Evolutionary Creationism and Materialist Evolution

Fine-tuning cannot be proven, of course, but there are plenty of ‘cosmic coincidences’ that enable our being here with high tech and heavy metals – even our particular location in our particular kind of galaxy.

In 2017, near the time of the total eclipse of the sun I read where one secular astronomer called it “magic”, the fact that the disc of the moon in the sky ‘coincidentally’ so closely matches the disc of the sun.

It is cool that it sure appears that the universe was designed to be discovered – from here, with our special moon. Huge amounts of knowledge about how stars work has been discovered – and more is still being discovered – during total solar eclipses. And that is not to mention all of the other details about why so much of the cosmos is visible, unobstructed, from here.

Regarding the fine tuning self-selection effect:

“Neuropsychology can tell us what parts of the brain are involved in various types of actions and decisions. But that tells us nothing one way or the other about whether those decisions are ultimately deterministic or not - either possibility could manifest itself in similar neuronal patterns. Likewise, there is nothing in how a neuron behaves that would tell us whether it was triggered by some non-material spirit, totally independent of the physical body, versus triggered by random chemical or quantum variations, versus triggered by some other possibility (or possibilities; multiple factors are quite likely).”

If I am correct in identifying the antecedent of “It doesn’t have to”, you are saying that neuropsychology does not have to prove determinism or nonexistence of a spirit independent of the body, because other evidence supports those. I am saying that claims that neuropsychology proves determinism or the absence of a dualistic spirit separate from the body are not good arguments. It’s bad enough that their versions of free will and of dualism are straw men; it’s pathetic that they can’t even disprove the straw men. But none of that addresses your claim that other evidence points to determinism and a nearly complete absence of non-natural causes; that would be a separate question. To look at that, you would need to spell out exactly what evidence you are using.


To say that modern science does not require something, does not mean that it does not exist.

Modern science posits nothing, no matter, no energy, to space, no time, before the Big Bang. Does that mean that there is no al/rational Being Who is the Source of our physical reality?

I would not argue with this statement in that it says that science is a rational discipline which seeks to understand a rational entity. Therefore the Source of nature, that rational entity, must be rational also.

I would tend to agree with much of what you say here. However, the Atheist and Skeptic would probably say that it shouldn’t be lumped together with Science as this gives it a sense of legitimacy that it doesn’t deserve. They would say it sounds a lot like Deism where god is unnecessary for anything except perhaps getting the process going. Of-course the generations after the Deists didn’t see burdening Science with the need for a “first mover” and the added complexity of a metaphysics to explain how the initial process got started (since it really wasn’t an explanation). They then moved on to looking for other explanations. I believe this view can amount to more than Deism but I think what you are arguing for is more along the lines of what Stephen J. Gould called non-overlapping Magisteria. Methodological naturalism generally holds sway in Science today as far as a framework and generally has been relatively successful in supporting Science

1 Like

I am not sure. To me it says something about the universe, that it is a rational, integrated, interdependent whole. If God created it, then God would logically have the same characteristics, which God does as far as we know… If something else created it, then it would have the characteristics of God.

On the other hand the multiverse is an invention to try to explain how order at a very high level can come out of total disorder, which is totally unlikely.

No evidence for there not being a dualistic spirit separate from the body is necessary at all. Nothing in nature requires an unnatural, non-natural, supernatural explanation. Absolutely nothing. Atheism doesn’t have to disprove theism. I don’t have to prove that there aren’t fairies at the bottom of my garden despite 100% certain scientific proof never being available; that I can’t, just a hundred sigmas down the line I ‘could’ be wrong. Furthermore a supernatural explanation of anything doesn’t explain itself. I have no idea what free will or dualism are. They explain nothing at all and require more explanation.

Actually, multiverses are not so great explanations of fine tuning. In principle, they fail, because they merely shift the question to “why do the laws governing the multiverse lead to the production of an inhabitable universe?” Also, many types of multiverse models do not generate multiple different versions of natural laws. The many worlds quantum model, for example, merely generates a bunch of universes that differ in quantum outcomes. Multiverse claims often exaggerate the range of possibilities that would be produced. Will an infinite universe automatically include every possible finite arrangement of atoms? No. Gravity makes some arrangements of atoms more common and some unlikely, for example. Also, the claim that a universe containing every possible finite arrangement of atoms must contain intelligent life is hiding the assumption that making intelligent life is merely a function of having atoms arranged in the right way, which may not be true. Likewise, a system that actually does produce an infinite number of universes with different physical laws is still not guaranteed to include one suitable for life - there are infinitely many possible uninhabitable universes.

As already noted, testing the existence of a multiverse is rather problematic.

I disagree. With caveats. I am speaking of multiverses with different physics, such as the super string landscape. In that case there are an effectively infinite (~10^1000) solutions with different physics and a more or less random draw of constants. Most of these universes would presumably be sterile, but we’re, obviously, in one of the lucky ones. It is not scientific, but it is an explanation, a purely big-numbers anthropic explanation.

