Fingerprints Of The Divine?

Physics Today has an interesting set of articles – one criticizing the idea of "intelligent design" and the other giving a scientific defense of the theory.

In cases like these, the wall between philosophy and science becomes very thin, and in many ways is impossible to see. However, what we know of the universe says that if something as small as the temperature variations in the afterglow of the Big Bang had not occurred precisely as it did, the universe as we know it would not exist. Science seems to be pushing the idea that the universe doesn’t contain life by chance, but that it is a place in which life, intelligent or otherwise, may be common. Considering the inifinite number of variables that must be exactly right for life to develop, it seems rather dense to argue that there’s nothing deliberate about the universe. Is it proof of the existence of God? Well, scientifically no, but to many what science has found only seems to confirm what faith already believes.

2 thoughts on “Fingerprints Of The Divine?

  1. I’ve been kind of wondering if there isn’t some sort of material teleology at work- that maybe life is part of a process of organizing the universe towards some final goal… whether this goal can legitimately be called “God”, I truly don’t know… but it seems that Prigogine’s theories, Wolfram’s new book, and evolutionary psychology are all pointing in the same exciting direction- there’s more here than just chaos, folks.

  2. As Isaac Asimov pointed out decades ago, the fact that these variables exist does not necessarily mean that the system isn’t inclined towards the creation of life (or creation in the first place)- the rules that govern how these variables interact with each other can and do mean that life is far more likely than we’d like to think.

    Besides, that argument falls on one key point: the size of the universe and the length of time its existed means that even if the odds of life are slim, it’s non-zero, and we might simply be that rare royal flush that really does show up every once in a while. Even if it’s unlikely, the fact that life does exist doesn’t mean that there’s anything to be read into that. We just lucked out.

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