Multiverse and Strong/Weak Anthropic Principle

I’m currently taking a look at the book “fine-tuning in the physical universe”, and I was taking a look at a review of the book, and I read something that grab some of my attention:
“if you have inflation you not only have multiverse you can actually potentially prove it, which turns the strong anthropic principle into the weak one and then it’s “bye bye God!” :-)”.

I’m extremely layman, but I don’t think that’s the case in every aspect of this comment. I don’t think that’s even evidence for a multiverse, nor an “Bye Bye God” evidence.

I would like to know the opinions of some people who have more knowledge than I on this!

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Is that the books actual title as written there? Do you have the author’s name?

I’m not sure I understand your (or the author’s) concern. Is it that learning the universe was part of a greater cosmological arrangienent could somehow unsettle the basis for belief in God? If so, I can’t see why. I see God as pertaining to the question of why anything at all exists, not why some details are as we find them. Can you say more?

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Sorry, I should have detailed more (English is not my main language) this comment was made on Goodreads (it is the only comment the book has).

This is the book: Fine-Tuning in the Physical Universe by D.P. Sloan | Goodreads

My question is more about the comment available at this link, where the commentator said that the theory of inflation is evidence of the multiverse, which would result in a weak anthropic principle, and then “we don’t need god”. And I particularly found that this is not even evidence of a multiverse, and a weak anthropic principle has nothing to do with the existence of God.

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Thank you. I have no applicable expertise but maybe someone who does can help you out.

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Thanks for you attention!

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What I mostly know about fine tuning is that I have read three books on the subject by three different cosmologists and that once I put the books down I couldn’t really explain a single argument.

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The components that I know are essentially that changing most fundamental constants significantly would prevent atoms from existing (gravity stronger, strong nuclear force, fine-structure constant, universe energy-density much higher), prevent all but the smallest atoms from existing (weak nuclear force, proton/electron mass ratio, speed of light), prevent anything macroscopic from existing (gravity weaker, universe energy-density much lower), or would make stars behave in ways that wouldn’t allow life (energy release from fusion).

That part I get, it was the high-falutin’/subtle physics arguments over whether fine tuning is real. The one book that intended to negate the concept of fine tuning was tough going, with arguments I couldn’t have repeated even right after reading them and frequently read one three or four times just to try to make sure I followed the reasoning. Another had arguments for why certain parameters couldn’t possibly be different and I gathered that the author didn’t mean “or we wouldn’t be here” but that there was no possibility that they could be different or there just wouldn’t be any existence, period.

As one of the authors said, explaining would be easier if math could be used, but then if he’d tried to use math no one would have published the book . . . . besides which all my math past basic calculus atrophied some twenty years ago.

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I have personally found that “comments on the internet” are not a good foundation for my outlook on life, philosophy, and theology.

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There are two basic problems here. First, there are a wide range of “multiverses”, with important differences. Second, claims about multiverses having philosophical implications are popular but not well-thought out. Multiverse models merely shift where the focus would be for the anthropic principle, without weakening or strengthening them.

Inflation, like quantum multiverses and the claim that the size of the universe is infinite, are ways to have lots and lots of universe, but all under the same basic natural laws. This does not actually change the anthropic principle argument one bit. We still have the question of why the multiverse has the laws of nature that it does, allowing our existence. Claiming that inflation or the mere size of the universe implies that there are countless galaxies out there and that thus all possible arrangements of energy and matter must exist ignores the fact that the laws of physics and chemistry dictate that matter and energy occur in certain patterns and not in others.

Certain other models, such as some string theory ideas, envision myriad universes in which the basic laws of physics are different. But that merely shifts the question back to “why do the laws governing the formation of multiverses produce one in which the laws of nature are suitable for our existence?” The claim that having infinitely many universes guarantees that one like ours exists is false. Infinitely many uninhabitable universes could exist; for example, all the universes could have a range of strengths for gravity that are all less than the minimum for biological life.

