“Heraclitus somewhere says that all things are in process and nothing stays still, and likening existing things to the stream of a river he says that you would not step twice into the same river. – Plato, Cratylus (402a)1

Last time we began our examination of early Greek descriptions of ultimate reality with the thoughts of Pythagoras and his followers, who propose numerical harmony and mathematics as fundamental. Today we move on to the fragmentary materials available by one of history’s most fascinating and obscure philosophers, Heraclitus (circa 500 BCE). His metaphysics comes down to the following ideas: fire, flux, logos, strife, and the unity of opposites. At the most basic level, “all things are constituted from fire and resolve into fire.”2 By this he means that “Fire is an element, and all things are in exchange for fire coming about by rarefaction and condensation.”3

Fire also reflects the second idea, flux, or the continual, if gradually, changing nature of everything in the universe. However this change is not random, but measured and guided by logos, an ill-defined term meaning “both discourse and contents, both the truth about things and the principle on which they function.” Perhaps the closest English modern word is formula, though it is important to recognize its physicality in the word fire.4 This flux and logos is embodied in strife among opposites that ultimately form a unity. These opposites fall into four overlapping categories: (1) logical – for example the same road leads up and down or the place of a point at the beginning and end of a circle, (2) fundamental – sea water is sustaining to fish, but poisonous to humans, (3) perceptual – for example; health and disease or hunger and satiety, and (4) connective – as in a harmony of notes. A balance of the constituent opposites provides for the continuation of strife that underlies the flux and generates the world.

One consequence of Heraclitus’ metaphysics is his belief that there are souls, possibly in everything, and that they are guided by the logos. In place of immortality, an afterlife, or metempsychosis he notes life and death as opposites are, in fact, alternate states of the same phenomena and somehow continuous5 much like night and day. Another consequence is a kind of divinity arising from the uniting of the opposites, although on God he is obscure: “referring to ‘the one wise thing’ which ‘is willing and unwilling to be called Zeus,’ he doubtlessly means that Fire or Logos is supreme but lacks the personal attributes attached to Zeus in cult and myth.”6 Last for Heraclitus, like Pythagoras, the universe is limited in extent, but cycles indefinitely.

As in the case of Pythagoras, much of Heraclitus is mirrored in modern interpretations of ultimate reality. His fire may be Einstein’s energy interchangeable with matter or even the folded strings of energy postulated in superstring theory. His flux becomes our entropy, his strife of opposites our positive and negative matter, and his logos our physical laws. His view of life and death equates to our recycling of matter and energy and his idea of soul is not unlike recent theories of panpsychism. The philosophy of Heraclitus is also quite similar to that of Laozi where logos becomes Tao and the identity of opposites is also highlighted. All in all, we cannot help but be amazed by the sophistication and mystic truth reflected in his thinking.


1Allen, Reginald E., Greek Philosophy: Thales to Aristotle. The Free Press, New York, NY, 1966. Page 42.

2Barnes, Jonathan, Early Greek Philosophy. Penguin Books, London, England, 2001. Page 54.


4Edwards, Paul (editor), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. & The Free Press, 1972.   Volume 3, page 477.

5Ibid., page 479.

6Ibid., page 480.


“Nay, by him that gave to our generation the tetractys, which contains the fount and root of eternal nature.” – Aetius, I, 3, 8 (Pythagorean oath)1

We return now to the three approaches to ultimate reality – scientific, philosophical, and theological. We have already examined in detail the scientific perspective which we found distilled down to an intersection of the very small – that is what makes up the substances of the universe – and the incomprehensibly large – that is the entirety of the cosmos including its structural, dynamic, and transcendental features. I ended on the following comment:

If we assemble all of the pieces into a single understanding of ultimate reality we are left with not only awe of the physical, but a near mystical understanding of existence that has been “sensed” by the great thinkers and the great spiritualists in human history. Perhaps they were never far off the mark, only limited by vocabulary and knowledge needed to fully express it.”

