The Multiverse God2020 May 2
Life on this earth is highly unlikely. note The universe and our earth are so finely tuned to support life that they are inexplicable on physics; the origin of life is so complex and integrated that it is inexplicable note on nature; and human consciousness is inexplicable on biology.
See also The Probability of Life
The context here is that our universe is not infinitely old. The evidence for the so-called "big bang" shows that our universe had an origin in the finite past from an initial tiny singularity and expanded out to what we now observe.
The question is, what caused our universe in such a way that we can now exist here alive? Our existence as living beings is so improbable that naturalistically we should not exist. The statistics are so completely against us that no one sanely any more tries to justify our cosmological origin in a solitary universe by chance and natural causes.
An idea called the multiverse therefore has been suggested as a mechanistic solution for our existence. (See technical details note) In this speculative thinking there are infinitely many different universes, and we just happen to be in one that was just right for us to exist. Our Goldilocks just-right world out of the many is what let us evolve into conscious beings. We then notice that we are here and wonder about it.
The explanation of the multiverse is of processes that are impossible to verify. The generator is described as an expanding other-realm that cannot be detected. It has many "little" expanding other-verse pockets that also cannot be detected because the expansion of the main multiverse other-realm keeps them separated. Therefore, non-detectability is built in to the theory.
The multiverse generator is thought to come from the theory of cosmic inflation as a quantum field, and string theory. Quantum inflation is used to explain how multiple universes might continuously be generated by the same process, and string theory is used to explain how they all might be different in their fundamental constants. Note however that both of these theories are highly speculative and do not have physical evidence to support them.
It was suggested that maybe an adjacent other-verse might accidentally overlap our universe. An experiment was devised to detect the effects that might have. The experiment detected nothing.
Some suggest that the multiverse is inevitable. However, that idea actually is just assumption and not because of physical evidence of the multiverse processes.
Inflation is a theorized period at the beginning of our universe where space expanded out extremely, very fast. This was caused by a so-called inflaton field. (The inflaton theory is a solution to the CMB horizon problem. Also, some predictions associated to the theory have been shown true.)
If you take the view that inflaton is a quantum field, then inflation would be probabilistic. An inflating super-universe will have places that coalesce into material universes, others that don't, with expanding separation between all of them. This is how one process would be making many universes.
However, I see no reason to believe that the inflaton field was quantum. We can't expect all fields to be quantum. For example, gravity does not align with quantum. (This is even though people have tried very hard for a long time to develop a theory of gravity as a quantum field. However, other theorists say that gravity is not a field. So this also is not settled science!)
The inflaton is posited, but we don't actually know that inflaton fields ever existed (or even know that inflaton is a field). They are unlike anything we observe in standard physics. We only know what we can see now and test now, and we do not see inflaton fields. Even if there had once been an inflaton field, we only observe what it left behind and that is not enough to know what it was.
Inflation might produce many universes, but they would all be the same, clones of each other. So in addition, string theory is employed to speculate a method that would make all these universes be fundamentally different.
String theory proposes that our world is actually made of vibrating one-dimensional objects called strings. Although the space of our world has four dimensions (including the dimension of time), the strings exist in a context with many more dimensions. (One version has 11 dimensions.) What we experience in our world may be thought of as a projection from this context to our reduced dimensions. A physical analogy is a 3D shape that makes a 2D shadow. The shadow of a 3D object is different depending on the angle of projection, and the shadow hides one dimension.
So by string theory, these high-dimension strings as projected (or "compactified") into a reduced count of dimensions is what a world is made of. In the multiverse's universe-generating engine, each generated world would have its own "shadow angle", and so that custom "projection" makes each world entirely unique.
There is no evidence however to indicate string theory is the best explanation for anything. In part this is because the theory is so flexible that it can explain anything and everything. Said another way, the variables in the theory are so complex that the theory is underdetermined.
A fundamental principle in science is Occam's Razor, the idea that theories must never be more complicated than required. This is said as: "Do not multiply unnecessary entities." String theory almost by definition is multiplication of unnecessary entities. Therefore, it and the multiverse generator should be dis-favored as scientific theories.
There are serious problems with this multiverse idea.
Just using basic scientific thinking:
- The other-verses are specifically unobservable and immaterial to us, so they are outside of science.
- Thus, they are a pure metaphysical solution; therefore again they are not scientific.
- These hypothetical other-verses are all assumed to be different from ours at their most basic levels. This means they don't follow our natural laws and therefore, they are super-natural and once again unscientific.
- All the hypothetically generated other-verses are independent entities cast into their own isolated existences; thus, no one of them is a reason or an explanation for any other.
- The proponents of this idea imagine a busy generator of the alternate universes. However, this itself is a problem of improbability because the generator would require many finely-tuned parameters to even be functional. This generator is just a “turtles all the way down” story which explains nothing. note
- By the same logic that our own universe had a beginning, the generator also had to have had a beginning. Therefore, it explains nothing about the cause of our own universe. note It is still just a “turtles all the way down” story.
- Some propose anyway that the multiverse generator had no beginning because it has an infinite past. However, this infinite characteristic would make logical absurdities, so it cannot be true. note
- If the multiverse is scientific, it follows laws of science. The law of causation indicates that the multiverse was caused. Therefore the multiverse does not solve the problem of the cause of our universe. note
- The multiverse proponents are assuming that this generator makes random other-verses in all kinds of combinations. However, this is simply a metaphysical opinion because it is just as plausible to imagine that the hypothetical generator is a cloner and can’t make other-verses that are fundamentally different from ours. note
- The generator of the other-verses is a thing or process that is unnatural to our universe, so by standard definitions it must be unscientific. note
- A generator making many other-verses is thought to improve the probability of our own existence. However, probability itself requires that a range of possibilities exist and that these are observable. note Since the multiverse concept itself disallows this kind of observation, a multiverse has no bearing on the probability of our existence.
