The Universe and the Intelligent Designer

You may be one of those hard-core naturalist types who still refuses to accept the Discovery Institute’s “theory” of intelligent design. Well, all is not lost. Their latest post may save you. It’s titled Richards: “Designed for Life, Designed for Discovery”, written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and Privileged Planet co-author Jay Richards was among the speakers at our Science and Faith Conference in Dallas. His presentation is now online for you: [Link at the Discoveroids’ post.]

Ooooooooooooh! It’s a rare treat to hear Richards speak. As you probably know, not only is Jay W. Richards a Discoveroid senior fellow, but he, along with Guillermo Gonzalez (or “Gonzo” as we call him) co-authored the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. Richards was a former faculty member at Biola University, a bible college, where he taught apologetics. Klinghoffer says:

Richards spectacularly develops a theme that materialists shy from confronting: in cosmology, it is the eerie overlap between the ultra-precisely defined parameters needed for life, and the precisely defined requirements for scientific discovery. In other words, as Dr. Richards summarizes, “If the universe is set up and fine-tuned not only for complex life, but to make discovery possible — so those rare places where life exists are also the best places for doing science, for discovering the universe around us — that suggests the universe is not just fine-tuned for life.” Instead, “The universe is fine-tuned so that environments habitable to observers will provide the best overall conditions for observation and discovery.”

That’s a powerful concept — probably too powerful for your Darwinist brain to absorb. It may help you to know that we posted about Richards’ thesis before — see Solar Eclipses Prove Intelligent Design. Okay, back to Klinghoffer. After babbling a bit, he tells us:

As you know, everything the leading book authors on intelligent design [Hee hee!] have to say about the age of the universe presumes an age in the billions not thousands of years. Yet imagine a scenario where you don’t know the ancient age of the cosmos, but rather, only that it is has an age, whatever that might be. In other words, you know that the universe is finite, it has a beginning.

What’s he getting at? We’ll soon find out. He continues:

Before that there was no universe, no physical existence at all. Unless the universe generated itself from nonexistence, an impossibility, it must have a cause outside nature.

Ooooooooooooh! The mere existence of the universe proclaims Oogity Boogity! You weren’t expecting that, were you? It’s probably because, like most of us, you don’t think that before the so-called Big Bang there was literally nothing.

Klinghoffer’s post ends strangely, by letting us know that something big is in the works:

Many scientists fought that conclusion, bitterly, because of its theistic implications. Now, having conceded a start to the cosmos, they are forced back on self-defeating speculations (that form one part of the subject of Stephen Meyer’s next book [Link omitted]). The best science marches on and sweeps materialism before it.

Yes, the best science marches on — while you, dear reader, are slipping and sliding into the Lake of Fire.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “The Universe and the Intelligent Designer

  1. Theodore Lawry

    On Aug 20 Meyer’s new book, wait for it, The Return of the God Hypothesis will be published. Everyone has known since day one that ID was nothing but a dodge to get religion in to the public schools, while IDer’s lied their heads off saying “science! science!” Now they have not just admitted it, they are bragging about it.

    Since they are announcing the book well in advance of publication, we can expect the usual: lots of publicity seeking reviews of the book by IDers, while critics are denounced for “not having read the book.” Then when it comes out, there will another round of publicity including scathing reviews by scientists, and then after a few months it will all be forgotten, but the DI will have secured its funding from gullible billionaires for another year.

  2. TL – Meyer and his ilk seem not to understand that a hypothesis is the starting point for further investigation. Wonder what experiments and studies they have in mind.

  3. Before that there was no universe, no physical existence at all. Unless the universe generated itself from nonexistence, an impossibility, it must have a cause outside nature.

    If there was a state of nonexistence, absolute nothingness, then there were no rules, since a rule is already something. But if there are no rules, then in particular there is no rule that a universe cannot spontaneously arise. So a universe can spontaneously arise.
    The first Genesis creation myth starts with primordial chaos, stormy sea and mighty wind, plus the god Elohim. But, if I understand it correctly, the earlier Enuma Elish starts from just chaos, and chaos gives rise to Tiamat and her consort Abzû, from whom the other gods descend. So Enuma Elish is a better, because more economical, creation story than Gen 1.

  4. Part I:
    Does any of this provide an aternative to evolutionary biology to account for the variety of life as we know it?
    Do you have an explanation for the things which you claim that naturtalism, materialism or science does ot have a exlanation for? Does your explanation tell us anything about what, when, where, why, how things hapen to be as they are, rather than any of the countless other possibilties?
    If not, isn’t your positons in as deep trouble as natrualism/materialism/science?

    Part II:
    I have heard of supposed principles of nature, like
    A: The Second Law of Thermodynamics
    B: The Conservation of Specified Cmplex Information
    C: The Probability of a junkyard tornado forming a 747 is like hte probability of life on Earth
    How, then, can one image that Earth is a “Privileged Planet”, if the laws of nature are so stacked against life on Earth? Some privilege!

