Who Made God?

Here’s an excerpt from my book God and Soul: The Truth and the Proof, which presents the rational, scientific case for the existence of God and the human soul. This section addresses a question that is invariably posed by the New Atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Michael Shermer): “If God made the universe, who made God?” I think you’ll find that this is an answer you’ve never encountered before. The following excerpt from God and Soul is copyright 2012 by Jim Denney, and may not be reproduced without permission.

Excerpt:

There is a question that all of the New Atheists ask in their books, their speeches, and their public debates. It’s a question intended to stump the believers, end the debate, and expose the theistic fallacy once and for all. It’s the simple question, “If God made the universe, who made God?”

Michael Shermer, in his book The Believing Brain, frames the question this way: “Who created God? God is he who needs not be created. Why can’t the universe be ‘that which needs not be created’?”32 Daniel Dennett puts it this way in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: “If God created all these wonderful things, who created God? Supergod? And who created Supergod? Superdupergod? Or did God create himself?”33 Christopher Hitchens, in God is Not Great, wrote, “The postulate of a designer or creator only raises the unanswerable question of who designed the designer or created the creator.”34 Likewise Sam Harris in Letter to a Christian Nation: “The notion of a creator poses an immediate problem of an infinite regress. If God created the universe, what created God?”35 Finally, in The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins makes it unanimous:

The whole argument turns on the familiar question, “Who made God?”, which most thinking people discover for themselves. A designer God cannot be used to explain organized complexity because any God capable of designing anything would have to be complex enough to demand the same kind of explanation in his own right. God presents an infinite regress from which he cannot help us escape.36

The question “Who made God?” is actually a question many children ask. Because it’s a childlike question, we should first make sure the question does not contain an underlying fallacy, such as a category mistake. A category mistake is a semantic or logical error in which objects of one kind or category are mistakenly presented as if they belong to another kind or category. For example, the question “What does red taste like?” is a category mistake because “red” belongs to the category of colors, not tastes. Something that is red may taste like raspberries or like blood, because “red” is not a taste.

The question “Who made God?” may be a similar category mistake because God may not belong to the category of created things, but to a separate category, such as “ground of reality” or “ground of being.” The anthropic principle [or “fine-tuned universe”] strongly suggests that the Cosmic Designer, being the Architect and Originator of the Big Bang, may not belong to the category of created things. If that is true, if God is the ground of reality, then Dawkins is mistaken and God does not present us with “an infinite regress from which he cannot help us escape.”

The Abrahamic religions assert that God does not belong to the category of created things, and that is why most theistic writers answer the “Who made God?” question in a dogmatic way. Here’s a typical theistic answer to that question:

Who made God? No one did. He was not made. He has always existed. Only things that had a beginning — like the world — need a maker. God had no beginning, so God did not need to be made.37

Of course, this “answer” doesn’t answer anything. It’s simply a dogmatic statement that erects a mental firewall against further inquiry. If the question “Who made God?” makes our brains hurt, then let’s just say, “God had no beginning,” and stop thinking about such questions.

I prefer to keep thinking.

The question “Who made God?” is a useful and interesting way to prod further thought and discussion. Unfortunately, the New Atheists try to use this question to end the discussion.

In order to honestly grapple with the question “Who made God?,” we need to have our consciousness raised — twice. Richard Dawkins has called Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection “the ultimate scientific consciousness-raiser.” And it’s true — we do need to have our consciousness raised by the principle of natural selection. But we mustn’t stop there. We must also have our consciousness raised by the anthropic principle.

The problem with Dawkins and his fellow New Atheists is that they have only had their consciousness raised once. If they would raise their consciousness a second time by opening their minds to the anthropic principle, they might discover where the “Who made God?” question actually leads us.

If there is a Cosmic Designer who created a universe with the purpose of bringing forth intelligent life (as the anthropic evidence clearly, overwhelmingly suggests), then the Cosmic Designer would certainly welcome our intelligent inquiry. After all, we human beings are the “children” of the Cosmic Designer, and the raison d’être of the anthropic principle. The universe was called into being for the express purpose of bringing thinking beings into existence — so it seems to me that the Cosmic Designer would be pleased to know that the conscious, reasoning creatures of the universe have begun to look back and think deeply about such questions.

