Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

“Multiverse of the Gaps”


Irony again.  I love it.  How many times have ID proponents been accused of resorting to the “God of the gaps” to explain the hard questions? For years Darwinists have said, essentially, “yes, the questions are hard, but we’re working on them and the answer is just around the corner.  No need to invoke design, especially if you believe God may have been the designer.”  (O’Leary’s “promissory materialism”)

Now the Darwinists appear to be giving up and invoking a gap filler of their own.  I call it the “multiverse of the gaps.”  This article is an example:  http://www.biology-direct.com/content/2/1/15

The author, an avowed Darwinist, gives up on Darwin to ever explain the origin of life.  He admits: “to attain the minimal complexity required for a biological system to start on the path of biological evolution, a system of a far greater complexity, i.e., a highly evolved one, appears to be required. How such a system could evolve, is a puzzle that defeats conventional evolutionary thinking.”

The problem is that, as Dembski and others have been arguing for years, in a finite universe there are simply not enough probablistic resources for even the most simple life to have arisen by chance.

His solution:  Get rid of a finite universe by invoking an infinite “multiverse,” because if there are infinite “chances” then everything not only can happen, but it must happen, no matter how improbable. In other words, if the only universe we know about does not give you enough probablistic resources, conjure up as much as you need out of thin air by positing that this universe in only one of an infinite number of universes.  Problem solved.

Hi ex-xian, I forgot to mention that I only use the Casimir Effect as proof of the fact that Quantum Vacuum Fluctuations are not infinite in the true mathematical sense, regardless of the fact that QM equations use infinite sets. From this follows empirical evidence that there is no instantiated infinity in our physical world (or any multiverse for that matter) - including the realm of observed QM phenomenon. mullerpr
Hi ex-xian, I am going to stick to this fallacy I see in all multiverse or instantiated infinity arguments. To work from you argument; Why would you disallow any particular sub-set or model it only according to our own universe (as a clone), the Boltzmann Brain or the Spaghetti Monster? It is certainly not rigorous to be arbitrary about the sub-sets you prefer to actualize without giving an empirically testable set of rules that can bound your preferred sub-set. The only empirical evidence my consciousness can demarcate as a sub-set is my own reality an it only includes the stuff I observe and think. In fact for your argument to go anywhere you will need a consciousness that can observe everything at every possible instance in order to bound the sub-set you postulate in such a matter of fact way - You need GOD to make your sub-set viable and if you have this all inclusive consciousness i.e GOD why can't He just as well control the nature of everything. That is why I maintain that there is no such a thing as an instantiated infinity and talking about it crosses human rational boundaries. mullerpr
Yes I agree with you mullerpr, There is a lot of (weeding) work left to be done on the concepts, but at least I think its in the right ballpark for future growth and understanding. bornagain77
Hi bornagain77, I like your article and think I understand/share most of the notions mentioned. It has great explanatory value as well. I only would like to see "eternal" time better grounded than simply being in our minds, but I think you implied this in any case. mullerpr
Mullerpr, You mentioned (absolute time) so I thought you might want to see this preliminary article I'm working on. What is Time? Depending on who you ask you will get two seemingly different answers. If we ask a philosopher what time is he will tell us time is a river flowing past us. If we ask a physicist what time is he will give us an elaborate answer that would probably leave the average person more perplexed than when he first asked the physicist. I like the philosophers answer to what time is. It is simple and straight forward. Time does indeed seem to be a river flowing past us. Yesterday turns into today. Today turns into tomorrow. Yet we seem to be standing still as the river of time flows past us. As beautiful of a description as this is we still have need to borrow from the physicist so that we may have a better understanding of what time actually is. So please bear with me while I lay the foundation for our understanding. I will try to be as simple as possible. Let's start with Einstein's famous relativity equation (e=mc2) which gives amazing insights into exactly what is subject to time and what is not. The two basic physical components of the equation are energy and mass. Energy is usually referred to as light in the equation, but is actually the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum of which light is only a tiny portion. All the energy of the universe is weightless and is proven by many experiments not to be subject to aging as mass is in this universe. Mass is anything in the universe that can be measured as weight, such as all of the constituents of solids, liquids and gases. All mass has weight and is proven to be subject to the entropic time base we measure with. It may be said that all mass has weight and all mass ages. It may also be said that all energy is weightless and all energy does not age. Thus for our purpose we can now divide everything in this universe into two categories of what is subject to aging and what is not. One category is mass which has weight and is subject to aging. The other category is energy which does not have weight and is not subject to aging. Energy is proven by special relativity not to be subject to the entropic aging of this universe. Energy at the speed of light is often referred to as timeless since it does not age according to the time base we use to measure it with. This is a somewhat misleading, because energy is not really timeless in the strictest sense of the word. The reason for this is, for energy to have a reality at all, it must be based on some sort of "real" time. It must be based on a different type of time we have not, to my knowledge, mathematically defined yet. If energy were truly timeless in the strictest sense of the word, it could not possibly exist for it would have absolutely no time to exist in. This is similar to saying that energy could not exist if it had absolutely no space to exist in. (Mullerpr, This could be the absolute time you are refering too in your post, but I also point out that a absolute space would be required in the proper mathematical definition for the absolute time). The only discernible reason energy is not effected by the physical time we measure with is because it has no weight and is not part of the space/time (gravity) fabric of this universe. Only mass which has weight is subject to the physical time of this universe. This is because mass has weight which makes it part of the space/time (gravity) fabric of this universe; This is exactly what makes mass subject to aging. Though a light beam may be bent by the gravity of a massive star which is part of the space/time (gravity) fabric, light itself is a passive part of the space/time (gravity) fabric of this universe and therefore escapes the aging process of physical time that mass is subject to. Our bodies which are made of mass have weight and are subject to physical time for they are part of the space/time (gravity) fabric of this universe. The consciousness of our brain is at least a energy based phenomena and may be proven to be either a energy/spiritual base or a pure spiritual base once the evidence is in. Yet even at the energy level base consciousness is proven to be weightless. Because of this weightless quality for consciousness, I argue it is not subject to the space/time (gravity) fabric of this universe. And also because of this weightless quality, I also argue that consciousness is not subject to the entropy of aging as our bodies are. (Amazingly, even the memories we acquire during our lives and use in our thinking consciousness of our brains are proven to be stored in the “spiritual” realm and not the physical realm, by Transcranial magnetic stimulation studies(Van Lommel)). Thus, time as we have it defined (seconds, minutes, hours and days) is not the only time basis we should be looking for in answer to the question "What is time?". There are at least two very different and distinctive types of time we are looking for in our relationship with our present reality. One time is the basis of the physical aging of our bodies and of all the mass of the universe. This time basis is the flowing river that the philosopher is talking about. There is at least one other basis of time we are looking for that is the "real" time of our energy/spiritual based consciousness. This time basis we are looking for should be of the same nature as the "eternal" time basis for light since our consciousness is, at the very least, an energy based phenomena. We are looking for a somewhat unchanging and constant foundation of time in our consciousness. This constant time is what the flowing river of mass based time is actually flowing past in our consciousness. The question we should really be asking for our topic is, "What is the true nature of time that our energy/spiritual based consciousness is built upon ?" This basis of time we are looking for is something that has been with us all along which we haven't completely given credit to nor definition to. This seemingly constant and unchanging time we are looking for turns out to be our concept of "now". The answer is right under our noses and has been with us all along; "now" is constant to us, it changes not. The days of the week change; the seasons of the years change; but "now" always stays the same to our minds. It is always "now" to us no matter what hour of the day or day of the week it is. Has time ever really been anything other than "now" for you? I know for me,, if I am honest with myself, it hasn't. The mass based time of this world always flows around this tiny island of "now" we have in our minds. The time basis of "now" does not change with regard to the time basis we measure the matter of the universe with! This happens to be the same exact relationship that energy and mass have in the relativity equation! IF it is true that this time basis for our consciousness is not properly defined mathematically (an absolute time?) then science will be very limited in its ability to develop a "Theory of Everything" since a proper definition of time (and space) is required for the basis of many of the mathematical equations I am familiar with. So, if you are still with me, I think we are ready to superficially answer the question of our topic. What is time? Time is at least two very different and distinct things that exist side by side in our brain. One time flows and ages all elements of mass that are subject to it. The second time we are aware of is constant unchanging and does not age those elements of energy (and spirit) that are subject to it. The philosopher can amend his statement to say ... "The world's material time is a river flowing past our stationary little island of "eternal" time we each have within of our minds." bornagain77
bornagain77, I could not agree with you more. As an Information Scientist it is very plausible to accept that information does not have to be extended in space, however it seems as if, on some level, information is bound to material time - is it possible for an entity to be locked into time but not space, I think so. With God as the source of absolute time this is very viable. (Postulating absolute time as caused by God is certainly more probable than an infinite form of any type of multiverse.) The work of Stuart Hameroff touches on the nano-tech stuff in the brain that supposedly interact indetermanistically through quantum fluctuation - quantum computing etc. This however is still far away from conclusive. The Spiritual Brain also seems converge on this level of scientific observation, I still need to get my hands on a copy. The rate at which this type of study is going to open our understanding of our inclusive reality must be picking up speed. mullerpr
#2 is difficult to define. How would the variation limits be determined? With infinite resources, how would we put a limit on what could occur, unless it could be determined that the probability of a given event is zero?
Depends on the "laws" guiding the formation of universes, don't it? There might be an infinite amount of em but they might be limited in how they can vary. Patrick
