Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

At Forbes: Wishing the multiverse into existence


From astrophysicist Ethan Siegel at Forbes:

The multiverse is inevitable and we’re living in it

What is the Multiverse, then? It may go well beyond physics, and be the first physically motivated “metaphysics” we’ve ever encountered. For the first time, we’re understanding the limits of what our Universe can teach us. There is information we need, but that we’ll never obtain, in order to elevate this into the realm of testable science. Until then, we can predict, but neither verify nor refute, the fact that our Universe is just one small part of a far grander realm: the Multiverse. More.

In other words, the multiverse is to be accepted as science, even though it may never be testable, thus never falsifiable. It is admitted as “metaphysics,” but that’s okay too.

Now that consciousness is an illusion, so is reason.

And naturalist metaphysics is now officially science. How far we have come from Einstein and Planck…

See also: Question for multiverse theorists: To what can science appeal, if not evidence?


The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide

The Multiverse - reasons, why it's not a good explanation for the existence of our fine-tuned universe. http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1282-the-multiverse The task of a multiverse generator The smallness of the cosmological constant is widely regarded as the single the greatest problem confronting current physics and cosmology. The cosmological constant acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. To get our universe, this constant must be right amongst 10^123 possibilities. That means that the probability that our universe contains galaxies is akin to exactly 1 possibility in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 . Unlikely doesn’t even begin to describe these odds. There are “only” 10^81 atoms in the observable universe, after all. Thirty billion years contains only 10^18 seconds. By totaling those, we find that the maximum elementary particle events in 30 billion years could only be 10^143. Now let's suppose there was a multiverse generator. He would have had to make up to 10^123 attempts to get one universe with the right expansion rate. He would have made 10^18 attempts after 30 billion years. Once he had that right, to get a universe with atoms, he would have to make the following number of trials: the right Ratio of Electrons: Protons 1:10^37 Ratio of Electromagnetic Force: Gravity 1:10^40 If a multiverse generator existed, he must have been VERY busy in the last trillion trillion trillion years to get out only our universe...... does that make sense? The multiverse hypothesis is plagued by two problems: first, as Dr. Robin Collins, an acknowledged authority on fine-tuning, has argued, it merely shifts the fine-tuning problem up one level, as a multiverse capable of generating any life-supporting universes at all would still need to be fine-tuned; and second, as physicist Paul Davies has pointed out, even the multiverse hypothesis implies that a sizable proportion of universes (including perhaps our own) were intelligently designed. By default, then, Intelligent Design remains the best viable explanation for the origin of replication and translation, and hence of life on Earth. Why? Because it’s the only explanation that posits something already known to be capable of generating life, in order to account for the emergence of life on Earth. That “something” is intelligence. If every possible universe exists, then, according to philosopher Alvin Plantinga, there must be a universe in which God exists – since his existence is logically possible – even though highly improbable in the view of the New Atheists. It then follows that, since God is omnipotent, he must exist in every universe and hence there is only one universe, this universe, of which he is the Creator and Upholder. The concept of many worlds is clearly fraught with logical, and not only scientific, difficulties. It can also present moral difficulties. If every logically possible universe exists, then presumably there is one in which I exist (or a copy of me?) and of which I am a murder – or worse. The concept seems therefore also to lead to moral absurdity. Multiverse is a rather useless scientific theory, as it makes no predictions and is not testable or falsifiable. As a theological theory, it assumes a large number of universes to nearly an infinite amount. While it deals with the organized complexity of this universe in a satisfactory manner (i.e. having infinite universes means even the small probability events like organized complexity must occur), it also creates a seeming organized and complex omniverse that itself needs justification for its complexity. So it does not answer the question, it pushes the question to the location of the unknowable. 