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Nature cannot be all there is. Science demonstrates that.

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  From Denyse O’Leary at Evolution News & Views:

Naturalists (who say nature is all there is) have recently sought to jimmy the rules around evidence to accommodate their strong belief that a multiverse really exists. Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel offers a glimpse of the future they propose, in a piece at Forbes titled “The multiverse is inevitable and we’re living in it”:

“What is the Multiverse, then? It may go well beyond physics, and be the first physically motivated “metaphysics” we’ve ever encountered. For the first time, we’re understanding the limits of what our Universe can teach us. There is information we need, but that we’ll never obtain, in order to elevate this into the realm of testable science. Until then, we can predict, but neither verify nor refute, the fact that our Universe is just one small part of a far grander realm: the Multiverse.”

If Siegel’s multiverse is not testable, it is not falsifiable either. Nonetheless, our acceptance is demanded (“inevitable”). And nature is, as always, silent.

Yes, science is on the move. It is slowly morphing from observing nature to embodying naturalism. Naturalism has become science’s narrative. A demand for evidence can be read as “anti-science,” as bias against the narrators.

Is the triumph of post-modern naturalism inevitable? We are told that few philosophers today would wish to be considered non-naturalists. That’s true, but it is not the whole truth. For example, even though Darwinism is naturalism’s biology, growing numbers of biologists today can safely be known as non-Darwinists — a development that was not expected two decades ago. So if we think the direction is reversible in principle, we might begin by assembling reasons for doubt, perhaps starting with questions. Three come to mind: More.

See also: Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself

5 Replies to “Nature cannot be all there is. Science demonstrates that.

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    ‘Naturalists (who say nature is all there is) have recently sought to jimmy the rules around evidence to accommodate their strong belief that a multiverse really exists.’

    I don’t think it is as much a matter of their strong belief that the multiverse exists, Denyse, as that it must exist, even ought to exist – in line with the weirdly nihilistic, nay, anti-science exhortation of Richard Lewontin.

    ‘There is information we need, but that we’ll never obtain, . Until then, we can predict, but neither verify nor refute, the fact that our Universe is just one small part of a far grander realm: the Multiverse.”

    ‘Until then..?’ Until when ? According to the text …., ‘until information we need, in order to elevate this into the realm of testable science, but will never obtain…. is obtained ?

    What a bizarre non sequitur, indeed, nonsense. It’s the sort of muddle-headed nonsense I’m capable of in my more prolix and convoluted discursions.

    ‘hazard’ sounds ‘le mot juste’, rather than the more ‘lofty’ predict. No surprise, mind you, that self-styled ‘rationalists’ should go with their ‘gut feeling’, instead of reason. It’s the religious thing, isn’t it ? But without morality’s demands… which perforce also remain aleatory and uncodified, according to the individual’s subjective code.

    (Thank you for saving the last paragraph I had lost for me, Denyse).

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    I love the wry saying :’Nature always has the last word,’ referring to man’s hubris, followed by a catastrophic nemesis. Indeed, it has had the last word and that confirming the absolute truth of theism, through science, not scientism, as Robert Jastrow predicted, even read in the runes, in his day. QM has left the naturalists without a prayer, as they can see the theologians on the mountain top, but then cover their eyes.

    However, Planck’s dictum : Science progresses one funeral at a time’ now seems wildly optimistic, doesn’t it ?

    The sovereign irony is that the Christianity that uniquely gave rise to science as an ongoing endeavour, is not, at
    bottom, about our creaturely knowledge of the natural world, but about the disposition of our heart, our will – although as consisting of the memory, will and understanding, our soul is the meeting place of both spiritual and worldly cognition – mutually supportive, if our hearts are rightly disposed.

  3. 3
    MatSpirit says:

    Did you even read the piece you’re dissing? How did you miss this?

    “It’s important to recognize that the Multiverse is not a scientific theory on its own. It makes no predictions for any observable phenomena that we can access from within our own pocket of existence. Rather, the Multiverse is a theoretical prediction that comes out of the laws of physics as they’re best understood today. It’s perhaps even an inevitable consequence of those laws: if you have an inflationary Universe governed by quantum physics, this is something you’re pretty much destined to wind up with.

    It’s possible that our understanding of the state before the hot Big Bang is incorrect, and that our ideas about inflation are completely wrong for this application. If that’s the case, then the existence of a Multiverse isn’t a foregone conclusion. But the prediction of an eternally inflating state, where an uncountably large number of pocket Universes are continuously born and driven inextricably apart from one another, is a direct consequence of our best current theories, if they’re correct.”

    Have you ever heard the words “theoretical physics” before?

  4. 4
    Origenes says:

    [sarc]
    Why stop at a multiverse? Isn’t it inevitable, that there is a magaverse, of which our multiverse is but a tiny meaningless spot? I mean, in order to explain the multiverse, as it is best understood today, the magaverse is perhaps even an inevitable consequence of those laws: if you have an inflationary multiverse governed by quantum physics, this is something you’re pretty much destined to wind up with.
    [/sarc]

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    Eugene Koonin’s hypothesis is related to this. He admits that the spontaneous chemical abiogenic origin of life through some proposed mechanism like the “RNA world” is beyond vanishingly improbable in our own single universe, so he invokes an inflationary infinite multiverse plus the anthropic principle to explain it.

    Unfortunately this sort of explanation is ultimately unscientific, unverifiable, unfalsifiable, and goes against one of the more reliable principles of scientific hypothesis building – the Occam’s Razor principle of parsimony. Such a hypothesis unnecessarily adds what amounts to an infinite amount of complex specified information. All that organized complexity, in fact an infinite additional organized complexity with its own additional set of meta-laws, that also strongly looks like it is intelligently designed, even more than our own single universe.

    Ultimately, also, Koonin’s kind of infinite multiverse hypothesis just “passes the buck” or kicks the can down the road by one step, so to speak. Then we need to come up with an explanation for this overarching continuum of a multiverse. It becomes an infinite regress, which seems to deny the existence of any real knowledge.

    If we propose a reason or explanation for something, we reasonably ask what are the justifications for this reason itself. If a reason or explanation is to count as knowledge, it must itself be justified with another reason, and so on, ad infinitum. What is the origin of the multiverse, then what is the origin of whatever that is, and so on forever.

    It seems simpler to posit an intelligent self existent and contained cause of one single universe, namely our own. The buck would stop there.

    This all shows the desperate lengths materialism will go to to maintain itself in the face of repeated failure in areas like OOL research, and the ultimate need for a metaphysical/theological solution. Maybe this is one of the reasons why modern mainstream science has such a disdain for philosophy, and brings to mind what seems the last possible question: “why is there something not absolutely nothing?”.

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