Monday, April 2, 2012

Lawrence Krauss Says He is "Painfully Aware" of Your Hang-Ups

Today’s evolution sermon comes from Lawrence Krauss, Director of the Origins Project at the tax-payer funded Arizona State University. In his Op-Ed piece, which the LA Times saw fit to print, Krauss begins with the usual anti-realism. Yes the world looks designed, but don’t be fooled:

The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish. The position of the Earth around the sun, the presence of organic materials and water and a warm climate — all make life on our planet possible. 

It is all an illusion because, after all, it had to happen somewhere and, in any case, Darwin and the evolutionists have proved that life can spontaneously arise:

Yet, with perhaps 100 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone, with ubiquitous water, carbon and hydrogen, it isn't surprising that these conditions would arise somewhere. And as to the diversity of life on Earth — as Darwin described more than 150 years ago and experiments ever since have validated — natural selection in evolving life forms can establish both diversity and order without any governing plan.

So don’t be fooled by the world’s apparent design. It is all an illusion coming from your inner psychological needs which, Krauss, because he’s a cosmologist, is painfully aware of:

As a cosmologist, a scientist who studies the origin and evolution of the universe, I am painfully aware that our illusions nonetheless reflect a deep human need to assume that the existence of the Earth, of life and of the universe and the laws that govern it require something more profound. For many, to live in a universe that may have no purpose, and no creator, is unthinkable.

Krauss, of course, has no such biases as evidence by his brand new conclusion that man is the measure of all things:

Does all of this prove that our universe and the laws that govern it arose spontaneously without divine guidance or purpose? No, but it means it is possible. And that possibility need not imply that our own lives are devoid of meaning. Instead of divine purpose, the meaning in our lives can arise from what we make of ourselves, from our relationships and our institutions, from the achievements of the human mind.

That’s just good solid scientific research.


  1. As to this comment from Krauss:

    'But science has taught us to think the unthinkable. Because when nature is the guide — rather than a priori prejudices, hopes, fears or desires — we are forced out of our comfort zone. One by one, pillars of classical logic have fallen by the wayside as science progressed in the 20th century, from Einstein's realization that measurements of space and time were not absolute but observer-dependent, to quantum mechanics, which not only put fundamental limits on what we can empirically know but also demonstrated that elementary particles and the atoms they form are doing a million seemingly impossible things at once.,,, Most surprising of all, combining the ideas of general relativity and quantum mechanics, we can understand how it is possible that the entire universe, matter, radiation and even space itself could arise spontaneously out of nothing, without explicit divine intervention. Quantum mechanics' Heisenberg uncertainty principle expands what can possibly occur undetected in otherwise empty space. If gravity too is governed by quantum mechanics, then even whole new universes can spontaneously appear and disappear, which means our own universe may not be unique but instead part of a "multiverse."'

    Contrary to what Krauss believes, the finding that relativity is 'observer dependent' is very comforting to Theistic beliefs:

    Approaching The Speed Of Light - Optical Effects - video

    Please note the 3:22 minute mark of the preceding video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a 'hypothetical' observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light:

    As well;

    Albert Einstein - Special Relativity - Insight Into Eternity - 'thought experiment' video

    "I've just developed a new theory of eternity."
    Albert Einstein - The Einstein Factor - Reader's Digest

    "The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass."
    Richard Swenson - More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

  2. The uncertainty principle is also, contrary to what Krauss believes, very comforting to Theistic beliefs:

    Zeilinger's principle
    The principle that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics.

    In the beginning was the bit - New Scientist
    Excerpt: Zeilinger's principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron's spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation:

    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT - video

    1. Moreover, 'combining the ideas of general relativity and quantum mechanics', contrary to what Krauss believes, is very comforting to Theistic Beliefs, Christian Theism in particular:

      Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

      General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin - updated video

      Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age - Pictures, Articles and Videos

      Condensed notes on The Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin

  3. That’s just good solid scientific research.

    No, it's not. It's just an opinion. That's why they're called "opinion pieces".

  4. Cornelius,

    Are you suggesting there can be no explanation for the appearance of design? If so, why?

    Or perhaps you think we not criticize the conclusion that the biosphere was designed? If so, what would prevent us from doing so?

    Specially, you seem to be claiming the biosphere was created in such a way that makes an theory of biological complexity impossible. However, it's unclear how this would be different than claiming that atoms were created in a way that makes atomic theory impossible, or that objects move in such a way that makes a theory of gravity impossible, etc.

    In other words, you seem to making some sort of exception in the case of the biosphere. Why might this be the case?

  5. Yes, the life of an atheist is tough. All day every day he is forced to deny reality, ignore the overwhelming evidence all around him, and continually remind himself that this world is not designed.

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