View by:







b) The Anthropic Principle Revisited

In the inflationary Big Bang scenario, the “Universe” (or “megauniverse”) includes an infinity of domains, each a “universe” unto itself, with its own values of the fundamental constants, perhaps even differing laws of nature. In Linde’s quantum cosmology, the Universe eternally inflates into an infinity of bubble universes, themselves inflating into others endlessly. These scenarios suggest a far more ontologically stark ‘many worlds’ character than those of standard Big Bang cosmology, though they are far less defensible empirically. At least in theory they seem to explain ‘fine-tuning’ via a kind of ‘cosmic Darwinism’, rendering the design argument irrelevant.

Those defending the AP tend to stress the technical and philosophical problems with inflation and quantum cosmology while appealing to Occam’s Razor in support of the Big Bang, and in turn God, as the simplest explanation of fine-tuning. Critics of design tend to view standard Big Bang cosmology as outdated, while appealing to Humean criticisms of design.

Two scholars in particular gave particularly balanced treatments of the controversy that can serve to close our discussion here. In 1985, John Leslie concluded that the design argument as well as the ‘many universes’ scenario (via Guth’s inflationary scenario) are both serious contenders deserving our attention.John Leslie, "Modern Cosmology and the Creation of Life," in Evolution and Creation, ed. Ernan McMullin (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985), esp. 108-11. He goes so far as to claim...A decade later, Joseph M Zycinski cited Leslie’s call to re-examine the design argument seriously. On the one hand, relativistic cosmology has “falsified” Monod’s insistence on ‘mere’ chance and necessity. Still on the other, the “irremovable possibility” of giving the ‘designer’ a neoplatonic interpretation warns us not to claim too much from science about the identity of God.Joseph Zycinski, "The Weak Anthropic Principle and the Design Argument," Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 31.1(March 1996).

Contributed by: Dr. Robert Russell

Topic Sets Available

AAAS Report on Stem-Cells

AstroTheology: Religious Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life Forms

Agency: Human, Robotic and Divine
Becoming Human: Brain, Mind, Emergence
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology (GHC)
Cosmic Questions CD-ROM Preview...
Cosmic Questions Interviews

Cosmos and Creator
Creativity, Spirituality and Computing Technologies
CTNS Content Home
Darwin: A Friend to Religion?
Demystifying Information Technology
Divine Action (GHC)
Dreams and Dreaming: Neuroscientific and Religious Visions'
E. Coli at the No Free Lunchroom
Engaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: An Adventure in Astro-Ethics
Evangelical Atheism: a response to Richard Dawkins
Ecology and Christian Theology
Evolution: What Should We Teach Our Children in Our Schools?
Evolution and Providence
Evolution and Creation Survey
Evolution and Theology (GHC)
Evolution, Creation, and Semiotics

The Expelled Controversy
Faith and Reason: An Introduction
Faith in the Future: Religion, Aging, and Healthcare in the 21st Century

Francisco Ayala on Evolution

From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions
Genetic Engineering and Food

Genetics and Ethics
Genetic Technologies - the Radical Revision of Human Existence and the Natural World

Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics
Getting Mind out of Meat
God and Creation: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on Big Bang Cosmology
God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Textbook in Science and Religion
God the Spirit - and Natural Science
Historical Examples of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)
History of Creationism
Intelligent Design Coming Clean

Issues for the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies
Jean Vanier of L'Arche
Nano-Technology and Nano-ethics
Natural Science and Christian Theology - A Select Bibliography
Neuroscience and the Soul
Outlines of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)

Perspectives on Evolution

Physics and Theology
Quantum Mechanics and Theology (GHC)
Questions that Shape Our Future
Reductionism (GHC)
Reintroducing Teleology Into Science
Science and Suffering

Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/Vatican Series)

Space Exploration and Positive Stewardship

Stem-Cell Debate: Ethical Questions
Stem-Cell Ethics: A Theological Brief

Stem-Cell Questions
Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design...
Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions
Unscientific America: How science illiteracy threatens our future
Will ET End Religion?

Current Stats: topics: >2600, links: >300,000, video: 200 hours.