Over at Telic Thoughts, they’re discussing a paper of mine that I’m quite proud of, “Design Inferences in an Infinite Universe”. I’ve discussed this paper before on my blog, here and here

One line of critique at Telic Thoughts is that I haven’t established that the universe is spatially infinite. As I tried to make clear in my paper, that’s not my goal; I’m just taking up the conditional issue: if we came to believe that the universe is spatially infinite, what consequences would that have for our inferences to design? However, I do say:

While this isn’t strictly speaking necessary for my argument, it’s worth pointing out that the best current evidence from physics suggests that the universe is spatially infinite.

and then I briefly present some evidence (which, I’ll be the first to admit, isn’t conclusive). 

This has led someone to wonder how the universe being spatially infinite is compatible with there being a big bang. I address this point in my forthcoming book, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design, so I’m just going to copy-and-paste from my book. 

Because there is frequent ignorance of this point, it’s worth noting that the big bang hypothesis does not include the hypothesis that the universe started out very small, and has been expanding ever since. This is one possibility for how our universe has evolved, but another possibility is that the universe is spatially infinite, and has been spatially infinite ever since the big bang (assuming that the big bang hypothesis is true). In fact the latest empirical evidence suggests that the universe is spatially infinite.

And here’s the footnote:

 See C. L. Bennett, et al. (2003), “First-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Preliminary Maps and Basic Results,” Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 148: 1-27, and D. N. Spergel, et al. (2003), “First-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Determination of Cosmological Parameters,” Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 148: 175-94. See also “Is the Universe Infinite?” at http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_shape.html, archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5bnkjQefh.

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