Edited by OmarKN
Three video presentations by Stephen Meyer have been sparsely annotated, often verbatim, supplied with end-time stamps. Arrows indicate logical sequences. Brackets [ ] are editor's comments.
When Stephen Meyer several times refers to ”the Judeo-Christian” origin of Western science or cultural development, he misses the historical fact of the contributions of Muslim scholarship to the foundation of modern philosophy and science of the West. ”There was an organic relationship between the Islamic scientific thought that developed in the later centuries and the science that came into being in Europe during the Renaissance.”
For these three problems
- the beginning of the universe
- the beginning of life
- the difficulty of everything existing/ finetuning
video1 [Discussion with Metaxas]
The more we know scientifically, the more science progresses, the more we realize that the concept of a creator/ a mind is more plausible. (A Metaxas quote)
There is no infinite time for the cosmos to play through all possibilities to get creation right, this is called ”the limit on the number of probabilistic resources.”
[DNA is very complex, think about 500 libraries, it’s not like a monkey could just type a randomly correct word like 'the' or 'cat' until he would produce a work of Shakespeare ]
The calculation shows, that
it is more likely that a random search for a new gene sequence capable of building a new functional protein - it’s overwhelmingly more likely that such as a search would fail, than that it would succeed, given all the positive opportunities there are, for such a search to occur since the first lifetime out. 3959
[Example of the chance of this boy meets this girl.]
(So it’s till… you remember the Jim Carey film and he asks the girl to go out and she says 'What are the chances that a girl like me and a guy like you - can get together')[ she says 1: 1.000.000 and he sees this as a chance.]
There is always 'a chance', but the question is 'is it more likely that a random search will succeed or to fail?' And we can show conclusively that it is more likely that it will fail, and therefore the idea that natural selection + random mutation is the means by which new information was generated, is also more likely to be false than true. And in science, we prefer not to have more-likely-to-be-false-hypotheses and we prefer to have more-likely-to-be-true-hypotheses.
The 3 problems
- beginning of the universe
- beginning of life
- the difficulty of everything existing
Theory of ID (Intelligent Design)
There are certain features of living systems in the universe that are best explained by a designing intelligence, opposed to a purely undirected material process, (“It just happened randomly”). 4206
ID (Intelligent Design) is based on scientific evidence, but it has theistic implications.
43/44 [important! - no notes]
Origin of life is less than 4bn years ago
This is long after the beginning of the universe. (13.8 bn before)
Two sorts of Finetuning
hyper exponential finetuning - - to get matter and energy into the right place.
Because if you want to explain the origin of the universe as a singularity in matter, space, time and energy you need a different kind of cause outside of matter, space, time and energy,
and many scientists realize that this has theistic implications. 1:00.00
[To what kind of intelligence does this point?]
A theistic (sic) creator who is transparent, and intelligent, and active in the creation.
not a deistic creator. Deism would not explain the evidence of biological design, because a deistic creator only acts at the beginning.
Finetuning of universe
→ a transcending intelligence as the best explanation (which would be necessary to explain the effect.)
Biological evidence for design
these infusions of information that are necessary to build forms of life (which) come well after the beginning (of the universe)
a God of transcendence, intelligence, great power, and who is active in the creation - (this) based on the evidence we have in the natural world.
We can move from that evidence to that hypothesis as the best explanation for the evidence itself.
Method of multiple competing hypotheses (MMCH)
or method of inferring to the best explanation
Red light as evidence of an expanding universe
1. the universe had a beginning
2. the universe has been finely tuned for life since the beginning
3. there have been big infusions of information into the cosmos at periodic episodes after the beginning
this leads to theism
[A scientist said]
The 'God-hypothesis' is a more respectable hypothesis now than at any time in the last 100 years. 1:10.23
(And I - S Meyer - would go further than that:) The God-hypothesis provides the best explanation of this ensemble of evidence. But contrast that with the public perception of what science has to say about the credibility of belief in God, that comes from so many popular authors, like R Dawkins and many others.
But they (the 'New Atheists') are talking about a science of the late 19th century and we have had a dramatic shift that they haven't kept up with.
