Aliens did it.

 

Alien abduction!
(Wikimedia Commons public domain)     I favor the alien explanation.

 

From the British astrophysicist and theologian David Wilkinson, God, Time and Stephen Hawking: An Exploration Into Origins (London: Monarch Books, 2001), 166-167 (with some slight improvements in otherwise mysterious punctuation):

 

Some scientists . . . try to resist any theological interpretation at all costs.  An interesting example using aliens and other universes is given in a paper published in the reputable journal The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society by Professor Edward Harrison of the University of Massachusetts.

He says that there are three possible answers as to why the universe is so finely balanced.  First, that God designed it, but that answer, he argues, precludes further rational inquiry.  Second, the anthropic principle, but he finds this unsatisfactory.  His third answer is that our universe was created by life of superior intelligence existing in another physical universe.

How does he get to this extraordinary conclusion?  First, he picks up on the above suggestions of black holes as the birthplaces of new universes.  Second, he argues that due to the rapid evolution of intelligence (which we currently see in humanity) there is every reason to expect that a time will come in the future when we will be able to design and create our own universes.  Thus, the fine-tuning of this universe is to be explained as an engineering project of superior beings.  They have created this universe out of a black hole.  He calls it a ‘natural creation theory’ and claims that it also explains why the universe is intelligible to us.  It is created by minds similar to our own, who designed it to be that way.

There are so many questions to this that one hardly knows where to start!  Harrison is a respected cosmologist, but this theory seems quite ludicrous if it is not an elaborate wind-up [American “set-up” or “prank”]!  Will we really reach the stage of being able to build new universes?  More fundamentally, where did these superior beings come from in the first place?

He criticises belief in God for stopping any further rational inquiry, but then falls into the same trap.  What can we possibly know about these ‘superior’ beings in another universe?  If he is to be drawn to the conclusion that this universe is designed, is it not simpler to see the ‘superior being’ as God?

Indeed, in contrast to the unknown aliens in another universe, Christians claim that this God, far from being in another universe, has revealed himself in this universe and forms personal relationship with those who open their lives to him.  The evidence for the existence of God is much stronger than that for superior beings in another universe.

To say that the theist states ‘God created’ and that this stops further inquiry is naive to the extreme.  It was on the basis of belief of a creator God that much of the early scientific revolution was based.  Far from stopping questions, belief in God can liberate inquiry.

 

 

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