“A superintellect has monkeyed with the physics.” Scientists Respond to Fine Tuning

October 2, 2017

by Graham Phillips | The laws of physics are balanced on a razor’s edge in order for life to exist. In the past hundred years astronomers, cosmologists, physicists and mathematicians have discovered over thirty physical laws and constants at play in the cosmos that are fine tuned to such an infinitesimally small degree it has led many to consider the existence of a ‘Fine-Tuner’.

Take the fine tuning of the force of gravity; imagine a ruler divided up into 1inch increments and then stretched right the way across the universe, a distance of some 14 billion light years. The ruler represents the possible range for the force of gravity. The setting for the force of gravity in our universe is but a 1inch measurement on this super-long ruler. If this setting were changed by just 1inch in the entire expanse of the universe the effects upon life would be catastrophic.

Or the cosmological constant; the speed at which space is expanding. If this constant were a fraction faster no planets or stars could form, if it were a fraction slower all matter would collapse in on itself. Physicists have determined that this constant is fine tuned to 1 part in a 100 million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion! Such precision is comparable to travelling hundreds of miles into space, throwing a dart back down to earth and hitting a target smaller than the size of a single atom.

These are just two of many finely tuned laws and constants. Others include; strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force, entropy level, mass density of the universe, the velocity of light, the age of the universe, the decay of the proton and many, many more. Moreover, all of these laws and constants must be fine-tuned to their very specific range in tandem to create a life-permitting equilibrium, for if just one of these out of the thirty were off by a fraction, life could not exist. Perhaps the only reasonable response to the remarkable evidence of fine tuning in the universe is that there is a Fine-Tuner.

Here are some quotes from leading scientists in relevant fields on this subject:

Fred Hoyle, Astronomer

“A superintellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with the chemistry and biology.”

Paul Davies, Physicist

“The laws (of physics) seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design…There is for me powerful evidence that something is going on behind it all…It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe…The impression of design is overwhelming.”

George Greenstein, Astronomer

“As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency-or rather, Agency-must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”

Tony Rothman, Theoretical Physicist

“The medieval theologian who gazed at the night sky through the eyes of Aristotle and saw angels moving in spheres in harmony has become the modern cosmologist who gazes at the same sky through the eyes of Einstein and sees the hand of God not in angels but in the constants of nature…When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it.”

Bernard Carr, Cosmologist

“One would have to conclude either that the features of the universe invoked in support of Anthropic Principle (the idea that the universe possesses narrowly defined characteristics so as to permit human life) are only coincidences or that the universe was indeed tailor-made for life. I will leave it to the theologians to ascertain the identity of the tailor!”

Vera Kistiakowsky, MIT Physicist

“The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine”

Arno Penzias, Nobel Prize winning Physicist

“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan”

Alexander Polyakov, Theoretician

“We know that nature is described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it. So there is a chance that the best of all possible mathematics will be created out of physicists’ attempts to describe nature.”

Roger Penrose, Mathematician

“I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance.”

George Ellis, Mathematician

“Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realisation of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological statement of that word”

Edward Harrison, Cosmologist

“Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one…Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument”

Allan Sandage, Astronomer and winner of the Crafoord prize in astronomy

“I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organising principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”

Robert Griffiths, Physicist, winner of the Heinemann prize in mathematical physics

“If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.”

Robert Jastrow, Astrophysicist

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Conclusion

The radical fine tuning in our universe; laws and constants balanced on a razor blade the width of an atom certainly seem to point us to a grand Designer behind the cosmos. Some, in an attempt to avoid this logical inference, have raised the question of whether our universe is the only one. That perhaps there are hundreds, even millions of other independent universes in existence, each with its own set of laws and constants. The reason we observe a finely tuned universe, they postulate, is simply that we inhabit the one inhabitable universe in a range of millions of others. The problem with this theory is that it doesn’t really help reduce the ridiculous improbability of this kind of fine tuning occurring in any universe. You would need trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of universes with individual settings for laws and constants just to get one with anything like the accuracy of fine tuning ours has, and if one of these could support life it would be extremely unlikely to support conscious observers, let alone a whole race of them. Equally, how are all these universes being generated? What or rather Who is the Generator? Also, multiverse theory is unobservable, so is merely a theoretical escape hatch for those wishing to avoid the conclusion that there is a Grand Designer who has fiddled with the settings in our universe.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2

