Thursday, January 5, 2017

Has Multiverse Killed God? (The Christian Response To Multiverse)

            Multiverse posits the presence of infinite number of multiple universes with different physical laws from ours. Multiverse may have been a consequence of inflation that operated early in our universe or from quantum mechanical processes. But the undeniable fact remains that our universe is delicately fine-tuned.

Fine Tuning Of Our Universe

            In order to understand multiverse, we should understand the remarkably precise fine-tuning of our universe.

            In his book “The Brief History of Time,” scientist Stephen Hawking alludes to the fine-tuning of our universe, “"The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life ... For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium or else they would not have exploded.”

            Our universe cannot sustain life without the finely tuned laws and constants of physics and chemistry. For instance, the force of gravity is determined by the “Gravitational Constant” (G=6.673 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2). If this constant varied by just one in 1060 parts, life on earth would cease to exist.

            Similar fine-tuned precisions are observed in the fundamental constants and quantities of our universe. Scientists agree that a tiny alteration to any of these numbers would render life, stars, and planets to not exist.

            Christians and other theists believe that God architected the fine-tuning of our universe. This is the Fine-Tuning Argument - a modern variation of the “Teleological Argument.” 

Bring On The Multiverse

            But the naturalist or an atheist, who does not believe in God, counters the fine-tuning argument by arguing, “Our universe is just one of untold trillions of universes. Ours is just one of the lucky ones with the right parameters for life. True, we can't see or otherwise detect these other universes, but they must be out there because that solves the fine-tuning problem.”1

            Does the multiverse render God as non-existent, for if an infinite number of universes came into existence by chance, and if the fine-tuned universe of ours is one such, then God, by all means, is knocked out of the equation, isn’t it?

Digging Not Too Deep Into Multiverse

            Max Erik Tegmark, Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has organized all multiverse models into four different levels. The higher numbered levels are more speculative than the lower numbered levels. The multiple universes, he reckons, “might have different initial conditions (Level I); different physical constants and particles (Level II); or different physical laws (Level IV).”2 (The level III multiverse corresponds to the many-worlds hypothesis formulated by Hugh Everett in 1957.)

            Alexander Vilenkin, the J. Bernstein Professor of Evolutionary Science, is the most active proponent of the level II multiverse. The level II multiverse is invoked by some cosmologists to explain away the fine-tuning of our universe.

Multiverse Does Not Kill God Rather It Demands God

            Multiverse does not exist. Even if it exists, God should be a part of the equation.

            First, many scientists (Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, Alexander Vilenkin, Stephen Weinberg, Martin Rees, Leonard Susskind, Roger Penrose, John Polkinghorne) agree that our universe is remarkably fine-tuned. So it is wise to NOT deny the fact that our universe is fine-tuned.

            Second, multiverse is NOT a proven theory. Many secular scientists doubt and deny the existence of multiverse. Prominent cosmologist George Ellis (who is arguably the cosmologist who knows more about cosmology than any other single living person and who does not subscribe to Intelligent Design) believes that it is impossible for us to observe any regions of universe, especially if level II multiverse does exist. In other words, George Ellis highlights that multiverse is empirically untestable, “The trouble is that no possible astronomical observations can ever see those other universes. The arguments are indirect at best.”3 

            George Ellis also explains that string theory cannot predict the multiverse, “But string theory is not a tried-and-tested theory; it is not even a complete theory. If we had proof that string theory is correct, its theoretical predictions could be a legitimate, experimentally based argument for a multiverse. We do not have such proof.”4

            Third, George Ellis states that multiverse cannot explain the deep issues related to our existence, “Scientists proposed the multiverse as a way of resolving deep issues about the nature of existence, but the proposal leaves the ultimate issues unresolved. All the same issues that arise in relation to the universe arise again in relation to the multiverse. If the multiverse exists, did it come into existence through necessity, chance or purpose? That is a metaphysical question that no physical theory can answer for either the universe or the multiverse.”5

            Fourth, do not believe that multiverse exists. As William Lane Craig explains, our universe, if it were a part of multiverse, should exhibit highly improbable events, “I think that if we were just one random member of a world ensemble of worlds or universes, that we would be observing a very different kind of universe than we in fact do… It should include all sorts of improbable and absurd events that don’t happen, because in an infinite ensemble of worlds, if you can get events so improbable as the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant, the low entropy state, and so forth, then you should also get highly improbable events like a perpetual motion machine and rabbits wearing pink bow ties and so forth, because those are less improbable than the finely tuned constants and quantities…but if we are just a randomly ordered member of this ensemble, such that the probability is that somewhere these constants would be finely tuned, then things that are even less improbable ought also to be appearing conjointly. And yet, we see a rationally ordered universe, and that cries out for some sort of explanation. In addition to that, a much smaller inflationary patch would be sufficient for our existence rather than the large universe we see. And it is overwhelmingly more probable that if we were just a random member of a world ensemble, we should be observing a much smaller inflationary patch than what we do in fact observe. And I think this is really the Achilles’ heel in this multiverse hypothesis—that if we were just a member of a multiverse, randomly ordered, then it is overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly more probable we ought to be seeing a very different kind of universe than the rationally ordered world that we do in fact see.”6

            Finally, even if multiverse does exist, God would have created it, “God would still be the one who established the laws of quantum mechanics, who created the quantum vacuum and the space and time, the arena in which all these reactions take place. So, as I say, once you have a transcendent source of all space and time, matter and energy, then he’s free to create any sort of physical reality he wants.”7

            William Lane Craig argues that the fine-tuning of our universe is neither due to physical necessity nor chance, hence fine-tuning is due to design. Therefore, the belief that God created the multiverse gains credibility, “…the best hope for the multiverse hypothesis is theism: God could have created a World Ensemble brimming with deliberately finely tuned worlds…In conclusion the multiverse hypothesis does nothing to eliminate the need for a creator and designer of the universe. Whether or not a multiverse exists, one needs a transcendent, personal creator and designer of the cosmos.”8

            The multiverse does not exist. But if it exists, then God could have created it. God alone offers a plausible explanation as to how the multiverse came into being. Hence, God is necessary for belief in the multiverse.

Beware

            Beware of the comics, TV shows and movies that smuggle devious notions into our minds. Multiverse has been invading and capturing our minds through comics, TV shows and movies. Recently, Dr. Strange, the movie based on Marvel comics, introduces the idea of multiverse into the minds of multitudes of unsuspecting masses.

            Do not believe all that you read in the books and watch on TV or theatre. Literature, dance and drama have a ridiculously high potential to sneakily import deceptive thoughts into our minds, but without adhering to the laws of logic, says Dr. Ravi Zacharias.9 Let us be cognizant of this fact and respond meaningfully.

Endnotes:

1http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/12/dr_strange_intr103335.html

2http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/PDF/multiverse_sciam.pdf

3http://www.public.asu.edu/~atpcs/atpcs/Misc/DoesTheMultiverseReallyExist.pdf

4Ibid.

5Ibid.

6http://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/did-god-create-multiple-universes-robert-lawrence-kuhn

7 Ibid.

8http://www.reasonablefaith.org/has-the-multiverse-replaced-god

9http://rzim.org/just-thinking/living-an-apologetic-life/ 

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