The Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe

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The Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe

The Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe

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The discovery of the functional digital information in DNA and RNA molecules in even the simplest living cells provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a role in the origin of the information necessary to produce the first living organism. Put simply, Meyer’s argument here is based on the observation that the genetic code – the encoding of information in the DNA of living things – represents a particular kind of “functional” information storage mechanism that is unlikely to have arisen through purely natural processes. I find this the most unsatisfying of Meyer’s claims. The thesis of this book is that modern scientific discoveries testify to the idea that a mind vastly superior to our own not only created the universe, but also purposefully arranged for it to have precisely the properties required for human life to exist and flourish. Meyer examines three seminal scientific discoveries to support his thesis: (1) that organisms contain biological information whose source cannot be merely physical or material; (2) that the laws of physics have been finely tuned to sustain life in general and human life in particular; and (3) that the universe had a specific beginning in space and time.

Our experience with all of these is that they are the product of intelligence. Specifically, they are the product of human intelligence. What did Hawking et al mean by “in some sense?” I don’t know, and Meyer doesn’t pursue it. But it’s hard to conclude that a beginning “in some sense” is the same as, simply, “a beginning.” And in fact, later Meyer quotes Ellis as observing that some cosmologists now see, in Meyer’s words, “singularity theorems as an interesting piece of pure mathematics, but not as proofs of the beginning of our actual universe.” (again, emphasis mine) Meyer masterfully summarizes the current evidence from cosmology, physics and biology showing that the more we learn about the universe and nature, the more relevant the ‘God hypothesis’ becomes. Dr. Anthony Futerman, Joseph Meyerhoff Professor of Biochemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

But it’s worth considering what is implied by the claim Meyer is making. First, it requires that it be meaningful to speak of “different values for a physical constant,” and it isn’t immediately obvious that that’s the case. After all, we don’t know why physical constants have the values they do, and we don’t know how the various constants might be related to each other through some aspect of physical reality of which we’re still unaware. Moreover, it turns out that we live in precisely the kind of universe that can allow living things to exist in the first place, not to mention allowing human life to flourish. Specifically, if the strengths of the various forces of nature or the properties of the particles comprising the material universe were only very slightly different, we simply wouldn’t exist at all. This is known as the fine-tuning problem. Meyer reminds us that some of the best minds in the industry have been thinking deeply about it. Meyer takes on other materialist theories like the “Wheeler-DeWitt equation” and “The Mathematical Universe Hypothesis” which seek to explain away the uniqueness of our universe. He concludes with the 19 th century physicist, Ludwig Boltzmann’s postmodernist, many worlds’ cosmology in which “Boltzmann Brains” could self-assemble as the result of chance arrangements of atoms due to random quantum fluctuations. Accordingly such fluctuations at the subatomic level may cause bizarre outcomes like the Statue of Liberty waving at passers-by and, though such events may not happen in our universe, given enough universes and time, such things will happen and happen endlessly! But, as Meyer points out, each of these rationales involves monumental question begging; that is, each assumes the prior existence of features of our universe like gravity, matter, time, reliable mathematics and so on which themselves demand explanations. Weaving together philosophy, history and science in lucid prose, Meyer skewers materialism for its inability to create the information necessary to a universe teeming with life. The claim that the God hypothesis is unscientific is laid bare as a red herring. Paul Ashby, Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Harvard University; Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Darrel Falk Downplays the Ramifications of the 2016 Royal Society Meeting” by Brian Miller at Evolution News (June 2, 2021). Meyer has written a book that could have been written at any time during our long quest for understanding. The details would change, the sophistication would vary, but the product would be similar: a man standing on the edge of the unknown surveys the wisest men around him and concludes that, since they have no wholly satisfactory answers, one or another god is the most plausible explanation. Regarding “ How Could the Big Bang Arise From Nothing?” by Alastair Wilson at The Conversation (January 3, 2022). Since his Signature in the Cell, Stephen Meyer has been a beacon of humility, humanity, and courageous thinking in that ever-changing interface between science and religion. His new book does not prove the presence of a designing intelligence or supermind, but it certainly renders the “God hypothesis” more plausible, coherent, and respectable. Thoughtful people need no longer assume materialism, mechanism, and meaninglessness. Turns out: anything but. Dr. Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University, author of The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge. Meyer’s second claim is, I think, his strongest, and its defense constitutes the largest portion of his book.A comprehensive and lucid argument for theism as the best explanation for the scientific evidence. Stephen Meyer has a true gift for conveying complex concepts clearly. Dr. Robert Kaita, former Principal Research Physicist, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

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