1. Dawkins? & many scientists allude to the multiverse as the best explanation for our universe. if there is an infinite number of universes, then absolutely everything is not only possible… It’s actually happened! This means the Spaghetti monster MUST exist in one of the 10 to the 500 power multiverses. It means that somewhere, in some dimension, there is a universe where the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last year. There’s a universe where Jimmy Hoffa doesn’t get cement shoes; instead, he marries Joan Rivers and becomes President of the United States. There’s even a universe where Elvis kicks his drug habit and still resides at Graceland and sings at concerts. Imagine the possibilities! I might sound like I’m joking, but actually, I’m dead serious. Furthermore, this implies Zeus, Thor, and 1000s of other gods ALSO exist in these worlds. They ALL exist. We must now bow in humble respect to ALL of them. AMEN! 2.Suppose a dinosaur skeptic claimed that she could explain the bones by postulating a "dinosaur-bone-producing-field" that simply materialized the bones out of thin air. Moreover, suppose further that, to avoid objections such as that there are no known physical laws that would allow for such a mechanism, the dinosaur skeptic simply postulated that we have not yet discovered these laws or detected these fields. Surely, none of us would let this skeptical hypothesis deter us from inferring to the existence of dinosaurs. Why? Because although no one has directly observed dinosaurs, we do have experience of other animals leaving behind fossilized remains, and thus the dinosaur explanation is a natural extrapolation from our common experience. In contrast, to explain the dinosaur bones, the dinosaur skeptic has invented a set of physical laws and a set of mechanisms that are not a natural extrapolation from anything we know or experience. In the case of the fine-tuning, we already know that minds often produce fine-tuned devices, such as Swiss watches. Postulating God--a supermind--as the explanation of the fine-tuning, therefore, is a natural extrapolation from of what we already observe minds to do. In contrast, it is difficult to see how the atheistic many-universes hypothesis could be considered a natural extrapolation from what we observe. Moreover, unlike the atheistic many-universes hypothesis, we have some experiential evidence for the existence of God, namely religious experience. Thus, by the above principle, we should prefer the theistic explanation of the fine-tuning over the atheistic many-universes explanation, everything else being equal. 3. the "many-universes generator" seems like it would need to be designed. For instance, in all current worked-out proposals for what this "universe generator" could be--such as the oscillating big bang and the vacuum fluctuation models explained above--the "generator" itself is governed by a complex set of physical laws that allow it to produce the universes. It stands to reason, therefore, that if these laws were slightly different the generator probably would not be able to produce any universes that could sustain life. After all, even my bread machine has to be made just right in order to work properly, and it only produces loaves of bread, not universes! Or consider a device as simple as a mousetrap: it requires that all the parts, such as the spring and hammer, be arranged just right in order to function. It is doubtful, therefore, whether the atheistic many-universe theory can entirely eliminate the problem of design the atheist faces; rather, at least to some extent, it seems simply to move the problem of design up one level. 4. the universe generator must not only select the parameters of physics at random but must actually randomly create or select the very laws of physics themselves. This makes this hypothesis seem even more far-fetched since it is difficult to see what possible physical mechanism could select or create laws. The reason the "many-universes generator" must randomly select the laws of physics is that, just as the right values for the parameters of physics are needed for life to occur, the right set of laws is also needed. If, for instance, certain laws of physics were missing, life would be impossible. For example, without the law of inertia, which guarantees that particles do not shoot off at high speeds, life would probably not be possible (Leslie, Universes, p. 59). Another example is the law of gravity: if masses did not attract each other, there would be no planets or stars, and once again it seems that life would be impossible. Yet another example is the Pauli Exclusion Principle, the principle of quantum mechanics that says that no two fermions--such as electrons or protons--can share the same quantum state. As prominent Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson points out [Disturbing the Universe, p. 251], without this principle all electrons would collapse into the nucleus and thus atoms would be impossible. 5. it cannot explain other features of the universe that seem to exhibit apparent design, whereas theism can. For example, many physicists, such as Albert Einstein, have observed that the basic laws of physics exhibit an extraordinary degree of beauty, elegance, harmony, and ingenuity. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, for instance, devotes a whole chapter of his book Dreams of a Final Theory (Chapter 6, "Beautiful Theories") explaining how the criteria of beauty and elegance are commonly used to guide physicists in formulating the right laws. Indeed, one of the most prominent theoretical physicists of this century, Paul Dirac, went so far as to claim that "it is more important to have beauty in one's equations than to have them fit experiment" (1963, p. ??). Now such beauty, elegance, and ingenuity make sense if the universe was designed by God. Under the atheistic many-universes hypothesis, however, there is no reason to expect the fundamental laws to be elegant or beautiful. As theoretical physicist Paul Davies writes, "If nature is so 'clever' as to exploit mechanisms that amaze us with their ingenuity, is that not persuasive evidence for the existence of intelligent design behind the universe? If the world's finest minds can unravel only with difficulty the deeper workings of nature, how could it be supposed that those workings are merely a mindless accident, a product of blind chance?" (Superforce, pp. 235-36.) 6. neither the atheistic many-universes hypothesis (nor the atheistic single-universe hypothesis) can at present adequately account for the improbable initial arrangement of matter in the universe required by the second law of thermodynamics. To see this, note that according to the second law of thermodynamics, the entropy of the universe is constantly increasing. The standard way of understanding this entropy increase is to say that the universe is going from a state of order to disorder. We observe this entropy increase all the time around us: things, such as a child's bedroom, that start out highly organized tend to "decay" and become disorganized unless something or someone intervenes to stop it. To believe an infinite number of universes made life possible by random chance is to believe everything else I just said, too. 7.“If you take seriously the theory of all possible universes, including all possible variations,” Davies said, “at least some of them must have intelligent civilizations with enough computing power to simulate entire fake worlds. Simulated universes are much cheaper to make than the real thing, and so the number of fake universes would proliferate and vastly outnumber the real ones. And assuming we’re just typical observers, then we’re overwhelmingly likely to find ourselves in a fake universe, not a real one.” So far it’s the normal argument. Then Davies makes his move. He claims that because the theoretical existence of multiple universes is based on the laws of physics in our universe, if this universe is simulated, then its laws of physics are also simulated, which would mean that this universe’s physics is a fake. Therefore, Davies reasoned,“We cannot use the argument that the physics in our universe leads to multiple universes because it also leads to a fake universe with fake physics.” That undermines the whole argument that fundamental physics generates multiple universes because the reasoning collapses in circularity. Davies concluded, “While multiple universes seem almost inevitable given our understanding of the Big Bang, using them to explain all existence is a dangerous, slippery slope, leading to apparently absurd conclusions.” 8. The Multiverse should be shaved with Occam's razor. We don't need it to explain reality, it's only advanced to keep from having to turn to God. It's naturalistic so it's an arbitrary necessity at best. Arbitrary necessitates are logical impossibilities, contingent things jumped up to the level of necessity to answer a God argument. It's not we are going to disprove the unnecessary entity but we are going refrain from advancing it's existence as an assumption until such a time that real empirical evidence makes it necessary. Therefore, Multiverse should be taken out of the issues of God arguments. Otangelo Grasso
Belfast @ 11: My comment/question was not meant to be a sneer. Perhaps I could have worded it differently. I was actually wondering how mike1962 thinks we should "deal with it," e.g. ignore it, say prayers, travel the world, etc. I am genuinely interested in his perspective after surviving such a close call with death (as he described). Truth Will Set You Free
Seversky: And if something has always existed, it was never created, so there is no need for a Creator. Is there? No need for a creator for the creator. A need for a creator for everything else. An asymmetrical ontological dependence. Like waves on the water. That's the idea anyway. mike1962
Truth will set you free at 6. Your comment was a pretty insensitive sneer. And foolish with it. "Deal with it" is not the same as "prepare for it." Belfast
Dick @ 2
Re: 1 And, given the endless possibilities, there must be a world in which it’s true to say that a maximally great being exists. Which means that if there is an MGB in one world it must exist in every world (if it’s truly maximally great). Thus, if a multiverse exists, it must be the product of a maximally great being. Readers can fill in any implied premises and other entailments on their own.