- Another way to look at this is that the multiverse rules out chance in our universe (externalizing it, putting it instead into the multiverse generator). However, chance is an important part of science and enables us to distinguish what behaviors in the world are law-like. In this way the multiverse removes our ability to make scientific conclusions. note
- One of the most fundamental laws of physics is that energy is conserved; it cannot be created or destroyed. However, a multiverse generator must be making new energy all the time. This fails basic natural science.
This point from Can Materialistic Models Accommodate the Scientific Data?
If no other possibilities are observable then there can be no probability about them.
This point from We Don’t Live in a Multiverse Because the Concept Makes No Sense
According to the National Academy of Sciences, “The statements of science must invoke only natural things and processes.” On a straight reading, this would disallow the multiverse as being scientific.
Similarly it can be said that the multiverse theory does not predict fine-tuning of our universe any better than a single-universe theory. Therefore substantial evidence of fine-tuning offers no support for the multiverse theory.
The law of causation says that anything that has a beginning has a cause, and anything that changes has a cause. Therefore, if the multiverse generator had a beginning it had a cause. If the multiverse generator has changes inside it, it had a cause.
If the multiverse generator had no beginning, it is infinitely old. However, actual infinities cannot exist because it is impossible to create an actual infinity by addition of successive elements. Addition of elements always creates finite sets.
Therefore, a multiverse generator could not be infinitely old because it is impossible to reach an infinite age by means of accumulation. And so the generator could only have made a finite number of universes.
Infinity is a concept, but it cannot be an actual thing. For instance, mathematical operations on infinities results in infinities.
- ∞ + 1 = ∞
- or re-written: ∞ - ∞ = 1
- ∞ + 100 = ∞
- or re-written: ∞ - ∞ = 100
- ∞ * 2 = ∞
- or re-written: ∞ / ∞ = 2
- ∞ / 1e9 = ∞
- or equivalently ∞ * 0.0000000001 = ∞
These show that an actual infinity cannot exist because of the absurdities it creates. In some ways an actual infinity is undefined, similar to how dividing by zero is undefined. Likewise, an actual multiverse generator of infinite age would have to be undefined. However, one of finite age requires an initial cause and it would not successfully overcome the improbabilities of our universe.
As written above, a small percentage of an infinity is also an infinity. If the Multiverse generator has existed infinitely long and was generating random universes, then it has already generated an infinite number of universes. If even a small percentage of them were viable for life, then an infinite number of life-supporting universes have already been formed. Therefore our life-supporting universe is ordinary.
However, simple inspection makes it obvious that our universe is not ordinary because there is nothing that necessitates the physical constants of the universe being as they are to support life. This argument is absurd.
I assume that some beliefs about the multiverse generator assume it is an eternal entity. Although that could establish a first cause for our universe, the idea that the generator was timeless is purely metaphysical and not scientific.
This is because by the same logic that indicates our universe had a beginning, the multiverse generator requires a beginning. It is described as expanding, and if you run that backwards, it goes to a starting singularity. This is the same reasoning that convinced us of our big bang. Therefore even the multiverse generator had a beginning and needs a cause. (All mechanistic explanations for things require causes.) So, like our universe, the multiverse generator ultimately also needs an uncaused cause (which naturalistic science cannot supply).
The story goes that someone went to hear a talk about planet orbital mechanics. Afterward the listener talked with the speaker and said that they did not believe what was said because they knew what was really holding up the earth.
“What is that?”, asked the speaker.
“It is resting on the back of a giant turtle.”
“And what is the turtle on?”
“On another turtle.”
“And that one?”
“Oh, I know where you are going,” said the person, “It’s turtles all the way down.”
The problem is that we need an ultimate cause for our universe. The hypothetical generator of the multiverses also would need a cause, so the ultimate cause just gets more and more unlikely.
Occam's razor is the principle that "entities should not be multiplied without necessity". A multiverse does not solve the problem of ultimate causes, so it is not needed. It only serves to satisfy metaphysical desires.
The multiverse concept appears to be mechanistic, but it cannot be scientific. The multiverse generator just sounds to me like a god of convenience dressed up in materialism.
- It is a god of the gaps for materialists, and as such it is a very shallow answer for a difficult and complex question. note
- It is a science killer because it functions as a final answer to to all possible difficulties. It kills curiosity into the cause of the universe and stops further inquiry. note
- Atheists have ridiculed religious people for imagining another spiritual world and reality. If they adhere to the multiverse however, then they are doing the exact same thing.
- The multiverse is imagining many other worlds by faith with no measurable evidence at all for their existence.
The fine-tuned nature of our universe for life should prompt curiousity to understand more about that. This is the premise of science. However, there is nothing to satisfy curiosity from a random origin. The multiverse suggests it can explain why we exist in this place, but only answers with a roll of dice.
The materialists say, "We know that the universe could not be made by an immaterial God, therefore we know it was made by a naturalistic cause like the multiverse." This is the form of God-of-the-Gaps arguments.
In this case the multiverse is the "god" and therefore we don't need to go looking to explain all the other difficult things about our universe because the "god" explains everything.
- A multiverse severely violates the scientific principle of Occam's razor ("entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity"). By this, the multiverse is a very poor theory.
- The imagined multiverse generator appears to exactly fit the ideal of an atheist’s god (uninvolved, mechanistic, random).
- Note that atheists are no better than theists when trying to explain the unexplainable because they too are metaphysically motivated.
These imagined other-verses offer zero explanatory power for our own improbable existence. A multiverse is an imaginary solution for our universe because our universe is the only one for which we have evidence.
The multiverse is just a materialist's god. It is a non-living god pretended to be scientific, but without scientific evidence.