Today we’ll talk about two brief posts at the website of the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. Each of them deals with a different, but long-debunked creationist argument. We’ll give you a few excerpts from each, with bold font added by us:
The first is The Multiverse Hypothesis: Refuting Cerberus. It’s by David Klinghoffer. He quotes from an email he says he received “about the multiverse hypothesis that seeks to do an end run around cosmic fine-tuning and the implication of design in the cosmos.” That email says:
The point of proposing the multiverse theory is that there exist an infinite number of universes of which ours happens to be lucky enough to have “just right” conditions for life. Implicit in the proposal is the belief that the system which generates universes always cycles through all possibilities of fundamental constants (gravitational constant, speed of light, etc.) so that each universe is randomly different. But since no one has any idea how universes are generated in such a scenario, why should we think that the constants in each universe will be different? Why might they not be always the same due to some fundamental quality of these constants?
Nothing wrong with that. As our regular readers know, we’re not keen on the multiverse, mostly because it’s a totally untestable and unnecessary concept — see Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Further, the multiverse isn’t needed to avoid the imaginary persuasiveness of the Anthropic Principle — the notion that the laws of nature and the fundamental physical constants seem remarkably suited to our own existence.
Why isn’t the multiverse needed to refute the anthropic principle? It’s because the anthropic principle, despite its allure in flattering us with the idea that the universe was designed with us in mind, simply isn’t a persuasive argument for the intelligent designer. It’s quite sufficient to accept the universe as it is. Therefore, even if the multiverse concept is a flop (and we’ll probably never know one way or the other), it doesn’t help the designer one little bit.
Then the email Klinghoffer is quoting from makes another (and far stranger) argument against the multiverse:
Given that the proposal is metaphysical and not subject to observation, doesn’t it boil down to mere preference? After all if we’re going to describe Cerberus, the three headed dog who guards the gates of Hades, we can describe him any way we wish. Who can ever refute the claim that he is red with bulldog heads and floppy ears?
Silly stuff. But as long as Klinghoffer raises the topic of mythical creatures, we should point out that the Cerberus argument applies to the magical designer too. Hey — why can’t Cerberus actually be the designer? This could be the version of the multiverse in which the designer has three heads.
That’s the end of Klinghoffer’s post (stimulating, wasn’t it?), so now we’ll go to the other gem they’ve posted today. That one is Whether Lab or Cell, It’s Design, and it says:
Art may sometimes imitate nature, but increasingly engineering is doing it, too. Some recent nano-engineering projects were inspired by cellular machines.
This is another creationist argument we’ve discussed in Common Creationist Claims Confuted under the heading “Copying Nature Requires Intelligence.” Let’s read on:
They’re hailed as great successes in engineering, but they don’t do nearly as good a job as the natural ones. If human engineers in the lab get molecular machines to imitate cellular machines, it’s intelligent design. What does this imply about the cellular machines?
That’s an easy question. It doesn’t imply anything about a magical designer who runs around like some kind of invisible Santa Claus tinkering with our DNA. Well, actually it does imply one thing. If we can imitate some aspect of nature, then we can be confident that whatever we’ve imitated wasn’t an impossible, miraculous thing that only the gods can do. But the Discoveroids never look at it that way.
Their article continues with a few examples of Nanobiotechnology and they quote from a paper that says:
Here, we report on the design, synthesis, and operation of an artificial small-molecule machine that travels along a molecular strand, picking up amino acids that block its path, to synthesize a peptide in a sequence-specific manner.
Well! There it is — the smoking gun! “What smoking gun?” you ask. You fool! Don’t you see it? They used the word “design” in the paper. To emphasize that, the Discoveroids say:
Design, design, design: that is the key word in the paper. It appears throughout, in contrast to evolution, which is notably absent.
Powerful argument, isn’t it? They conclude:
If the primitive artificial machine is designed, the superior natural machine, logically, is even better designed.
And they finish with this:
Need one say more?
No, they don’t need to say more. But we’ll end this by saying something complimentary that we’ve noticed about the Discoveroids: They’re obviously concerned about the environment, because they keep recycling their trash.
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