    Part III:
    Before that there was no universe, no physical existence at all. Unless the universe generated itself from nonexistence, an impossibility, it must have a cause outside nature.
    Subpart A:
    One understading of the geometry of space and tie in the General Theory of Relativity assigns no meaning at all to time before the Big Bang. There is no meaning to a change over time before and after the Big Bang. Therefoe there is no such thing as “generation from nonexistence”, and therefore no meaning to a “cause for” that meaningless event.
    Subpart B:
    Causes are needed fr events in the universe, we can allow you to assert that. But isn’t it a Fallacy of Compositon or Division to assume that that implies causes for the totality of all events and things?

  5. Michael Fugate

    Yes jimroberts yes. Even if there were an outside cause needed, it need not be intelligent. Is God something or nothing?

  6. Simply from a basic astronomical perspective, it was commonly taught in basic astronomy classes that life on other planets was restricted to those orbs if they were located in the “Goldilocks Zone.” That typically included or implied an evolutionary basis to its origin and development, but rejected any reference to or inclusion of religious notions.
    With today’s research, particularly the expansion and development of more precise methods of planetary detection along with developments in astrobiology and discoveries on earth as well, the “Goldilocks Zone” has expanded and has become more receptive to life forms, again without need for references to any supernatural causes, which is the fallacy inherent in the book “The Privileged Planet.”

  7. “For creation is not a change, but that dependence of the created existence on the principle from which it is instituted…”
    Thomas Aquinas
    Summa Contra Gentiles II, 18.2 (see also Summa Theologica I, q. 45, art. 3 ad 2)

  8. “a theme that materialists shy from confronting: in cosmology, it is the eerie overlap between the ultra-precisely defined parameters needed for life, and the precisely defined requirements for scientific discovery”
    Except they don’t. Herman Philipse in God in the Age of Science spends an entire chapter (23 pages) on various “Arguments from Order to Design”. It contains two subchapters (7 pages) on Fine-Tuning Arguments. Sean Caroll wrote this:

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/07/08/how-finely-tuned-is-the-universe/

    Of course it doesn’t occur to Klinkleclapper that even if Fine-Tuning were an acceptable argument (it isn’t) it still would not refute evolution theory,

    “You weren’t expecting that, were you?”
    Actually I was, because Philipse also convincingly explains that FIne-Tuning depends on the Cosmological Argument.

  9. The “privileged planet” idea is an irrelevance.

    Say, just for the sake of argument, that it’s true: that only on Earth, in all the universe, are conditions just right for life. All that tells us is that we are alone in the universe–something evolutionary scientists have no problem with, since it has nothing to do with whether evolution occurred after life first appeared on this planet.

    However, considering the range of environments in which life exists on Earth (there are bacteria which thrive inside nuclear reactor containment buildings, and others which live in volcanic vents in water above the boiling point which remains liquid only due to the immense pressure at the ocean floor), there’s no reason to believe it couldn’t have arisen and prospered elsewhere. It just wouldn’t look life anything familiar to us.

    Intelligent life? Who knows? We don’t have enough data to make any but the crudest of guesses. But again, even if we are the only sapient species, that says noting about our origins.

  10. “the precisely defined requirements for scientific discovery”
    What does that mean? Science simply looks at the regularities which we find in nature and expresses them as laws. If, for example, molecules form and break up willy-nilly, or if the density of water changes from day to day, then science would not be possible. But if there were no regular, reproducible patterns in nature then life wouldn’t have gotten off the ground in the first place.

  11. We may have to be satisfied with there being no answer to The Question “Why is there something and not nothing?”
    It may be meaningless.
    We can ask “why this?” and expect an answer. But to ask about the totality of everything is the Fallacy of Composition.
    Just as we have learned to accept that we can’t prove the consistency of certain fields of mathematics. And the puzzles of Quantum Mechanics.
    For sure, “Something about which we know nothing except that it is capable of anything” is not an answer to The Question. (I’m not saying that that is false, just that it doesn’t answer The Question.)

  12. Michael Fugate

    It is always fun to venture back to a post with KevinC!

  13. “The best science marches on and sweeps materialism before it.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I can just hear the Imperial march from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ play now as the Discoveroids don their shiny stormtrooper armor, and start blasting away at Darwinism.

    But if I remember the Star Wars universe correctly, the stormtroopers were lousy shots, and the armor provided no protection.

  14. The best science marches on.
    While creationism has been in disorderly retreat since the 19th century.
    It has surrendered by accepting micro-evolution and natural speciation. The Intelligent Design faction refused to defend who or when. There is no attempt to defend how.

  15. Still creacrappers keep on pretending that their “research program” makes steady progress. Well, in a negative way it does. Their research takes the only direction possible: downward (like more stupid, more dishonest etc. blogposts). To our infite entertainment.

  16. The ‘tute provides another, “Question. Therefore God” article.

  17. The sheer proportions of black hole M87, which supposedly has 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun, remind one of the absolute insignificance of Earth. Our planet is not even a comma in the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

    And on this minuscule planet, only 0.01% of all biomass is capable of scientific discovery, and then only in a period of time amounting to 7E-5 percent of the total existence of said universe.

    Also, our capabilities for scientific inquiry are exceptionally good as opposed to… well, which other universe were you comparing it with?