Understanding the Universe Requires Theism

Once again, today’s hot news comes from the Discovery Institute. You’ll be stunned by the latest post at their creationist blog. It’s titled Melissa Cain Travis: Explaining the Uncanny “Cosmic Resonance” of Mathematics, and it was written by Klinghoffer.

You’re probably wondering who Melissa Cain Travis is. The Discoveroids have posted about her a few times before — e.g.: Discoveroids: The Designer Created Science. In that post we used Amazon’s bio information about her. Among other things, they said that she’s an Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. Let’s see what Klinghoffer wants to tell us about her. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

We are starting to release video selections from the 2021 Dallas Science & Faith Conference. Up first is Melissa Cain Travis, author of Science and the Mind of the Maker.

We looked for her book at Amazon, and here it is. The publisher is Harvest House —- a Christian publishing company, but not a vanity press. Okay, back to Klinghoffer, who gushes about her book:

This is a very fresh and creative presentation asking about the unnatural “cosmic resonance,” as she calls it, that exists between the mathematical order underlying the universe and the qualities of our own minds that allow us to understand that order. We take this for granted, but it really is uncanny [Gasp!] and demands an explanation.

Fascinating (as Spock would say). We use mathematics when we do physics, or astronomy, or other science, and we never before realized that doing so reveals an unnatural cosmic resonance. But now, at last, our eyes have been opened! After that amazing revelation, Klinghoffer tells us:

Travis considers the history of Western thinking from Pythagoras and the pre-Socratic philosophers to Philo of Alexandria and onward. She asks whether theism or naturalism is better equipped to provide the needed explanation.

Wow — what a question!

That’s all there is to Klinghoffer’s post, except for a video at the end which seems to be Melissa’s presentation at the Discoveroids’ Dallas conference. We know you’re intrigued by what you’ve just learned about her, so go ahead, click over there and wallow in her wisdom. Then come back and tell us all about it.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

9 responses to “Understanding the Universe Requires Theism

  1. She asks whether theism or naturalism is better equipped to provide the needed explanation.

    They didn’t teach me mathematics in church, so I think I can safely rule out theism.

  2. As I’ve mentioned before, I have no need of the god hypothesis to explain anything other than religion. And anyone who has studied the history of science knows that real progress in explaining the world came gradually as scientists abandoned mystical ideas.

  3. A quote-miner of mathematicians. Very specific quote-mining. I guess she likes math.

  4. She asks whether theism or naturalism is better equipped to provide the needed explanation.

    Depends on what you mean by better equipped. Omnipotence is by definition better equipped than anything. You would have to be, like, the worst omnipotent ever to not be better equipped than everything else.

  5. I would imagine the point she is trying to make will be buried under a mountain of fourteen-dollar words, but amounts to this: our minds can comprehend the Universe, at least potentially. Therefore the Universe is a reasonable, rational construction, which must necessarily (salto mortale coming up) be the product of a rational mind.

    Two problems: one, there is no reason to believe that our minds can comprehend everything about the Universe. They don’t, and that’s a fact. Two, why is a rationally assimilable construction necessarily the product of a mind?

    It’s the same as always. It doesn’t matter if the argument originates with Aquinas or Kant or Melissa Cain Travis, there is no logical necessity for a god. Or God, or gods. Theists have been beating their heads against that wall for a thousand years, and getting nowhere. And here we are, with the DI telling us that they’ve got a shiny new jackhammer. Only their demolition device turns out to be made of sponge cake.

  6. Jeepers the whole dang video is quote-mines with a “power and a glory” tossed in at then end.

    @Dave Luckett What I gather is, since our minds are created in the image of God, then we’re all a bunch of freakin mathematical geniuses.

  7. Astrology.

  8. Doc Bill’s laptop lost its marbles so I’ve taken over his miserable soul. Whew, it’s dusty in here! And all those empty bottles. The place is gonna need some work.

    Anyway, in his well-researched book, Faith vs Fact, Jerry Coyne explores the notion that faith provides “another way of learning” about the world. Spoiler alert: Nope, it doesn’t. Faith has never, ever, not once, even a teeny tiny amount produced anything not explained by science.

    When I was in the 6th Grade I conducted my own experiment in conjuring up a demon to do my bidding. I watched all the relevant Twilight Zones, read the inappropriate comic books and consulted my friends, a veritable circle of ne’er-do-wells and miscreants, and one evening under a full moon my partner in crime and I scratched a pentagram in the back yard, placed our sacred tokens (rabbit’s foot, giant ring from the State Fair, crystal marble, etc) and chanted. OOOooooOOOoooooh!

    We didn’t exactly raise a demon, but we earned the ire of my mother who yelled at us for playing with matches and, although I don’t remember exactly, corporal punishment followed undoubtedly. So, I guess I raised some Cain if nothing else.

  9. What they are describing is the world from the “Laundry” series, where mathematical computations can break through into other dimensions (and summon demons, @Bill Farrell) and have an actual affect on the world.