Friday, June 9, 2017

The Universe Creators Objecting To Far More Modest Claims

This part of my argument from yesterday was objected to, though I don't think the person who did so really understood what they were attacking.  The claim I made is contained in this sentence.

Even taking as a given those constants are accurately measured, are real as defined and have the enormous range of merely physical consequences asserted as made for them, many people with degrees and careers in science believe in them on a faith surpassing the faith that one would have to accept the one for the existence of God based on them.

I think that's a rather obvious statement.  In fact, it touches on the real way that science really does work in the world of science.  Unless someone who works in science has gone through every scientific demonstration of a point, if they accept the conclusion reached, they buy the idea on the faith that that point has been proved to be reliably believed, uninspected.   They buy it in the way that people buy things made by old, established name-brand companies whose reliability is assumed. 

That is most easily understood by considering the mathematics that science is based in.  Scientists use mathematics every day, it has been called "the language of science" though I don't think that's a particularly good analogy, let's take that on faith.   But the majority of scientists, I'd guess practically all working scientists, haven't gone through the proofs of every axiom or theorem or other logical and mathematical proof of every bit of math they have used.  When they use it they take it on faith that those proofs are sound, they don't know that in more than a banal manner.

That is especially true when they take something true in the physical or biological sciences when they rely on the peer reviewers of papers, articles and books, on the competence, honesty and diligence of their colleagues - which, as you can read in such places as Retraction Watch,* are anywhere from occasionally unreliable to quite shockingly unreliable.  Entire sciences have been shown to be scandalously unreliable in all of the above, yet they aren't booted out of the pantheon of scientists and their areas of research demoted to lore or pseudo-science.  And sometimes, as can be seen in the quality of the work and claims of those in accepted, academic psychology as opposed to the entirely more rigorous research into parapsychology, that acceptance verses non-acceptance is not based on the honesty, rigor and diligence of the researchers but out of ideological motives.   I know that last point is controversial but, having read a lot of the research, I think it would be dishonest to not admit that to be true.  

In the case of my argument yesterday, it is a matter of the complex nature of the arguments needed to accept scientific premises, such as the value of the constants of nature and the fine tuning of their measurement and the combined probabilities for those constants falling within exquisitely narrow limits to have produced not only the life permitting universe we experience and which science can study (in no small part to us being here to do and read science) as I recall the incredibly narrow probability of ten to the power of sixty in the first but the overall conclusion that the combined factors in the consideration make the overall probability of a life permitting universe to be ten to the power of ten to the power of ten to the power of twenty-three.   I certainly don't understand the scientific and mathematical arguments leading to the valuation or even identification of all of those constants I would guess that the larger number of scientists who deal with such matters take some or even most of those on the kind of faith I mentioned above.  

My claim is that given all of those complex arguments and the science they are based in is accurate and true and the insights claimed about them are valid, the use of those in arguments about the likelihood of that incredibly small range of probabilities permitting life and intelligent life, in face of the stupendously greater probability of of life prohibiting universes leading to conclusions that it is by design is a relatively simple and straight-forward argument.  If materialists and atheists want to claim the constants of the universe are valid and the consequent arguments of the probabilities of a life sustaining, intelligent life producing universe are valid, then they have no right to prohibit the extra-scientific use of them to argue for the conclusion that our universe is the way it is by the design of God.  

Especially as almost every materialist or atheist who accepts the validity of those for secular, banally material matters does so on a faith that doesn't really exceed the faith of those who conclude that they exhibit the design by an intelligent creator.   And many of them ask us to believe in far more incredible powers of creation. 

The materialist-atheist alternatives trying to get rid of that conclusion, even some of them entirely absurd assertions such as Hugh Everett's Many Worlds interpretation requiring that on the basis of probability math, one believe that the most tiny and banal occurrences in our experience generate an infinite number of alternative universes and who knows how many variations of his fantastic idea, require a belief that we are all unintelligent, unaware, unintentional creator gods of far more than the one universe claimed to have been created by God in Genesis and other creation lore of religion.  The number of universes which atheists anxiously create in a frantic attempt to explain away the conclusions that people draw from the fine-tuning of our one, observable universe far exceed the number of religious creation myths.   Given time, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of interpretations of quantum physics didn't come up with more framings of their alternative than have been produced by the major religious traditions.  They have made a good start on that in the last 61 years, when Everett published his paper that set the business of universe creation off.   The results of that kind of stuff have led many observers such as Peter Woit and others - hardly friendly to religion- to bemoan the state of decadence theoretical  physics and cosmology have entered into.  As I've pointed out before, it was a state of gloom that led Bertrand Russell, the atheist pope of his day, to gloomily announce an imminent period of scientific and intellectual decadence  in the late 1920s, on encountering the conclusions that physicists already had reached by that time.  

If they can argue the absurdities that the multiverse conjecture depends on to support atheism - where the energy that powers their continually created universes from things like me scratching my nose comes from is the one that struck me first -  they can not reasonably be allowed to dismiss, out of hand, the far less fantastic and self-contradicting claims of those who, through far more established science, conclude that belief in design is reasonable.  Especially among those who do not claim that their conclusion can be used to do science.  The claims and assertions of many who believe in design are far more moderate in their claims.  

*  Their first page this morning contains these headlines;

“Data had been manipulated:” Science Translational Medicine retracts paper

“Authors’ negligence” causes “a plethora of data errors”

A retraction gets retracted — but the first author’s contract is still terminated

Anesthesiology society bans co-author of researcher with record-number of retractions

Their motto is,  "Retraction Watch   Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process". 

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