One place to begin thinking about the question “Who made God?” is to remember that time began at the moment of the Big Bang. I know this is an impossible concept to fully grasp, but it’s true: There was no such thing as time “prior to” the Big Bang. In fact, the phrase “before the Big Bang” is about as meaningless an expression as can be ever be put into words. Time did not exist until the instant of the Big Bang, which physicists express as “t = 0.” The first moment of time, the first micro-tick of the cosmic clock, occurred approximately 13.7 billion years ago. Adolf Grünbaum (b. 1923), the founding Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Philosophy of Science, explained it this way (all emphasis is in the original):

[The Big Bang instant t = 0] … had no temporal predecessor. In this case, t = 0 was a singular, temporally first event of the physical space-time to which all of the world-lines of the universe converge. This means that there simply did not exist any instants of time before t = 0! But it would be (potentially) misleading to describe this state of affairs by saying that “time began” at t = 0. This description makes it sound as if time began in the same sense in which, say, a musical concert began. And that is misleading precisely because the concert was actually preceded by actual instants of time, when it had not yet begun. But, in the Big Bang model … there were no such earlier instants before t = 0 and hence no instants when the Big Bang had not yet occurred. [Astronomer Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell] … is quite unaware of these facts when he speaks mistakenly of a “metaphysical scheme before the beginning of time and space.” Similarly, there is no basis for [cosmologist Jayant Vishnu Narlikar’s] … lament that “scientists are not in the habit of discussing … the situation prior to [the Big Bang].”38

There was nothing before the Big Bang. There was no space, no time, no matter, no energy, no gravity, no “before.” At t = 0, all of the life-giving, fine-tuned laws, constants, and forces of the universe were “baked in.” If there was no space and time “before” t = 0, then what “caused” the “effect” we know as the Big Bang? Who or what designed this amazing, delicately calibrated universe that gives us life?

Answer: A Mind — a conscious, purposeful, willful Designer.

Because we live within a reality that consists of three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, we assume that the ultimate ground of reality is space-time. But space-time can’t be the ultimate ground of reality because space-time is a mere 13.7 billion years old. Space-time did not exist until the Big Bang happened.

The universe is trying to tell us something: The universe is not primarily about space, time, matter, energy, and gravity. Those things are real, but they are not the most basic feature of the universe. At its most fundamental level, the universe is all about Mind.

(When I capitalize the word “Mind,” I’m not suggesting that “Mind” means “Supernatural Deity.” I’m trying to convey the fact that Mind is an entity distinct from the space-time universe of matter. The mind of God would be Mind, but the minds of human beings and other conscious observers also partake in this collective property I call “Mind” with a capital M.)

Before you dismiss these ideas as a lot of New Age tripe, like auras and spiritual vibrations, I want to state clearly that I don’t deal in mysticism. The integral role of the conscious mind in quantum physics has been an accepted scientific concept as far back as the 1920s, when Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg were noodling around with wavefunction mathematics.

Great scientists have considered the role of Mind in the structure of the universe at least since the day of astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). When he began to understand the laws of planetary motion that bear his name, Kepler exclaimed, “O God! I think thy thoughts after Thee!”39 The universe, Kepler realized, was designed by conscious, rational, purposeful thought.

Three centuries later, Stephen Hawking made a similar statement at the end of his book A Brief History of Time. Hawking concluded that if we could discover a complete “theory of everything” and find the answer to why we and the universe exist, “it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.” Hawking, an agnostic, used the term “mind of God” in a metaphoric sense — but his statement may be more literally true than even he intended.

Countless physics experiments clearly show that the workings of the universe are entangled with the workings of Mind — the minds of conscious human observers at least, and perhaps the mind of God. One of the fathers of quantum theory, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), expressed this view when he wrote, “The overall number of minds is just one. I venture to call [mind] indestructible since it has a peculiar timetable, namely mind is always now.”40 In other words, Mind is an indivisible unity, it cannot be destroyed, and it is timeless. Only a mind of the kind Schrödinger describes would be capable of formulating, coordinating, and fine-tuning all of the life-giving laws, constants, and forces of the universe at the moment of t = 0.

Schrödinger goes on to speak of the conscious mind that each of us thinks of as “I” or “myself.” He writes: “We do not belong to this material world that science constructs for us. We are not in it; we are outside. We are only spectators. The reason why we believe we are in it, that we belong to the picture, is that our bodies are in the picture.”41

Here, Schrödinger describes a picture of reality that is almost religious in nature — yet this picture of reality is derived from quantum physics, not some religious text or tradition. In Schrödinger’s description, Mind interacts with the material world but is not part of the material world. Mind is outside of the material world — a “spectator.” A mind housed in a human body tends to mistake the material body for the “I” or the “self” that is the mind. But while the body belongs to the world of matter, in Schrödinger’s view, the mind is separate from the material world.

This view parallels that of Australian neurophysiologist Sir John Carew Eccles (1903-1997), who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his pioneering work on brain synapses and neurotransmitters. Eccles came to the conclusion that consciousness and thought occur when the non-material mind acts upon the quantum “microsites” within the synapses of the cerebral cortex of the brain. He suggested that the non-material mind interacts with the material brain by means of quantum mental units called “psychons.” These psychons control the quantum jumps within synapses, causing them to emit neurotransmitters which account for such brain activity as thought, decision-making, and body movement. In Eccles’ view, the brain doesn’t give rise to the mind; rather, the mind is separate from the brain, and it activates the brain in order to control the body.

Eccles authored or co-authored several books with the intent to “challenge and negate materialism and to reinstate the spiritual self as the controller of the brain.”42 In How the Self Controls Its Brain, Eccles even went so far as to say, “In some mysterious way, God is the Creator of all the living forms in the evolutionary process, and particularly in hominid evolution of human persons, each with the conscious selfhood of an immortal soul. … Biological evolution transcends itself in providing the material basis, the human brain, for self-conscious beings whose very nature is to seek for hope and to enquire for meaning in the quest for love, truth, and beauty.”43

American physicist Nick Herbert, the author of Quantum Reality, has worked as a senior physicist in industry (Memorex, Smith-Corona Marchant) and in pure research (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Xerox PARC). Herbert is a strong proponent of the view that Mind is a more pervasive aspect of reality than matter and energy. While the standard view of reality is that the universe evolved consciousness (in the form of conscious beings like us), Herbert says that consciousness comes first, and that consciousness creates reality. He writes:

The first person to suggest that quantum theory implies that reality is created by human consciousness was not some crank on the fringes of physics but the eminent mathematician John von Neumann. In his quantum bible [Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik or The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics] …, the most influential book on quantum theory ever written, von Neumann concludes that, from a strictly logical point of view, only the presence of consciousness can solve the measurement problem. As a professional mathematician, von Neumann was accustomed to boldly following a logical argument wherever it might lead. … His logic leads to a particularly unpalatable conclusion: that the world is not objectively real but depends on the mind of the observer.44

(Personal note: I lean toward a view which holds that the world is objectively real, but that Mind interacts with and shapes objective reality in more powerful ways than we normally suppose.)

Nick Herbert goes on to compare von Neumann’s view, rooted in mathematics and experimental physics, to the intuitive insights of George Berkeley (1685-1753), Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland. Describing Berkeley’s views, Herbert wrote:

Berkeley argued that mind is not a form of matter but quite the opposite: matter does not even exist except as the perception of some mind. Absolute existence belongs to minds alone — the mind of God, the minds of humans and other spiritual beings. All other forms of being, including matter, light, the Earth, and stars, exist only by virtue of some mind’s being aware of them. … Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) was the Irish bishop’s motto concerning matter: “All those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world have no subsistence without a mind.”45

So let’s bring this discussion back to the original question: “Who made God?” At this point, you may see where I’m heading. Nick Herbert’s suggestion (derived from von Neumann) that “reality is created by human consciousness” is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t account for all the facts. The universe has existed for 13.7 billion years. Conscious human beings (in the form of genus Homo) have existed for the tiniest fraction of that span of time, roughly 2.4 million years. Our own species, Homo sapiens, has existed for less than 200,000 years — a mere twinkle in the eye of the cosmos.

For the better part of 13.7 billion years, there were no conscious human minds in existence to observe reality and make reality real — but does that mean there was no conscious Mind at all in the universe? No. Mind was immanent throughout the universe from the instant of t = 0. As physicist Freeman J. Dyson has said, “God is what Mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.”46

So what sort of conscious Mind existed during all those billions of years before human beings evolved? What sort of Mind directed the life-giving purpose of the universe at the moment the Big Bang? What sort of Mind selected, balanced, and fine-tuned the laws, constants, and forces of the universe at the instant of t = 0?

