This post will explain why the universe probably wasn't thoughtfully designed.
Mathematician John Conway, came up with a simulation program, called Life, to mimic the random selection of laws within nature. - When I say “random” I don't mean it as some would think. All seemingly random events are dependent on a prior cause; therefore, nothing is purely random, as some think of random. I use the word “random” here to exclude the idea of thoughtfulness behind and within the processes of nature.
Again, Mathematician John Conway came up with a simulation program, called Life, to mimic the random selection of laws within nature. Within this game pixels, called cells, are used upon graph paper. These cells, or pixels, represent the matter within the universe, and the selected laws determine how matter cells interact with other matter cells.
Before the simulation is started one places random cells on the graph paper, which mimic the random matter produced at the inflation of the big bang; also, one selects random laws, which mimic the random laws selected at the big bang. In this case, we randomly select laws and matter before the simulation starts, but in nature the laws and matter would be been randomly produced in the moment of the big bang. When we start the simulation, it mimics the big bang.
For this example, I'll use the laws, or rules, selected by John Conway, which are:
1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies, as if caused by under-population.
2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation.
3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies, as if by overcrowding.
4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.
These are the laws Conway selected, but there are many combinations of laws that can be selected. In this picture we see Conway's laws represented by 2 and 3 being selected on “Survivals” and 3 being selected on “Births.” Each combination of randomly selected laws will produce different effects upon the play between laws and matter. - Notice at the bottom, it gives the option of selecting random rules, and sometimes Conway's will result from that random selection. Some combinations won't produce any working systems, whereas others, like Conway's, surprisingly produce machinery of fair complexity. - This mimics many big bangs, some of which produce working systems, according to their laws, and many others that cannot.
It just so happens that Conway's four laws can produce complexity. Here's some of the interesting systems which are produced once Conway's big bang is simulated by pressing “Start.”Gliders
Here are gliders, which are quite common, and able to move across space, until other matter interrupts them.Glider Breeder
Here's a system which remains stable and breeds gliders.Pulsar
Here's a pulsar, which reminds me of a sun like system.Large Breeder
Here's a large system of glider breeders.
These systems seem to be designed by intelligence and driven by purpose, but this play is merely obeying its inherent nature of laws. Someone may say, “But this simulation was intelligently designed.” Yes, but remember, it mimics the random setting of laws and distribution of matter at a big bang. - Someone else may ask, “For this to be random you may need many big bangs.” - Right. And just as there are billions of planets not in the right place for life, many universes may not have laws in the right place to bring about the potentiality for life.
Men have often believed because man can thoughtfully create complex systems, this universe must be a system created by thoughtful intelligence. But ask yourself questions, like, “If I had the ability to create complex systems, would I create billions of planets, which are not able to bear life?” I question if anyone would, and this may hint at there being billions of universes with laws not able to bring about life. This seems to put into question thoughtful design.
One may ask, “How does Darwinian evolution, in all its complexity, arise out of a universe without thoughtful design? Look at the inner workings of the cell, with all its complexity.” The cell is highly complex, from our views of complexity, but let's look at a system which arises out of Conway's simulation. Here you see a system which appears to have purpose and thoughtfully constructed, but it arose from simple random laws, which brought about complexity over time, from the simple to the complex.Better example in video!
We observe within nature that all things arise from the simple and become complex over time. Our ability to thoughtfully reason came about over billions of years of evolution, from the simple to the complex. The ability to thoughtfully design seems to be a mechanism which arose out of billions of years of evolution. But some say a god thoughtfully designed this universe and has always had the ability to thoughtfully design things. This goes against our knowledge of how reality works. From our observation and testing we find systems arise from the simple and gain in complexity over time, even the complex ability to thoughtfully design.
Which makes more sense, an infinitely complex god that always was, or a simple source which grows into ever increasingly complex forms over time, according to its eternal nature? Something, according to our reasoning, must be eternal, religion says its a causeless complex being, science points to a causeless simple being.
This simple being that science points to would be the vacuum. The vacuum is an eternal sea of roaring energy, which fluctuates according to its nature. From this arises simple particles, called virtual particles; these particles pop into existence for a fraction of a second before they annihilate. They come into being in two parts, +1 positive energy and -1 negative energy, when these two parts come together they annihilate. They pop in and out of existence so quickly they are called virtual particles, as opposed to real particles.
Fluctuations within the vacuum can cause an inflation, which is a big bang. This inflation produces gravitational force, which keeps massive amounts of positive and negative energy apart, which keeps it from completely annihilating. Gravity is what causes the virtual to remain in existence long enough to be considered real. This is why you have something rather than nothing in a Universe that equals zero.
The complexity of the universe is amazing. But just because we don't understand all its workings, at this time, doesn't mean an invisible thoughtful designer is behind it. The more we learn, by science, the more we see there's no need to fill the gaps of our knowledge with a thoughtful designer; and the more we see how everything complex has a most simple origin.
It could be that an intelligent mind extracts from nature, according to its intelligence, and by this sees intelligence within the extraction, thereby tricking itself. Bound by its natural faculties it sees everything as in a mirror, seeing intelligence inwardly and outwardly; seeing thoughtful design even in the thoughtless processes of nature. To such a mind everything is intelligently designed, for our faculties of extraction are intelligent and shape our world within that intelligence; and by that intelligence we measure and quantify everything.
Here's a video I made that has more picture examples. Forgive the fake accent.Universe Without Design