Instead of ID, IC?

ID vs. IC: what is the distinction? Simply put, Intelligent Design posits that the universe needs a cause, but that the cause is a creature who designs and plans like a limited human being (but with supernatural powers), and this creature appeared from nowhere (by accident?) and needs no cause or creator of its own (the ‘first cause” idea). Infinite Causes, on the other hand, is so named because of the belief that there are an infinite number of causes and conditions that made the world the way it is. There is no ‘first cause’ or ‘one cause’ because all things are intertwined in an endless web of causality with no beginning and no end. Both natural and supernatural forces may be involved.

Teaching alternatives to evolution: How to distinguish the Buddhist “Infinite Causes” and Christian “Intelligent Design” theories

If the ID proponents want ID taught in school – then we certainly should include alternate theories of the creation of the universe. This is one of them.

A lot of the argument for ID seems to hinge on two points:

  1. Life is too complex to have emerged on it’s own
  2. The universe is too finely tuned to our needs to have happened by random chance

As far as point 2 goes – IC states:

According to some cosmologists, the universe began as a quantum fluctuation in the limitless Void (Hartle Hawking cosmology). In the absence of an observer, the evolving universe remained as a ‘multiverse’ – a coherant quantum superposition of all logically possible states…

Quantum theory states that any physical system remains in a superposed state of all possibilities until it interacts with the mind of an observer. Both quantum theory and Buddhist teachings on sunyata suggest that as soon as an observer’s mind makes contact with a superposed system, all the numerous possibilities collapse into one actuality. At some instant one of these possible alternative universes produced an observing lifeform – an animal with a nervous system which was sufficiently evolved to form a symbiotic association with a primordial mind. The first act of observation by this mind caused the entire superposed multiverse to collapse immediately into one of its numerous alternatives.

That one alternative version of the multiverse was not just the first configuration to be inhabitable by mind. The fact that it was the first configuration also guaranteed that it was the only configuration. All uninhabited alternative universes, ranging from the nearly-but-not-quite habitable few, to the anarchic and unstructured vast majority, were instantly excluded from potential existence. According to the participatory anthopic principle the evolving multiverse was thus always destined to resolve itself into a sufficiently ordered state to allow itself to be observed.

So, according to this theory, the universe is the way it is because it was observed to be the way it is. Thus, the universe is completely suited to life’s existence – down to Planck’s constant. Which, if it was off by more then a few hundredths of a percent would not have allowed matter to form.

It’s an interesting thought!

3 thoughts on “Instead of ID, IC?”

  1. ID does not contrast with Biblical Creationism, only with Literalist Biblical Creationism, a view held by a minority of Christians. For instance, the Catholic Church does not support Young Earth Creationism, and it represents the single largest concentration of Christians extant. Of course, the Catholic Church officially disavows the Intelligent Design currently en vogue in the US. ID is in fact an artifice of a group of Christian Creationists who view it as a ‘toe in the door’ to getting God back in the Classroom. The origins of the current "Intelligent Design" ‘theory’ is the Discovery Institute, a Christian Think tank. A little bit of quality time with Google will expose the ID movement as a Christian Creationist front to anyone who is not ideologically dedicated to Christianity in the first place.

    From first blush, however, I would say that IC has almost exactly the same amount of scientific support as ID, but without the same ideological agenda (ie, it doesn’t appear to offer any leverage for introducing Buddhism to the classroom categorically, whereas ID begs the question ‘What Intelligence?’ – and show me a single ID proponent that would not answer some indication of the Judeo-Christian mythos ), and so is likely to find more support among ‘real’ scientists of a more mystical bent.

  2. Yeah… I agree. ID is trying to be more expansive then Bibical Creationism (BC?). Notwithstanding, IC is a really intresting metaphysical theory :)

  3. I certainly agree that it is an interesting concept. Basically, it is that the universe boot-strapped itself into existance. Interestingly enough, depending on the level of intelligence needed to be the quantum observer, it might indeed make us the center and, from a certain point of view, the creator of the universe.

    Of course that theory sheds little light on mechanisms of evolution itself, being primarily confined to purely the origin of the universe. I would have no problem with it being taught in such a forum. The existence of the ‘primordial minds’ seem even more difficult to demonstrate than that of an unknown designer, but the basic concept of a quantum flux unverse coallescing a single probabily stream seems fair enough.

    I will also not that the first site you link to does not contrast IC with ID, rather it contrasts IC with Biblical Creationism. As an example, ID explicity denies the ‘young earth’ of Biblical Creationists.

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