Ron Rosenbaum

Secret of Universe, Explained: A New Way of Disputing the "Strong" Version of Intelligent Design

Okay, it’s been a while, but I made a vow never to post something just for the sake of posting, and isn’t one really important Big Idea worth several less consequential ones?

So I was at a “retreat”, up the Hudson at a strange Shining like resort called “Mohonk Mountain”. It’s the sort of place non-New York tourists don’t tend to go, but I’ve found it fascinating. spooky, increasingly intruiging the past couple of years. In the dim corridor outside my room this time were sepia toned pictures of dignataries from the past two centuries who had stayed in these rooms. Across the corridor from me was a photo of the son of the founder of the Baha’i faith (much persecuted for it tolerance) who attended a conference here in 1912 of the International Arbitrtration Association (not a good year for arbitrting as it turned out). The palque next to the photo said he’d delivered a talk on “The Oneness of Human Reality”. And then there were these two pale little twin girls I kept seeing in odd corners of the hotel (kidding!)

Get the picture, though: Washington Irving, Hawthorne,Stephen King, Edith Wharton. the Oneness of Human Reality. Which is why, I think, walking one of the endless mazy corridors I came up for some reason an idea about Many Worlds Cosmology theory and its relationship to the controversy over “Intelligent Design”.

If you’re familiar with the Many Worlds variation of the Coenhagen School of quantum reality (and if not, why not: it’s only the key debate about the nature of Being and “human reality”)–that there is no “causality” in the sense of “Hidden Variables” that explain subatomic events. We only know that statistically a certain number of alpha particles in somme unstable larger atoms will decay but which ones? Nobody know why one and not another. What makes this particle decay and the one next to it not.Einstein hated it, this causeless casuation; he wanted to find hidden variables. But most of the physics world now agrees with his Copenhagen opponent, Niels Bohr.

But in the Many Worlds school of thought, every time a particle decays it creates a separate universe in which it decays and the others don’t, but there are a virtual infinite number of other universes in which a virtual infinite number of differnt particles decay.We just happen to live in the one arranged like this, but there could be other arrangements or at least other subatomic outcomes.

In a sense, everything comes true in one of the Many Worlds or another. All kinds of universes are created every moment and some never last more than an instant.

Where does “Intelligent Design” come in. It grew out of a resistance to randomness, to causeless causation, to the idea that random particle collisions could cause life and random mutations could shape and fine tune evolution. There has to be designer or at least a Design if not a God.

But the “Many Worlds” theory provides an explantion for the problem of the apparent evidence of design in our universe, and the evolution of creatures to apprehend it: It just happens that we live in one of the many, many, many worlds in which there is apparent evidence of design. But there may be no design and no designer we just lucked out into living in one of the Many Worlds that created us by chance but surrounded us with apparent but not real evidence of design and designer. The chance of our world existing and looking so well (or stably) designed is infinitesimal but when you’re dealing with an infinite number of worlds, the chance is virtually certain.

So those who believe that we live in a world that sems to contain evidence of intelligent design are right intheir observations of the evidence, but wrong about the source of the evidence. it’s like the lineinthe Dylan song “The bricks lay on Grand Street…they all fell there so perfectly, it all seemed so well timed.”

We’re in the universe where the “bricks” just happened to falll into what look like well designed patterns. “It all seemed so well timed.” But it was just luck.

Anti evolutionists like to use the argument thta random mutatins are so unlikely to have created a feature as “irreducibly complex” as the eye. They compare it to a tornado going through a junkyard and leaving behind a perfectly micro engineered tv set. Unlikely. But in the Many Worlds theory, we just happen to live in a world where a (metaphorical) tornado did just that.

, But that doesn’t say anything one way or another as to whether there is or was an Intelligent Designer.

Just thought you’d want to know.