Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Comparing Design Evidence in Physics Versus Biology

 From Evolution News and Science Today:

I really enjoyed physicist Brian Miller’s two-part ID the Future interview with Rabbi Aaron Zimmer and Rabbi Elie Feder about support for intelligent design from physics (see here and here). Both are gifted explainers, as you know already that Dr. Miller is. I was not familiar with their podcast series, Physics to God, but of course I checked it out, in particular the episode “Physics vs. Biology,” where they weigh differences between the case for design in biology and the case in physics. They don’t come down one way or the other about the former, which is fair enough. (Their backgrounds are respectively in physics and mathematics, not that you have to be a biologist to have a view on ID in biology.) In the episode, though, they argue that the evidence for design in physics is necessarily the stronger of the two. 

Why? Because the fine-tuning of the physical constants underlying the existence of the universe has no evolutionary history. We have no reason for thinking they were other than what they are now, very precisely, at the Big Bang. As Zimmer and Feder say in the podcast, there are no “fossils” indicating previous sets of constants that could have been somehow naturally winnowed or otherwise tuned by unguided, unintelligent forces. With fossils of previously existing life forms, on the other hand, there is at least a suggestion of evolution — whether that was guided (intelligent design) or unguided (Darwinian theory). With the physical constants, there’s no ground for arguing against design other than by appealing to purely speculative ideas of other universes that can never be scientifically detected. (And even then, as Stephen Meyer shows in Return of the God Hypothesis, whatever mechanism might generate universes would itself demand an explanation pointing to ID.) (Read more.)


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