Everything that exists within the space-time universe is subject to the principle of causality. A cause always precedes its effect, and causes and effects always take place within the framework of space and time. But if Mind exists outside of the space-time universe, Mind is not subject to the principle of causality. If Mind is not an effect produced by some other cause, then Mind itself is the cause — and the universe is the effect.

If Mind is the ground of existence, and therefore not subject to the law of cause and effect, then the question “Who created God?” (in effect, “Who created Mind?”) can be seen as a nonsense question. It’s like asking “How big is blue?” or “What does seven taste like?”

To say that Mind is the ground of reality is not to say that space and time, matter and energy, are not real. They are definitely real. But it is Mind — the mind of the Cosmic Designer, the mind of conscious beings like ourselves — that makes reality real. To quote Freeman Dyson once more, “I do not claim that the architecture of the universe proves the existence of God. I claim only that the architecture of the universe is consistent with the hypothesis that mind plays an essential role in its functioning.”47

As the English mathematician-astronomer Sir James Jeans (1877-1946) concluded, “The universe appears less and less like a great machine and more and more like a great thought.”

End of excerpt.

For more information on the anthropic (fine-tuned universe) evidence for God (the Cosmic Designer), see my previous blog post, “Is Our Universe ‘the Ultimate Artifact’?”

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6 Comments

  1. I think neutrality with respect to whether the universe had a beginning or not is reasonable, since it’s on the leading edge of theoretical physics and highly speculative. There are a bunch of different theories and unless cosmology is one’s area of specialization and one follows the detailed maths, it’s hardly possible to take an informed position. And with no working theory of quantum gravity, models based on GR aren’t reliable at the Planck scale so you can’t say what may have been the case before the expansion of the universe started (cf Sean Carroll “From Eternity To Here”). I know that BGV 2003 isn’t dependent on a particular resolution of quantum gravity, but it doesn’t rule out that much either, for instance, models based on contraction/expansion, such as Penrose (and others) loop quantum cosmology, which I remember has a contraction phase.

    However, I don’t see that if the particular universe we are in had a beginning that makes it any more credible that a deity is required: To wave a magic wand or light the blue touch paper? And the great majority of cosmologists (being charitable), including Vilenkin, don’t see any such necessity either: Inflationary cosmology is pretty much self sustaining, in that, once it’s set off, it doesn’t appear to need a host of angels tinkering about to keep it on track.

    In some respects cosmology is in a similar position to evolutionary biology. Evolution (mutation + natural selection), like inflation, is a self sustaining process that appears to need no supernatural intervention in order to work. There is, of course, still no convincing theory of abiogenesis (hardly suprising considering it must have happened some 4bn years ago), but, in no way does that imply that godidit; rather the lesson is that science has massively narrowed a gap that previously was only remotely explainable by some kind of magic intervention (and perhaps Hume for the more intellectually minded) and that’s the consciousness raising that Dawkins & Dennett talk about. Similarly, it hardly seems reasonable that the origin of the universe should need to resort to supernaturalism either.

    — Specific Objections —

    The main problem I have with your god model is the kind of god that you are trying to construct: Even if there was some ethereal process (deus sive natura) outside of space and time (whatever that might mean), that would hardly imply that it had a son called Jesus, that we all go to heaven and that the (crazy) doctrine of atonement makes the least bit of sense. And you really need to account for all those things. If it was just some kind of deism that was being proposed, then it wouldn’t need all that baggage, and something more akin to the self sustaining process (natura naturans) which Spinoza advocated (and which was the basis of Einstein’s ideas too) would be more appropriate, since that would be a much simpler proposition that doesn’t go beyond what *appears* to be necessary to explain the parts of the universe we can observe; you simply have no right to make up ad hoc assumptions and expect them to be true by fiat.

    Another objection, which stems from a remark that Richard Feynman made, is that the stage is simply much too large for the kind of petty drama that the bible claims god is trying to perpetrate on humanity. Why would such a small minded god, who, according to the religious, likes to check up on such things as whether we eat fish on Fridays and who we have sex with, have created such a stupendously huge universe (in both space and time)? What’s the rest of it for? And inflationary cosmology just acts to make this discrepancy even more ridiculous; likely enough god would need superpowers just to pinpoint the loaction of the observable universe we happen to reside in, never mind our insignificant planet at the end of nowhere street.

    — Fine Tuning —

    I see, following up a few links, that you favour fine tuning arguments. To me these are just the same type of argument from design that Paley made, white washed over to apply to the universe. And all such arguments are basically self defeating, since they introduce more complexity than they can explain.

