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, September 19, 2012

God vs The Multiverse (Part 26: Blind Faith)

We would like to conclude the proof with a slightly humorous story which helps explain one of the most disturbing things about "multiverse science."  Besides for the fact that multiverse theory itself is intrinsically untestable, it also renders the correct alternative explanation for the fine tuning of the universe, the action of an Intelligent Agent, impossible to prove.  Any proof for God, becomes a proof for the multiverse.  (It's cheating.)

To illustrate this point, consider the following fictitious story.  At the international physics conference Multiverse 2020, an amazing event takes place.  An immense voice, apparently coming from the heavens (or some other universe in the multiverse), declares the following: 
"I am the God of the Universe.  I designed the laws of nature, carefully chose exact values for the constants, and precisely arranged the initial conditions of the universe in order to bring about the structured, beautiful universe that you are fortunate to live in.  In specific, I made the fine structure constant equal to  0.08542455 because if it were any larger, then... and if it were any smaller, then... Similarly, I set the cosmological constant... (continues thus for all known constants).
I only created one universe.  There is no multiverse.  All multiverse theories are false unfounded speculations which were posited to avoid the manifest indications of My Existence. As I will not appear to every generation of physicists, make sure to tell your descendants this important message and prevent them from wasting their time and energy pursuing a nonexistent multiverse."
At first, the physicists are awed, impressed, and stunned. After a few minutes, one multiverse theorist begins to stir.  He starts scribbling some calculations.  Suddenly, he leaps to his feat and exclaims:
"How did that happen?  That was one highly improbable random fluctuation!  In fact, I estimate that the probability of such a sound wave occurring by chance alone is about 1 part in 10500.  Since we all know and have agreed that God cannot possibly exist, how can we explain the occurrence of such an unlikely event? 
The necessary conclusion is that this is yet another confirmation of the existence of the multiverse.  There has to be at least one universe (actually an infinite number of universes) in the great big infinite set of universes in the multiverse, in which the constants are fine tuned, the initial conditions are properly set, and the laws of nature are perfectly constructed, for the emergence of an ordered structured universe AND for that immense voice to be produced by chance.
By the weak anthropic principle, it is obvious that the intelligent observers who hear this voice and wonder what caused it, will be in this improbable universe.  It is no evidence for the existence of God, as then we are left with the question of what caused Him?  How would it help to posit God anyway, as we wouldn't know anything about Him? 
Rather, it is the ultimate pillar of support for our well-grounded theory that we are living in just one universe out of infinitely many universes.  There are probably other universes where similar voices appeared at biology conferences, or at a Rolling Stones concert, or in the desert on Mount Sinai.  None of this should be a surprise, given the infinite number of universes that truly exist.
Wait a minute...In fact, multiverse theory predicts that there are an infinite number of multiverses that have these apparent revelations!  Finally, we have empirical confirmation for predictions of our theory.  A mass revelation in favor of the multiverse!  It is something impossible to be faked.  We could never have dreamed of better evidence.  The ultimate pillar of support!  We must diligently pass on this empirical confirmation of multiverse theory to all future generations, as we will probably never have any other observational evidence to support the multiverse."
A multiverse theorist might claim that we are attacking a straw man; fine tuned constants are a necessary precondition for intelligent observers, but mass revelations are not.  We will quickly review their argument from the weak anthropic principle (post 5) to explain how they would try to distinguish between the two cases.

In order for us as intelligent observers to ask about the constants, the constants must already be fine tuned in our universe.  Since that is the case, of course we happen to be in a universe in which they are fine tuned, as there aren't any intelligent observers in the infinity of other universes to ask the question.  Someone had to "win the lottery" and we happen to have "the lucky ticket".

In fact, their argument goes further than just explaining how the constants seem so fine tuned.  Since an Intelligent Designer cannot possibly exist, the only possible explanation for us having these special values is that we are part of an infinite multiverse.  This then becomes one of the three pillars of support that allegedly prove that the multiverse really exists.

However, a multiverse theorist will argue, it is certainly possible to have a universe with intelligent observers, but without a mass revelation. Thus, if they were to actually witness such a revelation, they claim that they would accept the existence of an Intelligent Designer.  They therefore state that the multiverse is falsifiable.  (See the Weinberg video from post 20.) 

Although we agree with this distinction between the constants and a mass revelation, we think that it is irrelevant in terms of the falsifiability of multiverse theory.  According to multiverse theory, there are infinitely many universes of every type: some with fine tuned constants, some with constants that are not fine tuned; some with fine tuned constants and revelations, some with fine tuned constants and no revelations.

In a minority of fine tuned multiverses in the infinite multiverse, there are some universes with apparent revelations that occur through random fluctuations.  Despite this, we would not predict observing such a revelation in advance. Since most universes do not have revelations, we would assume that we are in the most common universe that is consistent with all our prior observations.  

However, once we observe a revelation, it becomes clear that we are in one of the "lucky" universes which do have apparent revelations.  Someone has to be in them, just like someone has to win the lottery and someone has to have fine tuned constants.  In fact, since an Intelligent Designer cannot possibly exist, the only possible explanation for this apparent revelation is that we exist as part of an infinite multiverse.

The reasoning in the two cases is nearly identical.  The fact that the existence of an intelligent observer is not contingent upon a revelation is irrelevant to the discussion.  An honest multiverse theorist has faith that there are an infinite number of fine tuned multiverses with intelligent observers who do witness revelations. Thus, a witness of such a revelation should conclude that he is in the subset of multiverses that is still consistent with all his prior observations (that now include an apparent revelation).

The concept of this fictitious story presents a serious problem for a multiverse theorist.  If he would be moved by such a revelation and accept an Intelligent Designer, he would be contradicting the very line of reasoning which led him to believe that the incredible fine tuning found in our universe is actually a pillar of support for the multiverse.  If on the other hand, he would deny God and actually respond in a similar manner as is parodied above, he is guilty of assuming his conclusion.  He may as well say that God does not exist because he has faith that God does not exist.  There is absolutely nothing that could ever convince him otherwise.  The greater the miracle, the greater the pillar of support for the multiverse.  This is a excellent example of the fallacy we called multiverse of the gaps.

There is no logical justification for assuming a priori that the ultimate cause of the universe is unintelligent randomness as opposed to an Intelligent Agent.  Rather, the question is logically one of an a posteriori nature; it demands observation of the universe in order to be determined.  It is hard not to draw the conclusion from some of the statements multiverse scientists make (throughout the articles and videos we have linked to in these posts) that they have already made up their minds about God, irrespective of the actual evidence.  They have decided as a group that God does not exist, and they have shut down their minds to honest inquiry.

Blind faith that God does not exist, has no more rational justification than the blind faith that He does exist.  It behooves you to use your own mind, and not rely on expert physicists and cosmologists to teach you philosophical truths, especially when you know how much emotional baggage is tied up with the idea of God.  You need to investigate the Ultimate Cause of the universe, so that you can decide for yourself what is true.

2 comments:

  1. Regarding your thought experiment about a world in which there suddenly is a pronouncement by a mysterious voice showing evidence for a God: The reasoning is that the multiverse advocate might conclude that this was simply another manifestation of the multiverse, in which the world, as well as the mysterious voice, originated randomly as part of the multiverse. The problem I see with this reasoning is as follows: Say I have two one-dollar bills in my wallet. I take out one of them and read its serial number. Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that I have this particular dollar bill among the billions possible? I would not be amazed, though, since the dollar definitely had to have some serial number. There would be nothing strange at all about having a dollar with this particular serial number. However, if someone who did not see my wallet then told me that he would guess the serial number of the other dollar bill and I then took out that second dollar and found that he was correct, this would be truly amazing! The odds against him guessing the second number would be staggering high! I would be truly amazed on seeing the serial number for the second dollar bill, but not amazed on seeing the serial number of the first one. It is similar with the argument for the voice from God. If I were a strong multiverse advocate, I would not be too puzzled by the existence of the world, since it would be the product of a multiverse. This is comparable to the first dollar bill. Our world would have been formed of necessity, one out of countless others. However, once I am within this world, the odds of the voice from heaven being the product of a multiverse or quantum fluctuation are staggeringly high. Just as in the case of the second dollar bill, I would be amazed and might well convert to believing in God.

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    Replies
    1. Following your analogy, if someone would predict a revelation before it happened, then a multiverse theorist would be convinced (as in the case of the second dollar bill). However, if it were not predicted, but merely occurred, the multiverse theorist would say that this proves nothing, as some random event has to happen in this universe (just like one serial number must exist on the first dollar bill).

      The problem is that if there truly are infinitely many universes, various revelations will occur in infinitely many of them. Though nobody would ever predict a revelation (as it is likely that we are in a more probable universe), if one occurs it does not beg an explanation, just as the winning lottery ticket. Someone has to win, and someone has to be in the universe with intelligent observers AND a revelation.

      Our problem in this post with multiverse theory is only from the case where we already have witnessed a revelation that was not predicted in advance According to multiverse theory, even if we all perceived a Divine voice claiming to be God, that would not constitute evidence for God's Existence, but would rather be support for the multiverse (which is clearly a preposterous position).

      If you maintain that the unpredicted revelation is analogous to the second dollar bill (which was predicted ahead of time), please explain.

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