Or you can take cosmic evolution, where new universes are born from black holes, and the physics (the DNA) of the child is very similar to the parent. This would favor universes that are good at making black holes. Those are universes that are necessarily good at producing galaxies and stars, since that’s where a black hole comes from. Then, as a happy byproduct, you have universes with heavy element production (necessary for any kind of life) that look like ours.

Again, none of these are scientific. Nobody knows if black holes produce other universes, and if they do, nobody knows if their DNA would be similar.

However, if you were to claim that you were proving that there aren’t fairies at the bottom of your garden, then you should use good arguments. Such an argument would also need to carefully define what you mean by “fairy”. For example, it’s easy to monitor your garden for a while and not find any evidence of miniature people with wings. But if someone claims to have fairies in their garden with four wings, six legs, compound eyes, and a chitinous exoskeleton, then they seem to be talking about insects, which probably really do live there. If someone claims that there are fairies in the garden, but the fairies are not physically detectable, then it is not particularly testable, though one might ask why what the point is in claiming that something undetectable is present.

Calling someone’s idea a fairy tale is a bad argument, for example. It’s using a pejorative term rather than giving solid reasons.

It is true that some multiverse models do a better job of producing a range of possibilities than others, but unless we can actually justify the probability of creating a universe suited for intelligent life, it’s largely handwaving. (Not particularly different from the problem for ID of accurately calculating probabilities - the problem applies equally to claiming that our universe is likely and claiming that it isn’t.)

Agreed. It is handwaving couched in sciency language. It is an explanation, but an untestable one.

Hi David,

The multiverse is problematic not so much in what it can offer to the discussion but in that we are so limited to conduct Science on it, if it does in fact exist. Even with vastly improved Science, it is not clear to me how empirical Science could study this type of thing in the foreseeable future effectively. Like the practical economic limitations of building bigger and bigger particle accelerators for diminishing returns in theoretical physics, it will be very difficult for Science to justify trillion dollar projects to “maybe” show some possibility of multiple universes and some minor details about them. The popular book The End of Science outlines many of the problems facing modern Science and moving our fundamental understanding in areas like theoretical physics and astrophysics forward.

At present we don’t know for sure how the fundamental laws might be affected by a multiverse (Maybe the laws are NOT Fundamental!). For all we know, things like the speed of light may not be constant (already a concern for our own universe although rarely discussed) and the gravitational constant are not really constant. We assume a lot of things to make our physical theories understandable (such as in the past Euclidean geometry) which often turn out to be only approximations or completely wrong at some larger or smaller level. If there are infinite numbers of universes with different laws than it is probable that life forming organisms exist and exist infinitely but probably a smaller infinity than uninhabitable universes. However, all of these things currently are like conjuring up the probable number of angels on the head of a pin - we simply don’t have the tools to properly study such things.

So yes, the multiverse is problematic but not for any known physical reason. Only reasons related to our own limited means of studying their existence and properties. We must not catch ourselves falling for a “god of the gaps” explanation - better to say that from a Scientific viewpoint - We don’t know at this time.

I didn’t call anyone’s idea a fairy tale. Solid reasoning from the natural to the supernatural and back is meaningless. There’s no need to go there. Just stay with the real.

Would someone winning five separate lotteries in the same day in the same order that they bought the tickets give you a clue that something was rigged?

(@Klax knows very well what I’m talking about, but others may not be familiar with Maggie’s testimony.)

I think you have been perhaps listening/reading too much to people like Lawrence Krauss - who misconstrue what is really meant within the theoretical physics community, even though what they say when clarified is correct. Modern Science does not deal with physics before the big bang and not even what we would call T = 0. It only comes into play a very short time after because of the Uncertainty Principle and Quantum Theory makes knowledge before impossible (at least in theory, but QT has been Science’s most successful model, so most Scientists talk about it as fact in ordinary conversation even though they know the nuances of what is being talked about). There is never really nothing nothing in modern physics as the late apologist Francis Schaeffer would say. The vacuum always has some non-finite probability of producing matter/energy from itself. This may seem like splitting hairs but it is the current way these things are thought about and they are quite different than what “nothing” meant in the past in physics.

1 Like

Wow! Why didn’t you tell me that’s in Maggie’s testimony. That she’s a 50 sigma lucky gambler.

Yes, “fairy tale” was an example, although it’s not hard to find real use of the term or equivalents.

Evolutionary creationism accepts the laws of nature as reasonably accurate. It acknowledges the possibility of rare miraculous events, but as far as science goes, it gives a similar picture of what we should see to a purely philosophically naturalistic position. But is that because the naturalist is inappropriately accepting theistic premises? Science depends on the premises that the universe is real, that it behaves in regular ways that we can understand, that we should be honest in reporting our findings, etc.

Essay: God, Occam, and Science may be of interest in regard to drawing conclusions from science.

The odds were more than astronomical, they were outside of space and time. And she is not the only one, but hers is an especially sweet condensation of the truth of God’s providential interventions on behalf of those who seek him. You do remember George – he had almost daily answers to specific prayers. You even said something about him being “incarnational”, or something to that effect.

Can you quantify reasonable? How inaccurate is QM? Or any other law of nature? What kinds of rare miraculous events does EC countenance any more than I do?