Today we pick up that thread with the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers starting with Pythagoras. Of course we have no record written by the great Master himself, rather the extracts by later philosophers of the texts of his followers. Diogenes Laertius credits him as the originator of both the word philosophia and kosmos, but his concept of ultimate reality appears to be numbers and mathematics. Numbers are in fact things to Pythagoras endowed with mystical significance; for example, justice is identified with the number 4. Proclus tells us Pythagoras sought his “first principles in a higher realm of reality” when creating his geometrical philosophy.2

The Pythagoreans “saw simply the ultimate, single, nature (physis) of things in their mathematical structure.”3 One number of particular importance is 10, the very essence of number as it represents the sum of the tetrad – 1+2+3+4. In physical space 1 represents a point, 2 a line, 3 a triangle, and 4 a pyramid; thus encompassing the dimensions of space and the principles of all things.4

In the view of Pythagoras, the universe is endless (a-teles) in time providing for a Nietzsche-like ‘eternal recurrence’5 but limited (peras) in space while ordered by a mathematically-derived harmonia. As such there is a kinship and unity of life culminating in transmigration of eternal souls. Beauty is also inherent in mathematical order as seen in the numerical harmony of musical notes. As eternal, the universe is divine, and likewise, man is a fragment of the divine.6

Modern science confirms some of the teachings of Pythagoras. Mathematics is vital to physics, particularly for its more speculative assertions which often can be explained only in mathematical terms. While modern science states the universe had a beginning in the Big Bang, a multiverse might not, and in any case it remains unclear that the universe has an end. Pythagoras appears to have been correct that the universe is limited in size (even if we cannot be sure in the case of a multiverse). However, scientists would surely balk at the idea that numbers have a reality outside human construction, although there is room for debate here. In a sense Pythagoras remains the most modern of all the ancient philosophers, and no scholarship to date entirely confutes his beliefs.


1Allen, Reginald E., Greek Philosophy: Thales to Aristotle. The Free Press, New York, NY, 1966. Page 38.

2Ibid., page 37.

3Edwards, Paul (editor), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. & The Free Press, 1972.   Volume 7, page 38.

4Allen, Reginald E., Greek Philosophy: Thales to Aristotle. The Free Press, New York, NY, 1966. Page 39.

5Barnes, Jonathan, Early Greek Philosophy. Penguin Books, London, England, 2001. Page 35.

6Edwards, Paul (editor), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. & The Free Press, 1972.   Volume 7, page 37-39.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE (final continuation)

In the last ten posts I have diverted from the ongoing manuscript presented on this site in order to read and précis Sean Carroll’s luminous book, The Big Picture, where he recasts the physicalist perspective of reality in his expression, poetic naturalism. Today I wish to offer some comments which must be sparse given my heretofore wordiness.

I should start by admitting, as most people who follow the site surely have noticed, that I come closer to the physicalist view than virtually any other perspective, and certainly closer than most forms of theism or religion. Still I think Carroll and I disagree on our key approach to philosophy. I see reality phenomenologically as layered into internal, proximate, social, scientific, and ultimate where he promotes a single physical reality with different ways of talking about it relative to the perspective adopted. While I am no solipsist, it seems to me that the most undeniable reality is the self, followed by the proximate. Scientific descriptions of matter and the universe are far less tangible, certain, or germane than my own existence and the nature of the immediate world around me. Science offers valuable insights into the working of the world and opportunities for its manipulation, but little of use in the conduct of life and its meaning. For example, proving (or granting) human finitude by itself is neither profound nor serviceable.

At times Carroll seems to get caught in classic physicalist traps. On the one hand he argues logic does not permit us to impose a reason for the universe to be the way it is, while on the other, he thinks the universe is amazingly intelligible. He asserts determinism – all states of the universe are entirely explainable based on prior states (an assertion that can never be proven since no one can know any state in its entirety) – but then concedes quantum uncertainty and the unpredictability of emergent features. He admits it is not clear that if we mapped all the neurons of the brain we would have a ‘mind,’ but then works with that assumption as given. He denies we have free will based on flimsy science, but struggles to explain how we make decisions and have responsibility while totally avoiding the fact that free will is readily apparent to everyone, likely even himself. He never takes on whether the construction of an entity with all of the same atoms or elementary particles in the same configuration as a person would create a living duplicate.

There’s more…no explanation of human creativity, no discussion on whether the number 2 is instantiated in reality or is a pure human construct, whether justice is a part of reality or whether there is an absolute meaning of the words good and evil. Like most physicalists, he believes we should not harm innocent animals or torture babies, but can’t accept ethics of this kind as fundamental principles of reality since he cannot explain them scientifically. He never discusses spirituality or mystical experiences. Over the course of the book, the term poetic naturalism begins to feel more and more like a wastebasket response to everything physics and science cannot process.

Carroll’s later chapters deal with philosophical issues, but his points are mostly repetitions of common ethical principles or speculations entirely removed from his ultimate reality, Core Theory. Most if not all of his views require no knowledge of modern physics at all. Like most physicalists, he is an atheist (without ever defining God) and a humanist (without fully considering the negatives of humanism for other living creatures, the Earth, or the cosmos). Nonetheless, I appreciate his clarifications on physics and admire his contribution to the philosophical dialectic. His reformulation of the physicalist perspective is fresh and innovative. The Big Picture is an excellent text for people new to the discussion or who are perplexed by the dichotomy between modern science and philosophy, and offers great reading for all of us.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE (ninth continuation)

The last two chapters of Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture are almost wistful summaries of his personal philosophy and philosophical experience based on a physicalist perspective of the universe. The penultimate chapter, Listening to the World, lists his ‘Ten Considerations’ as alternatives to the Ten Commandments; 23

  1. Life Isn’t Forever.
  2. Desire Is Built into Life. (“Life is characterized by motion and change…”)
  3. What Matters Is What Matters to People.
  4. We Can Always Do Better.
  5. It Pays to Listen. (He includes ancient thinkers in this).
  6. There Is No Natural Way to Be.
  7. It Takes All Kinds. (There is no single way to live).
  8. The Universe Is in Our Hands. (We can choose what to do with our special abilities as a species).
  9. We Can Do Better Than Happiness. (“Wouldn’t you rather have a good story to tell?”)
  10. Reality Guides Us. (Meaning not Nature, but the truths of science, and not the illusions of opinion or dogma).

Carroll’s final chapter, Existential Therapy, rehearses his life first as a Christian believer and later as a scientist/atheist. On his journey he was, unlike Camus (but like Einstein), impressed by the intelligibility of the universe and in time came to a ‘cheerful’ naturalism once he recognized that the remaining mysteries of the cosmos are not unsolvable. In his opinion, “The universe is not a miracle. It simply is, unguided and unsustained, manifesting the patterns of nature with scrupulous regularity… We are the miracle, we human beings. Not a break-the-laws-of-physics kind of miracle, a miracle in that it is wondrous and amazing how such a complex, aware, creative caring creatures could have arisen in perfect accordance with those laws.”24

Carroll closes by noting that poetic naturalism is “a rich and rewarding way to apprehend the world, but it’s a philosophy that calls for a bit of fortitude.”25 However we can choose to not to drift in a ‘purposeless’ cosmos aware of our finitude. Like Camus’ Sisyphus, we can find meaning in the tasks we choose and ultimately find ways of “mattering for ourselves and those around us in the brief amount of time we have in the world.”26

(final continuation next post)


23Carroll, Sean, The Big Picture. Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-052595- 482-8, pages 419-427.

24 Ibid., page 431. Carroll’s quote is nearly the opposite of the one by Professor Daniel Robinson in Synopsis on the Question of God (Cont’d), dated 3/27/2019 on this site.


26Ibid., page 433.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE – (eighth continuation)

Carroll gets to the subject of free will by noting the poetic naturalist views “wants” or “beliefs” as fitting the human level of talking about the world, but not that of elementary particles. To the physicist, if one is given a precise quantum state, the next state is entirely predictable; i.e. determinism is instantiated in physical reality. The error of the free will proponent, he argues, is mixing the human level concept of “choice” or ‘volition” with the subatomic level idea of a change in quantum states. The word “choice” (like the word “cause”) makes sense at the human level because of the arrow of time; that is, our lack of knowledge of the future. However, the concept of human agency (free agency?) introduces an element of indeterminacy into the universe which is not compatible with the Core Theory, hence is invalid. He follows this up with several of the classic neuroscientific studies that discourage the credibility that we make decisions before the brain acts. Perhaps inconsistently but understandably, Carroll still feels “blame” and “responsibility” are reasonable at the human level since they fit that level of understanding even if they are incompatible with the quantum or the cellular level of understanding.

The final section called Caring begins with a chapter titled Three Billion Heartbeats (an average human lifespan) where he reiterates our mortality and the limits of the purpose of our existence. The quest for the good life, for meaning, and for a framework of morality are not found in the realm of science, but in ourselves. Poetic naturalism rejects a teleological inclination built into the universe and views “meaning in the same way we view other concepts that human beings invent to talk about the universe.”21 While there is no standard by which we are guided; what can be said is that we evolved to care about the world, that consciousness emerged allowing learning and self-reflection, and that meaning comes from real life.

Carroll then spends three chapters on ethics reminding us science can tells us what is, we can never determine what ought to be from what is. Most of his discussion is a painfully brief summary of the field of ethics. His particular points include:

(1) Ethical arguments invariably use unsound logic to attempt to convert what is to what ought to be.

(2) Nature and the universe do not pass moral judgments: morality is a human construct.

(3) Our system of ethics should be based on improving the well-being of conscious creatures.

(4) Utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics each involve unsolvable problems.

He concludes with the following: “Poetic naturalism doesn’t tell us how to behave, but it warns us away from the false complacency associated with the conviction that our morals are objectively the best. Our lives are changing in unpredictable ways; we need to be able to make judgements with clear eyes and an accurate picture of how the world operates. We don’t need an immovable place to stand; we need to make our peace with a universe that doesn’t care what we do and take pride in the fact that we care anyway.”22

(ninth continuation next post)


21Carroll, Sean, The Big Picture. Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-052595- 482-8, page 390.

22Ibid., page 418.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE (seventh continuation)

Carroll continues the physicalist argument into consciousness which he argues is more reasonably explained within the Core Theory than outside it. He compares the working of the human brain to a computer deploying dual process theory for mentation where System 1 is the subconscious and System 2 is the conscious, a concept he sees hinted at in Plato’s three-part personality.  The hallmark of consciousness is the ‘inner mental experience’ which he believes evolved to accommodate the land-based animal’s need to plan. Nonetheless thought in the brain simply corresponds to charged particles hopping between neurons which make up a network structure or connectome. This structure is hierarchal and in the words of the mathematician a “small world network.”

Carroll admits it is not clear that if we mapped all the neurons of brain we would have a ‘mind,’ but he scoffs at the idea of the brain as similar to a radio receiver of a non-material soul or mind as damage to the brain can result in remarkable changes in personality. As an example he refers to the Capgras delusion where a person with a particular type of brain injury recognizes other people but no longer experiences their previous emotional connection to them.

From there he expands on the problem of understanding consciousness by discussing the Turing Test, the Chinese Room, and solipsism. He concludes the poetic naturalist does not see consciousness as “a fundamental kind of stuff…like searching for the virus that causes a known disease… the concepts of ‘consciousness’ and ‘understanding’ are ones that we invent in order to give ourselves more useful and efficient descriptions of the world.”19  Nonetheless he addresses the Hard Problem – that is explaining qualia or our subjective experiences of the world such as the color red.  He takes on the classic knowledge argument of a scientist who knows everything about the meaning of a word such as red but has never seen something red and then goes on to experience it where some philosophers argue the experience itself adds new information for the scientist. Carroll thinks this takes nothing from the physicalist position as different synapses are involved in the two apprehensions of the color red (knowledge and vision).

I will bypass his discussion of the zombies argument and of quantum consciousness, but would like tto examine his discussion of panpsychism. He considers whether mental states might be another degree of freedom like charge or spin? Carroll thinks this is contradicted by the known science of Core Theory where the number of degrees of freedom are already known for elementary particles. However if we assume such mental states have no effect on the physics of particles, then the world is already fully described without them. Moreover a Bayesian analysis makes panpsychism untenable as “consciousness seems to be an intrinsically collective phenomenon.” 20

(eighth continuation next post)


19Carroll, Sean, The Big Picture. Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-052595- 482-8, page 343.

20Ibid., page 365.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE (sixth continuation)

Having clarified his position as entirely physicalist, Carroll next feels the need to explain the illusions of human experience that are confused as immaterial, in need of a clear cause, or simply inexplicable by physics alone. He introduces the concept of complexity as the origin of emergent phenomena such as life and consciousness and as the physicalist’s alternative to teleology. He counters arguments that entropy is incompatible with increased complexity, specifically stating the appearance of life is explained in two parts – “entropy and emergence.”14. Nonetheless entropy will eventually unravel the complexity of ‘life’ itself making it ultimately finite. “That’s us. Ephemeral patterns of complexity, riding a wave of increasing entropy from simple beginnings to a simple end. We should enjoy the ride.”15

In subsequent chapters he goes on the define life for the physicist in the words of Erwin Schrodinger as matter that, “goes on ‘doing something,’ exchanging material with its environment, and so forth, and that for a much longer period than we would expect of an inanimate piece of matter to ‘keep going’ under similar circumstances.”16 This process depends on ‘free energy’ which for most life means the sun. He even visits the subject of the original appearance of life, abiogenesis, considering several commonly argued but admittedly still speculative mechanisms. After this he more comfortably discusses evidence for evolution and how it works.

This brings him to purpose, a word he thinks is a useful way of talking for the poetic naturalist, but utterly arbitrary in the physical world. Ideas like purpose and adaptation are not “found in the underlying mechanistic behavior of reality,”17 but intrinsically purposeless processes can lead to the existence of purpose (e.g. the length of the giraffe’s neck). In short, purpose is simply a “useful concept when developing an effective theory of this part of reality in the particular domain of applicability.”18

Last, in a beautifully titled chapter, Are We the Point?, he considers a Bayesian or credence based debate on life and the universe as spontaneous and explained by physical laws alone versus by a divine creator. He discounts the fine tuning argument for the latter position with an appeal to three rebuttals: (1) we don’t really know why the key numbers exist that make life possible, nor whether some kind of life might exist if these numbers were different, (2) there may be many areas in the universe where inflation leads to variations in physical laws, and (3) there may be a multiverse. The anthropic principle – that we can only exist in one such area of space or one such universe to ask the question – makes any of these more reasonable explanations than the positing of God. In addition a Bayesian analysis of God’s designing the universe leads to an expectation of a universe very different than the one we find ourselves in (for example with more locally habitable planets).

(seventh continuation next post)


14Carroll, Sean, The Big Picture. Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-052595- 482-8, page 227.

15Ibid., page 236.

16bid., page 239.

17Ibid, page 293.


CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE – (fifth continuation)

Carroll continues by discussing additional issues regarding the Core Theory and Quantum Field Theory such as crossing symmetry, Feynman diagrams, the place of dark matter, and so forth which I will skip over. He concedes there may be some unknowns, but we can be sure that the current model includes all the features that concern us at the macroscopic level – what he calls effective field theory. For sure there is a need to explain emergent phenomena, but any explanation will have to be compatible with the Core Theory.

He then moves on to the theoretical question as to why the universe exists. First he believes the universe may be a brute fact that does not require an explanation. The poetic naturalist rejects the idea of necessity or necessary existence when it comes to the universe, rather one must lay out the possibilities and assess the credences. The universe may be eternal or time may be emergent depending on different Schrodinger equations. An unchanging universe is possible if we picture it as stacked classical worlds based on different quantum outcomes as hypothesized by Steven Hawking and James Hartle’s quantum cosmology. Alternatively the universe may have a beginning which is not to suggest a prior state of nothingness followed by a transforming event, but rather a moment of time before which there were no moments, and considered possible buy physicists if composed of an equal balance of positive and negative components that zero each other out.

He next examines the body/soul problem and immortality. He believes metaphysical dualism is not tenable since no one has been able to explain how the non-physical would be able to interact with the physical or how it can be compatible with conservation of energy. “To a poetic naturalist, ‘mind’ is simply  a way of talking about the behavior of certain collections of matter…”13 Carroll thinks ‘soul theory’ is unsound as any consideration would require specifics that work within Core Theory and these are not forthcoming. Consequently there is no basis to justify belief in life after death. Furthermore all empirical arguments for an afterlife, such as near death experiences, do not hold up to scientific scrutiny. Despite how it may feel to us, life itself is not a force unexplained by the Core Theory, but rather a process that emerges from particular configurations of matter and which ceases at death.

