I've taken a read through Edward Feser's blog post about understanding the universe,
and I must say I'm not impressed.
From that page:
It is very hard to affirm either [the world is thoroughly intelligible
in itself and thoroughly intelligible to us] or [the world is
thoroughly intelligible in itself but only partially intelligible to
us] without committing oneself either to classical theism or
pantheism. For once it is conceded that the world is at least in
itself completely intelligible, it is hard to see how this could be so
unless the most fundamental level of reality is something absolutely
necessary... However one elaborates on the nature of this ultimate
reality, it is not going to be identifiable with any “fundamental laws
of nature” (which are contingent, and the operation of which involves
the transition from potentiality to actuality within a universe of
things that are in various ways composite). One might still at this
point dispute whether the ultimate reality is best described in terms
of the theology of classical theism or instead in terms of some
pantheistic theology. But one will definitely be in the realm of
theology – rational theology, natural theology – rather than empirical
This really makes his argument one of definition. He's free to define
"the universe" or some such thing as "pantheism", but this is merely
definitional, and interesting only to apologists. ;). His argument is
not conclusive, it's merely bad poetry.
This would be bad enough (I like good poetry, after all), but then he
concludes that even UNDERSTANDING this is only within the realm of
theology, and not empirical science. This is total bollocks. He is
committing a logical fallacy of equivocation. He defines "the
universe" as "pantheism", and therefore because pantheism is
understandable only by theology, then the universe is only
understandable by theology. It's not convincing, it's a textbook
example of a fallacy in thinking.
in science we have a peer review process. Feser's argument above would
not pass it.