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Peter Woit, this is your call to conversion

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Further to “Multiverse skeptic Peter Woit clarifies, he is NOT a creationist”:

Columbia mathematician Woit has received, essentially, a call to conversion from an intolerant religion, which multiverse theory is proving to be. Intolerant, that is, of any orientation that makes traditional demands for evidence from the theories that somehow get classed as “science.”

Of course no one really believes that Woit is sympathetic to the ideas of, say, David Berlinski, Michael Denton, or Michael Behe. All of whom are derided as creationists though not one of them posits creation events. In the end, that isn’t even what this is about. It’s about the role evidence should play, as opposed to theory.

Implying that Woit must be or may as well be a creationist is a way of sending him a message.

Woit took the wrong message, as it happens, from Tegmark’s disparagement of traditional religious folk in his book, Mathematical Universe. A book about a mathematical universe as such would not likely feature such material. A book about a new concept of the universe that is religious in character—with math to suit—would, of course, feature such material.

Now the important question for Woit is, where does that leave Woit? Either he avoids criticizing multiverse theory, in order to have peace (dhimmitude) or he gets called a “creationist” (conceptually, an infidel). Consequences follow either way.

Woit, who is—one gathers—an honest skeptic, wants his voiced doubts. But today doubt may only be directed against disapproved ideas, not approved, funded ones that happen to be poorly evidenced, undemonstrable, or incoherent. And the science media have made very clear that the multiverse is an Approved idea.

It will be interesting to see what he does next.

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips on the growth of multiverse theory and its ramifications.

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One Reply to “Peter Woit, this is your call to conversion

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Professor Woit complains,,,

    Max Tegmark seems to have decided that my criticism here of the emptiness of ideas in his recent book is “similar to hate-mail I’ve been receiving from a Young-Earth Creationist”. Also, the fact that I have fans at a certain Intelligent Design blog shows that I’m “against the spirit of science”. Given this, I guess I need to formally make the statement that

    I am not now and never have been a creationist.

    Yet, Professor Woit may be more of a dreaded ‘creationist’ than he realizes. In the Wall Street Journal he stated,,,

    Book Review: ‘Our Mathematical Universe’ by Max Tegmark
    Is our universe only one of many? If so, how real are the others? – Peter Woit Jan. 17, 2014 – Wall Street Journal
    Excerpt: It’s a truly remarkable fact that our deepest understanding of the material world is embodied in mathematics, often in concepts that were originated with some very different motivation. A good example is our best description of how gravity works, Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity, in which the gravitational force comes from the curvature of space and time. The formulation of this theory required Einstein to use mathematics developed 60 years earlier by the great German mathematician Bernhard Riemann, who was studying abstract questions involving geometry.
    There’s now a long history of intertwined and experimentally tested discoveries about physics and mathematics. This unity between mathematics and physics is a source of wonder for those who study the two subjects, as well as an eternal conundrum for philosophers.
    http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....0208417980

    Despite what Professor Woit may prefer to believe philosophically, (which apparently appears to be some form of naturalism that he would prefer to believe), the success of modern science itself testifies to the truthfulness of the Judeo-Christian philosophy which gave birth to this testable form of ‘real’ science. The form of science that he wants so desperately to defend from what he rightly perceives to be the untestable form of ‘anything goes’ pseudo-science that is manifest in multiverse(s), (and is also manifest, whether he is aware of it or not, in the ‘anything goes’ pseudo-science of neo-Darwinism),,,

    For instance, Professor Woit cites the work of the great German mathematician Bernhard Riemann as to being a necessary prerequisite for Einstein to be able to formulate General Relativity. But what Professor Woit may not be aware of is that the great German mathematician Bernhard Riemann was himself a devout Christian i.e. was a dreaded ‘creationist’:

    Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann (September 17, 1826 – July 20, 1866)
    He wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Protestant minister, but he was excessively shy.,,,
    In the spring of 1846 Riemann enrolled at the University of Göttingen. He entered the theology faculty but also attended some mathematics lectures and transferred to the faculty of philosophy so that he could study mathematics. In the University of Göttingen he began studying mathematics under Carl Friedrich Gauss (who was also a devout Christian),,,
    http://creationwiki.org/Bernhard_Riemann

    Bernhard Riemann – 1826 – 1866
    Personally, Riemann was bashful, reserved, and a perfectionist. These traits led to two breakdowns from overwork, and contributed toward ill health much of his life. For most of his short career he had low-paying jobs. Though poor himself, he unselfishly supported his unmarried sisters. Within a month of marrying at age 36, he suffered respiratory diseases that sent him into a downward spiral. Through all his troubles, he maintained a steadfast faith and conducted daily spiritual examination. As he was succumbing to tuberculosis, the Lord’s prayer comprised the last words on his lips. His tombstone bears the inscription of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to them that love God.”
    http://crev.info/?scientists=bernhard-riemann

    Perhaps Professor Woit may think, well mathematicians are an eccentric lot, so we can’t hold that nutty Christian thing against Riemann, but the funny thing is is, when we dig deeper, we find deeply religious, Christian, men all throughout the founding of modern science, in almost every, if not every, area of modern science:

    Dr. Meyer on the Christian History of Science – video
    http://www.thetruthproject.org.....000287.cfm

    Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD – Tihomir Dimitrov – (pg. 222)
    http://www.academia.edu/273960.....OD_Journal

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    “Did Christianity (and Other Religions) Promote the Rise Of Science?” – Michael Egnor October 24, 2013
    Excerpt: Neither the Greeks nor Islam produced modern theoretical science. The Greeks produced sublime philosophy and mathematics, but no theoretical science. They excelled in mathematics but never applied mathematical models to the systematic study of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....78281.html

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    Footnote;

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

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