Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » A PSEUDO-THEORY IN CRISIS

    Filed at 7:34 am under by dcobranchi

    ID is so utterly useless and ambiguous, why are we even discussing it in the NYT? Behe’s latest:

    Dr. Behe, for example, said he could imagine that, like an elaborate billiards shot, the design was set up when the Big Bang occurred 13.6 billion years ago. “It could have all been programmed into the universe as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

    So the ‘Big “G”‘ might have started the Big Bang and then let the universe unfold in accord with the natural laws of the universe. And this is supposed to undermine Darwinism, how?

    So let’s take Behe’s possibility and express it in the language of science: All evidence points to an expanding universe approximately 13.6 billion years old. Theory holds that at some point in non-time, all matter, the entire universe, existed as a singularity occupying no space. For reasons that we do not yet understand, the singularity exploded. The universe as it exists today, and all life in it, is the result of that explosion.

    I guess that makes me an IDer after all.

    5 Responses to “A PSEUDO-THEORY IN CRISIS”

    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    August 22nd, 2005
    at 2:23 pm

    Daryl, I’m looking for an honest answer to two genuine questions:

    (1) Is it “scientific” to suggest that the universe is cosmic quantum computer that is “programmed” to output intelligent life?

    (2) Would the “output” of such a cosmic computer be the product of “Intelligent Design”?

    In 1983, the physicist John Wheeler (who coined the term “black hole”) argued that every particle in a universe without any “observers” is in a state of quantum entanglement that persists until an “observation” takes place. His “participatory anthropic principle” seriously suggests that the entire universe is a quantum computer that is “programmed” to output intelligence. This is a completely materialistic hyposthesis, with no reference to any “God” of any kind.

    Is this a scientific hypothesis?

    Comment by
    August 22nd, 2005
    at 2:27 pm


    1) No, it’s not a “scientific” question as it’s neither testable nor falsifiable. It also makes no predictions.

    2) Yeah, I guess so. “Let there be light!”

    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    August 22nd, 2005
    at 4:55 pm

    Daryl, if scientists learn how to build quantum computers that use entangled particles to factor enormously large prime numbers, will it then become a scientific hypothesis?

    The idea behind quantum computers is to harness ASTOUNDING computing power by tapping into the countless “parellel universes” that quantum physics postulates.

    Nobody can SEE these parellel universes, and nobody has figured out any way to prove they exist. A quantum computer would not PROVE they exist… but you’d drop a million-digit prime number into the QC hopper and out would pop all its prime factors a moment later. Here’s a write-up on QCs and prime numbers:


    So, here’s my next scientific question: if I rely on quantum theory to build a machine that can factor enormous prime numbers instantaneously, would that count as SCIENTIFIC evidence of parellel universes?

    Because, if it does, your last response may no longer be satisfactory. If you can build a litte quantum computer that relies on parellel universes, why is it unscientific to suggest that the entire universe is a BIG quantum computer?

    Comment by
    August 22nd, 2005
    at 5:57 pm

    Well, first off I can factor enormous prime numbers in my head. It’s just 1 plus the number. 🙂

    I don’t know boo about quantum computing, but I think you’re looking at it backwards. The hypothesis would have to be that parallel universes exist. If (a BIG if) quantum computing could ONLY be accomplished in one of these alternative universes and someone then builds one, then the null hypothesis (that is, that they don’t exist) would be rejected.

    Is there some belief that quantum computing is impossible in THIS universe?

    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    August 23rd, 2005
    at 10:38 am

    It probably isn’t worth the effort to do a mini-seminar on quantum computers in order to pose a hypothetical question, so I’ll drop the issue.

    I’d suggest you take a look at “The Fabric of Reality” if you ever get a chance. It’s a delightful read by a quantum physicist who believes firmly in the “Many Worlds” hypothesis. He does a great job of showing how quantum physics and Darwinian evolution could go together in an elegant and exciting way. While I disagree with his hypothesis, I’m thrilled with his method. I know it’s the kind of read that you’d enjoy, Daryl.