Today's posting continues by analyzing another one of the more frequent objections that opponents of ID often bang their gavels on.Objection: Intelligent Design Isn't Science Because ... 1:B) Intelligent Design Advocates Haven’t Invented a Theo-Meter Yet …
Let me start out saying first of all that behind this objection is the inherent belief that all advocates for Intelligent Design are theists. While it's true that a great many are, there are also advocates for Intelligent Design who are believers in Panspermia (in the case of ID it would be the belief that the building blocks for life on Earth were seeded intentionally from an advanced extra-terrestrial civilization) as well as Agnostics. So painting ID with the wide brush of theism is somewhat inaccurate.
Secondly, if we’re postulating about whether or not there is evidence to suggest the possible existence of a creator, then I would answer this objection this way …
The majority of the evidence shows that our universe began from a singularity (though the singularity itself can only be demonstrated mathematically) … and expanded in an incredible explosion of heat, energy, and the creation of everything in our universe known as the Big Bang. [ http://www.big-bang-theory.com/
Currently, the majority of the evidence coming to us from space confirms either the Big Bang theory or an Inflation theory such as postulated by Alan Guth. [ http://lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/John_Gribbon/cosmo.htm
]Today the vast majority of scientists believe in either of these theories.
Some of the main pieces of evidence for the Big Bang are … 1)
The observed Red shift of the galaxies (meaning they’re speeding away relative to us) … 2)
The discovery of the 2.7 degree above Kelvin background radiation in (leftover heat from the initial flashpoint) … 3)
the fact that the lightest elements (such as deuterium and helium) CANNOT be synthesized within the interior of stars. In order to synthesize these light elements, a furnace that has BILLIONS of degrees of heat would be needed. Currently, the explosion that created the universe is the ONLY conceived answer to such a conundrum as the existence of lighter elements. 4)
The confirmation of predicted "wrinkles" in the cosmic background radiation ("Cosmic Seeds" as Fred Smoot calls them) discovered by NASA's COBE satellite. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COBE
Alternative theories to the Big Bang such as the Steady State theory [ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/hawking/universes/html/univ_steady.html
], Oscillating Universe Model [ http://www.answers.com/topic/oscillatory-universe
], and Plasma cosmology (theorized by Hannes Alfven) [ http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/p/pl/plasma_cosmology.htm
] are highly doubted due to lack of evidence, current contrary evidence, and major conceptional problems with each of those theories. The highly popular Oscillating Universe model suffered a death blow in 1998 when five different laboratories concluded with 95% certainty that the universe won’t collapse and will continue to expand forever [ http://newton.ex.ac.uk/aip/physnews.355.html
] Though many theories such as Multiple Universe Theory, String Theory, and Stephen Hawking's "No Boundary" proposal have been suggested as alternative explanations for universe’s apparent beginnings ex nihilo … all of them currently have significant flaws attached to them.
The Ultimate Question of Origins: God and the Beginning of the Universehttp://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/theism-origin.html
Design and the Multiple Worlds Hypothesishttp://home.messiah.edu/~rcollins/muv2.htm
Regarding how the universe is constructed, physicists are starting to recognize just how exquisitely and finely put together the universe itself truly is. There are multiple (around 25 or so) cosmological variables (i.e. the force gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces, etc.) that are amazingly fine tuned … so much so that if even 1 of them were altered even the tiniest fraction, the universe and all life within it would not exist.
Physicist Robin Collins has focused a considerable amount of study into this phenomenon and discusses this subject at length …
God, Design, and Fine Tuninghttp://home.messiah.edu/~rcollins/finetune/anth.htm.htm
Guillermo Guillermo and Jay Richards study multiple variables necessary for the creation of a habitable planet in their afforementioned highly controversial book, The Privileged Planet
After examining these factors at length,Gonzalez sums up by stating that the probability of getting just 1 Earth like planet – (given all those factors and the fine tuning variables in our universe) complete with a similar solar system and all the requisites needed for life is less than 1 chance in 10 (180th power) (11th power.) Gonzalez goes on to calculate that even given a universe with 10 (11th power) stars per galaxy … and 10 (11th power) galaxies in it … the overall chances of getting such a system like ours would still be 1 chance in 10 (158th power).
