In this week’s eSkeptic:
DIALOGUE ON THE NATURE OF SCIENCE
Rupert Sheldrake & Michael Shermer
The entire dialogue is now available online, and includes discussions on: Materialism in Science, Mental Action at a Distance, and God and Science.
SKEPTICALITY EPISODE 256
With The Amazing Meeting ending only a couple days ago, Derek doesn’t wait to give you the first recorded interview from the event. Derek talks with Jim Baggott, author of many books on the nature of reality and physics. In his latest work, Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth, Baggott argues that there is no observational or experimental evidence for many of the ideas of modern theoretical physics: super-symmetric particles, super strings, the multiverse, the holographic principle, or the anthropic cosmological principle. These theories are not only untrue, they are not even science. It is fairy-tale physics: fantastical, bizarre and often outrageous, perhaps even confidence-trickery.
Fine-Tuning and the Multiverse
For years theologians and Christian apologists have convinced themselves and their followers that they have a knock-out scientific argument for the existence of God. They claim that the parameters of physics are so finely tuned that if any one of these parameters were just slightly different in value, then life would not be possible anywhere in the universe.
The solution to the fine-tuning problem that is regarded as the most plausible by physicists and cosmologists is that our universe is just one of an unlimited number of individual, uncreated universes collectively called the multiverse that extend for an unlimited distance in all directions and for an unlimited time in the past and future. We just happen to live in the particular universe that is suited for our kind of life. Our universe is not fine-tuned for us; we are fine-tuned to our universe.
In this essay, as a follow-up to his book, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us (in which he showed that, based on our knowledge of this universe alone, divine fine-tuning claims are without merit), Victor J. Stenger brings the arguments up-to-date with a discussion of the eternal multiverse hypothesis. This article was published in Skeptic magazine issue 19.3 in 2014.