Sources

The Creator and the Cosmos – Hugh Ross, Ph. D.
On Guard – Dr. William Lane Craig
The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel

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7 comments on ““A superintellect has monkeyed with the physics.” Scientists Respond to Fine Tuning

  1. Mohan Mudigonda Oct 5, 2017

    Hi Graham,
    Excellent article.
    I fully accept that the complexities of the universe are so vast that at first glance, it appears that it had to have been designed by a prime mover i.e. God.
    Ultimately however, I believe this to be the God of The Gaps Theory writ large.
    If there was a prime mover type creator, then what created that? and what created the God that created the prime mover?
    Poetic though it may be to start the Good Book with “In the beginning”, if one were to subscribe to this as historical evidence rather than symbolism or allegory, then logically, surely Genesis needs to start even earlier? If we begin with the prime mover, then that is, in essence, the equivalent of walking into a movie half way through.
    Regards the universe coming into existence by chance or by accident – I cannot even begin to answer the question as to why we are all here – how can I succeed when the greatest minds in human history have yet to solve this problem. All I can say once again is that inserting God into the equation is an extraordinary assertion; and as Carl Sagan famously stated, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Undoubtedly the Bible has served as an extraordinary source of spiritual guidance for many millions of people. Irrespective of one’s own beliefs, who could fail to be moved by the compassion shown by Jesus? He was a remarkable individual by anyone’s definition.
    Nevertheless, I humbly submit that the Bible, (and indeed, the Qu’ran, the Gita or the Torah.. any holy book), are not history or science textbooks. Claims contained therein have not been tested and retested. They have not been peer reviewed. There has been no control group.
    The best argument one currently has for a prime mover is that nobody cannot definitely prove that a prime mover did not kick off the Big Bang. In the same vein, I cannot prove that I am not having an extramarital affair. The burden of proof however, is not on me to prove I am not doing something. It is for others to prove that I am surely?
    This quote I found to be more compelling:
    “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine”

    This ties in slightly more with my own personal views of the universe, though I suspect that it was included here only as evidence of a prime mover. The Divine is not to be found independent and sitting above the universe, or sitting above and beyond space and time. The universe itself is Divine, by which I mean, transcendent. For me, though I am not an atheist, I do not require belief in a supernatural being whose followers assert is All Powerful, All Seeing and All Loving. This assertion is completely irreconcilable. There is enough within the observable universe to invoke feelings of the Divine and of transcendence. Qualities such as compassion, knowledge and humility – these have been shown by so many individuals throughout time – Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Einstein, Jesus himself – these people’s actions have arguably elevated them because of what they did for their fellow man. There is no need to ascribe this to a supernatural prime mover God. Their actions alone elevate them.
    Similarly, the exquisite order mentioned by Vera Kistiakowsky can itself be seen within the laws of nature, of physics and of science in general. Why then should these be attributed to a being which sits above these laws? The laws themselves are transcendent. What of music? What of art? These things require no supernatural power from above; and yet we are often spiritually elevated by them. Understanding of the physical world does not call for the divine. The physical world is itself divine. If one wishes to use the word God to describe this divinity (I personally find the word problematic), then God is around us and within us. Not independent of us. Not above us. To believe in ourselves is to believe in God/ the Divine.

