Multiverse and/or eternal universe theories

Hi everyone

I have been struggling on the concept of the multiverse and especially relating to the theories holding to eternal universes/multiverses over the last week, and I hope some folks here can help me out, and maybe this post can help others.

If we say there is a multiverse, whether it arises through inflation or through string theory, ultimately that multiverse and those laws positing the dimensions underlying string theory would have to come from something, whether that is some kind of multiverse generator or just eternal “laws,” something must have come before either of those things in order to create those deeper underlying laws that generated both. Even if we posit some kind of eternal universe with no defined beginning, how does that absolve us of saying where those laws/theories came from?

In other words, how is it that atheist scientists can argue that these remove the need for God from the equation? I just don’t understand it, no matter what is theorized all it does is bring the “why” up another level to me… even if you theorize a totally eternal multiverse with no beginning that exists just due to string theory, then you still need to explain where string theory came from… is the argument basically that they just don’t have to answer it at that point? Am I totally off base on this assertion? All it seems to me is that this may somewhat hurt the Christian theistic worldview and lead someone to a Deist worldview… I say all of this knowing that of course mainstream science now holds firmly that we can trace the beginning of the universe to a finite point, this is more so if these theories are somehow demonstrated.

Thanks everyone

This is saying the Antony Flew argument in his book. Science can go farther back all forever, but regardless of the theorem, there is always Why does it work this way. There is no theory ever that can be proposed that will supersede God. A multiverse, or an eternal universe, because everything discover in the sciences can be pushed above a level. God can not.

It is actually an emotional question instead of logical almost, when will you as a ration based person accept God? How far back need you go? Hawking and others in the mold will say that these laws resulting in string theory, m-theory, etc. just because they exist, but he accepts that because he does not want to go further levels back which leads to God.

The question you asked can never be answered by any science, ever, no matter the theorem. If one were to say these theorems are eternal or omnipresent they still require a why, unless you want to give up and accept no God. I don’'t think it is non-rational to not accept God and instead choose to stop with the theorems, because a lot of times, this people has not experienced God.

I have not thought of the idea that it encourages deism instead of Christianity. Still, a beginning is necessary in the sense of the beginning of the theorems and the underpinnings.

Even if the multiverse/eternal universe theory was true, this would only explain what ‘caused’ the universe to exist in the past, not what ‘causes’, the universe to exist in the present day. The cosmological arguments of St Aquinas argue from the latter point of view. I suggest you read Ed Feser’s Five Proofs book. And a God who is constantly sustaining creation is not deistic at all.

But even so, I agree that an eternal universe (though not a multiverse) would pose problems for biblical belief. At the same time, thankfully it is not accepted by the consensus of astronomers.


This has probably been asserted about nearly every historical discovery of science - the fault not necessarily being with “atheistic” scientists, so much as with Christians eager to insert a god action everywhere that something isn’t yet known. So naturally, scientists [both Christian and otherwise] feel a need to point out that we can still search for, and usually find physical explanations of most things without having to posit apparent miracles all the time.


Hi, welcome to our forum. There have been several threads about this in the past you might find helpful. (You may have to wade through some tangents, but…)

@footwaffle, Welcome.

I think that you are right on the Point. Scientists, for the most part as far as I know, now agree that there was a Beginning, when the universe was created out of nothing, no mass, no energy, no time, no space. This is called the Big Bang.

The only question new is where did the Big Bang come from? Did the universe create itself (out of nothing, or did God create the Big Bang? This is not a scientific question, but a philosophical or theological question.

Science has posed the possibility of our universe arising out of the multiverse, that theory cannot be verified, so it cannot be called scientific. Philosophy would say can arise out of nothing. Theology says that only God is beyond time and space and has the wisdom and power to create the universe out of nothing.

Putting the three together there is strong evidence that God created the universe. The multiverse can be an excuse to say that the Creation might not have been the one time event that we believe that happened, but does not disprove God even if true. However using Occam’s razor we see that the simpler and clearer understanding of the Big Bang is much better explanation.

When we try to understand the natural world we are almost always trying to understand how something fits in with the rest of what we think we know about the world. Not much of what we think we know about the world has anything to do with how anything came from nothing. When we think about where things come from we are always backing up to pre-existing conditions. In no instance I can think of has nothing been found to be the pre-existing condition which preceded anything we know about. The idea that everything is the exception to that rule is an assumption masquerading as a conclusion.

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So true. That is why is important to not say God is the answer to what we don’t know, but instead say, God is the answer to all that is known, or ever is known. God of gaps is a poor concept and it hurts the faith of so many.

A eternal universe can conflict with biblical understanding, but even that does not ruin it. It pushes the argument up another level, to where the theories and laws that gave rise to a eternal universe came from. There is no answer for that, it is not possible. To have an eternal universe, if it is string theory, superstring, m theory, inflationary cosmology, whatever one wants to use to get there, initial conditions of laws of physics and processes must exist.