Roger Penrose, the highly respected British mathematician and friend to Stephen Hawking, also calculated the odds of life arising by chance in 1989 (undoubtedly without considering the many factors that Gonzalez has.) In The Emperor’s New Mind
Penrose stated …This now tells how precise the Creator's aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 10 (10th power) (123rd power). This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full in the ordinary denary notation: it would be 1 followed by 10 (123rd power) successive 0's. Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe- and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure- we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed.
Penrose, Roger; 1990, The Emperor's New Mind,
Oxford University Press, pg. 344
To get a further sense of just how significant those numbers are -- consider the comments of physicist Robert Gange, who in his interview with Robert Heeren (author of Show Me God
,) had this to say about the remarkable fine tuning of the universe …
Gange: "Now, since the universe should have gone out of existence in under a Plank time, and since it’s 14 to 17 billion years old, according to scientific thought, the conclusion is it must have been tuned at inception to better than 60 decimal places. All natural processes have a maximum precision; 3 or 4 decimal places is enormous. To say 60 decimal places is to literally genuflect at some supernatural creation."
Heeren, Fred; Revised Edition 2004, Show Me God,
Day Star Publications, pg. 388
Some additional factors that should be considered:
1. All of the elements necessary to create all of the Amino Acids (AA’s) essential for life would not only need to end up on 1 planet, but we would need enough of them to end up in the same spot
on Earth. (Given the fact physicists acknowledge that there are an estimated 10 (80th power) particles in the universe that's highly unlikely.)
2. All purely naturalistic Origin of Life studies have all demonstrated that there are multiple serious obstacles and issues that need to be overcome (as evidenced by the fact that the following foundation is willing to give $1 million to anyone who is able to come up with a realistic purely naturalistic proposal.) [ http://www.us.net/life/
]For more details on the problems associated with current Origin of Life experiments see link below.
3) Given that Amino Acids can somehow beat astronomocal odds and arise purely via naturalistic means, these molecules must then all link up in precise order (and there must be enough of them) to create DNA to even have a chance for life to exist. If we’re going to envision the Origins of Life as being purely naturalistic, matter must somehow just "know" how sequence itself. However, years of study into the workings and makeup of DNA has revealed that AA's appear to have no preference in where they link up in the sequencing of DNA molecules (sequencing is crucial in order to have useful genetic information.) Genetic information works just like the letters of our alphabet. An appropriate analogy that demonstrates the current dilemma would be – sit a toddler at a computer and have them pound away on the keyboard with the goal of producing a perfect copy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Bill Gates has called DNA far far more densely programmed than anything Microsoft has ever produced. Each and every time we have a computer program … we have a programmer. Think your copy of Windows XP arose and diversified via purely naturalistic processes?
Problems with Purely Natural Explanations for the Origins of Life on earthhttp://acs.ucsd.edu/~idea/origlife.htmhttp://www.arn.org/docs2/news/ucsdoriginoflife062003.htm
Physicists recognize that material processes can only be measured and traced back to Plank time (which is 10 (-43) seconds after the Big Bang.) Since that’s the case, it’s impossible to gain any empirical data before that point in time because there’s nothing to measure. So seeking some materialistic measure for an Intellgent Designer that exists outside of the space-time continuum is like trying to run through a solid brick wall. Furthermore, any intelligence powerful enough to create the universe and everything in it is clearly at a level far superior to our own. Given that, would we honestly expect such an intelligence that would be powerful enough to create everything in the universe … and powerful enough to order and arrange its laws in such an amazing synchronicity … to necessarily be contained within the material universe and explainable by it? Would we expect such a designer to be subject to the very laws that designer created? It would be quite logical to expect that such a designer would be beyond the full comprehension of the beings it created. After all, can the fish having been confined for its entire lifetime within its cozy, well-kept and maintained environment ever truly comprehend the world outside its fishbowl, let alone the owner who maintains it?
Given the complete portrait of evidence coming to us from science today --- which hypothesis is far more probable? Is it more probable to believe that purely undirected purposeless naturalistic processes could account for our universe and everything in it … or that an intelligence both caused it and holds it together.