    As things currently stand, at the time I am writing this, nobody has ever satisfactorily proved beyond doubt that there has been a prime mover who kicked things off, nor that there is an interventionist personal being who responds directly to our prayers and who created everything specifically for mankind.
    Even if there is only one universe and one does not subscribe to the multiverse theory, this one universe is so vast that Earth itself is but a mere speck of cosmic dust. We are able to perceive ourselves as somehow more special than other beings because we happen to have evolved with a consciousness that allows us to perceive things in this manner. Many non-human animals will also have been killed in the recent Hurricanes, but mankind is the only species which takes it personally. As if we are somehow greater than the remainder of the natural world. We are not. We are simply part of it, the same as everything else.
    There may be a very specific reason as to why we are here; and yet there also may not be. In the mean time, it is for us as individuals to find our own meaning, our own purpose. If that meaning includes a cherished belief in a Supreme Power, then that is genuinely wonderful. However, we must ultimately accept that Holy texts are simply not evidence in and of themselves. Even the evidence put forward by theist scientists are really only theories which, unlike Darwinian evolution, have arguably not been tested rigorously enough to be classed as satisfactory evidence.
    I admit fully that I cannot provide an alternative answer to the question of why we are here. But I feel it is OK to say I don’t know. I do not personally need a personal God to plug that gap.
    All good wishes
    Mohan

  2. Mohan Oct 5, 2017

    Hi Graham,
    Excellent article.
    I fully accept that the complexities of the universe are so vast that at first glance, it appears that it had to have been designed by a prime mover i.e. God.
    Ultimately however, I believe this to be the God of The Gaps Theory writ large.
    If there was a prime mover type creator, then what created that? and what created the God that created the prime mover?
    Poetic though it may be to start the Good Book with “In the beginning”, if one were to subscribe to this as historical evidence rather than symbolism or allegory, then logically, surely Genesis needs to start even earlier? If we begin with the prime mover, then that is, in essence, the equivalent of walking into a movie half way through.
    Regards the universe coming into existence by chance or by accident – I cannot even begin to answer the question as to why we are all here – how can I succeed when the greatest minds in human history have yet to solve this problem. All I can say once again is that inserting God into the equation is an extraordinary assertion; and as Carl Sagan famously stated, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Undoubtedly the Bible has served as an extraordinary source of spiritual guidance for many millions of people. Irrespective of one’s own beliefs, who could fail to be moved by the compassion shown by Jesus? He was a remarkable individual by anyone’s definition.
    Nevertheless, I humbly submit that the Bible, (and indeed, the Qu’ran, the Gita or the Torah.. any holy book), are not history or science textbooks. Claims contained therein have not been tested and retested. They have not been peer reviewed. There has been no control group.
    The best argument one currently has for a prime mover is that nobody cannot definitely prove that a prime mover did not kick off the Big Bang. In the same vein, I cannot prove that I am not having an extramarital affair. The burden of proof however, is not on me to prove I am not doing something. It is for others to prove that I am surely?
    This quote I found to be more compelling:
    “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine”

    This ties in slightly more with my own personal views of the universe, though I suspect that it was included here only as evidence of a prime mover. The Divine is not to be found independent and sitting above the universe, or sitting above and beyond space and time. The universe itself is Divine, by which I mean, transcendent. For me, though I am not an atheist, I do not require belief in a supernatural being whose followers assert is All Powerful, All Seeing and All Loving. This assertion is completely irreconcilable. There is enough within the observable universe to invoke feelings of the Divine and of transcendence. Qualities such as compassion, knowledge and humility – these have been shown by so many individuals throughout time – Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Einstein, Jesus himself – these people’s actions have arguably elevated them because of what they did for their fellow man. There is no need to ascribe this to a supernatural prime mover God. Their actions alone elevate them.
    Similarly, the exquisite order mentioned by Vera Kistiakowsky can itself be seen within the laws of nature, of physics and of science in general. Why then should these be attributed to a being which sits above these laws? The laws themselves are transcendent. What of music? What of art? These things require no supernatural power from above; and yet we are often spiritually elevated by them. Understanding of the physical world does not call for the divine. The physical world is itself divine. If one wishes to use the word God to describe this divinity (I personally find the word problematic), then God is around us and within us. Not independent of us. Not above us. To believe in ourselves is to believe in God/ the Divine.

