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God, the Devil, and DarwinA Critique of Intelligent Design Theory$
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Niall Shanks

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161991

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195161998.001.0001

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The Cosmological Case for Intelligent Design

The Cosmological Case for Intelligent Design

(p.191) 6 The Cosmological Case for Intelligent Design
God, the Devil, and Darwin

Niall Shanks

Oxford University Press

The cosmological case for intelligent design, the idea that certain anthropic coincidences in the initial conditions of the universe at the big bang are evidence of an intelligent creator, is examined. Since no good account has ever been offered of how a nonphysical substance could act on a physical one, it is not clear that the hypothesis that the universe has been “fine-tuned” by an intelligent designer to produce creatures like us is even coherent. Even if it is, the possibility that our universe is one amongst many that exist or have existed – the multiverse hypothesis, which would render anthropic coincidences unremarkable – is at least as worthy an explanation of the existence of our universe as the ideas that it resulted either from design or chance. It is concluded that cosmology does not represent the extraordinary evidence from which it would be possible to infer the existence of a supernatural creator.

Keywords:   anthropic coincidences, big bang, chance, cosmology, design, fine-tuning, multiverse hypothesis

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