The Argument Clinic

This may well be because those quoted favoured the Multiverse. Rees takes that tack in Just Six Numbers


To add, it can’t be ruled out of course that if there is a God, he created a Multiverse.

The plot thickens.

Thickens or congeals? :stuck_out_tongue:


Not only did Hawking and Davies opine concerning fine tuning, they both wrote entire books on the subject.

Hawking was firmly set against the idea that the parameters of our universe were indicative of any theistic or teleological causation. He co-authored The Grand Design, which in its preface states

We will describe how M-theory may offer answers to the question of creation. According the M-theory, ours is not the only universe. Instead, M-theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god. Rather, these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law. They are a prediction of science.

For context, feel free to read the book. The authors then go on to present a form of the anthropic principle. The quote you provided is misleading and not representative of the trajectory of Hawking’s thought. You quote Hawking like some sort of proof text, without being familiar with his original work, and then take offence when the impropriety of the quote is pointed out.


It seems to me that this is one way to reconcile omniscience with free will.

I wonder if the views on Intelligent Design have changed much over the years - the quarter century + since it was proposed. I’m not convinced that they have.
Of course, there are a few people who have changed their minds, maybe going both ways. Josh Swamidass (the founder, I guess you call him, of Peaceful Science) has changed his mind - once being a supporter of ID and now not one.
Joshua and Behe had a debate at Texas A&M University. Have a look. I doubt that even Joshua thinks that he delivered anything that anyone would consider a knockout punch to ID.

Non-scientists like yourself and myself are going to be left largely as spectators at a conference being carried out in a language we don’t understand while at the same time getting a distinct impression that we are being told that ID is bogus (at best) and only hillbillies cling to it. And yet, speaking for myself, when I take snippets that I think I can understand from the non-IDers, they totally fall flat.
Look at the following,

Some will go so far as to claim ID nothing but religion. That is just the oddest thing to me. It has been over a year since I watched the video I linked to above, but I don’t recall Behe doing any praying or quoting of scripture or from biblical commentaries. Same goes for his books.

Hmmm. Kind of like this,

If you watch the video of Joshua and Behe, note, beginning at about 32 minute Joshua starts to talk about the imprecision of using the word ‘Darwinism’, culminating in,
“I haven’t actually yet met a Darwinist in science.”
Well, I’ll be rather forgiving that part of what IDer’s do is push back against Darwinsit’s when they so frequently are content to use the term. (you can check out 1:32:42 in the Joshua/ Behe video for another pushback) (or Dawkins’s, "at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means.) (and it is the IDer’s that “claim to be doing science, but they aren’t.” that is a bit rich.)
Even this, in response to your very first question,

totally equivocates with the term evolution. I’m very certain that Behe believes as strongly in the reality of ‘evolution’ as our friend.

Anyway, a bit of a ramble I know. I’m a carpenter and not a writer, so it is the best I can do in a limited time.
Let me leave you with a link to the late atheist whom I’m quite fond of, Christopher Hitchens on consensus,

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Yes, Sam. The ending “-ist” refers to a person, typically in a political sense. HTH.

It’s not the same term.

“DarwinIan” is an evolutionary mechanism. It’s not neutral evolution, the kind that is very important but does not appear to exist for most IDers.

Referring to Darwinian mechanisms does not mean that the person doing so fails to acknowledge the existence of neutral evolution, which has been a thing for only the last half-century or so.

I don’t see how what you quoted has anything to do with the stone-cold fact that IDcreationists don’t do science, which is about testing hypotheses empirically.


Yes, because that’s me controlling my thoughts, a being who thinks independently of natural processes, which has a supernatural source of my reason, in God.

But reason produced it, much like I trust a reasoning being produces your posts. It is only when we see reason being claimed to come from non-reason that we cry halt! (as C.S. Lewis saId).

Yes, the validity of reason is a postulate, but we can see that reason coming from non-reason is invalid, just as a paragraph typed by monkeys would be a curiosity, but not to be taken seriously.

I’m not saying our reasoning is perfect, but it does need to come from a perfect Reason in order to be fundamentally trustworthy.

But a pathological fear of say, cats, might be a fitness benefit if cats became primary carriers of Covid. Evolution need not give true perceptions of reality.

This gets back to whether God is perfect Reason, and I believe he is. Whether God is perfectly loving (and I believe this also) is another topic.

