Thursday, September 20, 2012

Will Science Rule Out God? (No.)

Moon over my house

T.A. (thanks!) linked me to this article: Science & God: Will Biology, Astronomy, Physics Rule Out Existence Of Deity? Tha answer is "No," for reasons that follow.

There are so may things wrong with this article that one does not know where to begin. Here's a few.

  • There's an underlying "scientism" here. Which is: the idea that "science" can explain everything. That is patently false, as many scientists acknowledge. Too much has been written here. I've addressed this a number of times on my blog. E.g., the article talks of "a complete scientific theory that accounts for everythig in the unvierse." Sorry, that's naive "scientism."
  • Multiverse theory is far from being accepted. Many scientists and physicists don't thinkit is even "science" since it can not be in principle emprically verified. And, anyway, multiverse objections have been sufficiently addressed when it comes to the fine-tuning argument.
  • A "description"of the history of the universe does not, in principle, answer the "WHY A UNIVERSE AT ALL?" question. Science describes; it does not, it cannot, prescribe.
  • The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity (which the article cites) contains counter-arguments to Sean Carroll. Just citing Sean Carroll in this article is quote-mining for support of one's pre-existing belief. (See, in Blackwell, e.g., the essay "Objections to Multiverse Theory."
  • The article says: "Even if cosmologists manage to explain how the universe began, and why it seems so fine-tuned for life, the question might remain why there is something as opposed to nothing. To many people, the answer to the question is God. According to Carroll, this answer pales under scrutiny. There can be no answer to such a question, he says." But... I just finished reading Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story. It's on the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Holt interviews some of the world's greatest minds that have addressed this question. Simply to dismiss it is, I think, a display of sheer ignorance and unfamiliarity with the literature that addresses it.

Jim Holt's New Book on Why a Universe at All and Not Nothing?

Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?

 Mathematical Platonism

Giving Up on Derek Parfit