    As things currently stand, at the time I am writing this, nobody has ever satisfactorily proved beyond doubt that there has been a prime mover who kicked things off, nor that there is an interventionist personal being who responds directly to our prayers and who created everything specifically for mankind.
    Even if there is only one universe and one does not subscribe to the multiverse theory, this one universe is so vast that Earth itself is but a mere speck of cosmic dust. We are able to perceive ourselves as somehow more special than other beings because we happen to have evolved with a consciousness that allows us to perceive things in this manner. Many non-human animals will also have been killed in the recent Hurricanes, but mankind is the only species which takes it personally. As if we are somehow greater than the remainder of the natural world. We are not. We are simply part of it, the same as everything else.
    There may be a very specific reason as to why we are here; and yet there also may not be. In the mean time, it is for us as individuals to find our own meaning, our own purpose. If that meaning includes a cherished belief in a Supreme Power, then that is genuinely wonderful. However, we must ultimately accept that Holy texts are simply not evidence in and of themselves. Even the evidence put forward by theist scientists are really only theories which, unlike Darwinian evolution, have arguably not been tested rigorously enough to be classed as satisfactory evidence.
    I admit fully that I cannot provide an alternative answer to the question of why we are here. But I feel it is OK to say I don’t know. I do not personally need a personal God to plug that gap.
    All good wishes
    Mohan

    • admin Oct 5, 2017

      Hi mo! I hope you and the family are well. Thanks for the comment, there’s certainly a lot to digest here.

      A few points in response, but before making them I want to make a couple of distinctions:

      a) The argument for the existence of a designer put forward in the article is not done so from the Bible but from current scientific understanding about the cosmos. I never assume the authority of scripture when discussing these kinds of matters with people who don’t see the bible as the inspired word of God. It’s unfair and unintelligent in my view. So the argument here for design is not from Genesis but from current cosmology.

      a) The article is a loose kind of teleological (or design) argument. A deductive argument, the conclusion of which is the inference of an intelligent designer (God). Though I don’t make the argument explicitly here it goes as follows:

      i) The fine-tuning in the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.

      ii) Fine-tuning is not due to physical necessity or chance.
      – There is no evidence that a life permitting universe is physically necessary
      – The chances of fine-tuning occurring by random chance are, as shown, highly, highly improbable.

      iii) Therefore, it is due to design.

      Though the logical conclusion of this argument may lead one to accept that God exists it doesn’t necessarily argue for the Christian God.

      As there is a lot to get stuck in to here, I’ll only put forward 3 considerations in response.

      1. God of the gaps

      A God of the gaps argument is where one plugs a gap in scientific knowledge with God. These arguments do nothing to help the theist and hinder them from truly understanding the nature of reality. The fine-tuning argument, however, is based upon current and near universally accepted scientific understanding, not gaps. Therefore it is not a ‘God of the gaps’ argument.

      Anyone in possession of an iPhone knows they are looking at something complex and highly functional. The rational inference they ought to make is that there was a designer. The cosmos is even more complex and finely tuned, it is based upon the presence of scientific evidence of this that the argument for design is made, not the lack of it.

      Moreover, this is the kind of evidence that demands an explanation. When asked; how did that iPhone come to be. None of us would refrain from saying it was made by Apple, even if we couldn’t 100% prove it was we would still make this inference. Of course we make decisions every day without having 100% proof.

      Also – those claiming that any theistic argument (cosmological or design) is by virtue a ‘God of the gaps’ argument are acknowledging that there IS a gap in knowledge. Furthermore, they are denying that the answer to such a perceived gap can be supernatural therefore presupposing that there must be materialistic answer to it. E.g. ‘There IS a scientific answer to this gap, we just haven’t found it yet’. The argument presupposes material naturalism and therefore doesn’t allow for any supernatural conclusion. God of the gaps becomes science of the gaps. We don’t want either!

      2. Who designed the designer

      The idea that if one postulates a grand designer based upon the fine-tuning in the universe that the larger question of who designed the designer is immediately raised is used by Richard Dawkins in ‘The God Delusion’. This argument is, however a false one. In order to recognise an explanation as the best, one doesn’t have to have an explanation of the explanation. Otherwise we would have an infinite regress and never be able to arrive at a conclusion about anything! We would have to un know all of our knowledge to accept Dawkin’s argument.

      Let’s say a team of archaeologists unearth some spearheads and tools. The inference of design would be the best even if they had no idea about the people who crafted these weapons. They wouldn’t have to be able to explain who these people were in order to say that the tools themselves were clearly designed.

