God vs The Multiverse

Click here for God vs The Multiverse: a rational argument for the Existence of One God who intelligently designed one universe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 21: On Knowing God)

Steven Weinberg asks a very direct question (which we took the liberty of expanding upon).  What does the word 'God' even mean?  It merely signifies an empty mysterious Being, which does not explain how order, complexity, and fine tuning come from this Being.  The word has no value as essentially it represents a big question mark.  We still have no concept of why there is order and complexity, and we intrinsically can never know!

A further question that can be raised on our explanation of fine tuning is as follows: How could the God of Abraham (One Simple Necessary Existence) possibly be the Intelligent Designer of the universe?  Doesn't saying that God is Intelligent, necessarily imply complexity in His Absolutely Simple Essence?  Calling an Absolutely Simple Existence "Intelligent" is nothing other that a contradiction of terms! You might as well say square-circle, and admit to believing in that which is absurd!

We think that these epistemological questions get right at the most abstract part of these posts.  The solution to these questions can be apprehended by understanding the important role that fundamentals play in scientific models.  It is essential to understand how the human mind builds models of reality, and the intrinsic limitations that this imposes upon our ability to comprehend all that is real.

The basic answer to these questions is that 'intelligence' is a description of that which God produced; namely, the universe.  It is not a component of His Absolutely Simple Essence, as that would indeed imply complexity in that which is Absolutely Simple, which is an absurd idea.  That which is Absolutely Simple can not be understood it terms of anything simpler.  This answer is easy to say, but hard to grasp, and we will spend the rest of the post trying to elucidate this critical concept.

Once again, we are going to work with the scientific example of the previous posts to help illustrate the concept of fundamental and the intrinsic limitations of understanding that which is fundamental.  The important idea is not the particulars of the science, but rather to grasp the role that fundamentals play in human understanding. We want to reiterate that we are NOT saying that God is the most fundamental particle, or that God's Absolute Simplicity is to be equated with the limited simplicity of fundamental particles.  (See post 18 and its comments for more details on this important point.)

Modern science has been very successful at reducing the complex objects and events in the universe to a few fundamental particles that interact with one another.  An electron is one of the fundamental particles, which means that as far as we know, it can not be understood in terms of anything more basic.  Consequently, we can not comprehend the essence of an electron.  (Again, if string theory is true, a similar line of reasoning will apply for a fundamental string.)

However, we can understand an electron by studying how it acts.  We know that it interacts with fundamental particles called photons, so we say it has an intrinsic property called 'charge'.  All 'charge' really means is that an electron interacts with photons.  We do not know what about the electron causes this, because an electron is not made out of anything simpler that would enable us to understand how it does this.  That is why science calls the electron a fundamental particle.

Additionally, we do not even understand the nature of the interaction between two electrons repelling each other.  According to the incredibly successful theory of QED, each electron absorbs or emits virtual messenger photons in this interaction.  Despite this description, we have no real understanding about this fundamental interaction.  An electron has no internal structure, so what does it even mean for an electron to absorb a photon?  How does it do that?  Where does it "put" the photon?  We can not answer these questions, because science can not reduce this interaction to any simpler explanation.  Science therefore calls it a fundamental interaction.

While the action of "pushing" is usually accomplished by a complex object (like a person or a machine) via the expansion and contraction of its various parts, in the case of an electron this same action is accomplished by a fundamental entity.  However, we can not explain how one electron "pushes" another electron (as we can by the person or the machine), except by saying they exchange virtual photons.

QED models the actions of an electron; it does not model the essence of an electron or explain how a simple electron does what it does.  We simply do not understand how electrons absorb and emit virtual photons; they just do, and that is what causes the two electrons to push each other away.  The one thing we do know is that it is not by flexing their little complex electron muscles.

Just because we can not further understand the essence of electrons, photons, and their fundamental interactions, does not mean that QED explains nothing about the universe.  The exact opposite is true.  Once we accept these few simple first principles of QED, we are able (in theory) to understand all complex phenomenon which only involve electrons, photons, and their interaction (such as chemistry and biology).

Thus, scientists do not know what an electron actually is or what about an electron causes its action.  However, they are satisfied to posit its existence, describe its actions, and see how complexity results from these simple fundamental principles. They realize that this is the most that one can possibly know about something which is truly fundamental.

The questions of "What is a fundamental particle really?" and  "How does something so simple do what it does?", bothers the layperson very much.  The layman may challenge the scientist by claiming that he is being illogical. The action of "pushing" can only be accomplished by a complex object via the expansion and contraction of its various parts.  How can an irreducible fundamental particle push anything?  Which part of it does the pushing?  Just to say that "it pushes" is illogical! We may as well posit a square-circle!

It is clear that this objection is based upon the layman's frustration and lack of experience with the study of fundamentals.  There is a major difference between something which is a logical contradiction (square-circle), and something which a person can not truly model because of its fundamental nature.  There is nothing illogical about the action of a simple object.  However, since humans understand things by reducing them to their simpler components, there is an intrinsic limitation on our ability to explain the simplest existences. They can not be modeled in the same way we model everything else that is complex, and their actions must be accepted as first principles.

When scientists say that an electron absorbs and emits a photon, they do not actually mean it absorbs it. Taken literally, this implies parts and complexity which would contradict the definition of an electron as a fundamental particle.  Rather, it is a descriptive model for the action of an electron.  In order to describe fundamental particles at all, we have no choice but to use language that is in truth inapplicable, but conveys some sense to listener.

Despite the limitations of language for describing the model, we use it so we can have some working understanding of the action of an electron.  There is nothing illogical about this, but is rather something forced upon science when it tries to adapt language and concepts that were derived from the complex world of human experience to a new realm of fundamental physics.  As the great quantum physicists, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, repeatedly said: Fundamental physics has no choice but to speak in the language of the common man.  We advise the reader to pause and think this abstract point through.

Based upon these considerations regarding fundamental existences, we can answer Weinberg's question.  The knowledge that we can have of the God of Abraham is the only type of knowledge that is logically possible of something fundamental: knowledge of the complexity that results from His actions, but not a simpler understanding of His Essence.  It is logically impossible to explain the Essence of that which is Ultimately Fundamental with something else.

