, anyway:

The ‘mirrorverse’ is just one more in a long line of so-called multiverse theories. These theories are based on the notion that our Universe is not unique, that there exists a large number of other universes that somehow sit alongside or parallel to our own. For example, in the so-called Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are universes containing our parallel selves, identical to us but for their different experiences of quantum physics. These theories are attractive to some few theoretical physicists and philosophers, but there is absolutely no empirical evidence for them. And, as it seems we can’t ever experience these other universes, there will never be any evidence for them. As Broussard explained, these theories are sufficiently slippery to duck any kind of challenge that experimentalists might try to throw at them, and there’s always someone happy to keep the idea alive.

Is this really science? The answer depends on what you think society needs from science.

Jim Baggott, “But is it science?” at Aeon

Perhaps an increasing number of people need a system that accommodates anything they choose to believe, as opposed to a narrow, imperialistic system that insists on observable facts.

Baggott, of course, also feels the need to take the ritual swipe at ID:

And, no matter how much we might want to believe that God designed all life on Earth, we must accept that intelligent design makes no testable predictions of its own. It is simply a conceptual alternative to evolution as the cause of life’s incredible complexity. Intelligent design cannot be falsified, just as nobody can prove the existence or non-existence of a philosopher’s metaphysical God, or a God of religion that ‘moves in mysterious ways’.

Jim Baggott, “But is it science?” at Aeon

In fairness, it’s not as if he could afford to investigate whether non-intelligent causes of specified complexity are even possible. If he did, and admitted how serious the problems are, his criticism of crackpot cosmology would be rejected and lose all force.

Because, you see, he is allowed to criticize crackpot cosmology provided that he holds to no thesis about the nature of nature that would impede its actual advance. He can regret it but he must not undermine it.

Note: Jim Baggot is the author of Quantum Space: Loop Quantum Gravity and the Search for the Structure of Space, Time, and the Universe (2018) and Quantum Reality: The Quest for the Real Meaning of Quantum Mechanics – A Game of Theories (forthcoming, 2020)

See also: The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide

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3 Replies to “Multiverse is science based on zero evidence, science writer complains

  1. 1
    SmartAZ says:

    If you don’t believe something it is nonsense by definition. So it is a hoot when an unbeliever tries to debunk something that people believe.

  2. 2
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Too bad Jim Baggott is ignorant about the testable predictions that Creationist Scientists make.

    Here’s one:
    The making of a living organism from non living chemicals will never be demonstrated.

    That is a testable (AKA falsifiable) claim.
    To falsify it, all you need to do is make life in a lab.

    And the world’s top gurus, including Nobel Prize winners, in a massive international effort, have been testing it for almost 100 years, striving to falsify it.
    Their results? A total flop.

    But they keep trying.
    Who wouldn’t? The NSF gravy keeps coming and coming.
    As President Reagan said, “A government program is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth”

  3. 3
    doubter says:

    ID makes no testable predictions of its own? I’m not impressed with this writer. You have to be willfully ignorant or very hostile to ID to say that ID is not falsifiable and not science. He comes across as arrogant to boot.

    To falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that random with respect to fitness mutations or other genetic variations plus natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems and/or high information content functional complex specified information (FCSI). To falsify ID all one has to do is demonstrate that blind and mindless processes are capable of producing what ID says was intelligently designed

    Paraphrasing Michael Behe on the various biologists who have obviously believed that ID is falsifiable:

    “Coyne’s conclusion that design is unfalsifiable seems to be at odds with the arguments of some scientist reviewers of my book (Darwin’s Black Box). Clearly, Russell Doolittle, Kenneth Miller , and others have advanced scientific arguments aimed at falsifying ID. If the results with knock-out mice had been as Doolittle first thought, or if Barry Hall’s work had indeed shown what Miller implied, then they correctly believed my claims about irreducible complexity would have suffered quite a blow. And since my claim for intelligent design requires that no unintelligent process be sufficient to produce such irreducibly complex systems, then the plausibility of ID would suffer enormously.”

    Some more quotes from Dr. Behe:

    “Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.

    Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.

    I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right.
    And since my claim for intelligent design requires that no unintelligent process be sufficient to produce such irreducibly complex systems, then the plausibility of ID would suffer enormously.”

    Even more from Dr. Behe:

    “My argument for intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.

    How about Professor Coyne’s concern that, if one system were shown to be the result of natural selection, proponents of ID could just claim that some other system was designed? I think the objection has little force. If natural selection were shown to be capable of producing a system of a certain degree of complexity, then the assumption would be that it could produce any other system of an equal or lesser degree of complexity. If Coyne demonstrated that the flagellum (which requires approximately forty gene products) could be produced by selection, I would be rather foolish to then assert that the blood clotting system (which consists of about twenty proteins) required intelligent design.”

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