left biblioblography: Si Hoc Signum Legere Potes, Deus Nusquam Esse...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Si Hoc Signum Legere Potes, Deus Nusquam Esse...

Cross posted @ God Is For Suckers!sig_occam

"There is a very remarkable inclination in human nature to bestow on external objects the same emotions which it observes in itself, and to find every where those ideas which are most present to it."  - David Hume

Again, I approach the teleological argument, aka the fined-tuned universe (or what I amusingly term, the 'argument from long odds').

We've all no doubt heard the worn canard, "The odds of our universe being able to support life are 10 to the 86th power" or some such twaddle.

What intelligent creature (outside of the addicted gambler) actually stacks the odds against itself? Doesn't this run contrary to anything vaguely resembling sense? (I'll refrain from saying 'common', because as Voltaire noted so aptly, "I do not know why they call it common sense, as it is not so common".) I maintain that in fact, you have to have some other criterion - all these formulations are from one side of a fence only. Where is the criterion, then? Do we have other universes to compare to? If we had actual access to another universe, completely devoid of life, then there'd be something to compare our own against. Until then, this is idle speculation. Billions of years multiplied by billions of planets would produce some kind of spark, I'd bet.

(NOTE: am borrowing this from Hume, in my own clumsy way.)

Another hoary old chestnut is the "look at how complex life is! How could it be so, without someone designing it?" Then ensues the battle - the theist will round up some irrelevant figure, about how the human cell contains more info than the Encyclopedia Britannica or somesuch. Billions of years, compounded simplicity, anyone?

I say this: the diversity of life, the complexity of the cell, is a severe argument against intelligent design.

Occam's own razor prevents it.

Cogitate on this: if an 'intelligent designer' who is all-knowing, omnipotent, all-powerful, designed the world as we know it, why are there so many errors and misses? Why were the dinosaurs even brought about? There were even human species that died off. It's as if some blind mad scientist was using this world as a petrie dish, for some vague purpose beyond our comprehension.

(Oh, wait: I imagine I hear the burbling bullshit of apologists in the peanut gallery, preparing their cant, spouting their presuppositional silliness with such platitudes as "the ways of gawd are mysterious" or some other non-answer.) Do we have a concrete number as to how many misses there were, prior to hitting the bull's eye with our existence? A million? A billion?

"So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe." - Asimov, Nightfall.

Till the next post then.

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