Thursday, January 05, 2006

Quote Of The Year

I don't often repeat something here, but one recent quote was so good that I want to make sure it doesn't get lost in the excessive length of last weeks posts on Intelligent Design.

To hear the popular press (and evolutionists) tell it, the battle between Intelligent Design and Darwinian evolution is a battle between obscurantist flat-earthers and paragons of empirical research. Supposedly, the naturalistic worldview (which says that the physical is all that is real and true) is so obvious that only the worst sort of dunderhead could ignore it. Indeed, the judge in the Dover case ruled that this philosophy of naturalism is part of the very definition of science.

Which is what makes this quote from world-renowned physicist (who is a committed naturalist and strenuous opponent of Intelligent Design) Leonard Susskind of Stanford University so stunning. A reporter from New Scientist magazine is asking him about the fact that the universe is so ridiculously fine-tuned to support life, and about the idea that this can perhaps can explained by resorting to theorizing a "landscape" of millions of other unseen, undetected universes, one of which is bound to be tuned just right for life:

Q. If we do not accept the landscape idea are we stuck with intelligent design?

Susskind: I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent - maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation - I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature's fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.
This is a simply amazing quote, which is why I don't want it to be lost. This world-renowned physicist admits that, as it stands now, naturalism is "in a very awkward position" and "hard pressed to answer the ID critics."

A response to this quote needs to be demanded from every joker who tells you that Intelligent Design is "clearly not science" and that the naturalistic scientists are simply "committed to following the evidence wherever it leads."

No comments: