Monday, November 24, 2008

The universe has the hallmarks of design: And what can anyone do about it?

From British physicist David Tyler:
Ever since the 'anthropic principle' entered the language of science, the case for the universe having the hallmarks of design has become progressively stronger. There is a consensus in the thinking of physicists and cosmologists that far exceeds the alleged consensus about anthropogenic global warming, and also the alleged consensus that natural selection is the mechanism for explaining design in living things. Author Tim Folger elevates the principle to "an extraordinary fact" about the universe: "Its basic properties are uncannily suited for life. Tweak the laws of physics in just about any way and - in this universe, anyway - life as we know it would not exist."

Folger's article is based on an interview with physicist Andrei Linde, who says: "We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible." Many of these are sketched out for the benefit of readers, and Folger comments: "There are many such examples of the universe's life-friendly properties - so many, in fact, that physicists can't dismiss them all as mere accidents."

If we apply Dembski's design filter approach, we have three avenues to explore: Law, Chance and Design. Law gets very little attention from Folger, despite the intense search for grand Unification Theories (GUT) or Theories of Everything (ToE). The reason is that GUT have not delivered. We cannot explain why the universe is like it is. No progress has been made in showing why the fine-tuning of fundamental constants should be a feature of the physical world. Indeed, the pendulum has swung away from GUT because of the interest in string theory - which has served to underline how extraordinary the evidences of fine-tuning actually are. "[Polchinski and Bousso]calculated that the basic equations of string theory have an astronomical number of different possible solutions, perhaps as many as [10 to the power 1000]. Each solution represents a unique way to describe the universe."
Go here for more.

See also:

Like clouds in our coffee, all these other universes

See also: Major media, imagining themselves sober, think there are many universes, not just double vision.

The Big Bang exploded; seriously, is there room for reasonable skepticism about the Big Bang?

Could God live in an infinite sea of universes? It depends.

Will the cosmic multiverse landscape ensure the triumph of intelligent design?

Now, remind me again why we need multiverse theory in the first place?

Multiverse theory: Replacing the big fix with the sure thing?