  1. The rationale given for distrusting a naturalistically-explained mind was not that it wasn’t produced by a reasoning being, but rather that it involved, in your words, “mindless atoms control my thoughts”. You appear to be moving the goalposts here. And according to your freshly-moved goalposts, it would appear possible for a naturalistically-explicable mind to be trustworthy (even where “mindless atoms control my thoughts”), as long as you believed that some “reasoning being” was ultimately responsible for this naturalistically-explicable mind, either by direct creation, or by ordaining the process of evolution that led to its existence.

  2. That “only when we see reason being claimed to come from non-reason that we cry halt” has merely been asserted not substantiated. That our thought processes are a sufficient approximation to trustworthy can be more parsimoniously explained by Natural Selection, with reasonably trustworthy cognition being a survival trait – particularly in that where our cognition varies from trustworthy (e.g. Cognitive Biases) they are frequently (pervasively?) easily explained by humanity’s millions of year long history as hunter-gatherers, and before that as an omnivorous ape, in an environment where we were under threat from apex predators.

    It is in fact the degree of untrustworthiness due these cognitive biases, that led to the creation of the Scientific Method as a corrective mechanism. If untrammeled human cognition were a perfectly trustworthy means of discerning the workings of the natural world, then the scientific method would be unnecessary.

That CS Lewis failed to comprehend this is hardly surprising. As far as I can see he had no expertise whatsoever in the fields of Biology (let alone Evolutionary Biology) or Neuroscience. His background was in Literature (English, Greek and Latin), and in the History and Philosophy of the Ancient World. This lack of expertise led him to make some unwarranted (and probably outdated, even in his own time) assumptions.


Creation need not either. But Evolution will naturally tend that way, while creation wouldn’t.

What you believe is irrelevant, not least because you believe this is a city that has never been rebuilt.


Suppose a monkey types out a formula for medication that is claimed to cure all cancers. We test it and find that it works. Humanity could now be rid of cancer if we use this drug.

How should we respond to this? Should we conclude that the medication actually doesn’t work, because it was designed by a monkey, and therefore not use it? Or should we conclude that the monkey is able to reason sufficiently well to type coherent sentences and create a cure for cancer?

I admit that I have not yet watched this video. However, based on the previous efforts from these producers, I expect this would be very interesting and enlightening viewing.

I see your Youtube documentary and raise you a Youtube response video.

TL:DW, the video you have not watched (but expect to be interesting and enlightening) is in fact entirely one-sided and rather misleading.

@Sam, I have to agree with @Michael_Okoko here. Quotes have their place, but that place would probably be to motivate the presentation of some evidence, not to stand in for it. As in, here’s what physicists say, and here’s why

And then you could point to something like the following review article:

Or if you really want to go the extra mile, and have the time on your hands, read that review article (you should anyway, before you go citing it), and try to summarize the strongest points for your interlocutors. (I’d help you out there, but I’m lacking on the “time on my hands” condition.)


I do not expect it to be anything but one-sided, so that’s no problem for me.

Spoken like someone truly open-minded on this issue! Well, in case anyone cares to hear from both sides, I’ve provided a link to a counterbalancing opinion.

Yes, the one that says “REBUTTED!” on the title screen. Very balanced and neutral.

I did not say that I do not want to hear from both sides. I simply did not expect to hear both sides from that one video. Getting a very clear explanation of the evidence for one side is still useful. No?

The bigger point: If there are two sides to this question, then we’re still at the point where belief in God is just a matter of faith, rather than a position that have been conclusively shown to be true.


Funnily enough, the one that says “REBUTTED!” on the title screen is the one that does a better job at being balanced, imo.

Certainly, but…

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
-Proverbs 18:17

And in this case, as I said, I believe the video you linked to is not just one-sided, but misleading.

I’m gonna go ahead and say that there’s room between “one side has been conclusively shown to be true” and “the arguments are a total wash”.

Anyhoo, I wasn’t intending this to turn into another offshoot of a thread that is already an offshoot of another thread, so I’ll bow out.

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No, this is another step to the argument, first we don’t trust conclusions produced by mindless causes, such as the delirium’s insistence that there are spiders on the walls. So if non-reasoning processes did not produce my reason, we are left with intentionality, and reason producing reason.

But the objective of evolution is fitness, not perception of reality! If belief in aliens produces hope that keeps people from destructive behavior, then believing in aliens will be selected for.

But not all truth is amenable to analysis by the scientific method, archeology for example, cannot produce repeated experiments to see if Napoleon fought at the battle of Waterloo.

Well, my example with cats was to show that evolution need not tend that way. And how do you know that creation wouldn’t?

But I am going on the basis of the ruins of Tyre that are underwater, that I hold to be the city that has not been rebuilt. “They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters.” (Eze. 26:12).