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The reason that the details of the Standard Model of Particle Physics are accepted as good explanations for quantum phenomena is because these explanations are plausible, they are extremely testable, they have strong consistency with background knowledge, they come from a tradition (natural science) with great explanatory success, they are relatively simple, they offer much predictive novelty, and they have strong explanatory scope.

It doesn’t that we have no explanation whatsoever for the explanations themselves. Ludwig Boltzmann explained heat by positing tiny, unobserved particles (which we now call atoms).

We would need to have an explanation of the explanation, and an explanation of the explanation of the explanation, and an explanation of the explanation of the explanation of the explanation… And thus, we would never be able to explain Moreover, this is not how science works. In order to explain certain quantum phenomena, scientists have posited the existence of dozens of invisible particles with very particular properties that yield predictable results.

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A drought may explain a poor crop, even if we don’t understand why there was a drought; I understand why you didn’t come to the party if you explain you had a bad headache, even if I have no idea why you had a headache; the big bang explains the background radiation, even if the big bang is itself inexplicable, and so on…

…the [why-regress] argument brings out the important facts that explanations can be chained, and that what explains need not itself be understood…

:) Here’s atheist philosopher of science Peter Lipton: The why-regress is a feature of the logic of explanation that many of us discovered as children, to our parents’ cost.

I vividly recall the moment it dawned on me that, whatever my mother’s answer to my latest why-question, I could simply retort by asking ‘Why?

’ of the answer itself, until my mother ran out of answers or patience…

[But] explanations need not themselves be understood.

the problem with offering “God did it” as an explanation.

The problem with offering “God did it” as an explanation is that such an explanation has low plausibility, is not testable, has poor consistency with background knowledge, comes from a tradition (supernaturalism) with extreme explanatory failure, lacks simplicity, offers no predictive novelty, and has poor explanatory scope.

A theory of heat that posits the existence of tiny particles leads to a search for those particles; a theory of heat based on God’s emanations leads nowhere. I agree that “God did it” is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad “explanation” for complexity or, well, pretty much anything. But it does not fail merely because the theist has no explanation for his explanation (God).

That is not the problem with offering “God did it” as an explanation.

Even for an infinite intellect, regresses of such explanations must end.

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