God vs The Multiverse (Part 26)
Rabbi E. Feder, Rabbi E. Zimmer
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 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 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.
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.
Since this is the final post of the proof, we are going to quickly summarize the first two stages of the proof and present a more elaborate summary of the third stage.
In Stage One, we established that the constants of nature and the initial conditions of the big bang were fine tuned for the purpose of producing an ordered universe, with a hierarchy of complex structures on all orders of magnitude. This is based upon the fact (that is accepted by almost every physicist and cosmologist) that if the constants or initial conditions were significantly different from their known values, our entire universe would be an unstructured, chaotic soup of elementary particles instead of the interesting complex universe that we exist in.
In Post 17, we showed that although the fine tuning naturally points to an Intelligent Designer, there are three, and only three, possible alternative explanations for this fact. Throughout Stage One we explained why almost all scientists reject two of the alternatives: the Master Mathematical Equation, and the possibility that the constants and initial conditions are themselves Necessary Existences. The remaining alternative explanation for the fine tuning was random chance with infinite tries (the multiverse).
In Stage Two, we exposed major problems with the multiverse, and undermined the 'supports' of multiverse theory. Even though multiverse theory is embraced by most scientists (rather than an Intelligent Designer), it is a fundamentally flawed theory that upon deeper investigation, fails as an explanation. We summarized most of these difficulties and failed supports in Post 17.
It remained for us to show how it was possible to formulate the explanation of an Intelligent Designer, in a way that did not suffer from the critical flaws that scientists lodge against God.
We want to stress again that we are not simply accepting an Intelligent Designer as the explanation for the fine tuning because it is the only viable possibility remaining. Rather, in addition to being the only possible explanation left, the fine tuning in Stage One directly points to Intelligence as its natural explanation.
We began Stage Three by presenting (in Post 18) the God of Abraham, which we formulated as One Simple Necessary Existence. We showed how this ancient concept of God is free from the many questions that atheistic scientists raise against God, and is the proper explanation for the fine tuning.
Specifically, in Post 19 (tinyurl.com/8t9s4of) we answered:
1) Who caused God?
2) If God has no cause, then why does He even exist?
In Post 20 (tinyurl.com/8przshq) we answered:
3) Who designed the complex intelligent designer?
4) Why is God this way rather than some other way?
5) How do you know there aren't two or more Gods?
In Post 21 (tinyurl.com/97exchq) we answered:
6) 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!
7) 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?
In Post 22 (tinyurl.com/9lq8r4m) we explained how the God of Abraham is an intellectually satisfying idea, even though it does not cater to a person's primitive desires for gods that he can identify with. However, for an emotionally mature person, the God of Abraham is an emotionally satisfying idea.
The main idea throughout Stage Three was to differentiate between God's Essence and His actions. The separation between the Absolutely Simple Existence and the universe He created, is the critical philosophical concept from which everything else follows.
God's Essence is Absolutely Simple, and therefore, intrinsically does not lend itself to being understood in terms of anything simpler. The idea of a fundamental principle is something integral to modern science, as well as any system that follows from first principles. By definition, something fundamental can not be understood in terms of something simpler. We illustrated this key point with analogies from the fundamental particles and the fundamental interactions of modern physics (in Post 18 and 21). The only possible knowledge about the Essence of One Absolutely Simple Necessary Existence is negative knowledge. This means that we can know that He is not two; His Essence has no complexity; there is no other cause for His Existence; He Exists in Reality, and is not a figment of the imagination. However, we can have positive knowledge about God's complex actions. We developed this idea in the second part of Stage Three. We can study the laws of nature and the universe that results from those laws, and see God's infinite intelligence manifest throughout His creations. We can see the infinite power of the God of the Universe, when we realize that He created everything from absolute nothing.
We observe that the King of the Universe's actions result in order and stability, and we therefore say He acts harmoniously and justly. As humans are also a small part of the design, this recognition obligates us to act in line with our design and purpose. This does not mean that the laws of nature exists solely for the purpose of making human beings. On the contrary, the true anthropic principle that a person should believe is that a human being is just a small part of the vast cosmic design for the universe as a whole. Nevertheless, we are a part of the whole, and as such, we should act accordingly.
Throughout the proof, we have emphasized that we as human beings have the freedom to ascertain what we believe to be true and real. This can not be denied without skeptically denying the truth-discerning ability of the mind itself. We have the internal perception that we are free to choose to live according to the dictates of our minds, and we are also free to reject our minds and live according to our emotions and desires. This proof, as well as any other proof of anything, rests upon this assumption.
One final point. We are not missionaries, and we have no desire to intellectually or emotionally bully anyone into believing something they do not truly accept. The question of God vs the multiverse, is something that you can not rely upon authorities to decide for you. You can only rely on your own mind and choose freely for yourself. We hope that this proof has helped to give you the knowledge that is a prerequisite for an informed free choice. [END]
Thank you to Rabbis E. Zimmer and E. Feder for your determination and meticulous and diligent presentation, educating us all with your insights into God, creation through your astute analysis of the Multiverse theory and its many flaws. We urge all readers to refer to the entire series here: www.Blogoshiur.com (tinyurl.com/975zdt4)