    Any physical constant for which we don’t yet have an explanation is likely to appear fine tuned and that’s a good thing as these constants act as constraints in which mathematical theories can be formulated. It seems to me that there are at least two ways that apparently fine tuned constants can be explained, the first being that they are necessary constraints in some theory we don’t yet know and the second, an anthropic argument, that their values can alter over space and time and we of necessity need to be somewhere that continuum where life is possible.

    It’s already apparent that inflationary cosmology suggests both the above possibilities: For instance, the observable universe’s flatness is likely a consequence of inflation blowing up a curved space, just as the surface of the earth appears flat to us, because of it’s size. And an anthropic argument is at the core of inflationary cosmology too. i.e. Andre Linde’s idea that the cosmological constant is actually a scalar field varying over the inflationary universe.

    In any case having some god twiddling the tuning knobs doesn’t obviate the need for fine tuning, it just hides it in a place that isn’t accessible to rational enquiry and introduces a host of other unnecessary and ad hoc constructs, such as insubstantial intelligence!?, places beyond space and time etc.; so the cure is far worse than the disease.

    ciao! Roq.

    Reply
  2. To Roq—

    (Sorry about the long delay in replying. I plead deadlines and the Thanksgiving holiday.)

    I agree that if our universe had a beginning, that would still not REQUIRE the existence of a deity (or, as I prefer to say, a Cosmic Designer). Rather, a universe with a beginning PERMITS the existence of a Designer. It is all the other evidence for a fine-tuned universe that seems to require the existence of a Designer.

    On the other hand, if the universe had no beginning, that would seem to obviate a Designer because the Designer would have nothing to do. The universe would have always existed and would be self-sustaining.

    But the evidence doesn’t sustain the self-sustaining universe view. In 2003, Vilenkin considered eternal inflation with respect to the Hubble constant, and he concluded that eternal inflation is mathematically untenable. He said, “It can’t possibly be eternal in the past. There must be some kind of boundary.”

    Moreover, looking at eternal inflation from an anthropic perspective, I’ve never heard a good explanation for how inflationary cosmology would produce a universe so exquisitely fine-tuned for life.

    Re: “it hardly seems reasonable that the origin of the universe should need to resort to supernaturalism either.”

    This is why I prefer the term “Cosmic Designer” instead of “deity.” I don’t appeal to supernaturalism and magic wands. The Cosmic Designer need not be any kind of supernatural entity. Based purely on the evidence for the fine-tuned universe, the Cosmic Designer might even be an alien physicist or an alien computer programmer (in the article “Who Made God?,” however, I provide additional evidence and rationales for Mind as the ground of all being).

    I remember that when Kubrick and Clarke made the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, they specifically said they had presented a scientific definition of God. And it seems clear to me that the Cosmic Designer can be scientifically detected and defined. Based on the evidence, I think the Cosmic Designer must be an intellect that operates rationally within the laws of logic, mathematics, and physics. I don’t envision the Cosmic Designer as some sort of magical being who violates reason by performing magic tricks.

    I wish I had time to go into how I go from the fine-tuned universe and Cosmic Designer to being a “Christian anthropicist” who bases his life on the Sermon on the Mount. I plan to write a book on it, but I can’t condense it into a few paragraphs here.

    I will say this: It seems obvious that the universe was fine-tuned to produce life. Every feature of the universe, from the properties of subatomic particles to the delicately balanced Big Bang to the vast spaces between the stars to the red giant furnaces that cooked up the elements we need for life—the whole universe is one big hothouse for producing life. If you look at the universe objectively and knowledgeably, you can’t escape the impression that it was designed with a purpose in mind.

    If that is so, and it certainly appears to be so, then the late Prof. Feynman (one of my favorite science writers, by the way) was simply projecting his own prejudices onto the Cosmic Designer. How does Feynman know what the Cosmic Designer might find interesting? There might be a billion different intelligent races scattered across the cosmos, and for that matter, scattered across billions of years of time. Or we might be the only intelligent life that ever evolved in the universe. Either way, since the Cosmic Designer went to all the trouble of building this universe to bring intelligent life into existence, why shouldn’t the Cosmic Designer take a very keen interest in us? Life and Mind are clearly what the universe is all about.

    Re: “Any physical constant for which we don’t yet have an explanation is likely to appear fine tuned”

    It’s not a question of looking piecemeal at various individual physical constants. The fine-tuned universe evidence involves he totality of all the many forces and constants, each one fine-tuned to within one part in billions or trillions, any one of which if slightly misadjusted would make the universe uninhabitable, yet they all conspire together to make life possible. Appealing to “some theory we don’t yet know” is just hand-waving. And when you say “anthropic argument,” you are referring to the “WEAK anthropic principle,” which is a tautology, saying in effect, “The universe appears fine-tuned because if it didn’t we wouldn’t be here to notice that the universe appears fine-tuned.”

    How about if, instead of hand-waving or appealing to nonexistent theories or tautologies, we just look the problem in the face and admit that we have a universe that, in defiance of all mathematical reason, appears precision-designed for a specific purpose, which is the generation of life? It takes courage to face this fact unflinching. But this is the fact we must face.

    All the best,
    —J.D.

    Reply
  3. It’s not tenable to assert that the universe exists “in defiance of all mathematical reason.” I can see a wide range of phenomenon which do not defy mathematical reason at all, but rather are explained very nicely by math and physics. Others, like you said, do indeed defy reason. To be even handed then, we have to concede that not everything defies science. This distinction is fundamental here.

    And while it ok to speculate about the existence of God, it’s important to bill your speculation for what it is – speculation. Do you speculate, for example, that the order of the universe is indicative of just one God, or many? Why?

    Yes, it does take a lot of courage to face the facts unflinching. Because the truth is, we just don’t really know. There are many ideas about God, and that’s fine, provided these ideas are billed responsibly, lest we look like pom-pom wavers.

    Reply
  4. Jeff, I didn’t say that the existence of the universe per se defies mathematical reason. I said that we live in “a universe that, in defiance of all mathematical reason, appears precision-designed for a specific purpose, which is the generation of life.”

    Once one truly understands the anthropic principle and the evidence for a fine-tuned universe, the idea that our purposeful, life-friendly universe arose by sheer random chance becomes untenable. It’s not speculation. It’s the conclusion one is forced to by the sheer weight of the evidence.

    You ask, “Do you speculate, for example, that the order of the universe is indicative of just one God, or many?”

    Actually, in my ebook God and Soul, I cover a range of possibilities. Here’s an excerpt:

    “So what can we truly know about God? What does the cosmological evidence tell us? The anthropic principle actually gives us very little to go on. From the evidence we have, the Cosmic Designer could certainly be the Judeo-Christian God. Or the Cosmic Designer could be a committee of scientists from a parallel universe, or a long-lost galactic civilization from a bubble universe in some other corner of the multiverse. The Cosmic Designer could even be much like the enigmatic hidden aliens who created the black monoliths of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Another possibility, suggested by Isaac Asimov’s short story “The Last Question”: the Cosmic Designer could be an artificial intelligence, a vast and immensely powerful thinking machine.

    “But based on the totality of the evidence . . . I’ve concluded that the true nature of the Cosmic Designer is very much in line with monotheistic tradition.”

    End of excerpt. Point is, I try to be fair and intellectually honest. I try to list all the implications that the evidence allows.

    The anthropic case for God is much stronger and more compelling than you suggest. Even Christopher Hitchens admitted that the evidence is “intriguing,” it deserves consideration and thought, and it is not a trivial argument. Hear it from his own lips here: https://thetruthwillmakeyoumad.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/151/. I wish Hitchens had been that honest in his book, but in God is Not Great, he devoted an entire chapter (Ch. 6: “Arguments from Design”) and didn’t even mention the anthropic (fine-tuned universe) evidence.

    It’s a baffling and, I think, intellectually dishonest omission on his part.

    I appreciate your comments, Jeff. Many thanks. All the best.

    Reply
  5. Fair enough Jim. Your use of the word “appears” is appropriate. The universe does indeed appear as you say. But in fairness, there is a difference between an appearance and an incontrovertible fact. So although I myself do suspect some sort of intelligence behind it all, I cannot say with 100% certainty, and I’m ok with that. To be absolutely certain, one cannot deduce from the order of the universe (especially our very limited perception of it …) the number of Gods that exist, let alone that God is human, or that God is a man.

    Reply
  6. Whoa. That just blew my . . . um . . . mind . . .

    Thank you for the parenthetical “Personal note,” though. I was struggling with some of these premises until that point!

    Reply

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