Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rom 1 reply, 12: Walter Bradley of Baylor U (and co-author of The Mystery of Life's Origin;the key technical book that launched the modern ID movement), on cosmological evidence pointing to an "Intelligent Creator" of the universe

Prof Walter Bradley, co-author of the key 1984 book that launched the modern Intelligent Design school of thought, TMLO, presents the case for an intelligent Creator of the observed universe in a keynote speech for the Engineering and Metaphysics conference recently held at ORU:

The pivotal issue, here, is that ever since the 1920's observational evidence of a red-shifting of light spectra for galaxies that indicates an expanding universe pointed to an origin that is currently thought to be some 13.7 BYA. Since the 1940's, that has been spoken of as the Big Bang theory. Then, from the 1950's on, it has been increasingly seen that the physics of our cosmos seems finely tuned in many, many ways for the existence of Carbon-Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell-based life. 

Indeed, if we look at just the first four most abundant elements, Hydrogen (H), Helium (He), Carbon (C) and Oxygen (O), with the one that is fifth for our galaxy (N) and we can see:

1 --> H gets us to stars and galaxies in our cosmos

2 --> He gets us to the periodic table of elements, as the first composite atomic nucleus that is distinct from H

3 --> C gets us to organic chemistry, as the "modular connector" element. Its abundance and that of O, are rooted in a nuclear resonance that with other evidence led the life-long agnostic and Nobel-equivalent Prize-holding astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle to talk in terms of a put-up job with a super intellect monkeying with the physics of the cosmos.

4 --> O forms H2O with H, i.e. water, an astonishing molecule that has so many unique properties vital to life on an earth-like planet that are tied into the fundamental physics of the cosmos that it looks suspiciously like another of Sir Fred Hoyle's put up jobs.

5 --> Add in N, and we are at proteins and enzymes.

All of this should open our minds to ponder the implications of a cosmos that credibly had an origin at a finitely remote point in the past: that which has a beginning, logically, is causally dependent on an "on/off switch" factor. That is, there are circumstances that have to be in place for it to begin and to continue, much as the way we turn on a light.

This brings us to the more complicated way of saying that: we live in a contingent cosmos. 

Just like a fire needs to have heat, oxidiser [such as Oxygen], fuel and a heat generating chain reaction, there are factors that have to be in place for our cosmos to begin and continue. But also, if something now is, something always was, that does not have those on/off factors. Something with power to cause an enormous, energy-rich cosmos to exist, one that is fine-tuned for life. Something that in the end -- multiverse speculations just push this back a few steps -- had no beginning, is not dependent on anything else for existence, and cannot go out of existence. Something that is immaterial, as matter is plainly contingent.

Something like a Mind capable of conceiving, purposing and creating a universe.

And, the attempted notion that you can pull a cosmos out of nothing founders on what a true nothing is: what rocks dream of, in Aristotle's words.

But, rocks have no dreams!


Nothingness is that which has no existence, no reality.

It consequently has no power to cause anything.

There is no hat to pull the rabbits out of.

And so, we are left to ponder the signposts that point to an intelligent architect and maker of the universe. END

F/N: For more details, cf. here and here, including a backgrounder on astronomy, cosmology and timelines, and discussion of multiverses etc. as well as onward links.