The Multiverse Theory

So, have you ever thought that there could be an infinite amount of other universes in existence and we just happen to be the lucky universe that happened to have the winning combination of constants and quantities needed for habitable life?  While many of you likely haven’t, there are some who have and have made a theory out of it called, “The Multiverse Theory”.  The theory suggests that there is an infinite amount of universes in existence.  However, why would such a theory need to be theorized?  Are there signs of another observable universe?  The answer is no, there is no scientific evidence for other universes in existence.  The reason for this theory is likely because it serves as a solution to why the fine-tuning is present within our universe.   The key is that if there are an infinite number of universes, it would be perfectly rational to believe that one of those universes would be habitable for intelligible life.  Advocates of the multiverse theory find this theory to be incredibly useful because it accounts for why the universe came into existence from nothing by chance with the initial conditions being fine-tuned without design2.                                                                                                                                                                                     
The prominent theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne commented on the multiverse theory:

“Let us recognize these speculations for what they are. They are not physics, but in the strictest sense, metaphysics. There is no purely scientific reason to believe in an ensemble of universes. By construction, these other worlds are unknowable to us. A possible explanation of equal intellectual responsibility – and to my mind greater economy and elegance-would be that this one world is the way it is, because it is the creation of the will of a Creator who purposes that it should be so” 1

Given Polkinhorne’s valid assessment of the multiverse theory, there are other objections posed against the multiverse theory.  For the sake of argument, suppose that the multiverse theory is true.  Is the mechanism that generates these universes considered to be a random accident void of fine-tuning?  If the advocates of the multiverse theory consider the multiverse to be fine-tuned, they find themselves in the same boat they were in when attempting to explain away the fine-tuning of our universe by positing a multiverse2

In addition to the self-defeating nature of the multiverse itself, most theorists are skeptical of the multiverse theory.  It has been shown by the the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem that the universe (even a multiverse if it exists) had a beginning2.  Given that the multiverse would have had a beginning if it existed, there would only be a finite amount of universes contained within this multiverse because the multiverse would be finite in nature.  Given that there would only be a finite number of universes within the multiverse, how are we to reasonably infer that this multiverse would have popped out a life-sustain universe by mere chance?2

Before I discuss the last objection, I’d like to give you a brief summary on the second law of thermodynamics in order to better understand it.  The second law of thermodynamics states that unless energy is being fed into a system (our universe in this case), that system will eventually become increasingly disorderedly2.  What that means is that our universe’s energy will eventually be spread so far throughout the universe that no life will be possible and the universe will have an equal amount of energy throughout the entire universe until it reaches maximum entropy.  Entropy represents the unavailability of the universe’s thermodynamic energy left within it.  For example, high-entropy would indicate that there is a lower amount of energy left in the universe while low-entropy would indicate that there is a greater amount of energy left in the universe.  As the energy spreads throughout the universe, the ultimate result of the second law of thermodynamics is called, “the heat death”, due to maximum entropy2

The third objection is expressed firmly by mathematical physicist Roger Penrose who calculates that the odds of our universe’s initial low-entropy (high amounts of energy) conditions by mere chance is one out of 1010 (123)3.  In addition, the odds of our solar system forming by a collision of random particles is one out of 1010(60)3.  Given these statistics, it would be much easier to comprehend an orderly universe the size of our solar system rather than the immense universe that is finely tuned for life such as the one we currently reside in and observe2

In conclusion, there are many reasons to think the multiverse isn’t a viable option.  While it is viable for atheists in search of an explanation for why the constants and quantities of the universe are so immaculately fine-tuned by chance, it is plagued with flaws that it can’t be reconciled scientifically.  However, these types of theories that attempt to explain away the fine-tuning are really complimenting theism in an underhanded way.  The fine-tuning  of the universe is so incomprehensively great that it is acknowledged that mere chance isn’t a rational explanation.    

On a personal note, I included the video below because it hilariously illustrates the absurdity of the multiverse theory. 

Notes

1 John Polkinghorne, One World: The Interaction of Science and Theology(London; SPCK) Page 80

2 William Lane Craig, On Guard (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook) Chapter 5

3 Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005) 762-5.

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