Why is the concept of a multuniverse against our Lord and Savior?


(Edward Miller) #1

I have been reconsidering the concept of a multiverse, and I wonder why some feel it is anti-Christian and others feel it is not. Physics is not my specialty, and I have been unable to find books on the subject. Would some Christian PhD in Physics like to begin a discussion strictly on this topic? May God Bless Each of You.

Edward


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #2

@Edward,

Thank you for your question.

Strictly speaking the concept of the multiverse does not exclude the view that God created the universe, but it is hard for me to reconcile it with John 1:1 and following.

There was an article in the magazine a saw years ago that said that the Multiverse is an alternative to a Creator God fine tuning the universe for life. You can read the article for yourself and I would agree with it.

The basis of this discussion is the anthropic view of the universe, which says that the universe is designed or fine tuned in such a precise way as to make human life possible. They said also that this involved a number of factors and the variables were so precise that this could not be a coincidence. In other words this theory would seem to confirm what ID is saying, the universe is designed.

This view is used as evidence that the universe is designed. However someone used it to propose another view of creation, Instead of God creating the universe all at once by the Big Bang, a large variety of universes were created randomly with different structures, so that sooner or later one with the same constants as our universe would be created and we would exist. In a sense this is like saying that were is some likelihood that human life would exist on other planets in our universe which are configured like the earth.

Research this for yourself. It is not that complicated.


(Edward Miller) #3

I can see your point, my friend. God bless.


(Wayne Dawson) #4

As Roger points out, the multiverse has been used as an excuse to deny God, the argument being that because there are infinitely many other universes where they all supposedly have different fundamental constants, so the reason what this universe supports life is simply because it only just so happened to have “the right stuff”.

Independent of whether the multiverse is actually true (presently, it is mere speculation and there are many varieties, some very bizarre in my opinion); were any of it true, the interpretation of this is just as important as whatever evidence there is to support it. Our faith involves the interpretation part of the equation. If you believe that God created the heavens and the earth, that we are subject to a moral higher authority to whom we will have to give an account to, that there is purpose in enduring the vicissitudes of life, and that there is something more than just the world and its stuff, then what can science do to demolish this? Science can explain why social animals may have certain behaviors, but all these “rules” can all go haywire if we are not tuned to a God in heaven; we can all follow a multitude to do evil if we just rely on “social rules” proved by … … … science.

I’m not saying that I like the fact that I might have to interpret “heavens” to literally mean more than one universe, as that surely could not have been the original intention of the writer(s). But I think we should start by focusing on what Jesus has done, how we have been redeemed, and how we have hope in accepting and following Jesus. If we remember that God is much bigger than any of this science, then issues like the multiverse, or evolution, or consciousness, or any other of these “whataboutisms” can no longer be used as a tool to say “there is no God”. Of course, if you want to believe there is no God, I cannot stop you from making that choice, but you have the option to chose to believe in God and chose to follow Jesus.

Just like the Jews wanted their messiah to come and demolish Rome in a militaristic way with the help of the heavenly host (and probably loot and trash the place and cart off the spoils to Jerusalem just like man typically does), we seem to want a god who is told how the world is supposed to be. We do this in our prayers when we ask for our goodies and we do this in how we put more faith in science than in our trust that he is with us and that it is good to follow him even when we are walking in the darkness. I think we should stop making science our god, and just realize that God is far bigger than anything our science can probe.

What is most troubling about life is the suffering and the evil that people get away. These are the things that can really make us doubt. Would it be any easier were the 6-day creation story all 100% scientifically proven true? I think it would make next to no difference. Seeing the Red Sea part (or however you interpret that part of Exodus) didn’t change the hearts of the people and we would be exactly the same (maybe worse). The reason we put our faith in God and we walk with Jesus is not because of these stupid facts, it is because we are reaching for something more, something incorruptible, something that doesn’t rust, something that puts some solid permanence on our lives, something that helps us know that we have lived right. We should focus on the journey, and pray that his Grace is sufficient. That is where the trust needs to come and I am still on a long journey there.

by Grace we proceed,
Wayne


#5

I don’t find the concept of a multiverse as anti-Christian. After all, until relatively recently we didn’t even know about all the galaxies out there in our own universe. And we only knew about the planets in our own Milky Way. So even our own universe is so big, and has so many galaxies, that it’s beyond comprehension. All the more glory to God.


(Edward Miller) #6

I am glad to receive your answer. No, I believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When my body is laid to rest until the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus, my human spirit will go to live with Him. I have already been resurrected from spiritual death when I accepted our Lord; however, my body will be resurrected from the tomb when our Lord returns. That will be a wonderful day. May God’s blessings enrich you in your body and soul/spirit.

Your Brother in Christ,

Edward


(Edward Miller) #7

You are very wise in your answer and are a very nice person. I wish to thank you for writing to me.

Your brother in Christ,

Edward


(Colin Cooper) #8

@Edward many thanks for your interesting post and questions, this is an extremely complicated topic.

I can’t say that I find anything particularly anti-Christian about the concept of some varieties of multiverse from the standpoint of philosophy, but I would caution you that scientifically speaking the idea as it is commonly presented - different laws of physics in different universes arising from different inflation fields - is bunkum and belongs in the realm of inherently untestable speculation.

Let me ask you firstly: to which “multiverse” model are you referring? There is isn’t just one.

There is for instance the “many-worlds” multiverse stemming from one (among many competing) valid interpretations of Quantum Mechanics which results in parallel universes existing in different spacetimes from our own but with the exact same physics as ours. That multiverse is all about the wavefunction measurement problem, namely because believers in it (a minority of quantum physicists) regard the wavefunction as an objective reality and don’t think that it collapses into a definite state after observation, but rather that it sort of “splits” to become both a wave and a particle but in separate, alternate realities or parallel histories, essentially. This has to do with fundamental particle physics.

In essence, it consists of the weird but theoretically possible idea that the universe splits into parallel worlds at every quantum measurement.

The other types of multiverses have nothing to do with Quantum Mechanics but rather arise from cosmic inflation and are known as “cosmological multiverse” models because they are thought up by cosmologists as opposed to quantum physicists.

These multiverses comprise of “bubbles” or rather causally disconnected bubbles within the one space-time - our space-time.

One form of this cosmological multiverse - the silly but popular one in the public imagination - rests upon the spurious, unsubstantiated idea of a string landscape in M-Theory which makes it possible to conceive of higher dimensions and universes with utterly different laws of local physics and constants.

The most basic kind of cosmological multiverse, however, is one which arises from a single inflation field and leads to the exact same physical constants in each of the causally disconnected “patches” of space. We call this a “Type 1” cosmological multiverse.

I don’t know of anyone who finds this notion in the least bit controversial – the consideration that there are likely regions of the universe beyond the particle horizon which we can’t observe but where the same underlying physics applies.

Consider this statement from the renowned cosmologist Professor George Ellis in 2014 article in Scientific American:

Why the Multiverse May Be the Most Dangerous Idea in Physics

Proof of parallel universes radically different from our own may still lie beyond the domain of science

“Astronomers are able to see out to a distance of about 42 billion light-years, our cosmic visual horizon. We have no reason to suspect the universe stops there. Beyond it could be many—even infinitely many—domains much like the one we see. Each has a different initial distribution of matter, but the same laws of physics operate in all. Nearly all cosmologists today (including me) accept this type of multiverse, which Max Tegmark calls “level 1.”

Yet some go further. They suggest completely different kinds of universes, with different physics, different histories, maybe different numbers of spatial dimensions.”…”

The first type of multiverse is not only uncontroversial – it doesn’t aid any arguments, whereas the string landscape multiverse (with the different vacua and physics in each pocket universe) is the one that can be utilized as a convenient excuse for our inability to calculate the observed values of the cosmological constant and the higgs mass – the so-called “fine-tuning” issues.

This multiverse model relies on string theory and eternal inflation. And its utterly baseless pseudo-science IMHO.

For me to properly answer your question, therefore, I would first have to know which multiverse you are talking about because my response would be significantly different based upon the multiverse in question.

The string landscape inflationary multiverse - where you have the different vacua with the varying laws of physics in each bubble universe - is inelegant, explains nothing, makes no testable predictions, relies upon equally shoddy theoretical foundations and is offensive to reason in my humble opinion. So if you define Christianity as the religion of the incarnate Logos - Reason - then yes, that kind of multiverse is offensive to Christianity and to any rational worldview that claims to be working with testable scientific predictions.

However, if you mean the Quantum Mechanical “multiverse” or the “level 1” cosmological multiverse with the same physics appying in each “pocket universe”, then no - there is nothing offensive to reason or Christianity about these kinds of multiverses, or at least not that I can see anyway.


(Edward Miller) #9

I wish to thank you for this interesting information.

Edward


#10

Likewise is the speculation that this is a single universe that was created ex nihilo. It is also inherently untestable and theoretically (from the standpoint of physic) bereft as well. And in any case, there is no multiverse physical theory that precludes your Lord and Savior.


(Colin Cooper) #11

But @Argon I’m not putting creation ex nihilo forward as a testable scientific theory. Why would you have any reason to think that I am, or would?

That relies on faith and revelation, obviously, not experimental observation, since it claims to be about something beyond the laws of physics and nature itself.

Only a die-in-the-wool creationist would suggest that’s science. And I’m certainly not that.

If the string landscape multiverse remains in the realm of speculative philosophy, one is perfectly free to hold it and indeed argue for it or against it using logic. But it doesn’t belong in science, just like creation ex nihilo doesn’t, because no testable predictions are made.

In thirty years, no testable prediction of anything has ever emerged from the calculations behind string theory that are necessary for the landscape multiverse. As the great cosmologist Professor George Ellis noted earlier this month: “The scientific result is that there is no unique observable output predicted in multiverse proposals.

I’m happy to say that both creationism and the landscape multiverse are “bunkum” as far as science goes - since you need testable consequences under the scientific method - but in terms of metaphysics and philosophy, there is certainly plenty of room to “speculate” about both, if one is unsatisfied with the failures of scientific explanations to provide a grand unifying theory that makes perfect sense of why the constants, for instance, have the values that they do - just don’t insert either of these untestable concepts into science.

Speculative philosophy is perfectly fine as speculative philosophy. I’m not dissing it. But science deals with empirical, observational data and testable hypotheses.

So, yes, either a landscape multiverse or creation ex nihilo by an intelligent designer or both or neither may be true, but if we will never be able to determine this on the basis of empirical observation (and we can’t do so even in principle, since we will never be able to make observations in respect of something that may or may not exist beyond the particle horizon), they simply shouldn’t count as scientific theories. We have no evidence for such explanations nor any plausible way of getting any. That’s the plain truth.

No reason why you can’t hold to either or both those ideas as personal beliefs - just like you can believe in reincarnation if you want and that makes sense to you. They’re just not scientific, testable hypotheses.

This is elementary.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #12

Please, the Big Bang Theory which is a scientific theory ways that the universe came into being at a point in time some 13.5 billion years ago. It does not say that God created it, but it does say that where there was nothing, no matter, energy, space, or time, there became matter, energy, space, and time or the universe. Therefore it is not speculation that our universe came out of nothing.

While we cannot say how this happened scientifically, science is not the only way for humans to think and think logically. This area of reality is where science, philosophy, and theology come together.

Each of them can provide much important information about reality, but each alone is incomplete and false. The only way to true understanding is to combine the perspectives of all three to gain sound understanding of reality.


(Juan Romero) #13

I don’t think the concept of a multiverse is anti-Christian.

If I remember correctly, Giordano Bruno said that, since God is infinite, he must’ve made an
infinite universe, with an infinite number of separate “worlds”.

Now, back to the present, there are two great books you should read. Both consider the multiverse.

SX331_BO1,204,203,200

big-bang-big-god-cover


(Edward Miller) #14

I must say my friends that these talks and these books look and sound interesting. I believe I will ask my lovely wife to buy these for me on my birthday or some special holiday. It is good to have brothers in Jesus who share so many things. I have had my mind really stimulated today, and I like the feeling.

God bless all of you.

Your friend,

Edward


#15

I’m sorry, I misinterpreted your post about the multiverse. Agreed that the metaphysical questions of one’s Lord and Savoir is pretty much orthogonal to questions about the scientifically discernible origins of the universe.

I’m not quite with you with regard to the ‘scientificalness’ of various multiverse theories. I’m a bit more lax there because the process of doing science often involves starting with a new notion or explanation, working out some of the details and implications of the idea, and developing some means of assessing the feasibility of the notion. These processes don’t have to be performed by a single person, the development can be distributed across many. I don’t see an idea suddenly becoming a scientific only after a test can be developed to assess it. The development of an idea is simply a stage in the overall scientific process. This is the stage where I think most of the multiverse theories current exist. They’re not ‘unscientific’. What we don’t know yet is whether there are some specific cases where theorists can come up with experiments to test the ideas. Obviously, the work remains a largely mathematical exercise at this time but it’s one area where scientists are trying to get a handhold on how the universe came to be as it is. To claim there is a multiverse or say we know something about it is pure hokum. They do need to back up the theoretical work with observational validation But I don’t think that to work on such theories is unscientific. It’s preliminary investigation and not uncommon in science.


#16

Sorry Roger. I think my point wasn’t clear. I wrote:

Likewise is the speculation that this is a single universe that was created ex nihilo. It is also inherently untestable and theoretically (from the standpoint of physic) bereft as well.

We don’t know whether ours is the only Big Bang in the universe. The best we can say is that ours is the only Big Bang we can currently observe. At t=0 or even very, very close to zero, our theories of physics break down. I don’t think we really know what started the universe or how it started.

Personally, I don’t share the hope that theology will provide much help here. Not too sure about philosophy, as well.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #17

The way I read the science, the Big Bang is the universe. Whether there are other Big Bangs and other universes is another question, but it is moot. We don’t know, we can’t know unless it is revealed by God, and it makes NO difference to our lives.

[quote=“Argon, post:16, topic:37866”]
The best we can say is that ours is the only Big Bang we can currently observe.
[/quote]

Since it is the only universe that we can observe, it is the only one we can scientifically accept.

But we do know because of Einstein’s Theory that when t = 0, then m = 0 and e = 0 and space = 0. Of course when we reach the limits of time and space our theories break down.

Why you should reject other sources of human knowledge seems strange. It seems to me that some folks are trying to create a no-God of the gaps. That is because we cannot prove absolutely that God does exist, even though we can make a strong case for God as the Source of the universe.


#19

I don’t reject these as potential sources of knowledge. I just don’t see these as particularly useful in this case.


#20

If our theories break down and certainly they are incomplete, how can one conclude all those factors are zero?


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #21

Why? Knowledge is knowledge from whatever the source. Gen.1 described the Big Bang long before science did. The proof is in the pudding.

The math works out to 0. E = mc squared is proven science, not pure speculation. Besides the evidence from space and background radiation indicate that.

In my considered opinion the evidence for “the Big Bang creation out of nothing theory” is better founded scientifically than Darwinian evolution theory.