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One of the reasons I am an agnostic rather than an atheist is a lingering sense of the remote possibility of Deism; not so much from a theological aspect, but from a lifetime of exposure to science fiction. I cannot set aside the possibility, however small, that creation of the universe was a deliberate act by an intelligent being. Not necessarily a traditional deity, but perhaps by a mad scientist (or maybe even a sane one.)
Andrei Linde, a renowned physicist at Stanford who predicted the exact pattern of background radiation resulting from the Big Bang has stated:
"When I invented chaotic inflation theory, I found that the only thing you need to get a universe like ours started is a hundred-thousandth gram of matter. That's enough to create a small chunk of vacuum that blows up into the billions and billions of galaxies we see around us. It looks like cheating, but that's how the inflation theory works - all the matter in the universe gets created from the negative effects of the gravitational field."
"What my theoretical argument shows - and Alan Guth and others who have looked at this matter have come to the same conclusion - is that we cannot rule out the possibility that our own universe was created in a lab by someone in another universe who just felt like doing it."
So if our own universe is just the result of a lab experiment, then where did that meta-universe in which the lab exists come from? Another mad scientist? Is it just mad scientists, mad scientists all the way down?
Or perhaps, in the not too distant future one of our own scientists will create a universe in yet another lab experiment - and that universe will go rushing off on its own angle of time and in its distant future one of that universe's scientists will undertake the experiment that gives rise to ours.
- Slate: The Big Lab Experiment, by Jim Holt 19 May 2004
- Globe and Mail: Social Studies, by Michael Kesterton 27 May 2004