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Thursday, March 26, 2009

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I always wondered if there was a good logical argument against the existence of the multiverse in general. Usually, people understand the universe to be an infinite set of parallel universes, so I'll take this as my definition admitting the possibility of merely finite sets of parallel parts of the universe. If this is true, we can say either:
1. The existence of this multiverse can be known.
2. The existence of this multiverse cannot be known.
2. seems to make this an entirely unscientific account (as well as being impossible to verify) and most are going to argue for 1. But if this is true, the only way we could understand this multiverse is by some exchange or interaction of energy between our universe and the rest. But this also entails an infinite quantity of energy entering and/or leaving our universe at each spatial/temporal location. Any other option for a given interaction, either parallel or serial, will entail the same relation of an infinite interacting with a finite, leading to an infinite effect in the finite (as the set of the universes other than ours would be infinite either as a linear series of ...A->B->C... or as a parallel A&C&D...->B). This seems obviously absurd, however.
As I said, I don't know the physics well enough and I wonder if this is just a total BS argument.

PS - I accidentally typed the handle differently last time.

@Maverick
Multiple universes do not necessarily undermine design.
Robin Collins pointed out that if there was a "multiple universe generator" it would have to depend on physical laws and so these laws would also have o be finely tuned for the generator to produce suitable universes.

I also note that Paul Davies and others have mentioned that if we're going to start dabbling in the idea of multiverses or otherwise, we also have to accept the possibility of universes with simulated realities (and simulations within the simulations, and simulations within that nest, etc) to the point where the question of whether or not we're living in the 'actual' reality gets grey at best, and unlikely at worst.

That's one thing which has always struck me as problematic with both eternal universe and multiverse scenarios. I don't think it straightforwardly leads to less of a chance that the universe we live in and see was designed. In fact, it seems to me that it makes 'designed' universes a certainty (as in, some 'universes' will certainly be designed) and opens the door to what many would see as absurd problems.

Facilis,

R. Collins' thought is an interesting one. See http://home.messiah.edu/~rcollins/finetune/Craig7.htm

It's not clear to me why a multiverse would be problematic for theism. Why couldn't you have creation without the empirical necessity of an intelligent designer? Or, put an other way, why not simply adopt the Catholic view here?

I've always found it odd that atheists would resort to explanations and metaphysical commitments to things like super-strings and multiverses and imaginary time to explain the origin and apparent fine-tuning of the universe (which have scant empirical support) but then turn around and demand empirical support for God.

I don’t think “The God of the Bible is a purely spiritual being.”

Theology would have it, especially Catholic theology, that the God of the Bible is very much a historical God, that is, One who interacts with human history (or human “reality.”)

And as to the theory of multiple universes, assume for a moment that the hypothesis (because it really isn’t a theory in the scientific sense) is like that of Guth, a leader if not the leader in the field, who said, that in a multiverse with an infinite number of bubble universes, “anything that can happen, will happen--an infinite number of times…”

Therefore a multiverse with infinite number of bubble universes would have an infinite number of persons in infinite number of those bubble universes who called themselves Christ, and who appeared in history.

Again staying with Catholic theology, Christ is both fully human and fully Divine, thus a historical human, thus a real Person.

What that gives is, interestingly:

1) A multiverse -- the set of all possible bubble universes -- exists.

2) If Christ exists, then God exists.

3) In the set of all possible bubble universes there exists a universe where Christ, fully human and fully Divine, exists.

4) Therefore God exists.

As to the point made byStMicheal “…the only way we could understand this multiverse is by some exchange or interaction of energy between our universe and the rest.” I think modern physics would hold that it is the exchange of information, (remember Maxwell’s demon and its solution?) not energy, that would be necessary. Changing "energy" to information means there is no finite encounters infinite issue. For example, math is a type of information and generates information. Branches of math address infinite qualities of information and have had the ability to do so ever since the work of Cantor.

>>I don’t think “The God of the Bible is a purely spiritual being.”

Theology would have it, especially Catholic theology, that the God of the Bible is very much a historical God, that is, One who interacts with human history (or human “reality.”)<<

You are assuming that a purely spiritual being cannot interact with human history. But that is not the case. My point was that your premise 3 is false since there is no physical universe in which God, a nonphysical being, exists.

To Alawyerin - Information is transmitted via a material or energetic state in the physical universe. If you want to transmit information, you would need something which "instantiates" (ie, symbolic representations of information). I know the post is pretty closed at this point, but I still would like to hear any other criticisms of this position.

Ah StMicheal but would you?

Imagine two universes each of which exchange pairs of particles so they maintain equal amounts of "stuff." Imagine then using Entanglement -- Einstein's spooky action at a distance" to have one particle mirror the other. Information is transmitted.

I guess I also have another question -- why is your premise that interactions with the multiverse need to occur:
1) to know the multiverse? We don’t have to interact with something to know it.

2) "with" the multiverse? Why not with other bubbles? Or with some form of thing that moves through all the bubbles?

And Bill, I think my problem is that Christian theology would have it that He Is above and beyond -- “I Am Who Am” but also that "No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father's heart, who has made him known" (John 1:18)

So Christ a historical Person, has made Him known. And since Christ is part of the Godhead, then it is with Christ -- a historical Person, we can know God.
So a very real Person, Christ, ensures God’s appearance to us -- which is the only appearance we can stand now.
God is too much for us to experience. He would blow our circuits. But he has put in “tunnels” from Himself to us that we can experience -- Christ and the Spirit. (Going one step further, Christian theology would also have it that we have to experience those real and tangible aspects of God -- the only ones we can connect with, in fact, given our limitations (we can only see through a glass, darkly) -- to find God.)

So given all that -- I think my premise remains valid. A spiritual Being may not be known by man -- but a real historical person who is part of that Being -- fully God and fully human -- would exist in one of those universes.

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