Stenger And A Possible
I recently read the article by Stenger on the anthropic principle and his explanation of how the universe may have started as a quantum fluctuation in a larger universe. This may explain why the laws of thermodynamics are not violated, i.e., the energy of the universe may be zero. I have noticed also that you have used this as an argument against creation. While I agree that there is no evidence for creation (I am an atheist in the a-theist sense) I must take issue with this argument. It really begs the question. For, if the universe we inhabit started as a quantum fluctuation in a larger universe, then where did that larger universe come from? The quantum fluctuation theory really does not explain away the anthropic principle, it is merely a regression. It is along the lines of, God invented it, to which we reply Who created God.
So if this universe is inside another universe, which may have alternate universes, etc., the whole thing the 'WSGMM' or 'Whole Sort of General Mish-Mash' to quote Douglass Adams, is problematical to say the least.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Tyler McMillen"
Subject: Re: A Possible Creationist Retort
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2000 5:17 AM
Again: You cannot prove a negative existential claim. If I state "No gods exist," I cannot prove it. The best I can say is that I have no compelling reason to think that a god exists. None of the god claims hold water with me -- including the claim that the existence of the universe leads to the conclusion that a god exists.
All the Inflationary Big Bang model shows is that no god was necessary to start this universe, that its existence (since its inception) can be explained as the result of natural processes.
The possibility of a super-universe is just that: a possibility. Perhaps this will eventually be shown as likely or unlikely -- but for now, there is nothing known in physics to rule out this as a possibility. Even if it is shown as likely, those making the claim that a god created it are in the same boat of having to prove this claim. We who don't claim that a god created it have nothing to prove.
If we continue to seek natural explanations for phenomenon, and if a god happened to be part of that picture, I'd think we'd easily come to that conclusion in such a way that even the most die-hard skeptic would see it. For a fuller description of this (theistic) idea, see my editorial "And The Scientists, Too."
Even though a theist said this, I fully agree with it: Why on earth would a god so thoroughly hide Himself from those who seek Him that those who seek to understand our reality will, in so doing, completely miss something like the existence of a god? Why must we infer or have "faith" or "feel a presence" in order to detect the existence of a god? (And why must we be satisfied with such "proofs" in lieu of some cold hard evidence?) Is it not easier (and more honest) simply to state that I have no reason to believe that a god exists?
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.