Sunday, May 16, 2010

'God: new evidence'

Following the launch of the Test of Faith site a few months ago, here's another web resource on issues of science and faith. God: new evidence focuses on the 'fine tuning' found in physics and cosmology, which points to a design and a Designer in the cosmos. There's a series of videos looking at some of this - one example above, you can (handily) watch the videos in 8-9 minute chunks, or smaller snippets.

It would be good to see a few more articles to complement the video clips, but still, good to see it all up there. By the way, the first main video is mainly the 'experts' introducing themselves and saying how their faith and science backgrounds interact, you only start getting into the meat of the cosmological stuff in the 2nd video.


  1. D, Is your "new evidence" title a sarcastic one? (if it isn't it should be); all these tired old arguments have long been refuted.

    For example:

    I would not be writing this on a laptop if computers had not been invented, but this does not prove that computers were invented so that I could write this.

    Douglas Adams lovely "puddle becomes concious" story nails most of what these guys are blathering on about.

    They have 3 basic arguments which boil down to:

    1. We don't know the answer therefore "fred" did it (i.e. God of the gaps)

    2. Life exists therefore the universe was designed for it. (see example above)

    3. Science and Religion occupy different realms and therefore you can't use science to disprove religion (which they then attempt to do in reverse??)

    Truly "new" evidence would certainly win the discoverer a Nobel prize because by definition it would render every piece of science Humans have ever done utterly wrong. Of course this doesn't mean it will never happen, but if I were a betting man etc...

  2. Hi Steve,
    Perhaps the title should be in quotes, as that's the title of the videos. Now amended! I guess the evidence is 'new' in that it's things discovered relatively recently by cosmologists, though perhaps the title is overselling it a bit.

    I'm not sure their arguments boil down to what you say they do:
    1. No: certain facts about the cosmos are incredibly finely balanced. That's either massive good luck, or a pointer to something else. A curious mind will explore both possibilities.
    2. It's more 'it's extremely highly improbable that a universe supporting life could have developed, given all the necessary conditions, but it has.'
    3. Not sure they're attempting to prove it: evidence isn't the same as proof - and it also depends on how you interpret the evidence! I've not watched all the videos so I've not found the bit where they say that science can't disprove religion

  3. Hi D,

    Is it possible that you are falling into the same trap as these guys, i.e. anthropomorphising the facts?

    "Luck" is a loaded word that has many meanings most of which imply purpose, are you perhaps pre-loading your thinking with what you would like to be true rather than simply what the evidence shows? The universe is here, life exists and its awe inspiring (we all agree on that!) but perhaps it cannot be any other way, perhaps there are many universes, perhaps it has always been here and was never created. I'm not a cosmologist but as far as I can tell the best answer to-date is we simply don't know, and will maybe never know.

    Positing that the explanation "may" be that something even more improbable (i.e. a super human aka Allah or Vishnu or Yahweh) created it is not an "explanation" in the scientific sense its just an even more improbable and unfalsifiable regress motivated by what humans would like to believe is true. Nothing wrong in believing this of course (whatever gets us through the day etc.), my only point is, it's not science.

    In actual fact the cosmological constants could have many different values and the universe would still exist; this "finely balanced" argument is simply looking at things from the Homo-sapiens point of view. It's also ludicrous to say that the universe is finely tuned for life, think about what percentage by volume of even our own solar system is fine tuned for life then extrapolate that up - the universe is clearly not "designed" for life; if anything you would have to conclude that we are an insignificant anomaly. Our sense of importance is entirely of our own making, one rogue comet and that would be that, the universe would still continue to exist however.

    IMO A more interesting question would be, if we re-ran evolution would the process produce homo-sapiens again? but that's probably another thread :)