Since a maximally great individual would have to be the greatest in all possible fields, wouldn't maximal "greatness" include maximal evil? Are we suggesting that Satan was the Creator? The other problem is that if, as we have previously agreed, it's not possible to get - or create - something from nothing then, since there is something, that something must always have existed. And if something has always existed, it was never created, so there is no need for a Creator. Is there? Seversky
'Now that consciousness is an illusion, so is reason.' Don't be nasty, News. 'To what can science appeal, if not evidence ?' If you wish upon a star... Walt Disney ? 'How far have we come from Einstein and Planck ?' How long is a piece of string ? Axel
Dick @ 2 You forgot the (H/T) to Saint Anselm";^) Latemarch
The multiverse, if it exists, is not the fundamental explanation for being. (1) Something is. (2) There is a fundamental explanation for being. (3) The fundamental explanation for being has no external explanation; otherwise there would be something explanatory fundamental to the fundamental explanation. (4) The fundamental explanation for being cannot be explained by discrete parts; otherwise the parts would be explanatory fundamental to the fundamental explanation. Therefore, from 2, 3 and 4 (5) The explanation for being explains itself. Therefore, from 3, 4 and 5 (6) The explanation for being is unity, since only unity has neither an external nor an internal explanation. (7) The multiverse, if it exists, is no unity. (8) The multiverse, if it exists, is not the fundamental explanation for being. Origenes
Mike 1962 @ 3: Glad to hear you survived the ordeal. How do you suggest we prepare for inevitable death? Truth Will Set You Free
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." [Colossians 1:16 (ESV)] Because He is both agent and goal of creation, Christ is Lord of all that is, even of the angelic hierarchy which the Colossians think they must placate or revere. [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries] In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. [Genesis 1:1] In the beginning, God. The Hebrew word for “God,” the first subject of Genesis and the Bible, is plural to denote His majesty. There is no other god (Deut. 4:39; Is. 40:21, 28; 43:10; John 1:1; Col. 1:17). He is truth, the basis for all sound knowledge (John 14:6). God is personal; He speaks and acts. created. This translates a Hebrew word reserved for God’s creative activity alone. Linguistically possible, though less likely, is the translation “When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was without form and void.” God’s creative activity was not merely the ordering of preexistent matter (like an artisan fashioning a product), however, for other passages clearly teach that the universe was created ex nihilo (i.e., out of nothing, John 1:3; Heb. 11:3; 2 Pet. 3:5) and that only God is eternal and transcendent (e.g., Ps. 102:25–27; Prov. 8:22–31). Not even the darkness exists apart from God’s creative word (Is. 45:7). While the narrative here is fully consistent with the doctrine of creation ex nihilo, the emphasis falls on God’s progressive ordering of a formless and empty world (v. 2 note). the heavens and the earth. This compound of opposites signifies the organized universe. [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries] Dionisio
"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." [Hebrews 11:3 (ESV)] Although no human witnessed the creation, we [Christians] know from Scripture that God brought the world into being through His Word (Ps. 33:6, 9). We [Christians] discern that “what is seen” is not ultimate, self-existent reality. [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries] “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”. [Revelation 4:11 (ESV)] God’s servants bring songs of praise as a fitting response to His glory and deeds (Ex. 15:11; Is. 6:3). The praise and imagery of focus on creation, asserting God’s sovereignty over the universe [Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries] Dionisio
I've been in a hospital bed fighting for my life. And I can tell you, none of this matters when you're facing death. Death is coming. Deal with it. mike1962
Re: 1 And, given the endless possibilities, there must be a world in which it's true to say that a maximally great being exists. Which means that if there is an MGB in one world it must exist in every world (if it's truly maximally great). Thus, if a multiverse exists, it must be the product of a maximally great being. Readers can fill in any implied premises and other entailments on their own. Dick
Yes, but think of all those other Uncommon Descent's in all those other universes. Why, there might even be one where intelligent design has supplanted evolutionary biology. Or one where no Charles Darwin wrote a book about natural selection and William Paley's Natural Theology became the seminal text in the field. The possibilities are endless. Seversky

Leave a Reply