Now, a secular argument can be that the laws exist, and that is why we have a universe, and the laws exist and create themselves through nothing. they exist because they have to, and stop at that point. To a secular or athiest, there is no reason to explain why those initial conditions exist, they just do. That is why the difficulty exists here. We look for the ultimate answer, they are satisfied with that answer. It is ok and we must love everyone, no matter if they want to take it to the last part or not.

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Maybe, but I’m not sure how you would know that we can never find explanations to where various laws of nature come from. It is possible that they just are, in which case no explanation of their origin is required. I think though at the end of the day, the following statement is incorrect:

Scientists are constantly trying to figure such things out and aiming to come up with a more comprehensive theory. At which point does it make sense to say, ‘well we’re done here, time to just give up and say God did the rest.’ I see that you are arguing against a god of the gaps in your post, while at the same time inserting God into some gaps in knowledge.

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It is not acceptable to ever say “they just are” to me. At least. The laws of nature and various theorem related to that need to have an explanation. I am not trying to argue for a God of gaps, what I am saying is, the ultimate gap at the top is “why is there anything”. The theory of everything requires laws to explain it. Where are those laws from? If we answer where are those laws from, where is the source of where those laws are from? Answer that, then we ask where is the source of the source of where those laws are from? You keep going up, up, up until you reach “God” or “this is the way it is”. Do you understand, what I mean?

Nothing can be “they just are” to me. What I mean is, to others in the secular community, “they just are” is ok and acceptable. It is not acceptable to me. Sorry if I am not clear in my post.

What if I said instead that “God just is” and doesn’t require an explanation. Would that be acceptable?

They do? Why? If the universe is infinite, it doesn’t require an explanation for where it came from and the same logic should apply to the so called laws of nature.

I get that you believe God is the ultimate source of all of reality and this is a belief that I share. But at the end of the day, I don’t think that a lack of explanation for where various laws of nature come from is a very strong argument for any gods as this literally is a god of the gaps argument.

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Yes, because God does not require an explanation the same way as non-God concepts do.

(Sorry I am not sure of how to do the quote boxes)

If the universe is infinite it does require an explanation. Why does it not require an explanation then? If something is infinite and has always been there, that requires an explanation, in my opinion. I do not understand how that is ok to say it just the way it is?

I think again maybe there is a confusion. I think maybe it can help to understand more as a God of the gap rather than the gaps. There is ultimate gap we reach if we keep going up, up, up to explain laws, explain source of laws, explain source of source of laws, explain eternal universe, that ultimate gap is either God, or it is just the way it is, you can pick one and I love you no matter what you pick.

Agree to you by the way, that it is not the strongest argument for God, but this forum here, is about the many worlds or the eternal universes.

Well that seems rather silly then and convenient for anyone who posits God at the end of some kind of chain of causation. Who concluded that God concepts don’t require explanations but non-God concepts do? What classifies something as a God concept vs. non-God concept? I think something being eternal immediately qualifies it in the realm of not requiring an explanation.

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Sorry about my English. I do not mean god concepts as in, there is one thing that is a god concept, and there is another thing is not a god concept, and someone is the arbiter to come up with that. What I mean is to say, the concept of God does not require explanation. Sorry about that one. I hope that makes sense to you now? The one concept of the notion of God alone does not require explanation.

I do not agree with you, but I think we can agree to disagree, because in my opinion, what makes that which is eternal , eternal, must be explained to me. Something shown as eternal, only means that something must have make it eternal. What is that something which make it eternal? What is the something that made the something that made the something eternal? We can ascend the ladder always up, but the final end is you have to say that is the way it is, or God. The only final overarching answer is God in my view.

How can something be eternal and then be made by something else? I thought by definition if something is eternal then it has no beginning or end and hence you cannot, nor is there a need to, explain its origin/beginning.

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I don’t understand why there would be a problem with something for which there is no evidence. It is like having a problem with someone’s belief in fairies or reincarnation. If they want to believe in something for which there is no objective evidence then what does that have to do with me?

Believing that the universe we know may be one of many is as reasonable as believing it is unique. Which ever hunch one may hold about the status of the universe we can see, nothing much rides on it. It doesn’t inform our day to day existence. There are no decisions we need to make which its status will influence one way or the other. Belief in God is very different in terms of the significance of ones hunch to how one lives their life. What God belief and ones hunch about the status of the universe do have in common is there being no simple, uncontroversial way to determine the fact of either matter.

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Not "made by something else, " but instead, the reason it is there, is because of something that underlying. An eternal universe, many worlds, requires that eternal deeper laws existed to sustain the eternal universe. Where did the laws come from? Where did what the laws come from come from? Do you follow me, here? It is the infinite regress theorem that was said by Aquinas, and others. Of course, that does not mean to give up science and say “God” as if a God of the gaps, but rather, just recognize that above all and any things, God is the Creator and ultimate, first cause, the laws underlying all, etc… Do you follow what I am saying? In our Orthodox Christian Creed the first line: “We believe in one God, the Father, the Pantocrator who created heaven and earth, and all things seen and unseen”. - The end being operative here.

I love this discussion with you, but not to be too personal, but you said you believe in God, what if an eternal universe or eternal multiverse is proven, you will quit your faith in God, is what you are saying?