A further error is to claim that our universe must be average, invoking the so-called “Copernician principle”. But the reality is that Copernicus removing the earth from the center was not a demotion from a position of privilege but a promotion from the bottom. Likewise, the assumption that our planet/star/system/galaxy/universe must be average in all ways is a fallacy. If an individual example is randomly selected out of a large sample that has values concentrated towards the mean, then it is more probable than not that the individual would be close to average. But our universe is not a randomly selected example. Even if you were to randomly select an example out of a large sample, if you look at enough features you will probably find some way in which the example is not very average. Saying that our universe has to just be an ordinary example out of the multiverse is like reasoning that the average person doesn’t know much about philosophy or astrophysics, therefore anyone making an argument about multiverses must not know what he’s talking about.

A different multiverse error that has also been seen as a challenge to Christianity is to claim that a multiverse implies that anything we imagine exists. Supposedly this implies that there are saved and unsaved versions of me in various universes, for example. But the reality is that, for example, a quantum multiverse claims that there are universes representing every distinct quantum possibility. To claim that means that I must have infinitely many evil twins is to make the unverified assumption that the only differences between me and each evil twin is a matter of quantum fluctuations. It’s an extreme reductionistic assumption that must be defended rather than snuck in unexamined.

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Thanks for the response!

Yeah, I totally agree with you.

This comments affect me, but I’m working hard to learn how to just don’t care about it!

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Thank you for the extensive response. It was a comment exactly as I was looking for, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, I appreciated it very much!

While writing about the Copernican Revolution, Denis Noble quoted Nicholas of Cusa,

Thus the fabric of the world will have its centre everywhere and circumference nowhere.

What’s curious about a block universe is that everywhere will be present, and how unnerving it is as one appears to be at the center of it

Including ones where the stories of the Mad Hatter and Alice are objective history.

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Yes, the claim that all fiction is actually true in some multiverse or another is a popular way to illustrate or promote the concept, but it’s not true. Alice’s wonderland differs from our universe in more than just quantum fluctuations or being a different galaxy. Mr. Tompkins’ wonderland might be more likely with a string theory-type multiverse.

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It would have to include a force/particle/field such that mind actually can manipulate matter – an added natural law, not just a difference in what we observe.

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I find it rather amusing when secularists attempt to downplay the notion of God by changing the size and scale of our existence. It makes absolutely no difference to the problem. The multiverse theory doesnt resolve the dilemma of origin any more than any other secular claimed solution…it actually makes the dilemma of unintelligent origin far worse. The insertion of “infinite” causes problems with the theory of inflation i think. Mutliverse or no multiverse, we cannot deny the single point of origin and that means a fundamental beginning no matter which way we look at it. There could be a billion levels of multiverse, however given we know ours had a beginning, then we must accept they all did, we must accept the notion of God. Btw, the bible already tells us, God is infinite…so theres nothing new there.

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I totally agree with this. The universe could have begun as a result of a blackhole in another universe. I don’t believe this, but I don’t see any reason to dismiss it philosophically or scientifically. But it raises the question of whether there can be an infinite regress of cosmic occurences. While this is not a rational possibility, it this doesn’t rule out another interesting rational possibility.

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you know you brought an interesting word into this discussion…“rational”. would it not be fair to say that the minute we introduce “rational” into the discussion, we accept intelligence? Given that scientists and their theories seem to be reasoned/rational, surely this alone is evidence for modern intelligence flowing from past intelligence?

Note i am not pursuing special creation here, i am making the claim that even the evolutionary processes are intelligent in some form or other simply because intelligence (in our case, God) set them in motion for an intended purpose. Now i do accept this introduces a bit of a problem in that it may collide with random activities resulting in a move forward in the process of human evolution…I’m not a TEist so i don’t feel its my area of expertise to attempt to answer that dilemma.

Personally, i find it rather intellectually challenging that an intelligent God, who in the ancient past threw a handful of “marbles” into a primordial soup, later calls out “yippee” (and God saw it was very good. Gen 1:31) when out of that mess the word “rational” appears on these pages!

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I believe this was an argument Plantinga made against naturalism. I’m not familiar with it, but this link explains it a little.

Did you ever finish Longman’s book Confronting OT Controversies?

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