The UD News Desk’s latest post has me thinking.
The multiverse is not only unscientific, it is positively anti-scientific. If there are an incomprehensibly vast (I believe some say even infinite, though that is hard to conceptualize) number of universes, then any being or phenomenon can be explained by “we just happen to live in the universe in which, by sheer dumb luck, that being or phenomenon was instantiated.” This boils down to: “Anything and everything can be explained as the result of sheer dumb luck.”
I take it that science is the search for causes upon which predictions can be based. For example, in the movie Apollo 13, NASA scientists calculated the exact number of seconds the astronauts needed to burn their engine in order to propel the module to intercept the earth. This calculation was based on a prediction derived from the laws of gravity.
Contrast that scientific approach with an explanation of a particular pattern of sand and detritus on the seashore. We can say of that pattern that it was the result of the random forces of wind and waves that caused the sand and detritus to come to rest on the seashore. That explanation would be true but trivial. It would be true because it would be a correct account of what happened. It would be trivial, because it would be utterly useless to predict any future pattern of sand and detritus on the seashore.
The explanation “we just happen to be in the universe where by sheer dumb luck this being or phenomenon was instantiated” is, from a scientific perspective, identical to “this pattern of sand and detritus resulted from random forces of wind and waives.” Even if it is true, it is scientifically trivial.
The multiverse is also anti-scientific on another related but independent ground. It seems obvious that the “we just happen to be in the universe where by sheer dumb luck this being or phenomenon was instantiated” explanation may be invoked to explain absolutely anything. And it if that is true, it is also obvious that an explanation that “explains” everything, in fact explains nothing. Why? Because the same “explanation” for a being or phenomenon could be used to explain both the existence of the being or phenomenon and the non-existence of the being or phenomenon at that same time. Thus, with respect to any phenomenon X, resort to “we just happen to live in the universe where phenomenon X occurs” explains the existence of the observed phenomenon. But if phenomenon X were not observed, “we just happen to live in the universe where phenomenon X fails to occur” has equal explanatory value.
This is all glaringly obvious and easy to grasp with a few moments’ reflection. It makes me wonder why a lot of otherwise brilliant people are so eager to jump on the multiverse bandwagon. Actually, that’s not true. I know why. Their faith in metaphysical materialism requires them to check their brains at the door and espouse the patently absurd.