(sixth continuation next post)


13Carroll, Sean, The Big Picture. Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-052595- 482-8, page 210.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE (fourth continuation)

Having now dealt with the conceptual framework of poetic naturalism, epistemology, coherentism, and the question of God’s existence, Carroll moves on to the nature of reality in Part 3 which he titles Essence. I will try to move more quickly as to some extent he presents the picture of reality from the standpoint of physics which I already discussed on this site. 9 He explains in some detail the development of the Core Theory and proposes it as well established and unlikely to ever by controverted.

First he asserts that the world is simply a wave function… “full stop” to use his words. There is only the one wave function of the universe we observe and inhabit and we too are described by this wave function. The wave function doesn’t collapse into one possibility, but evolves smoothly into an entangled superposition, each collapse leading to a different universe – a theory known as the many worlds interpretation –literally a branching of the individual wave functions. While hard to accept, there simply is no other reasonable means to reconcile the principle of quantum uncertainty with observable reality.

He also tells us there are two key takeaways: (1) while we do not have a finished understanding, quantum mechanics at its basic level does not invalidate determinism, realism, or physicalism and (2) what we observe of the world is different than how we describe it. No future scientific discovery will eliminate the truth that “the world is just a quantum wave function. Everything else is just a convenient way of talking.”10

From there he vaults to the Core Theory or Quantum Field Theory – reality is fields from which particles and forces arise. Fields are not composed of anything, and the wave function of the universe is a superposition of all possible values of those fields. Fields can be of two types: (1) Bosons which can pile upon one another to create forces such as photons (creating electromagnetic forces) or gravitons (creating gravity), and (2) Fermions which cannot pile upon one another, but occupy space-time such as electrons and protons (or their subatomic particles). The Higgs field is responsible for giving matter to all particles. So ultimate reality is the world defined as a “quantum wave function …made of the fermion and boson fields of the Core Theory.”11 And “… the vast majority of life is gravity and electromagnetism pushing around electrons and nuclei” 12 According to Carroll this is the one and perhaps only story we can tell about reality that is definitely correct!

(fifth continuation next post)


9See posts titled Ultimate Reality and the Meaningful Life- Matter Parts I-IV published 10/24/22-11/15/22 and Teleology – Uncertainty Parts I-II published 11/20 and 11/22/20 on this site.

10Carroll, Sean, The Big Picture. Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016. ISBN 978-052595- 482-8, page 171.

11Ibid., page 176.

12Ibid., page 177.

CURRENT READING – THE BIG PICTURE (third continuation)

After his extensive discussion of the scientific view of coherentism and non-absolute truth, Carroll takes on the question of God. He begins by noting the variable understanding of the word God by different theists and religious traditions making any empirical analysis difficult at best. He then concedes that theism and atheism are about equally likely from the standpoint of mere logic as the existence of God is “explanatory” while the non-existence of God is “simpler.” To address the question he asks us to imagine how changes to reality would support or discount each theory, in effect, applying Bayesian probability to God’s existence.

For example, the absence of evil would be strong evidence for God but would dissuade atheism as a purely natural reality would be expected to entail varying impulses and circumstances including evil ones. In a world full of miracles, God would be more likely while in world without miracles, atheism would be more reasonable. In a world with demonstrable souls and afterlife, God would be more likely while the absence of evidence of them would argue for atheism. A world of religious texts consistently revealing scientific truths and with consistency between unrelated religions would be supportive of God while one with neither would diminish that likelihood. Given the world we live in, these points make atheism more credible.

On the other side, in a world where no one believed in or suggested the existence of God, the divine would be less likely. A world like ours but without life or consciousness would be more likely to support atheism. Other points such as the immensity of the cosmos or the emotional support and value of belief in God are for some supportive of the theory of God while for others, billions of galaxies are more natural in a spontaneous universe and divine oversight is unsettling, even alarming. At the end of the day, we must try to eliminate as much bias as possible and examine and understand the universe to the utmost in order to make sense empirically regarding the question of God’s existence which informs his subsequent chapters.

(fourth continuation next post)