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Science Finds a Creator — Maybe?

Morris Engelson

One of the unstated (but well-understood and accepted) bases of modern science is that all phenomena — this means all, without exception — can ultimately be explained via “natural” causes. Sometimes a phenomenon is not understood or explained, but science is certain that a “natural” explanation will ultimately be found. So it comes not just as a surprise, but literally as a shock, when science makes findings that have no reasonable “natural” explanation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Judaism teaches that Hashem’s omnipresence is hidden (ne’elam) within the fabric of the physical universe (olam). Some few exceptional individuals can pierce through the opacity that we call physical reality and clearly see the true Cause behind it all. They possess the clarity of perception described by Rav Dessler: “Nature has no objective existence; it is merely an illusion which gives man a choice to exercise his free will … What is real is the will of Hashem, and nothing else.” Most people, however, have to struggle to get a glimpse of this reality through the distorting lens of the physical universe. And this is only if they try. But what of those who do not try at all? They see nothing unusual. They see a “nature” devoid of a Creator.

Over the last two decades, however, scientific has progressed far enough for those at the highest levels of scientific understanding to see that something is not quite right with the direction in which science is leading them. There simply are too many signs of a First Cause behind the scientific causes. This is the well-known “problem” of the fine-tuning of the universe, and of the planet Earth, towards enabling our existence. The odds against any sort of life, and especially our kind of life, range toward the impossible.

Yet most scientists refuse to accept this position, despite acknowledging that the scientific evidence points this way. How then do they avoid taking the final step? The answer is multiple universes. Thus, cosmologist Sir Martin Rees notes in his book Just Six Numbers that the scientific evidence points to only three possibilities — “coincidence, providence, or multiverse.”

The odds against coincidence are so high that virtually all scientists who have commented on this matter rule it out of consideration. Some very few have embraced the cause of Providence. But most are hard at work to salvage the secular viewpoint via some of the multiple universe hypotheses. This attitude should not surprise us. As Rav Dessler notes, “They would look for, and find, some twist in physical theory which would account [for the result], or they would invent an entirely new theory; in one way or another, they would inevitably assimilate the miracle to the naturalist scheme.”

 

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