"The question, then, is, 'Why are there laws of physics?'" he said. "And you could say, 'Well, that required a divine creator, who created these laws of physics and the spark that led from the laws of physics to these universes, maybe more than one.'"
But that answer just continues to kick the can down the road, because you still need to explain where the divine creator came from. The process leads to a never-ending chain that always leaves you short of the ultimate answer, Filippenko said.
The origin of the laws of physics remains a mystery for now, he added, one that we may never be able to solve.
"The 'divine spark' was whatever produced the laws of physics," Filippenko said. "And I don't know what produced that divine spark. So let's just leave it at the laws of physics."
In other words, we must avoid the dreaded infinite regress. This of course is straight from the pen of David Hume whose character Philo fired off this weapon centuries ago:
How, therefore, shall we satisfy ourselves concerning the cause of that Being whom you suppose the Author of Nature, … if we stop, and go no further; why go so far? why not stop at the material world? How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum? And, after all, what satisfaction is there in that infinite progression?
Or as evolutionist Mark Ridley put it:
Positing a God merely invites the question of how such a highly adaptive and well-designed thing could in its turn have come into existence. Theological sophistry about the perfect simplicity of God and the inexplicability of the First Cause can be ignored here: the problem is to explain adaptive complexity. The first alternative to natural selection, therefore, is a viciously circular argument, and unscientific.
For Hume and the evolutionists there are two possibilities: Design and complexity arise on their own via natural law, or there is an infinite regress of “designers.”
Given these two absurdities the evolutionists, of course, choose law. But this is not the key move, for at this point the metaphysical fire fight is long over. The key move—and metaphysical heavy lifting—came at the earlier stage where the alternatives were defined. Remember, he who defines the debate wins the debate.
Science doesn’t tell us that there are two possibilities. It doesn’t tell us that design and complexity either arose on their own or else there is an infinite regress of designers. That is a metaphysical assertion—one of many that underwrite the evolution research program.
Amazingly evolutionists claim they are just “doing science” as they fire off these metaphysical salvos. Religion drives science, and it matters.