156. TWO BOOKS ON GOD (part two)
I want to narrate my impressions of the book ‘Why science does not disprove God’ by Amir Aczel. This is not a formal review.
The book is an answer to some atheist scientists, notably Richard Dawkins (1) and Lawrence Krauss (2), who claim that since everything can be explained without God, therefore there is no God. These scientists actually do not prove that there is no God. Nobody can and nobody ever will, because it is not true.
This is different from some scientists, such as Stephen Hawking (3), who say that God is not necessary to explain the beginning of universe and evolution, but there may be God.
Since Aczel refutes the arguments made by these scientists, on a compelling scientific basis, I will narrate the main arguments, and Aczel’s reply:
1. Universe had to follow quantum rules. The world of Quantum Physics (world at subatomic level) is bizarre, even the greatest mind of last century, Einstein, could not understand it. One of the proposals by Noble laureate Feynman was that if a particle had to travel from point A to point B, it will take all possible paths. Thus, the universe had to do the same because it was like a particle during the Big Bang or a fraction of a second later. This would have resulted in multiple universes, one of them ours. The importance of multiple universes is an extremely important concept of ‘anthropic principle’, which will be discussed later.
Since there is no way to prove or disprove this theory, Aczel did the best he could; he talked to other physicists
Aczel’s talked to a particle physicist, Noble laureate Gerald ‘t Hooft, who said ‘ we still don’t understand at all what truly happens in the world of truly small___ all we have may be shadows on the wall, cast by a mysterious “veiled reality”’
Aczel quotes another renowned quantum theorist, D’Espagnat:
“The Veiled Reality conception…merely involves the conception …..(That they) are reflections or traces___ of the great structure of “the Real”
So, people like Hawking, who have taken this theory of one scientist about a particle, to absurd heights, and applied it to universes, have no sense of proportionality and probability.
2. Universe arose out of nothing. This is the heart of the case of the atheists. If there is no Creator who created the universe, then the universe somehow had to create itself out of nothing. This mote has discussed this point in great detail in his blog 101.
The construction of their theory involves following steps.
(A). their nothing is not really nothing. It is not a nothing that does not contain anything; absolutely empty. Their nothing is full of energy (derived from quantum foam), force fields (electromagnetic, gravitational), Higgs field, quantum tunneling, and something in which all of these are embedded (what is outside of this something; more something? See footnote)
Where did quantum foam come from? Where did these fields come from? If they came from something, where did that something come from? And so on. At some point, it has to start from real and absolute nothing. Nothing can be created from nothing, what to talk of a whole universe, full of matter, space-time, fields, and energy.
Just changing the definition of nothing is a sleight of hand. Real question remains unanswered.
The atheists have a similar argument; who created God? Our answer is that we don’t know. Our small mind is not capable of answering this question, just as a cow cannot learn to read. This mote has tried to answer it (blog113). Can God create things out of nothing? Absolutely.
(b). How is energy changed to mass (particles or matter) to create the universe. This mechanism is called paired production (matched pair of virtual particles; matter and antimatter). It has to be remembered that particles did not arise from nothing but from pre-existing energy.
3. Anthropic principle. Simply stated, it says that the universe is the way it is, because if it were otherwise, we humans would not have arisen, to ask these intelligent questions.
This is an evasive answer. Penrose calculated that “the chance of intelligent life to arise was 1 followed by 10 raised to the power 117 zeros (if my math is correct it means 1 followed by 117 zeroes)”. This is an extremely small chance. Again quantum physics comes to their rescue with its bizarre rules, because according to it, if anything can happen it will happen.
Instead of explaining how the fundamental laws were so exactly right, for intelligent life to emerge, the atheist just use the ruse that if they were not so finely tuned, we would not be here. Is this a real argument? Or just a lawyerly subterfuge. I will discuss the precision of laws of nature in another section.
If there are many universes ( an infinity of universes ), in most of them intelligent life could not emerge because the conditions would not be suitable, but in one of them ( one out of 10117) everything would be exactly right, and we will emerge.
I quote from Aczel: “If you wanted to test which hypothesis is true, a universe created to specific requirements, or a universe just happens to satisfy the requirements because we observe them, you would find that there is no specific way to determine the answer”
To be continued
(1) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
(2) A universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
(3) The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking