Categories
Cosmology Creation/evolution Meaning of life Physics

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself? Part 9

Part 9 of my review of the book: “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself,” by Sean M. Carroll. Part 8 is found here.

Purpose without a Creator

The next chapter entitled “Emergent Purpose” is about finding some sort of ‘purpose’ as an emergent property of evolution. He is quite clear that evolution itself is undirected but suggests that we humans can find some purpose in it.

He starts out with a question “Why do giraffes have such long necks?” and gives 4 possible answers, 3 of which evolutionist would believe. Option 1 he declares incorrect, which is Lamarckian, yet actually closer to Darwin’s original idea. Options 2 is the common way of explaining neo-Darwinian evolution, with mutations conferring better fitness. Option 3 is about sexual selection and option 4 is in line with his overall message of the book.

“Given the laws of physics, and the initial state of the universe, and our location in the cosmos, collections of atoms in the shape of long-necked giraffes came into existence 14 billion years after the Big Bang.” (pp.291-2)

None of this sentence has any credibility. Only by assuming everything to be true in the evolution story from the big bang to current day could you write this. So it is not a science statement but a theological statement. He says it avoids any particular evolutionary story, but it is not hard to imagine that the words “came into existence” does not mean at the hands of the Creator, but rather is a big bang. Otherwise there would be no need to start in the big bang, nor include the words “our location in the cosmos”. He says this is a poetic-naturalism way of speaking about emergent properties of the biological world. But that could only be true if you could demonstrate experimentally that each requirement in the statement is true.

Then from this sort of story, which he calls “the fundamental description of reality” (p.292) because of the big bang, expansion of the universe and the increase in entropy with time, he says

“… these emergent pictures invoke words like ‘purpose’ and ‘adaptation,’ even though those ideas are nowhere to be found in the underlying mechanistic behavior of reality” (p.293)

And

“How could evolution, which itself is ultimately purely physical, bring these utterly new kinds of things into existence? It’s a natural thing to worry about. The process of evolution is unplanned and unguided.”

“There is no general principle along the lines of ‘new kinds of things cannot naturally arise in the course of undirected evolution.’ Things like ‘stars’ and ‘galaxies’ come to be in a universe where they formerly didn’t exist. Why not purposes and information?” (p.293)

Categories
Cosmology Science

Have scientists found evidence of a parallel universe?

Ranga-Ram-Chary
Ranga-Ram Chary

Caltech cosmologist Ranga-Ram Chary claims that he may have found evidence for the existence of a parallel universe. Many online articles report this.1,2,3 His claim, published in the Astrophysical Journal, suggests some sort of “cosmic bruising” — one universe bumping up against another universe — could explain an anomaly he found in the map of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The anomaly is in regards to a mysterious blob of light found in the CMB radiation, which allegedly is leftover radiation from the big bang.

USA Today reports:

Chary, a researcher at the European Space Agency’s Planck Space Telescope data center at CalTech, said the glow could be due to matter from a neighboring universe “leaking” into ours, according to New Scientist magazine.

“Our universe may simply be a region within an eternally inflating super-region,” scientist Chary wrote in a recent study in the Astrophysical Journal.

Categories
Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

On the origin of universes by means of natural selection

—or, blinded by big bang blackness

The origin of our universe is a vexing problem for the atheist. The very state of the observable universe today presents serious problems for them, as it demands a Creator. Why did the universe begin in such an organised state, where laws are finely tuned for life to exist, and where irreversible processes occur producing the forward­­ march of time?

In thinking on the nature of the universe and our existence within it, the Greeks developed the philosophies of rationalismand empiricism2, two different approaches they believed could determine truth from the world. The former involved deduction,3 and the latter, induction.4 No reference to a Creator God was considered relevant.

The modern cosmologist, one who attempts to explain the origin of a rational universe, with laws derived from observation, is one who believes he can, by inductive reasoning alone, discover its origin without the Creator.

The atheists say the rational mind concludes that there is no God, therefore the universe is the outcome of pure materialism.5 Then how do we explain how the universe came to be? How do we, by induction alone, explain the origin of the laws of physics? And how do we test if our explanations are correct? These are fundamental epistemological6 questions that need to be answered.