Coincidentally, given my last post regarding this universe, possible other ones, and connections between them, Bill reviewed Dawkins’ The God Delusion recently, and I’ve abstracted the following passage:
[T]o his credit, Dawkins defines his terms clearly. He is attacking what he calls the God Hypothesis: The belief that “there exists a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it”.
To this hypothesis he opposes his thesis: that “any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as an end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God, in the sense defined, is a delusion”.
This sounds convincing, but it ignores other possibilities. What if a powerful creative intelligence evolved during the course of an earlier universe, then survived the destruction of that universe to condition the formation of our own? What if such an intelligence evolved in another dimension, then burst into our dimension to create our universe? And consider the spider: It spins a web out of its own body, then enters the web and nests in it. The microbes that evolve to live in the strands of the web would deny the existence of the spider if they were able, because, being only microbes, they can neither perceive nor imagine it.
Such scenarios may sound like something scripted by Steven Spielberg, but they’re not beyond the range of possibility.
The weakness of Dawkins’ thesis is its narrowness. The universe, to put it mildly, is a very big place. Isn’t it possible that somewhere, out amid all that vastness, or maybe even in another dimension, there might be creative intelligences that are far different from our own?
This is not a proposition you’d want to bet the farm on. But to make grand and sweeping generalisations about the entire universe from what little we know about the microscopic corner we live in seems to me just a tad premature.
I might as well take this opportunity to tout Free Lunch, Jack’s own book. This novel is largely in the concept stage, mind you. I’m encouraging him to put samples up on this site.