Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Einstein speaking of religion is quite equivalent to Tagore speaking of science

Flaw in creationists’ argument by RY Deshpande on Wed 27 Jun 2007 04:16 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link Flaw in creationists’ argument
It has been said that the conditions in nature were designed in such a precise way that man inevitably must appear because of them. He has been programmed into the scheme of things. True or not, this anthropomorphic view has been claimed to be the great understanding of science. Everything is tailored for man, but man who does not know what is next stored for him. The right gravity, the right masses of particles, the right universal constants are the new gods who have uploaded man into the system. “Like Baby Bear’s porridge in the story of Goldilocks,” says Paul Davies, “the universe seems to be just right for life.” But the strange thing is, all this talk is without knowing the origin of the laws of physics. In any case, man becomes the product of the laws of physics. Too daring a conclusion perhaps, to be proper or acceptable.
  • Are the laws of physics absolute and universal?
  • But could it not be that this is just a hang-over of the philosophical monism of the past, the inertial mind sticking to the old in one manner or the other?
  • And who can answer such a question when we don’t know their origin, notwithstanding the mighty Stephen Hawking?
  • Add to that Martin Rees’s many universes. And perhaps we have a total mess as far as our concepts and ideas of the fundamentals are concerned?
  • In fact, the question could be, can science really talk anything about it?

Its success, an astounding success in one area does not entitle him to speak of things which do not fall in his domain. Einstein speaking of religion is quite equivalent to Tagore speaking of science—and the fact is, they both did it. In the Brief History of Time we have the poser, if the singularity of the Big Bang disappears in the formulation of the imaginary time, then what need of God? Universe had always been there and will continue to be there.

But let us get back to Davies who thinks that our lack of understanding of the universe can go back to religion and science. Both religion and science consider the cause of whatever is, is outside it, the physical universe as we can observe; that is, the laws come from elsewhere. “Just as classical Christianity presents God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, so physicists envisage their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.” But this is building up another theology. Paul Davies of the Arizona State University maintains that we must find the answer from within nature, and not beyond it. The universe cannot be fixed from outside.
There is however a problem. If we make the laws of physics extremely precise then, at the moment of Big Bang, there was so little available by way of determining factors that any precise formulation could rule out the kind of developments that took place later. Which means, the parameters required for man’s appearance could not be specified in any detail of the universe at the near-zero moment in the history of time.
“If a law is a truly exact mathematical relationship, it requires infinite information to specify it. In my opinion,” says Davies, “infinitely precise laws are an extreme idealisation with no shred of real world justification. In the first split second of cosmic existence, the laws must therefore have been seriously fuzzy. Then, as the information content of the universe climbed, the laws focused and homed in on the life-encouraging form we observe today. But the flaws in the laws left enough wiggle room for the universe to engineer its own bio-friendliness.” Paul Davies article may be accessed at
In any case the upshot is, we live in a world that has grown out of fuzziness. Not a very edifying situation. This could be contrasted with the notings in the Record, for instance, as we have in the above. RYD

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