It is senseless to ask to comprehend God's Essence by reduction to greater simplicity, and thereby understand how intelligent actions result from God's Absolutely Simple Essence.  This would be analogous to asking to understand what fundamental particles are made of, and how they produce fundamental interactions in terms of something simpler.  If they could be reduced to something simpler, they would no longer be fundamental.

God does actions which are similar to those done by complex entities. This does not imply that these actions can only be accomplished by complex entities. When done by God, however, we can not go any further than saying that He does the actions that produce specific results.  We can not explain how He does it by providing a model, but we nevertheless do not deny our observation that the universe is designed and ordered (and thereby posit an infinite chaotic multiverse).  We recognize that the actions of an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence are fundamentally different from those of a complex existence, and we can understand why they can not be understood in terms of anything simpler.

While it is true that we do not know anything further about the Essence of the One Simple Necessarily Existence, we do know something about the universe He caused.  The proof from the fine tuning tells us something about the universe; that the laws, constants and initial conditions of the universe have a teleological explanation and are not the result of random chance.  Once we know this about the universe, we know that the Cause of the universe is intelligent as opposed to unintelligent.

The statement that the One Simple Necessary Existence is intelligent, is not positive knowledge of God's Essence; it is knowledge of the product of His actions.  It is based upon our scientific understanding of the universe that He caused.  If, after studying the universe, we came to the conclusion that it was full of infinite chaotic nonsense, we would say the god who made that universe was stupid.  In fact, the gods of the multiverse are very stupid and unintelligent gods.  The difference between saying that the One God of Abraham is intelligent, and the gods of the multiverse are stupid, is entirely based upon the fact that the one universe we observe is ordered and fine tuned.

All positive terms that we attribute to the God of Abraham, such as alive, intelligent, and powerful, are used to describe His actions.  Dead gods do not create universes.  Stupid gods make multiverses.  Impotent gods create about as much as dead gods, which is to say, nothing at all.  We have no recourse when speaking about the One Fundamental Existence, other than to use the language of the common man.  All the positive characteristics we attribute to the One Simple Necessary Existence are always descriptions of the complex products of His actions; or if you prefer, descriptions about the complex universe, which is identical with His actions.

Abraham's discovery was that ultimately, there must be an Absolutely Simple Existence which we can know only in terms of His actions and the complexity that is produced by His Simple Essence.  Abraham's God is the One Simple Necessary Existence which explains the ordered complex universe He caused, but whose Essence can not logically be reduced and further comprehended in terms of anything simpler.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 20: Monotheism)

The following video is the first part of a discussion between two of the most prominent atheistic scientists, Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg.  (Their questions against God start at about the 6:30 mark.)  In this post, we will address Dawkins' question of "Who designed the complex intelligent designer?".  This same argument was made by the philosopher and skeptic David Hume in his questions on the argument from design.

We will also address Weinberg's question of "Why is God this way rather than some other way?". Meaning, if we infer an Intelligent Designer and have a specific meaning of the word 'God', we are still left with the mystery of explaining why a different formulation of God is not a satisfactory explanation for the fine tuning and order in the universe.  What have we even gained by saying 'God', when God Himself needs an explanation for why He is the way He is?!  (In the next post, we will address Weinberg's other objection that the term 'God' is an empty concept with no meaning.)

Dawkins' main attack against the explanation of an Intelligent Designer is that 'God' is no explanation at all, for it merely pushes the question back to who designed the designer.  Now, we have to explain God, so the explanation hasn't really helped.  Dawkins says that God would have to be a highly complex entity in order to do the things we are saying He does, like ordaining the laws of physics, setting the constants just right, and ordering the initial conditions of the big bang.

The underling flaw with this question lies in a straw man notion of God as some super complex intelligence (a plurality having many interconnected parts).  You almost get the feeling that Dawkins is imagining a really huge brain or an über computer.  He is makes a category mistake by comparing human intelligence which is rooted in a complex physical brain (or alternatively for simulation hypothesis lovers, a super duper complex computer) that exists as a part of the physical universe in space-time, to the One Simple Necessary Existence which created the universe itself, and Exists separately from space-time.

Abraham's concept of One Simple God is an entirely different idea than a highly complex entity.  God has no complexity that needs to be designed; no parts that need to be ordered; no quantities that need to be fine tuned.   Abraham's God is not a fine tuned quantitative equation with ordered parts related by an equals sign.  Abraham's God is Absolutely Simple.

Abraham's great discovery was that from the utmost simplicity comes the greatest complexity.  From the Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence comes a complex universe with many parts and quantities that are subject to design, order, and fine tuning.  There is no sense in applying those terms (design, order, and fine tuning) to a Simple Existence with no complexity, parts, or quantities.

In fact, this very question of who designed the complex designer leads directly to the conclusion that God is Absolutely Simple.  If we were to posit a complex and ordered designer to explain the many complex and ordered existences that we observe, we would surely be committing a logical fallacy.  Since we maintain that ordered complexity demands a simpler explanation that designed it, then we would have to logically maintain that something even simpler must have designed any complex and ordered designer (like a big brain).  This regress can not go on ad infinitum, and can only logically terminate in One Simple Necessary Existence with no complexity whatsoever.  Only with this conception of God does it become meaningless to ask further, "Who designed the Designer?".

This conception of an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence directly leads to Abraham's conclusion of monotheism, that there is only one Absolutely Simple God.  It is impossible that there should be two beings whose essences are absolutely simple necessary existence.  The reasoning for this is as follows: Either these two gods are perfectly identical with each other, or there is something in at least one god that differentiates it from the other god.

If there was nothing that distinguished the two gods, then there is no sense in saying they are two, just like it makes no sense to say there are two identical laws of gravity.  If two things are perfectly identical, with nothing to distinguish them (shape, color, space, time, etc.), then they are not two things, but are rather one and the same thing.

If one of the gods (god A) would have some accident (in addition to their shared common essence of absolute simplicity) that differentiated it from the other god (god B), then god A would be complex as it has two parts (the common essence that they both share, and the additional accident that distinguishes the two beings).  god A would not be an Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence, and we are then left with only one God whose essence is Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence.

