Believe me, I respect and acknowledge any who might disagree with my conclusions. I freely acknowledge that science cannot distinguish between pure chance and design that works within the laws of nature--nor can I claim this is rock-solid unassailable proof. It is, as I said on the outset--a reasonable case.
But any who might be new here, go back in the archives and look at the various coincidences mentioned under Coincidence One, Two, etc...and start to add them up.
The sextillion times a sextillion figure was taken from Smolin's estimate on the chances of stars forming. I deliberately didn't use the larger estimates such as Penrose's or the estimates about the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant. This was enough for my purposes.
In my opinion only, the universe doesn't explain itself. Chance is logically unassailable (I can't PROVE that it didn't just happen to fall that way) but the specific constraints on the developement of life and especially intelligent life cries out for a "special explanation".
Anyone who believes in pure chance as an explanation has much GREATER faith in chance than Thomas More, Mother Theresa, or C.S. Lewis had faith in God, in my opinion.
Many will have problems with the idea of an Originating Intelligence on the grounds that it is "Supernatural", an emotionally-laden word. "Overnatural" might be better--that the laws of physics are a matter of deliberate choice, intelligent choice--by SOMETHING over natural law.
Note that a Designer MIGHT elect to work through any explanation--many-worlds, the Hartle-Hawking model, etc. (St. Augustine realized a Creator might work through any method. Notso many modern physicists, who are better at physics than philosophy.) But, in the words of Martin Gardner in the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, no less...
"The stark truth is that there is not the slightest shred of reliable evidence that there is any universe other than the one we are in. No multiverse theory has so far provided a prediction that can be tested. In my layman’s opinion they are all frivolous fantasies. As far as we can tell, universes are not as plentiful as even two blackberries. Surely the conjecture that there is just one universe and its Creator is infinitely simpler and easier to believe than that there are countless billions upon billions of worlds, constantly increasing in number and created by nobody. I can only marvel at the low state to which today’s philosophy of science has fallen."
Next, we'll look at some objections to the Design theory--starting with Dawkins' recent "Ultimate 747" argument next week, and then go onto the problem of evil--and see if we can find additional confirmation for our (admittedly tentative and slight) argument in favor of Design--in explaining additional phenomena.
This strip isn't over. But it's downhill from here. Thanks for sticking with me to this, the 50th strip.