es58 how can it be 156 billion light years as stated above? Objects in the universe aren't moving away from each other as if from an explosion. The empty space in between them is expanding. The fundamental forces (weak, strong, electromagnetic, and gravity) keep atoms and galaxies and groups of galaxies together. The best way to conceptualize this is to imagine the material things in the universe as being on the surface of a balloon. The expansion of the universe is like the balloon being inflated. There's no speed limit for how fast empty space can expand. Light waves travelling between distant objects get stretched by the expansion of space creating the well known "red shift" discovered by Hubble and the amount of stretching increasing with distance by a factor known as the Hubble Constant. As the light waves stretch the distance between peaks increases lowering the frequency. Red is the low frequency end of the visible spectrum so "red shift" is light shifting toward a lower frequency. In the earlist epochs of the universe matter and energy were too dense to allow light to propagate through it. When it cooled by expansion sufficiently matter coalesced into familiar things like protons, neutrons, electrons, and atoms. The universe became transparent to light at that point (approximately 400,000 years old). The temperature of the universe at that time was predicted by theory to be about 3000K (Kelvin) so the first light to shine was that characteristic of a blackbody at 3000K uniformly distributed in all directions. In familiar terms 3000K is "red hot". A prediction from this theory is that we should be able to observe a uniform blackbody glow in all directions. In the 1960's researchers at Bell Labs observed the glow at 3K (microwave), redshifted by a factor of 1000 times implying that the universe had grown in size 1000 times. Back then the microwave receivers lacked the noise discrimination to find any inhomogeneity in the microwave background. As receivers got better there finally was a tiny bit of inhomogeneity detected. The microwave background wasn't precisely the same in every direction. The source of this inhomogeneity, which is why matter in the universe today is clumped into planets and stars and galaxies rather than a thin evenly distributed fog, is perhaps the greatest mystery in cosmology. Analysis of the inhomogeneity reveals a frequency pattern characteristic of "pink noise". It's been shifted up into the audible range and tweaked in various ways so we can listen to it. You can find links to the audio files here. These are the sounds of creation. They might be thought of as the voice of God since that's as good as anyone's guess about the source. DaveScot
Mullepr, Above actually understanding the quantum implementation of information into the material level of our brain, and as far as practical applications go for us, I think a very fruitful line of research would look at how the consciousness of the brain actually interacts with what we would call the overall "macroscopic" level of matter and energy of the brain. That is seeing as how the Theistic philosophy says God imposed his will and "truth" on the matter and energy of the universe, We should see a direct correlation between the types of thoughts we have and the overall effects on the energy and matter of the brain. (Materialism would presuppose that this would not be possible since thoughts are postulated to come from matter and energy!) I believe we are now at the point technologically to actually find out what is happening on this scale. The following questions of this sort could be answered "Does thinking a truthful thought have a different impact on matter and energy than thinking a false thought?" If these types of questions could be deduced decisively then I believe a fruitful line of knowledge could open up that would positively effect mental health as well as many other promising areas of research! bornagain77
Folks: Great stuff. The article joins my vault. For, here we see that WD is right on the issue of the UPB as a challenge to abiogenisis in the context of the OBSERVED universe. Beyond that we are crossing over from science tpo phil and all serious options should be on the comparative difficulties table. (Whatever a "copycat" Judge JEJ III might think!] GEM of TKI PS: Cf my aleays linked etc for the relevant discussion. PPS: DS, why am I now always m^o^dd^ed -- is it the week plus I was offline? Or have I inadvertently fallen afoul of a policy? [If so, kindly explain, I apologise most humbly in advance.] kairosfocus
bornagain77 thank you for the poem. It does make beautiful our quantum reality. I agree with you that quantum mechanics is the end of materialism as we knew it. The most concise way to present this impact is the fact that our reality is clearly indeterministic. I think that Dr. Dembski use this attribute of our reality as a potential means through which specified complexity or specified information can enter our material universe from non-material sources. I firmly belief that the great minds looking at quantum mechanics will stumble on a clear interface through which information is "received" into/onto matter - this present pure empirical study of what comes into our reality. It will also not surprise me if neuroscientists find the same interface inside our brains. (When the bad dogma of materialism is broken we will admit that we have been studying this for ages using pure empirical methods.) Regarding our minds you can consider the work of Stuart Hameroff, his site is http://www.quantumconsciousness.org - I will not make a judgment on the accuracy of his work but I like the line of reasoning and the data that supports it. mullerpr
if universe is only 15 billion years old, and nothing can travel faster than light, then, if it expanded away from center at speed of light, should have diameter of only 30 billion light years max. how can it be 156 billion light years as stated above? es58
I find the fact that this universe is built on quantum principles that defy time and space to be more devastating to the materialistic philosophy than their desperate postulation of a multiverse to save themselves from the anthropic principle. While I was studying quantum mechanics I "serendipitously" ran across this poem by Edgar Allen Poe: I find it interestingly proper for quantum mechanics. I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream? bornagain77
