ID or Multiverse?

Dinesh D’Souza wants to have his proof and eat it, too. He writes:

If you want to know why atheists seem to have given up the scientific card, the current issue of Discover magazine provides part of the answer. The magazine has an interesting story by Tim Folger which is titled “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator.” The article begins by noting “an extraordinary fact about the universe: its basic properties are uncannily suited for life.”

Science thus far has provided no good explanation for this. So, D’Souza concludes, God exists. But this is a completely unjustifiable move. The fact that we don’t know something doesn’t mean we can just make stuff up. Throughout much of human history, science could not explain lightning, weather, and the development of life. Before science could provide such answers, plenty of people jumped to God (or some supernatural force) as the explanation.

Things in the universe have identity, they act according to their nature, and so it is not remotely shocking that the universe is in some fundamental sense orderly. That fact that we do not yet understand aspects of this order does not imply the existence of God.

Unfortunately, as D’Souza notes, some physicists, detached from the inductive method, have also turned to making stuff up:

[M]many physicists are exploring an alternative possibility: multiple universes. This is summed up as follows: “Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse.” Folger says that “short of invoking a benevolent creator” this is the best that modern science can do. For contemporary physicists, he writes, this “may well be the only viable nonreligious explanation” for our fine-tuned universe.

The appeal of multiple universes — perhaps even an infinity of universes — is that when there are billions and billions of possibilities, then even very unlikely outcomes are going to be realized somewhere. Consequently if there was an infinite number of universes, something like our universe is certain to appear at some point. What at first glance seems like incredible coincidence can be explained as the result of a mathematical inevitability.

I just read the same idea last night in Neal Stephenson’s new novel Anathem. Yet, as D’Souza points out, “The only difficulty, as Folger makes clear, is that there is no empirical evidence for the existence of any universes other than our own.”

The only difficulty for D’Souza is that there is no empirical evidence for the existence of God, either.