This also answers Weinberg's question of "Why is God this way rather than some other way?".  There are not two logical ways that One Simple Necessary Existence can be.  That question only makes sense if a god has any complexity whatsoever (Dawkins' god).  Then we could ask why he couldn't be ordered in a different way.  If god had some quantities, then we could ask why his number couldn't be different.  However, this question is senseless in reference to the God of Abraham.

The main concept of Abraham's discovery of monotheism is that God is simple in the negative sense; that He has no parts or complexity whatsoever.  Therefore, there can only be One Simple God.  The idea of One is also most clearly comprehended in a negative sense:  The God of Abraham is not two, nor is He infinite.  Abraham's God is Real, but His Reality is qualitatively different from every other being whose existence is contingent on Him.

The core idea of monotheism is that there is One Simple Necessary Existence which causes all the ordered complexity in the universe.  One means not two.  Simple means not complex.  Necessary means not contingent.  Existence means not a figment of our imagination (like other false gods who are not real, but are mere products of human fantasy).

Any other belief system which maintains that there is only one complex god (i.e, the sun, a transhuman, or any other physical entity) is not truly monotheistic.  It can be more properly described as a polytheistic belief system, whose number of complex gods happens to be one.  True monotheism is not merely about the number of gods, but is rather Abraham's unique concept of a Unique God: One Simple Necessary Existence.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 19: Necessary Existence)

In this post, we will answer two age-old questions by showing that they are based upon premises which do not apply to Abraham's formulation of God as a Necessary Existence. We will show that a proper understanding of the concept of Necessary Existence undermines these questions.

1) Who caused God?  
2) If God has no cause, then why does He even exist? 

When studying the physical universe, we can causally trace back all the physical events we observe in space and time to prior physical events that caused them.  Ultimately, this chain of causation leads to the first physical event that began space and time, the first moment of the big bang.  This first physical event, like every physical event in space and time, must have a cause.

It is logically impossible to only have an infinite chain of beings that are contingent on other contingent beings.  At some point in the chain of causation, we must arrive at a cause which itself has no prior cause.  We call this first nonphysical cause a Necessary Existence because Its Existence is not contingent on any prior cause, in contrast to all other physical existences (including the first physical event in space-time) which are ultimately dependent on this Necessary Existence for their existence.  (See the first comment below, where we explain how this same reasoning applies to a model of an eternal universe with an infinite sequence of events in space-time.)

There is a qualitative ontological difference between Necessary Existence (where Existence is essential) and a contingent existence (where existence is accidental), and every model of reality must have at least one necessary existence.  For some multiverse scientists, the necessary existences are a group of nonphysical, eternal, unintelligent equations (in conjunction with an eternal random number generator).  Stephen Hawking writes at at the end of his article Why God Did Not Create the Universe:
"As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."
For Hawking, this "nothing" is not truly nothing, but rather means nothing physical in space and time, (nothing which we call 'the universe'). The laws of gravity and quantum theory are nonphysical somethings which have necessary existence in this theory, and "allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing".  If we would ask Hawking who created these laws, presumably he would say that they have necessary existence and therefore have no prior cause.  The problem with these necessary existences is that they do not satisfactorily explain the universe and its fine tuning (see posts 2,3, and 4 for more details).

For Abraham, God is the One Simple Necessary Existence who intelligently designed the universe that He created from nothing.  The causal chain of contingent existences is ultimately dependent on God, who is a Necessary Existence that is independent of anything else.

With this in mind, we can answer the question of "Who caused God?" by undermining the very premise of the question.  The question is only legitimate regarding contingent existences (beings that have a cause for their existence), but makes no sense with regards to a Necessary Existence (which has no cause for its Existence).  The premise of the question assumes that the term 'God' represents a created contingent being, just like all other things in the chain of causation.  However, since God is that which Necessarily Exists and starts off the chain, it makes no sense to ask "Who created God?"

We can answer the related question of "Why does God exist?" in a similar manner. The question of why something exists, also presumes that this something is a contingent existence; since its existence is accidental, it could exist or it could not exist.  It is then sensible to ask, why it exists rather than not exist.  However, with regards to a Necessary Existence, a Being whose Existence is essential, we can no longer ask why It exists, because there are not two possibilities for Its Existence.

The situation would be analogous to asking "Why is a circle round?".  This is not a legitimate question.  We can ask why a particular lake is round, because the accident of roundness is not the essence of a lake, but is rather a quality of a particular lake.  We can therefore ask why the accident of roundness is present in this particular lake.  When it comes to the concept of a circle, however, roundness is part of the very essence of the concept of circle.  If it were not round, it would not be a circle, but rather some other shape.  It therefore makes no sense to ask why a circle is round.

This is an important point to understand.  It does not make sense to seek a teleological explanation for something that has no prior cause.  It only makes sense to ask "why something exists", if that something was caused by an intelligent agent who acts with a purpose.  Likewise, if something admits of a teleological explanation, it has a prior cause of an intelligent agent.  This is the basic reason why it no longer made any sense at all to say that the constants were necessary existences, after modern science discovered that they were fine tuned and therefore had a teleological explanation.

The idea of the God of Abraham is the One Simple Necessary Existence which is responsible for all other contingent existences. Therefore, there is simply no sensible meaning to the questions of "Who created God?" or "Why does God exist?".

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 18: Simplicity and Complexity)

We want to be clear about what we are, and what we are not, presenting in Stage Three of this proof. This stage is not independent of the prior two stages, and we are not presenting an ontological argument for God's Existence.  We have already established (based upon modern science in the prior two stages of the proof) that the universe must have an Intelligent Designer.  We intend to show that the only reasonable formulation for this Intelligent Designer is the God of Abraham.  Every other complex formulation is subject to critical flaws that we will discuss in the coming posts, while the God of Abraham satisfactorily avoids these difficulties.

The main purpose of this post is to convey Abraham's concept of One Simple God.  We do not mean 'simple' in the way that it is often used to denote something easy to understand, in contrast to something which is hard ('complicated') to understand.  Something can be simple, yet difficult to understand because of its abstract nature.  Rather, we mean simplicity in a specific sense, which is best understood in contrast to complexity.

We are using the following examples from science to contrast simplicity with complexity, in order to help explain what we mean.  The key point is not the particular examples, but rather how we are using the word 'simplicity'.  The examples also provide a good illustration how something can be simple, yet very difficult to understand.  Additionally, the various different types of examples show just how important and ubiquitous the concept of simplicity is for all of our scientific understanding of the universe.