      3. The bible is not a historical book

      I suppose I would question this statement due to the fact that some of the books of the bible are most certainly historical and are treated as such by historians and theologians alike. Sure, we shouldn’t read Genesis like a peer reviewed journal, you’re right, and the prophetic and apocalyptic scriptures aren’t to be treated like historical documents. But the gospels, the book of acts and Paul’s epistles are indeed very historical. Plain, factual and without a great deal of literary flair. Many of the names, places and events mentioned in these books have been corroborated by historical investigation.

      I suppose this all rests on where our hearts and minds lead us when we consider all the awesomeness of the universe!

      Many thanks, mate

      • Mohan Oct 11, 2017

        Dearest Graham,
        Thank you for your reply which I read with considerable interest and fascination. To say that I envy your eloquence would be a gross understatement!
        In response to your post, I wanted to address some of the points you mentioned in response to mine (see, told you my eloquence left something to be desired!)

        – “The fine-tuning argument, however, is based upon current and near universally accepted scientific understanding, not gaps. Therefore it is not a ‘God of the gaps’ argument.”

        Without question I agree that the fine-tuning argument is based upon scientific understanding.
        You mentioned The God Delusion in your last post and by coincidence I have just completed it. You will remember that Dawkins refers to Earth being in the “Goldilocks Zone” within the solar system – it is positioned so that it is neither too close to the sun nor too far, so the conditions for water to exist on Earth are “just right”. To me, he is clearly espousing a form of the fine tuning argument, so no arguments there.
        I would respectfully submit though that The God of The Gaps does play a role because it has been used by some theists to explain how the universe is being fine tuned – in essence, as per my understanding, God is pulling levers and twiddling knobs.
        Now following on from this of course, there would first have to be a discussion or a consensus on how one would define God. I think you would agree that mankind has many many different interpretations of this and depending on one’s worldview, one would either accept this question as open to interpretation, or insist that God can only mean one thing, be it the Abrahamic concept or some such.
        I would argue that the God of The Gaps theory holds particularly true if one only thinks of God in the Abrahamic, anthropomorphic way – as a supreme being with feelings and objectives. This has of course been open to much much dispute amongst theists, atheists, deists etc. since time immemorial, but as yet, I do accept that science has not yet explained the precise reasons for how the universe is being fine tuned. However, the fact remains that nobody knows this as yet and I agree with you entirely that until that time comes, we have no option but to rely on inferences based on existing discourse.
        I sense we have differing views on this and I do not mean that in the pejorative in any way. In fact I find it fascinating because to me, this would be because we view God/ the Divine in different ways. At the risk of misrepresenting you (I sincerely apologise if I am and do please correct me if so), you approach God from the anthropomorphic perspective – He loves us, He absolves us of our sins, He is all powerful etc.
        I, by contrast, view God/ the Divine more in the way that Spinoza did and also the way in which monist Hindu philosophy does; that the Universe itself is Divine (I find the word God problematic only because it seems indelibly linked to the image of the venerable old man with a beard, hence my use of the word Divine). God can be found or known through knowing oneself and striving to understand existence itself. The Universe exists because it exists. It’s objective is simply it’s survival. It would not survive unless it had the mechanisms within itself to keep going. The mechanisms have not yet been fully discovered by science by any means but I would personally feel that the notion of a supreme being pulling the strings is an inference too far. A supreme law? yes perhaps. Again, it depends on how flexible one is willing to be when defining God.
        Mankind is not the reason why the universe exists – we are too inconsequential and it is only our consciousness and our egos which give us the impression that we are somehow above the natural world, rather than simply part of it.

        2) In order to recognise an explanation as the best, one doesn’t have to have an explanation of the explanation. Otherwise we would have an infinite regress and never be able to arrive at a conclusion about anything!

        – Once again I agree to a great degree. It looks as if we are in essence differing on which explanation we consider to be the best. This is all to the good in my opinion, otherwise how else do we discuss things and find out more about how others perceive things?
        In my case, I had personally not found enough convincing evidence for a personal God in the theist sense, so irrespective of what I wanted to be true, I had to ultimately let this go.
        I then analysed the deist position of a creator God that ultimately does not intervene, but it was the infinite regress problem that I was stuck at.
        As things stand, however frustrating it is (i.e. very), I’m not sure it is actually possible to reach any definitive conclusions about how the Big Bang occurred to begin with, or how the universe seems so ordered. So in the mean time, I guess it’s just a matter of which inference seems the more likely. The search goes on.

