Word Count: 990Nikki Tabacco
Food For Thought Do we dwell in a Universe Created by a Designer?
The phenomenon of the creation of the universe has baffled many for some time. The question of whether or not a designer/God put together this most intricate world in a personal quest or project leaves many in great debate. Was life brought about by some evolutionary feat? Or, in opposition, did an intelligent being create life with perfection in mind? Both questions can be answered in many different ways. Steven Weinberg, writer of A Designer Universe, offers his thoughts, through abduction, regarding the likelihood of a designer creating the universe.
Such an abduction, in which Weinberg expresses his opinion, relies on premises or declarative statements that the conclusion proves most unsurprising, or to the best explanation. An example of such an argument would be: (premises) A trunk provides support, Branches and leaves make up its body, leaves change color with the seasons(conclusion) It must be a tree. The conclusion makes the premises most unsurprising. One would guess that if It must be a tree, all of the premises would exist.
Weinberg offers two excellent arguments against the Design Theory. This theory suggests that if a designer created the universe it would thus be perfect. For example, if a watch were found on the beach, one would know that a designer created it because it is a finely tuned machine in which all parts work perfectly together. However, if a rock was found, one could guess that a designer didnt create it. The rock would have no working parts, and essentially no use. It is a lump of sand and such that, through many years, has evolved into a hard object.
The first most convincing argument that Weinberg presents to the reader, points toward a universe created by something other than a deity. Weinberg touches on carbon synthesis. He points out that the creation of the carbon atom can be easily explained through science. Thus, if carbon developed through some random reaction within the universe. Once this carbon develops the likelihood of more carbon developing is great. Hence, carbon being the basis of life, life would be able to exist through this atomic theory. Furthermore, this reaction can be simply explained by scientists without the use of some intelligent designer. So, Weinberg concludes that, in fact, a designer does not exist, or the carbon was produced by chance without a designer. This argument shows that the perfection of a conscious deity doesnt need to exist for the essential beginning of life. This argument of Weinbergs clearly implements what philosophers call the No Surprise Principle. Because the conclusion that Weinberg makes points toward all of his premises, the conclusion makes the premises most unsurprising, thus leading to the basis of the No Surprise Principle.
In a further argument, Weinberg again expresses via abduction that a divine creator was not the founder of all life. Weinberg touches on his opinion of the Big Bang Theory. He suggests that if more than one big bang occurred and more than one universe exists then the probability of some sort of intelligent life is very great. Through the evolution of life in these many universes one would assume that somewhere intelligent life must exist. If among all of this life nothing were somewhat intelligent and functional the theory of evolution would not be wonderfully explained. If all life continues to evolve, eventually some sort of consciousness and intelligence must show signs of existence. This argument against a designer also implements the No Surprise Principle. Evolution leading to the existence of intelligent life makes the big bang theory about the many universes completely unsurprising.
Weinberg does an excellent job disputing his belief that a designer did not exist. However, if a theist read this article, he/she might be very heated after finishing. One who believes solely in the creation of the world by some divine creator would be quite distraught reading these abductions.
A theist might make a reply that suggested that science couldnt at all explain the perfection of the world. They may suggest that the world was not created simply at random, but instead was the project or miracle of a divine life form who wished to give the gift of life to the world he created.
If a theist were to argue for the existence of a divine designer he might use the subject of cloning. Through the extraction and reproduction of DNA, we as a society or one as an individual could produce other life forms. Humans, animals, plants and other such living organisms could most definitely be created with societys knowledge of DNA.However, the theist might include in his argument that if the DNA that first came into existence were never here any replication would be possible. So, if one were to reproduce a universe by cloning, for example, how would one be able to say that other parallel universes do not as well exist? Following this train of thought, the theist may argue that the divine creator of this universe produced the big bang, much like we would be cloning, thus creating our world and universe. If it would be possible for our race of less perfect beings to reproduce a universe, then clearly it would be easily explainable for a deity to have designed the universe we dwell in today. If the definition of a designer/god were an intelligent omnipotent and conscious being then the presented theory would fit perfectly. When implemented, the above would essentially suggest that if one were to create a universe he/she would be its designer/god just as we look to our own designer/god, who very well could have created our universe.