Friday, March 07, 2008

Biology, the Anthropic Principle and Natural Theology - audio lecture by Alister McGrath (online at Faraday Institute)

Quotes and comments;

1. McGrath starts out by defining some terms; one of which is religion. 'The latin word religio means something that binds people together...'
- I've argued in the past for dumping the word religion, and replacing it with world view (wview) or belief system. If the definition he gives were an agreed upon one things wouldn't be so bad. As it is now the word religion has no real meaning at all.

2. McGrath talks of the many examples of fine tuning... and mentions a Bob Williams? in this respect, who said "I'm not a religious man (oh yes you are Bob) but there's something bloody odd going on here."
- It seems clear to me that the idea of a 'multiverse' is a reaction (response) to this whole subject of fine tuning. ie. it's an admission that the fine tuning argument (ie. anthropic principle...) has weight, has a sting. In fact the idea is so powerful that the bizarre idea of many, if not infinite universes has to be dreamed up to cope with it The more extreme the response the stronger the evidence one might say.

3. If I understand McGrath, he's saying, 'yes, evolution is true... but it's not random. It only works because the universe has been fine tuned to make it work...''
- M. is one of those Christians who try to mix Christianity with evolution theory. I don't think these attempts work. In any event the kind of creation doctrine that results is about as exciting as stale toast.

1. The idea of a multiverse is popular in current SF writing. An example I read recently was 'Savant Songs' by Brenda Coppoer.
2. Actually it's not surprising McGrath espouses evolution, as several decades ago the State made it illegal to critique Darwinism in England. (What? you say that's only a rumor? I don't know old chap.... it certainly does seem to 'resonate' as M. puts it :=)


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