        3) The bible is not a historical book

        I apologise here because I think I should have clarified what I meant better. Again, I do agree with much of what you are saying and differ with you on other points.
        I think I stated that the Bible was not a science or a history textbook, inasmuch as I do not feel that they should be used in a history or science class. I feel it is absolutely essential that children be taught religion in a factual and comparative way though and the Bible is not only essential for this purpose, but also to understand how language and literature have been influenced by it.
        I do not feel personally that creationist theory (particularly young creationism) should be front and centre in the science class. But me thinking that the Bible is not a textbook does not mean that I do not think of it as a historical document. Of course it is. All religious texts are historical documents in the sense that they provide a window into past attitudes and beliefs. Of course, there will be many place names, people, and I daresay even events which could quite conceivably be based on historical fact. St Paul’s epistles for instance I accept fully as having been written. It does not necessarily mean though that whatever was written in those epistles was irrefutably correct.
        My personal view though is that even considering the Bible as a historical document, it does not necessarily follow that all the events depicted therein are historical fact. I do not wish to denigrate anyone who believes the events of Genesis and Exodus actually took place, but I personally find them useful only in a symbolic sense and even then, their significance is far outweighed even on a symbolic level by the New Testament.
        Again, it is all down to how inference and what one finds plausible. I personally see absolutely no reason to doubt that Jesus of Nazareth existed. I agree entirely with your post in which you said that doubting this would be similar to doubting Aristotle, Socrates and the like. I don’t know much about Richard Carrier but I personally do not find him compelling.
        That being said, I personally find it hard to believe in anything where the laws of nature seem to be suspended – so this would include the miracles and the resurrection. I would hope that my saying this would not be taken as some sort of personal slur against Jesus himself. I have already mentioned that although I do not agree with everything he said, I found him to be a remarkable individual whose teachings were way ahead of their time. His bravery in facing death for his beliefs elevate him. However it is not uncommon for great figures throughout history to have some kind of mythology built around them. Divya’s theory is that there has to be some way to capture the reader’s attention – if one skipped straight to the sermon on the Mount, they may not be in the frame of mind to listen, so describing miracles and the like may capture the imagination of the common man so that greater philosophical truths may be imparted.
        As mentioned, this is not uncommon. Take for example, the Indian Guru and Saint Sai Baba of Shirdi. Little is known of his birthplace or his life before he wandered into the village of Shirdi and imparted his teachings to the people. He is now worshipped by many as, in essence, a God, or at the very least an incarnation of God.
        Now the question as to Sai Baba’s existence is as close to undeniable as one can get, because he passed away in 1918 and there are actual photographs of him. He didn’t write any of his teachings down himself but there is one biography about him that exists. That biography details a number of miracles that Sai Baba reputedly carried out, but this was written by somebody else. I think it’s plausible and also understandable that some devoted followers of a particular individual would want to build a mythology around that person, or at the very least create some kind of other worldly mystique around them. That can be found in Christianity, Hinduism and Islam as well. I don’t intend at all to single out Jesus here; I equally do not believe that Sai Baba cured the village of Shirdi of cholera by grinding wheat and throwing it away; nor do I believe that Muhammad split the moon into two and flew to heaven on a winged horse. These things fall under Carl Sagan’s maxim: Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence.
        Also, I must emphasise that I see definite value in mythology for imparting greater truths. Though I thought the God Delusion was very interesting, I find Richard Dawkins’ approach far too lofty. I do think though that there has to be more empirical work done on any claims which purport to go beyond the laws of nature.
        I am very much enjoying these conversations my friend.
        Be well and may your God go with you,
        Mohan

        • admin Oct 11, 2017

          Mo, thank you so much for your response. Measured, intelligent and a delight to read. Lots to ruminate upon for sure! Perhaps we ought to do this over some food and drink at some point?!

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