Faith in the Multiverse


Faith in the multiverse

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The “anthropic principle”—the idea that the physical features of our world are ideally suited for life on earth—has been an annoyance to those who believe that our universe and life on earth are products of random processes. Indeed, it has been difficult to explain even the physical constants of the universe without resorting to some sort of “intelligent design” position. Multiverse to the rescue!

The notion that parallel universes exist is not a new idea. The latest versions of the multiverse concept postulate that there exist other realities in which even the physical laws which govern our universe are different. Thus, given enough time and enough realities, random processes could result in absolutely anything. And the random processes which produced “us” are just the only ones we know about.

Recent articles in Scientific American have explored various scientists’ opinions on the multiverse issue. Those that oppose the possibility must necessarily do so on the basis of the physics in this universe. Those who accept the possibility can argue from an “anything goes” position in which the only rules which exist are those they choose to imagine. Thus the multiverse would be completely untestable based on any scientific principles.

The latest Scientific American article tries to recruit the inflationary hypothesis espoused by big bang cosmologists to scientifically demonstrate that multiverses should exist while still allowing that the absence of evidence for their existence is equally okay. After all, enough time may not have passed, the writer reasons, for the big-bang-generated bubble which represents our universe to have bumped into other reality bubbles!

The Scientific American article concludes that those who reject the multiverse’s existence are arrogantly claiming to be omniscient or at least capable of intuitively understanding all physical realities. Then it appeals to the inflation paradigm on which current big bang cosmology depends (as if either the inflationary hypothesis or the big bang were proven facts) and uses it as scientific support for the multiverse.

The multiverse question must of necessity be a matter of faith, and not even the kind of faith held by Bible-believing creationists who are able to see that no valid indisputable scientific observations violate God’s Word. Yet reputable secular scientists are able to freely discuss their faith-filtered scientific opinions on the multiverse question while mocking the positions held by creation scientists.

The article equates faith in the Bible’s account of creation with faith in “comfortingly familiar childhood notions like Santa Claus, local realism, [and] the Tooth Fairy.” How curious that the scientifically supportable information in the Bible is mocked while faith in a multiverse—by definition allowed to violate any scientific laws—is respected! While multiverse notions make good fodder for sci-fi, we need to remember that the idea represents one more effort to randomize God out of the reality human beings must face in this world and the next.

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