The founders of modern science (in different areas) had a very different perspective from the 'New Atheists.'
Darwin, in 1859, attempted to explain the origin of new forms of life by reference to the unguided, undirected process of natural selection acting on random variations. 1405
By the end of the 19th century - seamless account 1540
I. Newton: God orders the universe.
The scientist NN asked himself: ”What is it in me, that doesn't want that to be true?” 1550
”I prided myself my whole life on my scientific objectivity, now the evidence is pointing me towards the God-hypothesis.”
[Otherwise, they argued] the origins of life are like a primordial soup.
DNA - who to get chemistry to produce code?
that there must be some kind of ”Guiding Principle” [regarding] the origin of life, there must be an Intelligent Cause of Life.
that demanded/ required no 1612
scientific materialism 1633
The worldview - esp. in the elite culture … 2009 (where did I annotate this already?)
worldview: 2040 (the question of Ontology)
matter and energy: Selfarrangemnet
(by undirected Darwinian processes) 2202
the idea of God as an illusion in the mind of human beings 2236
Sketch of the argument of his book: The Return of the God-hypothesis
history of science
Graphic description of the materialistic worldview 2410
but an unexpected challenge to this materialistic worldview 2454
video3 [Scientific historic development, theories, per chapter]
[The generally accepted theory in scientific circles for the past 100 years was the universe is infinite, without beginning. In the 1920s astronomers discovered the red light, and other galaxies, pointing to an ever expanding universe.]
At first Einstein [suggested] a cosmological constant = same size as gravity => there is not a beginning (of the universe).
Later he revised this theory and concluded that the universe could not be static, that there must be a beginning. (NYT interview)
Galaxies beyond our own emit red light → universe was expanding 1556
[When you roll back the expansion of the universe] Back-extrapolating
Then when the size is so small, as 10 raised to - 43cm - [the laws of physics don't work anymore.]
so the universe comes into being from a set of mathematical possibilities.
in Quantum Physics collapse of wave function 2936
→ our universe is described by the mathematics of Quantum Physics, 3026
but mathematics only exists in the minds
so the universe came out of a mind!
Intelligent Design 33…
Principle of Causality: All events that begin must have a cause.
There is a method of reasoning in the philosophy of science called:
Inference to the best explanation
Transcendent mind 3621
… that sounds a lot like a transcendent mind 2615
Suggesting that the universe has a beginning ≈ 37 — that's the best we can tell from physics and observation.
A new cosmological model: ”eternal chaotic inflation”
- but all those models must terminate [when back-extrapolated] in a beginning.
Many possible universes [are described by the mathematics of quantum physics]
Re: Explaining the universe out of the Universal Wave Function
But there is a catch: it's very odd to say that the universe came out of math. 3036
NN asked this rhetorical question: If our universe first existed as a set of mathematical describable possibilities, as a mathematical expression, but math exists only in minds, are we then saying that the universe came out of a mind?
3122 [Further discoveries by S Meyer ]
To get a Universal Wave Function you have to solve a prior equation, called the Wheeler–DeWitt equation , it's analogue to the famous Schrödiger equation  in regular Quantum Mechanics. But it turns out that the Wheeler–DeWitt equation has an infinite number of solutions, it's technically known as a functional differential equation. And such equations cannot be solved unless the physicists themselves select 'boundary constraints', or boundary conditions. And those boundary conditions restrict the degree of mathematical freedom associated with the equation.
In ordinary physics, boundaries are decided or determined by the physical system that is being described, but since there is no physical system that is being described, by the Wheeler–DeWitt equation yet, because it is being used to explain the origin of all physics, the origin of the universe, the physicists have to choose the boundary constraints [in their equations], and they choose those with an outcome in mind, they choose those in such a way to give a solution to that equation, that (such as the universal wave function) would include the universe like ours! So they have a teleological (the argument for the existence of God from the evidence of order, and hence design, in nature.) end-directed objective. So they limit the degrees of mathematical freedom in the original equation, they get a function out that includes our universe, as a possibility and they say they have explained - the universe.
