Dinesh Does Cosmology

Dinesh D’Souza has discovered the Anthropic Principle, after reading an article in Discover magazine.

It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, just more God-of-the-gaps:  “Here’s something we’re having real trouble understanding. Must be the hand of God!” Dinesh does not follow through with any of the further inquiries that arise in an unbeliever’s mind, e.g.:

  • Which God? Thor? Vishnu? Allah? Unkulunkulu?
  • Why only one God?
  • Who fine-tuned Him?
  • How come He waited a quarter million years to intervene in human history?
  • Is it your recommendation that these cosmologists cease their inquiries and their theorizing, shut up their labs, sell their equipment on eBay, and sign up for Divinity School? I mean, since the answers to their questions are already known? Will you make this recommendation in public? Or is it your intention to just sit there with a knowing smile on your face while the cosmologists pursue their futilities, until the day when they finally throw up their hands, say “Gosh dang it, you believers were right all along — it’s the hand of God!” and mail off for the Div. School application forms?
  • Etc., etc.

 

Dinesh’s piece does, though, illustrate that other gap that plagues us:  the gap between the curious, skeptical thought style of the empiricist (Wow, the universe sure is a weird place! Wonder if we’ll ever understand this? Good luck to those guys trying to figure it all out!) and the person of faith (Those guys are blind fools fumbling in the dark! It was all revealed to us long ago! Why can’t they see?)

That gap is at least as challenging as figuring out why the Fine Structure Constant is what it is and not some other number.

My own view of the Anthropic Principle is awestruck wonder at the inexplicable fact that my legs reach so precisely from my hips to the floor. What if they were an inch shorter?

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