The human brain is a very complex entity.  It is composed of relatively simpler cells, called neurons.  Each complex cell is composed of many simpler molecules.  Molecules are ultimately made of fundamental particles, like electrons and quarks (if string theory is correct, then strings are the fundamental existences).  Electrons and quarks might seem complicated, but they are really exceptionally simple compared to a human brain which is composed of about 100 billion neurons.

If we were asked to explain exactly what an electron really is, we couldn't really give a good answer.  An electron has no known internal substructure, and is idealized as a point particle with no spacial extension.  We could say that an electron is an essential form of energy, that has certain intrinsic properties like charge and spin; but we couldn't understand what causes it to have these properties in terms of something simpler, as an electron is a fundamental particle.

When discussing the brain on the other hand, despite its complexity (or better yet, because of its complexity), we can gain some understanding of it by analyzing it into its components.  We can study their relationships and attempt to develop a theory explaining the resultant functionality of the more complex emergent entity of the brain.

We say that something is simple when it is basic or fundamental.  When one thing can be used to explain many phenomenon, we say that it is simpler than they are.  In fact, the very essence of causal understanding consists of reducing complexity to simplicity, and showing how simplicity leads to complexity.  Albert Einstein eloquently wrote:
The basic concepts and laws which are not logically further reducible constitute the indispensable and not rationally deducible part of the theory. It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.
Just like there is simplicity and complexity in the objects and structures of the universe, the same concepts are true regarding the forces in the universe.  For instance, Newton's theory of gravitation unified the cause of motion on earth with the cause of motion in the heavens, showing how they were both caused by the same underlying force called the law of gravity.  In this sense, Newtonian gravitation simplified our understanding of the basic forces in the universe.  Instead of the heavens and earth being two entirely different domains with totally different forces (a more complex universe), they were now seen to be two instances of one simpler force.

Similarly, Maxwell's four famous equations showed that the two apparently different phenomena of electricity and magnetism were in fact two expressions of one simpler electromagnetic force.  In fact, light also becomes unified as an electromagnetic wave under this simple framework.  This theory greatly simplifies our understanding of the universe by reducing apparently different phenomena (electricity, magnetism, light, etc.) to simpler principles.  The search for a unified theory of everything is an attempt to further this pursuit and to unify all forces in nature as different expressions of one simple force.

A more familiar example from biology involves the complex phenomenon of life. The theory of evolution explains the many, varied, complex forms of life based upon a simple theory involving a replicator (DNA), mutations, natural selection, and a long time.

The discovery of One Simple Existence as the ultimate explanation for the great complexity we observe in the universe was made by the greatest philosopher of science, Abraham, approximately 3800 years ago.  Abraham's concept is that the reduction of complex causes to simplicity ends at a fundamentally Simple Cause.  This Simple Existence is not reducible to anything more basic or fundamental.  Abraham identified this Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence as the God of the universe.  (We will explain what we mean by 'Necessary' in the next post.)

In order to gain insight into Abraham's conception of God, and what we can and can not know about Him, consider the following.  When analyzing existences in the universe, we can usually proceed in two opposite directions.  We can analyze their simpler components, or we can see what complexity emerges from them.  For example, cells can be understood as an special arrangement of simpler existences like electrons and quarks.  On the other hand, cells can also be understood as relatively simple existences that, when properly ordered, give rise to a human brain.

When we come to the fundamental existences in the universe, however, scientific understanding only proceeds in one direction. For example, we can study what emerges from fundamental particles, but we can not reduce fundamental particles to a simpler physical entity as they have no substructure or parts.  It is because of this irreducibility that they do not lend themselves to the same type of simpler explanation as everything else in the universe that is comprised of them.

The purpose of these various scientific examples is to show how we are analogously using the word 'simple' when saying that Abraham's God is Absolutely Simple.  However, this One Simple Existence is not a physical existence, but is rather entirely unique and different from all other existences. God is simple in an absolute sense (He has no complexity whatsoever), while all other existences are only simple in a specific limited sense, but partake of complexity in other regards. (See the first comment below for an elaboration on the limitation of the simplicity of a fundamental particle.  Similar analyses, some found in later comments, exhibit the limitation of the simplicity of all existences other than Abraham's God.  For this post in particular, reading the comments will be very helpful to fully understand the idea.)

Abraham's concept of One Simple God of the universe can only be understood by the complexity He causes.  We can only understand Him by studying what results from Him.  We can study the universe He created and see that it is beautiful, ordered, complex, structured, etc.  We see a marvelous chain of existences that this Simple Existence has created, and we therefore say that this One Simple God is Intelligent.  Thus, Intelligence is not fundamentally a simpler definition of His Essence, but is rather knowledge about that which results from His actions (the universe).

We can not logically explain Abraham's God in terms of simpler existences.  We can not understand Him like we can understand everything else in the universe, because He is the Simplest Existence.  We can not compare Him to something with complexity, because He is different than a complex being.  He does not have components or accidents in addition to His Essence.  He is absolutely simply.

Abraham's God is a formulation of the Intelligent Designer of the universe that allows us to make sense of everything else that exists in the universe; but the other existences and concepts can not be used to explain Him.  Abraham's God set the initial conditions of the big bang in a way that incredible order and complexity naturally emerged as the universe evolved.  Abraham's God fine tuned the fundamental constants of nature (the numbers that define the quantities of the fundamental particles and fundamental forces) in a way that all the beautiful and wondrously complex structures emerge from the utmost simplicity.

Who is the Intelligent Designer of the universe?

The God of Abraham.  One Simple Necessary Existence.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 17: Summary of Stage Two)

In summarizing the proof thus far, we want to show how the proof from the fine tuning of the constants and initial conditions is exhaustive in discussing all possible explanations for the fine tuning.   In addition to the fact that design and order point to an Intelligent Designer, there is no reasonable alternative for explaining the fine tuning in the universe.

We want to make it clear that we are not using the process of elimination to establish an Intelligent Designer.  Fine tuning, in and of itself, points to an Intelligent Designer.  Rather, we are demonstrating that we have not missed any other types of explanations which would account for the fine tuning of the constants and initial conditions.  This is important because a person attains a much greater degree of conviction in the truth of any theory, when he can categorize all other possible theories and realize that they are insufficient to explain the facts.

There are only four possible types of theories which can explain the particular values of the constants of nature (the same line of reasoning applies to the initial conditions):
(1)  Necessary Existences;
(2)  Intelligent Designer;
(3)  Master Mathematical Equation of the Universe;
(4)  Multiverse.

We know these are the only possibilities based on the following reasoning:

Either the particular values of the constants have a cause, or they do not have a cause.  If they do not have a cause, that means that they are Necessary Existences (Theory 1).  The other three theories explain the constants based upon a cause.  The disagreement between the different theories is about the nature of this cause.

Assuming that they do have a cause, either the cause of the constants is Intelligent, or it is not intelligent.  If it is Intelligent, that means they were designed by an Intelligent Agent (Theory 2).  On the other hand, Theories 3 and 4 both assume an unintelligent cause, but differ on the nature of this unintelligent cause.

Assuming that the cause is unintelligent, we must consider the nature of the relationship between this cause and the resultant constants.  Either the relationship is deterministic (i.e., the particular values of the constants necessarily result from the cause), or it is not deterministic (i.e., the particular values of the constants do not necessarily result from the cause, but arise from the cause by a probabilistic/chance mechanism).

If the unintelligent cause is deterministic, that  means that there is some master mathematical law which necessarily determines every constant to every last decimal place (Theory 3).  If the unintelligent cause is not deterministic, then one must explain how the probabilistic mechanism (some sort of random number generator) happened to select the right values for our universe to emerge. In order for this to be reasonable, one must posit a multiverse with a near infinite number of universes; in each universe, the probabilistic mechanism randomly selects particular values for each constant (Theory 4).

The outline below summarizes the breakdown of all of the possible explanations for the particular values of the constants (and initial conditions).  This is a good point to pause and think.  See if you are convinced that these possibilities are exhaustive, or ask us if you disagree.

I. No cause:  Necessary Existences - Theory 1

II. Cause:

        A.  Intelligent Cause:   Designer -  Theory 2

        B. Unintelligent Cause:

                   i. Unintelligent, deterministic cause:   Master Mathematical Equation -  Theory 3

                   ii. Unintelligent, not deterministic cause:   Multiverse -  Theory 4

At the end of Stage One (Post 6), we summarized the reasoning for rejecting Theories 1 and 3. Essentially, they are difficult theories to begin with, which are made untenable by their lack of explanation of the fine tuning.

In Stage Two, we formulated many arguments to reject Theory 4 (the multiverse).  We illustrated why any theory that can explain anything, really explains nothing (multiverse of the gaps fallacy).  We also demonstrated why Theory 2 (an Intelligent Agent) does not commit this fallacy.

Throughout Stage Two, we argued how scientists have mistaken a question about the philosophy of science for a scientific question.  They confuse a philosophical theory couched in mathematical language with the science of physics.  We called this mathematical wonderland.  In pretending that their philosophical theory is science, they have distorted the scientific method and undermined the institution of science itself.  

It is clear that the fine tuning of our universe is not a proof for the multiverse (as Greene claims), but an indication of Design. Additionally, we have demonstrated why the other two 'proofs' given to support the multiverse are actually the two biggest problems with their own theories.  The landscape problem is the Achilles' heal of string theory, not evidence for a multiverse.  Eternal Inflation creates many problems with infinities (Boltzmann Brain Paradox, Santa Claus, etc.), in addition to the fact that the infinities render it impossible to make any predictions without the introduction of ad hoc measures.

Finally, we showed how multiverse thinking leads scientists into total oblivion. They seriously contemplate the possibility that they aren't even real, but are the creations of a physical, super intelligent, transhuman god.

The very popularity of multiverse theory among scientists is a great source of conviction in the proof.  Every year, more and more physicists are professing faith in the multiverse.  This makes it clear to you that you haven't missed some simple answer to the problem.  This also illustrates just how serious the problems of fine tuning of the constants and initial conditions are.  It is not for naught that scientists are positing an idea as wildly speculative and unscientific as an infinite amount of unobservable universes.

We think that one of the main reasons why scientists have faith in the multiverse, is because they do not see the idea of One God as a rational belief.  They find the idea of God impossible to entertain (see video in post 15).   They also lodge many serious questions against Theory 2 (an Intelligent Designer).   Who caused God?  Or, if He has no cause, then why does He exist?   What designed the Designer?  What knowledge do we even have by saying 'God', which is just a word that represents an empty concept!?

For this proof to stand firm, we must show that Theory 2 can be formulated in a clear manner.  It will not suffice for us to simply leave a vague notion of God and walk away.  It is incumbent upon us to present and defend a rational formulation for the theory of an Intelligent Designer, in a manner that satisfactorily answers all serious questions with our formulation.

In the final stage of the proof (Stage Three), we will present a clear formulation of Theory 2.  We do not pretend to have discovered this formulation ourselves.  Rather, we will clearly explain, to the best of our limited abilities, the theory of One God as discovered by Abraham (approximately 3800 years ago).

We will explain why Abraham's God is a satisfactory explanation for the fine tuning of our universe.  We will not be able to address and disprove every possible formulation of a god that people have ever invented; nor is it necessary for us to do so for this proof to stand firm.  (There are even more flawed and false formulations of god(s) than there are models for the multiverse.)  We will simply attempt to present a rational concept of an Intelligent Agent, so that you are in a position where you are free to choose which of the above four theories you maintain to be true.

Click here to continue to Stage 3a.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 16: Scientific Consensus)

We want to openly address a doubt that someone might harbor about the proof, based on the fact that most current scientists don't believe in God.  If it is really as clear as we are presenting it, why don't these brilliant people accept it?  If multiverse theory is actually as ridiculous as it appears, how is it that so many great modern day scientists have faith in it?

This question is based upon a seemingly very rational appeal to the authority of great scientists.  However, we think that the conviction about the existence of an Intelligent Designer can not justifiably be resolved by reliance upon scientific authorities for many reasons.

The value of scientific consensus as an authoritative position has applicability when it is about science itself.  This requires that almost all knowledgeable scientists claim that a theory has made credible predictions, which are confirmed through observation.  In that situation, it makes no sense to doubt their authority, as it is something that would be revealed as a lie if it were false.  For a layperson to doubt scientific consensus that has developed through experimental confirmation, borders on positing a conspiracy theory.  However, we hope it is clear by now that multiverse theory does not come under this category at all, as scientists are not claiming that it makes credible predictions which are confirmed by observation.

In addition, the question of whether there really exists an Intelligent Designer of the universe, is an issue that many people come to with a strong prejudice.  There are deep emotional reasons motivating some people to believe in an Intelligent Designer, and just as powerful emotional reasons motivating others to deny Him.  We do not pretend to be free of emotional biases either.  As such, to blindly accept authorities (philosophic, scientific, religious, etc.) in such an area is a mistake.  You have no choice but to honestly investigate and freely decide what you believe to be true using your mind.

Moreover, this is an area in which there isn't a consensus of authorities among scientists themselves.  There are numerous modern day scientists who maintain that there is an Intelligent Cause, and an even greater number who consider multiverse theory to be speculative and unscientific.  We have shown their opinions throughout the proof, in the articles and videos we have linked to.

While most modern day scientists would rather posit meaningless randomness which gives forth the illusion of order and structure by pure chance, the two greatest scientists of all time had a deep unshakable conviction in an Intelligent Cause responsible for the order and beauty in the universe.  Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein arrived at this knowledge without the proof from the fine tuning of the constants.  They were able to see this Intelligence from the harmony of the natural laws and the wondrous order of the cosmos, and they realized that this Intelligence was incomparably greater than any human intelligence.

We sometimes hear atheists attack this proof by saying "it's just the old design argument."  There is a reason that great thinkers throughout the ages have seen the design and intelligence manifest in nature, and have inferred the reality of an Intelligence behind it all.  The wisdom in the creation has always been apparent to those who studied it; whether through the model of Aristotelian physics, Newtonian physics, or Modern physics.  Every significant model of nature has reflected the work of an Awesome Intelligence.  Yes, the design argument has been around for along time, and it's not going anywhere.

We will bring some quotes from Newton and Einstein on this issue, but we want to preface these quotes with two points.  Firstly, we want to make it clear that we are not quoting Newton and Einstein in an attempt to argue from authority.  The opposite is true (and is evidenced by our not mentioning them until this post).  We mention them to show that you can not rely on the authority of modern day scientists who deny that intelligence is responsible for the order in nature.  There are even greater authorities, like Newton and Einstein, who did recognize this Intelligence. The philosophical issue of an Intelligent explanation for the order in nature, is an ancient dispute in which appeal to authority is totally useless.

Secondly, we are mentioning Newton and Einstein in the context of their recognition and appreciation of an Intelligence responsible for the universe they studied and admired. Their metaphysical beliefs about God Himself which do not emerge from the science (Divine Providence, miracles, prophecy, etc.) are not relevant to this point.  In fact, they didn't even agree with each other on these points.

Isaac Newton wrote in the General Scholium of his famous work Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy:
"This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being...This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all...He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, nor heard, not touched...much less then have we any idea of the substance of God. We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final causes...and a God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find, suited to different times and places, could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing."
One of the most famous quotes of Newton is:
"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. "
From Walter Isaacson's biography of Einstein, in the chapter called "Einstein's God" on page 386, Einstein is quoted as saying:
"I'm not an atheist.  The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds.  We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages.  The child knows someone must have written those books.  It does not know how.  It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is.  That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.  We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws."
From page 388:
"My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we can comprehend about the knowable world. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
From page 389:
"There are people who say there is no God.  But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views."
From page 390:
"The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who - in their grudge against traditional religion as the 'opium of the masses' - cannot hear the music of the spheres."
Ultimately, this is something that you have to freely decide using your own mind.  You can not rely on the authority of Newton and Einstein, much less that of modern day scientists and philosophers.  There is no substitute for investigating the area yourself and having conviction based on first hand knowledge, especially in an area like this where there are strong emotional biases on both sides of the argument.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 15: Are We Real?)

The following video by Martin Rees called "What We Still Don't Know: Are We Real?" is the best video we have ever seen on this matter.  We know it is a bit long (48 minutes), but it is well worth the time.  We saved the best for last.

The video presents, in a very candid fashion, how multiverse scientists have chosen to believe in a multiverse to explain the fine tuning, in order to avoid the conclusion that God exists.  This is explicitly said multiple times throughout the video, along with the claim that multiverse speculations are actual science.

Besides for this, the video has other excellent points as well.  It begins with a good description of how complexity arises from simplicity, a theme we will develop more in stage three of the proof regarding the concept of One God.  The final part of the video is an incredible illustration of the philosophical abyss that scientists have wandered into because they have denied the Intelligent Creator of the universe.

We will list our comments in an order that corresponds to the minutes of the video.

6-10: Mathematician John Conway's invention of the Game of Life, is an excellent example of how complexity emerges from simplicity.  However, Conway's makes a specious argument (9:45 minute mark) that there was no design whatsoever in the Game of Life, and that it behaves the way it does as a result of random behavior.  Upon simple analysis this claim is seen to be totally false.

An intelligent designer (Conway) chose a set of simple rules in order to produce complexity and structures.  He was not creative enough to invent new, simple laws (he says that they tried out many rules that didn't work), but rather had to mimic and copy the biological laws found in nature (which are also designed by an Intelligent Agent).  In addition, his creatures exist on a computer that itself was designed by another intelligent agent!

It is hard for us to comprehend how Conway can claim that the Game of Life inspires faith that the ordered complexity of his little creatures can be the result of random behavior, without a Designer.  It would seem that the Game of Life proves just the opposite conclusion.  Perhaps Conway just means that the utmost simplicity can lead to the great complexity if something intelligent chooses the right laws.  In that case, we most emphatically agree.

11-21: This is a very clear and honest presentation of the problem of the fine tuning of the constants. There are very clear statements made by the co-founder of string theory, Leonard Susskind (this part was in post 3), about physicists' feelings towards the theory of an Intelligent Designer to explain the fine tuning.  Scientists did not want to entertain the assumed-to-be-impossible idea of a Designer.  (The narrator says at minute 27 that "to avoid the conclusion that an Intelligent force had a hand in our creation, scientists invoked the principle of multiple universes.")

