Blunting Occam's Razor

As the keeper of a Charles Darwin website, I receive occasional emails from fundamentalist Christian loonies, who inform me that evolution is "only a theory", but who don't seem to realise that the first chapter of the Book of Genesis is only a creation myth.

When it comes to explaining reality, give me a theory over a creation myth any day.

Curiously, these loonies never attempt to explain what makes them think the Genesis creation myth is so much better than any of the hundreds of others they could have chosen. I don't bother arguing with them any more, and simply refer them to my standard response.

Employing divine intervention to explain how the universe came about clearly explains nothing, in that it begs the obvious follow-up question, "So where did God come from, then?" Adhering to Occam's Razor (Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate, in case you were wondering), we make fewer assumptions if we claim that the universe was created out of (and by) nothing, than claiming that God was created out of (and by) nothing and then took it into His divine head to create the universe.

The latest scientific thinking is far simpler:

New Scientist: How 3D space survived the great destruction

Why do we live in a space with only three dimensions? Because, at some time in the past, all the universes with four or more dimensions collided and destroyed each other, while our 3D space survived by slipping between collisions. Or at least, that is what a new theory claims.

Easy-peasy, you see?

It sounds like a tall tale. Can't we accept that our universe has three space dimensions and that's that? Not if you believe in string theory—physicists' best bet for a fundamental description of all particles and forces—which needs nine spatial dimensions.

Nine dimensions. Got that?

In one interpretation of string theory, called braneworld, those extra dimensions are large, perhaps even infinite, and our universe is just a 3D membrane drifting in a higher-dimensional space. However, that does not explain why our "brane" has three rather than, say, four or seven dimensions.

Now a team led by Ruth Durrer of the University of Geneva in Switzerland has an explanation. The idea is that the cosmos once included branes with up to eight dimensions, floating about at random in nine-dimensional space. In their model, this 9D space has the form of a torus, or doughnut, with each dimension circling back on itself (www.arxiv.org/hep-th/0501163).

Mmmm! Nine-dimensional doughnuts!


2 thoughts on “Blunting Occam's Razor

  1. well I read everything you said on the tenth even the links so I know you prolly won't respond to this, because it is a waste of your time. And I'm not even making an attempt to prove you wrong or even "make you into a believer" or even "save" you...

    but when you asked the hypethetical or perhaps retorical question of, "then where did God come from?"

    which implies that you feel people believe God came from nothing...

    To shed some light on this subject briefly, it is much simpler than that.

    Life is eternal... not neccesarily this life, but our existance is eternal we all know that matter can never truly be destroyed. Thus we too can never be destroyed so to say you can not believe that God came from nothing (which is a valid belief) contradicts your belief that their is no after life... If you believe that matter can never be destroyed you as well can never be destroyed.

    So here is what I was wanteing to say bluntly and briefly... I can take alot more time to explain it all out but I know you don't want to sit here and read all that...

    We all have the potential to become a god ourselves... Just as you are able to have children here on earth in the next life if you are living obidiently you have the potential to one day have spiritual children. So to answer your question God was once at some point in his existance just as we are today. It is the same belief in Jesus Christ who died but who then was ressurrected to a perfect and immortal state... So shall we all ressurect. IT is an endless cycle, and eternal cycle with no beginning and no end.

    We have always existed and God did not creat us he organized us. Before this life here on earth we were existing, we will call us an intelligence, and as an intelligence we progressed up until a specific point where it was neccesary for us to be organized into a spiritual body to be able to progress further... then we reached a point where we could not progress any further and we needed to go through this earthly life to learn right from wrong and how to act for ourselves and to gain a physical body of flesh and bones... So now we await the next level of progression so that we can hopefully potentially continue onward in this eternal progression.

    Once again I'm jsut giving you something new to think about. Jsut sharing what I believe, Im not asking you to believe me you can study out your own thoughts and come to your own conlusions as long as you live up to what you believe I respect you.

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