Greg Egan writes,
I wish we had a good word in English that meant only â€œthe shattering majesty of realityâ€, so atheists could make it abundantly clear that theyâ€™re aware of this majesty, but donâ€™t imagine that itâ€™s due to anything that resembles a person in any way. But what atheists absolutely should not do is say â€œWell, Iâ€™m going to use the word â€˜Godâ€™ to mean â€˜the awesomeness of the universeâ€™â€. This is helpful for selling lots of tenth-rate pop-science books with â€œGodâ€ in their titles, and for winning the Templeton prize, but even when itâ€™s not plain venal and dishonest itâ€™s linguistically sloppy.
This is why I describe quantum mechanics as Loki playing dice with the Universe. Come on, Loki may be subtle, but heâ€™s not malicious, right?
We can take this one step further. There is a model of the early Universe called string gas cosmology, in which the reason why the Cosmos has three dimensions is essentially the same as the reason why knots can exist in three dimensions but not more or less. (In 2D, there’s not enough “room” for a string to overlap itself, and in 4D or higher, there’s too much room, and a knotted loop can always “slip free”, returning to a simple circle.) I wonder if the Templeton Foundation will pay me for declaring that the Cosmos is the way it is because Aphrodite likes to get tied up in knots?
(Hah! And you thought I was going to quote a passage from Quarantine, didn’t you?)