21-26: Rees says that some people want to give a religious explanation for the fine tuning, whereas he thinks it is a scientific question that should be addressed by cosmologists.  These cosmologists have found the simple and elegant explanation of the multiverse, which might require a leap of faith as profound as any religious belief.  There is no longer a need for a Fine Tuner.

26-29: Is multiverse theory science?  Max Tegmark says that what makes good science is whether you can rule the theory out or not.  (It would seem that he thinks the theory of demons is also good science, as it too can not be ruled out.)

Can we ever prove the multiverse is true?  Susskind says that we might have to wait some fraction of 2500 years, like they had to wait to prove the atomic hypothesis.  We will have to rely on the ingenuity of future physicists to figure it out, because we can't figure out any way to do it. 

34-46: Philosopher Nick Bostrom explains the Trans-human stage of human evolution which he believes is just beginning.  Bostrom says that his theory that we're not actually real, but are rather the simulation's of trans-human gods is meant to be taken literally, not metaphorically.  Of course, this theory is based on empirical considerations.

46: "In searching for an alternative explanation to the religious accounts of our creation, cosmologists have uncovered a possibility that seems incredibly similar.  An all-powerful, all-knowing, super intelligent being.  An entity whose motives are unfathomable and whose existence is unprovable." Rees says we would not be able to comprehend what a super intelligence would be able to achieve any more than a dog could comprehend quantum mechanics.

This alternative, modern-day god is based upon the Simulation Hypothesis, formalized by Nick Bostrom as follows: 
At least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
Based upon this hypothesis, Bostrom concludes (italics added): 
If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3)
We think that Bostrom is making a critical error in thought. The assignment of probabilities to an event is a type of knowledge and, as such, should be based upon knowledge, not ignorance. If one is in a "dark forest of ignorance", he is simply ignorant and cannot legitimately assign probabilities. Unfortunately, he must admit his ignorance, avoid speculating in this area, and move on to a more realistic, fruitful area of analysis. 

There are many speculative dichotomies or trichotomies that one could formulate for which we have no idea how to resolve.  It is not legitimate to simply "apportion one’s credence roughly evenly" to each of these outcomes.  For example: either there are demons or there aren't demons.  Given the dark forest of our knowledge of demonology... (It is entertaining to try to come up with your own.)

In his FAQ's regarding the simulation hypothesis, Bostrom says (question #2):
I note that people who hear about the simulation argument often react by saying, “Yes, I accept the argument, and it is obvious that it is possibility #n that obtains.” But different people pick a different n. Some think it obvious that (1) is true, others that (2) is true, yet others that (3) is true. The truth seems to be that we just don’t know which of the disjuncts is true.
This proves that no one has any way to intelligently approach the problem. This being the case, it is pseudoscience to make this an area of serious research and discussion.  When asked "Isn’t the simulation-hypothesis untestable?", Bostrom responds (Question #9):
There are clearly possible observations that would show that we are in a simulation. For example, the simulators could make a “window” pop up in front of you with the text “YOU ARE LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.” Or they could uplift you into their level of reality.
It's almost comical.  We are frequently left wondering if this is meant seriously, but then we remember that these scientists actually believe in alternate realities with 57 dimensions.  When pondering the implications of the hypothesis, Bostrom writes:
 Although all the elements of such a system can be naturalistic, even physical, it is possible to draw some loose analogies with religious conceptions of the world. In some ways, the posthumans running a simulation are like gods in relation to the people inhabiting the simulation: the posthumans created the world we see; they are of superior intelligence; they are “omnipotent” in the sense that they can interfere in the workings of our world even in ways that violate its physical laws; and they are “omniscient” in the sense that they can monitor everything that happens. However, all the demigods except those at the fundamental level of reality are subject to sanctions by the more powerful gods living at lower levels. 
Further rumination on these themes could climax in a naturalistic theogony that would study the structure of this hierarchy, and the constraints imposed on its inhabitants by the possibility that their actions on their own level may affect the treatment they receive from dwellers of deeper levels. For example, if nobody can be sure that they are at the basement-level, then everybody would have to consider the possibility that their actions will be rewarded or punished, based perhaps on moral criteria, by their simulators. An afterlife would be a real possibility.
As the narrator of the video points out, this is starting to sound a lot like a religion.  In fact, it seems a lot like idolatry to us.  In place of the old gods of classical paganism whose physical bodies were modeled after the form of their human inventors, the 'brain' these new gods are modeled after the brains of its inventors: human scientists, computer programmers and philosophers.

Paul Davies elaborates on the connection between multiverse theory and the simulation hypothesis in his New York Times article (2003), where he argues that the simulation hypothesis is the reductio ad absurdum conclusion of multiverse theory.  We hope that scientists will realize the destructive nature of the path through the dark forest of the multiverse, and abandon it quickly.

46-47: Tegmark: "It is very important for us physicists to not dismiss ideas just because they are weird, because if we did we would've already dismissed atoms, black holes and all sorts of other marvelous things. Actually, when you ask a basic question about the nature of reality, don't you expect an answer which is a bit weird. Anything but weird would be a big let down. Frankly, let's just accept that the universe is weird and accept it as part of its charm. "

We would like to note that the reason why atoms and black holes (and quantum mechanics) are accepted as part of reality despite their being weird, is because they are verified by experimentation and the scientific method. We have never seen weirdness as a criteria in favor of a scientific theory, or of its charm. If anything, scientists seem to have a preference for simple, beautiful ideas (if they can be verified, of course). In fact, we can come up with many weird, unprovable hypotheses to explain the mysteries of our universe (demons for instance).

This is the second to last post of Stage Two in which we focus on multiverse theory.  We hope that after reading and understanding these posts, you will agree that one of the main differences between the real non-physical One God, and cosmologists' new trans-human physical gods, is that the true God is provable while their multiverse/false gods are not.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 14: Boltzmann Brain Paradox)

In this post, we will discuss one of the serious problems which multiverse theory encounters by positing that our universe emerged from a random fluctuation out of chaos.  (Click here for the table of contents to the entire series - God vs The Multiversea rational argument for the Existence of One God who intelligently designed one universe.)