But what have they actually modelled? 3255
They've modelled the need for a mind to constrain degrees of mathematical freedom - with the selection of boundary constraints, and in so doing, a mind that is inputting information into the equation, io to get an outcome that includes a universe like ours. 3313
So I think what they actually modelled is a form of ID (Intelligent Design). They have suggested that there would need to be a mind - constraining the possibilities - so as to get a universe like ours.
That Quantum Cosmological Theory - whether it's true or not - has oddly - though it's been used to refute a God-hypothesis, and to say: 'well the universe either didn't need a beginning or it can be explained from physics' - literally from nothing by the laws of physics - actually implies the need of a preexisting mind and a mind that would constrain possibilities, input information, io to get a universe like ours. –3353
4415 [About Quantum physics] -
I’ve argued from what we know from General Relativity, that Singularity theorems at least point to a beginning.
I’ve also pointed out, that if these quantum mechanical based models of the origin of the universe are true, and we don’t apply General Relativity to our understanding of the very beginning of the universe, that those models also imply a beginning, the Singularity is not removed in quantum cosmological models, it’s presupposed.
2ndly those quantum cosmological models have for other and additional reasons, theistic and immaterialistic implications. They suggest that the universe arose from a purely mathematical state, and they (sic) arose as a result of a mathematical equation somehow being constrained to produce a particular state, that includes a universe like ours. 4509
And in the modelling, the constraints on that mathematical equation (such as the Wheeler–DeWitt equation) are always supplied by the physicist who chooses the outcome they want, to get a mathematical expression, that includes a universe like ours, which they then say explains the origin of the universe.
It's a very odd thing to explain how matter can come out of math, but that's what these new models are essentially saying 4534 → [then] they have theistic implications every bit as compelling as the evidence for a beginning.
referring to the earlier cited example of a random search for a new gene sequence capable of building a new functional protein. ↩
Deism the rejection of revelation is characteristic of deism. It is the idea of God as a “watchmaker”, ie God creates the universe at the beginning, then does not engage anymore in it or in life.
Theism - Wikipedia
”Since the 17th century and during the Age of Enlightenment, especially in 18th-century England and France, various Western philosophers and theologians formulated a critical rejection of the religious texts belonging to the many institutionalized religions and began to appeal only to truths that they felt could be established by reason alone as the exclusive source of divine knowledge. Such philosophers and theologians were called “Deists”, and the philosophical/theological position that they advocated is called “Deism”.”
Deism - Wikipedia ↩
hypothesis | hʌɪˈpɒθɪsɪs |
noun (plural hypotheses | hʌɪˈpɒθɪsiːz | )
A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation: his 'steady state' hypothesis of the origin of the universe.
In philosophy: a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth: [with clause]: the hypothesis that every event has a cause.
(Oxford Dictionary of English) ↩
”Theism is broadly defined as the belief in the existence of a supreme being or deities.” “They are ‘strictly and properly called Theists, who affirm, that a perfectly conscious understanding being, or mind, existing of itself from eternity, was the cause of all other things.’” Ralph Cudworth
Theism - Wikipedia ↩
ontology | ɒnˈtɒlədʒi |
[mass noun] the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
(Oxford Dictionary of English) ↩
(Stephen Meyer Discusses the Big Bang, Einstein, Hawking, & More - Science Uprising Expert Interviews)
The Wheeler–DeWitt equation is a field equation attributed to John Archibald Wheeler and Bryce DeWitt that attempts to mathematically combine the ideas of quantum mechanics and general relativity, a step towards a theory of quantum gravity. ↩
The Schrödinger equation is a linear partial differential equation that governs the wave function of a quantum-mechanical system. It is a key result in quantum mechanics, and its discovery was a significant landmark in the development of the subject. ↩
The Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems (after Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking) are a set of results in general relativity that attempt to answer the question of when gravitation produces singularities. The Penrose singularity theorem is a theorem in semi-Riemannian geometry and its general relativistic interpretation predicts a gravitational singularity in black hole formation.
A singularity in solutions of the Einstein field equations is one of two things:
- a situation where matter is forced to be compressed to a point (a space-like singularity)
- a situation where certain light rays come from a region with infinite curvature (a time-like singularity)
Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems - Wikipedia ↩