First a little ID history from my perspective. I got introduced to the ID movement and Dr. Behe during the Dover trial. I went from Dr. Behe’s IC to Dr. Dembski’s ID Alternative called “telic properties in nature”. However, I was immediately disinvited from Uncommon Descent. In case it needs to be spelled out, most people would, and have, considered me anti-ID.
I ended up at Telic Thoughts (TT). Mike Gene and TT intrigued me. We have had our ups and downs. However, I was a tolerated guest and, occasionally, was encouraged to participate more. I learned a few things during my time there.
Dr. Dembski’s telic properties in nature may have been a general reference to EAM (TT’s Joy provided me with the hint I needed). However, EAM still leans heavily on “intelligence” (ability to learn/adapt) as opposed to just “telic”(purposeful). To the irritation of many TTers, I looked for why intelligence was required as opposed to simply purpose. The result was figuring out ID’s information theory argument boils down to a general statement that only intelligence can create intelligence without getting too picky about the meaning of the word “intelligence”.
Being an electrical engineer, I start thinking about a feedback loop. How do you create a sine wave output? Use a sine wave input and amplify it. Where do you get the input? From the output. It is called an oscillator circuit. Nothing magical or supernatural about it (except, maybe, the AA battery).
One of Joy’s pet peeves is that she feels Evolution Biologists don’t look outside their own discipline enough. Whether or not that is true, the physicist Steven Hawking’s work is freely available via the web and, unlike some other PhD types, he explains both the math and logic in a way that it can be understood and vetted by anyone who wishes to do so. Steven Hawking isn’t infallible (he famously lost a bet with another physicist) but he knows a lot more about cosmology than I do (understatement).
Here is a link where he explains the concept of time as just another dimension like North/South directions on a globe with the South Pole being the beginning of time and the North Pole being the end of time. Questions about events before the beginning of time are like questions about locations South of the South Pole. Both are paradoxical, but neither requires the supernatural.
I realize some people don’t accept this explanation as the Truth (capital “T”). This is where NOMA (Non-Overlapping_Magisteria) comes in. What I have come to realize in my TT travels is that NOMA is probably at the root of the Culture War. I also noticed NOMA transcends the religious/atheist divide. A standard four-quadrant map comes to mind, with the x-axis ranging from active atheist to devout fundamentalist and the y-axis ranging from no separation (OMA) to absolute separation (NOMA), making the quadrants religious-OMA, atheist-OMA, religious-NOMA and atheist-NOMA. A dot for individuals could be placed on the map to review which quadrant each fell into. Previously, I would have placed myself in the atheist-NOMA quadrant. Now, I am not sure for reasons I’m about to explain. There is a lot more to discuss about NOMA, but that would take too much space.
The passion in the ID/Evolution debate comes when someone (from either side) tries to claim the one and only OMA Truth. This is the elephant-in-the-livingroom that has to be addressed. So, without further ado, I boldly use the Hawking Model as my starting point for a proposed, OMA Truth that meets the various claims and goals of both sides of the issue. I am sure that some will not like this choice. To these people, I suggest they write a beginning to end proposal like this one and allow it to also be vetted publicly.
The Hawking Model includes the multiverse paradigm…“The picture Jim Hartle and I developed, of the spontaneous quantum creation of the universe, would be a bit like the formation of bubbles of steam in boiling water. The idea is that the most probable histories of the universe, would be like the surfaces of the bubbles. Many small bubbles would appear, and then disappear again. These would correspond to mini universes that would expand, but would collapse again while still of microscopic size.… A few of the little bubbles, however, will grow to a certain size at which they are safe from recollapse.”
A complaint to this is that the multiverse still doesn’t solve the improbability problem. In other words, why is this universe so lucky. I suggest changing the bubbles analogy to lightening strikes. The only universes that get beyond the recollapse stage are those that can complete the circuit from the beginning to the end of time. Think of the improbability of a lighting striking hitting a specific, small piece of metal out of acres of other targets. However, when that piece of metal is a lighting rod that completes a circuit, the improbable becomes very probable.
I offer this as a reason for a telic universe. The purpose of the universe is to be internally consistent. The universe must do what it needs to complete the consistency circuit from the beginning to the end of time, or it won’t exist. “Retrocausality” is a term that came up in TT. Here is the link to the newspaper article that initiated the discussion. A future state (cause) that completes the consistency circuit will influence the historical time-path (effect) much like a lightening strike steers towards a lightening rod.
This proposed model may help explain why this universe appears finely tuned. It had to be, or it wouldn’t have even started. It may also explain why historical events appear too fortuitous (retrocausality). But why life? Why intelligent life?
In case there was any illusion this would resolve the Culture War, it ends here. I am going to stipulate that in some yet-to-be-determined way, intelligent life is helpful in completing the consistency circuit of the universe.
To complete the picture, I have to discuss potential reasons why intelligent life is needed for our universe to be consistent. One trivial answer (and not very believable) is that our SETI activities has provided just the right amount of focused electromagnetic energy to assist in allowing a symmetrical collapse at the end of time. The reason I bring up this silly example is to illustrate that while the universe needs to reach the end of time, intelligent life may not have to. To the contrary, intelligent life may have already outlived its usefulness.
However, there are a few Billion people out there who are predisposed to believe at least some kind of intelligence will exist at the end of time. Let’s call this intelligence an “Intelligent Designer”. This has the effect of elevating the problem. The purpose of intelligent life is to eventually grow into the Intelligent Designer. Now, what is the purpose of the Intelligent Designer? Well, for one, the designer could use retrocausality to create intelligent life. This is the oscillator circuit mentioned earlier. Beyond that, I will just assume an Intelligent Designer would be useful in completing the consistency circuit of the Universe in other ways too.
There are many, many details left out of this presentation. For example, several people at TT insist a lack of progress in the origin of life research and certain features at the molecular level (DNA, proteins, etc) posit some kind of outside intervention like an Intelligent Designer. As I said, any illusion that this resolves the Culture War is for naught. I would hope this broad brush outline will be used as a framework to add details like OOL. Alternatively, I hope it provokes others into offering counter proposals to the same level of logical closure (even if lacking detail).
This is where I am going to stop for this post. BTW, “pathetically obvious” wouldn’t be unexpected reaction to this. It could also be claimed that this is just a restatement of various Anthropic Principles. I wouldn’t disagree with that either and I apologize for not giving all the people who deserve credit their due. I have no interest in claiming this as my idea. My real interest is in getting it presented and observing the reactions. I will gladly answer any questions you may have. Comments and suggestions are also welcome.
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