Sheldrake ( The Science Delusion , 10-12) explains why physicalism - the hope that physics will finally vindicate materialism - is doomed. One reason is the “Cosmological Anthropic Principle,” which claims that “if the laws and constants of nature had been slightly different at the moment of the Big Bang, biological life could never have emerged, and hence we would not be her to think about it.”

One might suppose that there was a creator fine-tuning the universe at the outset to make to inhabitable to such as we. But there is an alternative explanation: “To avoid a creator God emerging in a new guise, most leading cosmologists prefer to believe that our universe is one of a vast, and perhaps infinite, number of parallel universes, all with different laws and constants . . . . We happen to exist in the one that has the right conditions for us.”

Sheldrake thinks this “is the ultimate violation of Occam’s Razor,” and he observes that the theory is untestable. If it’s an alternative to theology, it doesn’t work: “An infinite God could be the God of an infinite number of universes.”

More on: Science

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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