There is a small but growing number of top people who are at least open-minded to the idea that this Universe is the product of purpose, rather than a completely random and arbitrary process, and a number of them have no religious affiliation, some are agnostic, some are atheists, some are religious.
"The future is here now"Some clever person said that "The future is here now, it's just not widely published" meaning that in any age there are those people who have such a vision of reality that they can accurately tell us what the world will be like years ahead of that actuality. They are years ahead of their time. Those people at the top of their game see things that the general population will take years to appreciate because the tide of opinion is so slow to turn. Such is the slow progress of understanding from the cutting edge of science to the grassroots level such as myself and the general population. Sometimes it takes years for genuine scientific knowledge to filter down to the ordinary person of the street, because the ruling paradigms have such a grip on the imagination of the people. While this is true as a generality, it doesn't therefore necessarily follow that we cannot take a look into their world, if we know where to look.
Robert Jastrow 1925 –2008) was an American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist. He was a leading NASA scientist, populist author and futurist.
Although he was not a believer, but rather an agnostic, in an interview with Christianity Today, Jastrow said:
"Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner
because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began
abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of
every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the
earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of
forces they cannot hope to discover. That there are what I or anyone
would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a
scientifically proven fact."
He went on to say:
There is a kind of religion in science; it is the religion of a
person who believes there is order and harmony in the Universe. Every
event can be explained in a rational way as the product of some
previous event; every effect must have its cause, there is no First
Cause. … This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the
discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the
known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or
circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has
lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be
"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 mountain 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." —Robert Jastrow, The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe, (1981), p. 19.
To be fair to scientists, not all of them are physicalists, to some this comes as no surprise.
Roger Penrose is just one such scientist who has worked with perhaps the worlds best known scientist, Stepen Hawkings.
Sir Roger Penrose calls string theory a "fashion," quantum mechanics "faith," and cosmic inflation a "fantasy." Coming from an armchair theorist, these declarations might be dismissed. But Penrose is a well-respected physicist who co-authored a seminal paper on black holes with Stephen Hawking. He argues that known laws of physics are inadequate to explain the phenomenon of consciousness. Penrose does not hold to any religious doctrine, and refers to himself as an atheist. In the film A Brief History of Time, he said:
"I think I would say that the universe has a purpose, it's not somehow
just there by chance ... some people, I think, take the view that the
universe is just there and it runs along – it's a bit like it just
sort of computes, and we happen somehow by accident to find ourselves
in this thing. But I don't think that's a very fruitful or helpful way
of looking at the universe, I think that there is something much
deeper about it."
You don't have to be a religious fundamentalist to acknowledge that this Universe has more mystery in it than can be explained by a purely materialistic view of reality. I say religious fundamentalism because this is the accusation levelled at people who simply have a "blind faith" and therefore evidence to them is neither necessary or desirable, they just believe. The thing is that this description fits many atheists as well as some religious people. Some people will not admit the idea of intelligent design as a matter of personal bias.
As Penrose shows, (although an atheist) in the light of saying the Universe has "purpose" it is not at all unreasonable to posit a supreme being. Admitting purpose, is an admission of intentionality, and intentionality is perfectly consistent with, and implies personality and will. So as a logical progression, the atheist Penrose- in observing the Universe has purpose- has tacitly implied at least that the Universe bears the stamp of intention and design. Even the atheist fundamentalist Richard Dawkins says organisms certainly "look" like they are designed. Well what if they are?
The real agenda of atheist fundamentalism is to shut down discussion rather than get into the debate. It sort of reminds me something which the famous statesment Ghandi wrote: