God and Science Lecture 3

At the end of lecture 2 we considered why a scientific explanation for the design-like nature of life and the fine tuning of the universe is necessary if one wants to maintain that the universe is not a product of an external intelligence. The reason was based on another scientific principle known as the second law of thermodynamics.

In this lecture, I show how the second law of thermodynamics offers an important key to unlocking a viable explanation of how the apparent order, design and rationality of our universe could spontaneously arise without an external intelligence. This may come as a surprise to many theists who often like to evoke the second law of thermodynamics as a reason for why they believe the universe must be the product of an outside intelligence. The argument that allows the second law of thermodynamics to be used as an ally for atheism, hinges on the idea that there is no discontinuity between order and disorder but rather order is just exceptionally more unlikely to arise by chance. Because order is mapped onto a probability scale that is infinite, one can use mathematics that deals with infinities to create what I call in The Wormwood Deceptions a mathematical hallucination. This hallucination absolutely prevents all inference of intelligent design when considering an object, no matter how different the entity is from non-designed objects we observe in our universe.

While the second law of thermodynamics appears to be powerful ally in removing the boundary between what is and isn’t the product of an intelligence, in the middle part of this lecture I consider four possible configurations of the universe that could exist in relation to the second law of thermodynamics. Out of these four, our universe is the most consistent with the hypothesis that the universe is a product of an external intelligence.

The final part of this lecture is distinctly Christian in that it demonstrates how the Biblical claim of Roman 1:20 is supported by our modern scientific understanding of the universe making atheism a more difficult proposition than it was before the modern scientific revolution: the exact opposite of what is often expounded by celebrity atheists.

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