The Boltzmann Brain Paradox is one of the most significant (and humorous) points in this series.  It is expressed in a serious form by Richard Feynman, who is quoted by Sean Carroll in the embedded video below.  He explains very clearly why the entropy problem of post 4 is such a fundamental problem for multiverse theory.  If you find this post difficult to follow, try watching the very clear video (about 15 minutes), which will help you understand the main concept.

The Boltzmann Brain problem arises from taking the multiverse theory seriously and following it through to its logical conclusion.  Multiverse theory claims that the very low entropy (highly improbably) initial conditions for the big bang was the result of a random fluctuation in conjunction with an infinite number of tries.

The problem starts with the fact that, based upon entropy, it is much more likely (by a factor of  1010100 ) that a random fluctuation would have produced the entire universe as it is right now, than to have produced the initial conditions of the big bang.  This would mean that all our memories are mistaken as we think we actually remember the world five minutes ago looking very similar to the way it does now.

Further, it is still more likely that the random fluctuation should have produced a universe which is a combination of chaos and order, as opposed to a universe that is entirely ordered.  Recall that according to multiverse theory, the order which we observe in our universe is not a rule, but a random coincidence. Therefore, taking multiverse theory to its logical conclusion actually leads to a prediction that we will observe chaos anywhere new that we look in the cosmos  (i.e., places we have not observed yet).

This prediction of multiverse theory could be simply tested by looking (with the newest telescopes) in new directions or farther distances than we have previously observed.  An amazing thing happens when we do this.  We always find more galaxies and order, not chaos.  Multiverse theory makes false predictions over and over.  When it is actually subjected to the scientific method, it is refuted.  (You can watch Feynman himself explain this subtle argument in this short video, where he calls the multiverse theory ridiculous.)

Following the above logic even further, it is even more likely that the random fluctuation should have produced one single brain, rather than a universe of at least 100 billion galaxies that we think we live in.  This is because the most probable fluctuation that explains your current thoughts, memories, emotions, etc., is a Boltzmann Brain (i.e., a brain whose neurons are randomly configured exactly as your brain is right now) surrounded by chaos.

The technical term in cosmology for these Boltzmann Brains is "freaky observers", in contrast to "normal observers" (which is what you probably think you are).  This hilarious-because-it's-true New York Times article entitled Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Their Minds? does an excellent job of elucidating these points, and shows scientists' responses to the problem.  The last two paragraphs are our favorite part.

There are two ways that physicists try to solve this problem.  The first way is to try to invoke eternal inflation as a solution.  If you recall, Steinhardt's main critique on eternal inflation was that it introduces ad hoc measures to try to allow the model to make any predictions at all.  This is because there are an infinite number of every possible universe, which makes it impossible to figure out which type of universe is more probable in any straightforward way.

A good example of one of these ad hoc measures is based on Boltzmann Brains.  In the introduction to their paper on Boltzmann BrainsAndrei Linde and his colleagues address this issue.  (This is a technical paper, but if you can get the main idea of the introduction, especially from the last paragraph of page 1 and on, you can appreciate this point in a fuller way.)  They argue that since the prediction that we are Boltzmann Brains is proven false by our continued observation of order, we must introduce an artificial measure into eternal inflation which makes the number of ordered observers more likely than freaky observers.

The authors try to show that it is possible to twist the theory of eternal inflation by using a hand-picked measure (see previous postso that you are more likely to be an ordered observer.  They are claiming that with this new measure, it may be more probable that a random fluctuation in the infinite chaos will produce the initial conditions of our big bang, that leads to a universe of 100 billion galaxies with 100 billion stars each, rather than a brain surrounded by chaos.  (We call this the magic eternal inflation theory.)

Besides for how obviously contrived this ad hoc measure is, there is a more basic flaw in this reasoning.  He can not simply disprove the possibility that he is a Linde Brain (a brain which randomly fluctuated into existence believing it is Andrei Linde) by walking outside and observing continued order.  The logic of an ancient skeptical philosophy called "brain in a vat" undermines this simple experiment.  Rather, it is still far more likely that he is another Linde Brain that just fluctuated into existence out of the infinite chaos, with the false memory that it just did an experiment to test out whether it really was a Linde Brain or not.  Consequently, Linde and colleagues have no justification for using this measure even in an ad hoc manner, and should rather reject multiverse theory because it leads to the conclusion of radical skepticism.

This naturally brings us to the second tactic we have seen some physicists (Greene and Carroll) use to avoid the Boltzmann Brain Paradox.  Essentially, the argument is as follows:  When we take multiverse theory to its logical conclusion (that we are probably Boltzmann Brains), we can no longer trust our memories. This ends up undermining the very laws of physics that made us suggest a multiverse in the first place.  Secondly, we simply can not operate and function with the belief that we are Boltzmann Brains.  Therefore, it makes no sense to take the theory to its logical conclusion as it undermines itself and leads to absurdities.  The only thing that we can reasonably believe is that we actually live in a multiverse where random fluctuations happened to produce the very unlikely, highly ordered state of the big bang that has truly evolved to this point in time.  We thereby save the laws of physics and rescue multiverse theory!

This argument is trying to avoid the logical fallacy of having a conclusion that contradicts a premise, and of being reductio ad absurdum (the belief that you are a Boltzmann Brain), by not taking the theory to its logical conclusion.  But there is simply no justification for stopping the argument short. Any theory that when taken to its logical conclusion undermines itself, must be rejected.  You can not just say that we shouldn't take it to its logical end.  If a theory leads to an absurd result or a conclusion which contradicts a premise, there is something very wrong with the theory!

Someone may dismiss this entire problem of Boltzmann Brains by saying that freaky observers are obviously ridiculous, and are not part of science.  Read the Times article.  We're not making this problem up.  This paradox emerges when someone denies the real order in the universe, and exchanges it for random chaos which improbably results in an illusion of order.  Once we consider such far out possibilities, we have no way of excluding freaky possibilities such as Boltzmann Brains.  (Hence the vast literature on the subject of Boltzmann Brains, as quoted in the introduction of the Linde paper cited above).  The serious consideration of ridiculous Boltzmann Brains emerges from considering the even more ridiculous explanation of the big bang put forth by multiverse theorists.

An honest, logical multiverse theorist must either admit that multiverse theory is wrong, or accept the unfortunate reality that they are most likely Boltzmann Brains.