Among the many fine products methodological naturalism* has given us, we can count the multiverse.
First, materialist atheists in science did not like the Big Bang because of its theistic implications. For the record, they said that; we didn’t.
They also decided that Earth couldn’t be unique or even unusual (Copernican Principle). Therefore, there must be billions of habitable planets and alien civilizations galore out there.
We don’t have to prove it; we can merely assert it.
Recently I asked, why is believing in space aliens “science” but believing in Bigfoot is “non-science” or “anti-science,” with the same level of demonstration? One likely reason is that believing in space aliens is an outcome of methodological naturalism, but believing in Bigfoot is not.
If the space aliens don’t exist (or are very rare), humans are special—and according to methodological naturalism, we are not supposed to be. If no Bigfoot exists, it makes no difference to the status of humans or of methodological naturalism. The giant northern ape is thus subject to the normal evidence tests.
Tests which the ape has so far flunked. But notice, he was put to such tests, and the space alien is conveniently not likely to ever be.
But all is not well. The very existence of a single universe like ours, apparently fine-tuned for life, with a Big Bang that has not so far been disproven, cries out for a solution, and one has been found: Boldly go. One step further:
What if not just Earth, but our whole universe, is seen as one mere Copernican blip?
The Copernican principle, as a principle of interpretation, obviates the need for evidence. New Scientist’s Marcus Chown explains how:
Should the fine-tuning turn out to be real, what are we to make of it? There are two widely-discussed possibilities: either God fine-tuned the universe for us to be here, or there are (as string theory implies) a large number of universes, each with different laws of physics, and we happen to find ourselves in a universe where the laws happen to be just right for us to live. After all, how could we not?
A large number of hitherto unnoticed universes? No sooner asked than granted: Nima Arkani-Hamed and others have proposed over 10^500 universes because fewer of them would not obviate fine-tuning. Why believe in them? As a New Scientist writer has explained
But the main reason for believing in an ensemble of universes is that it could explain why the laws governing our Universe appear to be so finely turned for our existence … This fine-tuning has two possible explanations. Either the Universe was designed specifically for us by a creator or there is a multitude of universes—a multiverse.
Cosmologists deserve credit for making the choice so clear. In that spirit, Discover Magazine offers the multiverse as “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator” (2008). More.
*(= nature is a closed system, all causes are material ones)
What has materialism done for science?
Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train
Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.
“Behold, countless Earths sail the galaxies … that is, if you would only believe …”
Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!
But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?
How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?
Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd