Paul Davies authored Taking Science on Faith an opinion piece in the New York Times. He asks some questions about laws of physics at the end of this paragraph:
The most refined expression of the rational intelligibility of the cosmos is found in the laws of physics, the fundamental rules on which nature runs. The laws of gravitation and electromagnetism, the laws that regulate the world within the atom, the laws of motion "” all are expressed as tidy mathematical relationships. But where do these laws come from? And why do they have the form that they do?
Davies next notes an attitude shift and the dependence of life on a limited range of mathematical values. We live in a universe that accomodates life; a most convenient condition.
Although scientists have long had an inclination to shrug aside such questions concerning the source of the laws of physics, the mood has now shifted considerably. Part of the reason is the growing acceptance that the emergence of life in the universe, and hence the existence of observers like ourselves, depends rather sensitively on the form of the laws. If the laws of physics were just any old ragbag of rules, life would almost certainly not exist.
A second reason that the laws of physics have now been brought within the scope of scientific inquiry is the realization that what we long regarded as absolute and universal laws might not be truly fundamental at all, but more like local bylaws. They could vary from place to place on a mega-cosmic scale. A God's-eye view might reveal a vast patchwork quilt of universes, each with its own distinctive set of bylaws. In this "multiverse," life will arise only in those patches with bio-friendly bylaws, so it is no surprise that we find ourselves in a Goldilocks universe "” one that is just right for life. We have selected it by our very existence.
Davies also takes note of a growing appreciation for the existence of something outside our own universe and the failure of science to "provide a complete account of physical existence." The history of the idea of physical laws is traced back to theological concepts held by Newton.
Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith "” namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.
This shared failing is no surprise, because the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.
Davies's editorial ends on a note that anti-theists find most discordant.
But until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.