let's say there were infinite universes, does it help? that is, yes, in theory, an infinite random list of C,T,G,A will contain all 6 billion people's exact 3 bill dna nucleotides, in sequence, and every other sequence imaginable; but, even if infinite universes identical to ours existed, and we consider the enormous subset of the universes with "earth" exactly like ours but that do not have life, would you ever find a shirt or a 747 on it? (product of unguided natural forces) there's no "function" trying to stop the random strings of CTAG from forming any given pattern, but natural forces will stymie the creation of a 747; if this is not correct, help me to understand why? will we really say there's an exhaustive set of universes, with every imaginable combination of atoms (actually infinite numbers of them), and that's the "scientific" solution if not, it seems the argument is just circular; since they're sure (philosophically) from the outset that RM/NS can produce life, it will do so somewhere, even if not in all universes, given enough of them but, if a universe wouldn't produce a shirt here, it wouldn't produce a shirt in any of the alternate universes, so, why should it produce life elsewhere, if not here? es58
ex-xian wrote: "I really don’t think that’s the case. Infinite doesn’t mean everything. The set of even integers is infinite, but it doesn’t include all integers. There could be infinite universes filled with clones (like the other person said) or this universe and an infinite number of empty universes." From this comment it is clear that you are doing exactly what I mentioned before. You are being arbitrary. You do not have the right to be arbitrary about infinity. You cannot just consider even integers or only postulate clones, Boltzman Brains, spaghetti Monsters etc. There is nothing that can make choice in a random material infinite reality. It is also very interesting to note that in quantum vacuum fluctuations the Casimir Effect can only be explained by "restricting" the "infinite" fluctuations inside the plates to be less than the "infinite" fluctuations outside the plates. This "restriction" cannot be allowed with a true infinity and that is why physicists might paradoxically talk about the fact that "not all infinites are equal". To understand more about the paradoxes of infinity check out: Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel on Wikipedia. mullerpr
Now I'm no multiverse expert, but: #1 would probably be the Darwinist preference, providing just enough probabilistic resources to spontaneously generate life randomly (as if this would even be possible) but not enough to be truly absurd, such as a world where not only is Elvis alive, but we're all Elvis. You could almost listen to this definition while drinking milk. #2 is difficult to define. How would the variation limits be determined? With infinite resources, how would we put a limit on what could occur, unless it could be determined that the probability of a given event is zero? #3 strangely makes the most sense of the three. Infinite probabilistic resources suggest that every outcome with even the remotest possibility of happening would eventually occur. I'm not sure how to escape this. Apollos
I think there are 3 separate concepts to the multiverse idea: 1. finite multiverse 2. infinite multiverse with limited variation 3. infinite multiverse where every potential possibility is mandatory Patrick
The question you have to ask when you postulate a "spontaneous random consciousness" like the Boltzmann Brain in an infinite set of multiverses is: "Why be so arbitrary and only postulate a consciousness?" In an infinite you can/must postulate the Spaghetti Monster and it must come to pass at some point some where. This logically follows from ALL the best monistic(only matter) materialist science and philosophy - Boltzmann Brains and "Biological Big Bang" (from Koonin) are just arbitrary samples. It is inevitable in an infinite reality that if "ANYTHING CAN BE IT WILL BE" and most probably more than once. This include any thought by any consciousness, yours mine anyones'/anythings' - remember to the materialist our thoughts are part of matter itself. Real science will stop this infinite universe nonsense. mullerpr
ex-xian, "As for the claim that science is moving toward design, I just don’t see it." Yeah, but everybody's talking about it. As Maimonides writes in Mishne Torah, at least they are talking about the Book--in the end the result will be positive. Not many years ago such talk was forbidden over much of the world on pain of the Gulag, and hardly anybody dared risk his reputation in the West either. Now just look around you: They're all talking about it. And when you say "science"--I assume you mean so-called "concensus science"--big money science--politicized science. But that's never where the good stuff comes from. Watch the periphery where new ideas emerge and are put forth to be tested. Rude
All things are mandatory--sez who? What about an infinite multiverse of clones? Rude
"What does Boltzmann Brains have to do with multiple universes? And you’re wrong–everything is not mandatory in a multiverse. Why would you say so?" Yes, in an infinet multiverse all things are mandatory. If you don't understand that you probably don't understand what infinite means. Jehu
Where'd the multiverse come from? ;) Patrick
Sounds like the "re-move strategy". If you can't solve it here on earth move it to Mars (pan-spermia). If you can't solve it in this Universe, spawn up another :). Well where did that Universe come from? And there you are back at the start! Where are the materialist moving next? tb
Hi Dave, I have to agree with you on the Boltzmann Brain fantasy adhering to the notion that "anything/everything has to occur" in an infinite reality. The thing is that popular science are being presented in all popular media to the masses converting them to Boltzmann Brain Believers - another BBB. mullerpr
Hi ex-xian, "ex-xian said: The multiple universe idea arose an a result of scientific investigation. It’s an attempt to explain what has been observed, and the interpretation explains the data perfectly." I have to agree with this comment of yours but only in part. The Design Inference in itself constitute a sound scientific inference that is in actual fact a "more unbiased" inference than the multi-verse inference that is completely locked into a materialistic presupposition. The problem with a materialistic presupposition is highlighted by all the ID criticism of Darwinian evolution and the BBB just take this irrational adherence to materialism a step further not to mention panspermia. Looking at the evidence of real science converging from all angles on true Design makes the God hypothesis the most sensible and scientific - (says my Boltzmann Brain - NOT...) mullerpr
But Dave, I think there's something to the Boltmann Brain theory. In fact, my experience practically confirms it. Every morning I feel like I'm the product of a stochastic fluctuation before my first cup of coffee. ;-) BarryA
ex-xian The infinite multiverse theory leads to laughable absurdities. The key difference is that with God all things are possible whereas in an infinite multiverse all things are mandatory. Read about Boltzmann Brains and try not to chuckle. DaveScot
ex-xian, Personally I think the MWI is fine as a standalone concept. It only becomes funny when it's invoked to save Darwinism. There is also a difference between a finite multiverse and an infinite multiverse...the oddities only come into play with the infinite version. Also, "supernatural" is of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural or outside the natural order. Typically the "natural" is just our universe and everything in it. Dembski tried to discuss this years ago with his "nature of nature" discussions. Patrick
ex-xian, the point of this post is not so much to make fun of the materialists and their multiverse theory but to point out their hypocrisy. How are they hypocritical? Well, they blast ID for being non-science because it is not falsifiable (when they are not saying it has been falsified), then they rely on a clearly non-falsifiable multiverse theory to support their own hypothesis. Materialists are not against metaphysics seeping into their science in principle, it seems. They are against a PARTICULAR metaphysics, i.e., any metaphysics that might directly or indirectly allow God to get a foot in the door. In sum, their objections are religious, not scientific. BarryA
[...] Now the Darwinists appear to be giving up and invoking a gap filler of their own. I call it the “multiverse of the gaps.” This article is an example: http://www.biology-direct.com/content/2/1/15 [...] Darwiniana » Problem solved?
There is an aphorism, widely attributed to Chesterton,* that goes like this: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything." I think the "multiverse" falls within the "anything" people will believe. *While Chesterton said many things from which this statement may be inferred, there is no record he ever made this exact comment. BarryA
It's easier to believe in the giant spagetti monster :-) Robo
Good grief, I mean post #3. StephenB
Russ, I hope you know that my comment on post #4 was about the multiverse theory and not your comment. I should have offered an introductory sentence. StephenB
My exact thought when reading your post was, “Gee, I wish I had said it as concisely and clearly as Apollos just did!”
russ, very kind of you to say. Apollos
You...you...you mean Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty really do exist out there somewhere? That's enough to make a Trekkie's head explode, gushing gooey fanboyism everywhere. Patrick
Joseph, you never saw Firefly. Too bad. It was a great show, kind of a western set in the future. I inferred you had, because the characters refer to the universe as the 'verse. Maybe it's the 'verse next door in which you saw the show. BarryA
Obviously to get life all you need is an improbiblity drive. Latemarch
BarryA: BTW, Joseph, when you say “verse” for universe, your Firefly is showing. Umm, in a multiverse scenario there isn't a "universe". I never heard of "Firefly". I looked it up and I can't even remember seeing any ads for the show- if that is what you were referring to. My point was and is that regardless of what the other multiverses resemble there is no way to exclude a deigner or designer(s) as the cause of those systems. And, as a matter of fact, there isn't any way to determine whether or not those other systems are any different from the one we find ourselves in. Joseph
Joseph, "A multiverse scenario does not exclude a designer or designers." Indeed, a multiverse guarantees that there will be one in which all life is designed. As mattghg points out, in a multiverse, every logically possible universe is actual. A designer is logically possible; therefore in a multiverse he/she/it is actual. The really fun question is, if the multiverese idea is true, are we living in the one where the designer is actual? BTW, Joseph, when you say "verse" for universe, your Firefly is showing. BarryA
I see that Koonin in his BBB (Biological Big Bang) article he reference many String Theory work. ("The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution" Biology Direct 2007, 2:21 doi:10.1186/1745-6150-2-21 Eugene V Koonin koonin@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)) I don't know much about string theory but the last I heard was that they are still not very strong on predicting anything - ("post-dicted" the graviton). What interests me more in the "real world" of quantum mechanics is the Casimir Effect - (see Wikipedia). This effect in itself is very detrimental in understanding any form of "infinite quantum fluctuations" in a vacuum. The Casimir Effect relies on the fact that "not all infinites are equal", which is one way of saying quantum fluctuations in a vacuum are not really infinite. What we can expect is that evolution will start to relay more and more on borderline "meta"-physics like string theory. mullerpr

The Achilles heel of Darwinism is finally at least acknowledged. Reviewer 4: Itai Yanai (Harvard University) observes:

"In this work, Eugene Koonin estimates the probability of arriving at a system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution and comes to a cosmologically small number."

"Koonin specifically addresses the front-runner model, that of the RNA-world, where self-replicating RNA molecules precede a translation system. He notes that in addition to the difficulties involved in achieving such a system is the paradox of attaining a translation system through Darwinian selection. That this is indeed a bona-fide paradox is appreciated by the fact that, without a shortage effort, a plausible scenario for translation evolution has not been proposed to date."

" . . .despite much ingenuity and effort, it is fair to say that all origin of life models suffer from astoundingly low probabilities of actually occurring."

Yanai's "cosmologically small" and "astoundingly low" probabilities are rather British understatements considering that the universe is only about 10^60 Planck lengths across, using the smallest unit of measure. (The universe is estimated to be 156 billion light years or 1.47 * 10^25 m in diameter. Compare the diameter of a quark at 10^-18 m, and Planck's length is 1.616 252 * 10^-35 m.)

Sorry if I was just repeating russ. Note to self: read first, write later.
My exact thought when reading your post was, "Gee, I wish I had said it as concisely and clearly as Apollos just did!" ;) russ
Hi Joseph, I think the key in their argument is the "infinity game". For some reason the anti-ID side think that if they can convince the public that some kind of "material infinite" can exist, there is no need for a Creator Inference. Talking about a physical instantiated infinity is a metaphysical statement that cause more problems than what it can solve in "any" material world. Even talking about God's infinite nature is difficult enough for "us-who-has-a-beginning" - to grasp. God's Uncaused Immaterial Nature is the only way to make sense of any type of infinity. mullerpr
Check out the pdf version. They mention Intelligent Design. I just did a cursory look. Apparently the anthropic principle is the deathknell for ID. Saving that one to read more closely later. geoffrobinson
A multiverse scenario does not exclude a designer or designers. Another issue is there is no way of knowing that any of the other "verses" are different from ours. I don't see how a multiverse system helps the anti-ID side. With that scenario they need to explain how each arose- IOW it's not enough to just say they exist. Joseph
Thanks a lot, Barry. Now I have to come to grips with the idea that I'm a Boltzman Brain and you all are imaginary voices in my disembodied head. DaveScot
idnet.com.au: "In the discussion Koonin said there is a world in which Elvis is alive in 2007!" That would be our world. I just had lunch with him this weekend. mike1962
This is a treasure from Koonin and it is supplemented with more of his absolutely wonderful creativeness. The title is: "The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution" He has everything there. "Big Bang type inflation" for evolution etc. Just think what will happen if more biologists start to think they understand physics - man then there is no creative limit! It would be interesting to see the future of this attempt. mullerpr
If there's an infinite number of parallel universes, that means that every logically possible universe is actual. Those old sceptical chesnuts from Philosophy return with a vengeance. How do I know I'm not in the Matrix? If there's an infinite number of universes, this is just as likely as not! I remember Behe saying something similar in the last couple of chapter of Edge of Evolution. I agree with Australian IDnet and Shazard. This paper is a treasure trove of design arguments. mattghg
idnet, lol Elvis is alive?!!! Oh man! Mats
I am ID proponent BUT I would say that this is just a one step before aknowledgement of God, Darwinists just don't realize it. My argumetnation is as follows. If this "multiverse" is some system obviously "outside" of this finite material universe AND this system is capable of production of irreducably complex systems then we can freely aknowledge that we have dealing with superNatural (out of this universe) system which has passed Turing's test and by common consensus such systems are viewed as Intelligent agent. So in general, Darwinists aknowledged existence of God only they call it "Infinite Multierse"! Welcome to theology! Shazard
I have studied this paper and I think it is one of the gems we will use for a long time to come. I love Koonins frank admission that even without anything after the Big Bang (just cosmological fine tuning) we are compelled to believe in Multiverse to explain the anthropic principle. He also does a fun probability estimate of 10^-1000 for a complex capable of Darwinian evolution developing by chance! Read it through including the discussion and the appendicies. Koonin was gunned for giving ammunition to ID supporters. In the discussion Koonin said there is a world in which Elvis is alive in 2007! When you want to reject the obvious need for a Designer, you will believe in anything. idnet.com.au
Classic Reductio ad absurdum. Ignore it. Forge ahead. Googleverse, Multiverse, Universe, or Fractedverse...it's the same Intelligence at work within. When the inevitable comes, chance won't have an argument against it. John Kelly
Sorry if I was just repeating russ. Note to self: read first, write later. Apollos
I mean as long as we can postulate a transcendent mechanism for our universe, then God isn't so much irrational as He is unpalatable -- and if a mechanism of far greater complexity is required, then Dawkin's objection about God's complexity goes right out the window. Apollos
My favorite universe in the infinite multiverse is the one where an omnipotent God created everything in 6 days. I guess it had to happen. Apollos
That's not a leap of faith--that's a pole vault. StephenB
Richard Dawkins says that the more complexity we discover in biological systems, the more improbable they become, and therefore the more complex and still less probable a hypothetical designer would have to be. Does the multiverse hypothesis undo Dawkins since probabilities don't matter anymore? russ
"His solution: Get rid of a finite universe by invoking an infinite “multiverse,” because if there are infinite “chances” then everything not only can happen, but it must happen, no matter how improbable." Yeah sure. Only problem with this is that it has no connection to reality whatsoever. We are free to believe in an infinite number of universes that may actually harbor evil Spocks with goatees or maybe one in which lois lane chooses clark kent instead of superman, but just mention "design" and you're labeled an anti-science nut! Incredible! shaner74

Leave a Reply