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God or a multiverse?
Guardian ^ | December 8 2008 | Mark Vernon

Posted on 12/08/2008 11:56:24 AM PST by Soliton

Is there a God or a multiverse? Does modern cosmology force us to choose? Is it the case that the apparent fine-tuning of constants and forces to make the universe just right for life means there is either a need for a "tuner" or else a cosmos in which every possible variation of these constants and forces exists somewhere?

This choice has provoked anxious comment in the pages of this week's New Scientist. It follows an article in Discover magazine, in which science writer Tim Folger quoted cosmologist Bernard Carr: "If you don't want God, you'd better have a multiverse."

Even strongly atheistic physicists seem to believe the choice is unavoidable. Steven Weinberg, the closest physics comes to a Richard Dawkins, told the eminent biologist: "If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning ... I think you'd really be left with only two explanations: a benevolent designer or a multiverse."

The anxiety in the New Scientist stems in part from the way this apparent choice has been leapt upon by the intelligent design people. Scientists don't like that since it seems to suggest that ID offers a theory that cosmologists are taking seriously. It doesn't of course: ID wasn't science before the multiverse hypothesis gained prominence, just a few years ago; and it hasn't become science since.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: cosmology; id; multiverse
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I vote for multiverse
1 posted on 12/08/2008 11:56:24 AM PST by Soliton
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To: colorcountry; Pan_Yans Wife; MHGinTN; Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; Osage Orange; svcw; Enosh; ...

Ping


2 posted on 12/08/2008 11:58:06 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (Tagline on vacation during the grand experiment.)
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To: Soliton

OK. That article made my head hurt. I think that there is an intelligent designer.


3 posted on 12/08/2008 12:00:32 PM PST by SoftwareEngineer
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To: Soliton

Is God limited as to his instruments? Mine isn’t...


4 posted on 12/08/2008 12:00:52 PM PST by stefanbatory (Do you want a President or a King?)
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To: SoftwareEngineer
OK. That article made my head hurt. I think that there is an intelligent designer.

Can you describe what characteristics your designer would have?

5 posted on 12/08/2008 12:04:23 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton

>I vote for multiverse

Are the two mutually exclusive? I mean if God says it’s His will that none should perish, who am I to say that He can’t have other Universes where He gets to save those? Likewise, who am I to berate God if THIS is the ONLY universe that exists?


6 posted on 12/08/2008 12:04:54 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: stefanbatory
Is God limited as to his instruments? Mine isn’t...

Define "God"?

7 posted on 12/08/2008 12:05:29 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: OneWingedShark
Are the two mutually exclusive?

The article says no

8 posted on 12/08/2008 12:06:21 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton
God, for believers, is the condition without which science cannot even get going; divinity is a final explanation for the laws of science, as a philosopher of religion would say.

So wrong on so many levels.

The possibility that the universe has directionality or purpose, even if self-contained – that is, not making any appeal to an external deity – has been forcefully rejected by most of modern science. But maybe the extraordinary phenomenon that is an evolving universe containing conscious observers is itself forcing science to reconsider.

9 posted on 12/08/2008 12:07:56 PM PST by svcw (Great selection of Christmas gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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To: Soliton; metmom
Can you describe what characteristics your designer would have?

Whatever they are, they are most certainly more defining than "anything and everything happens all of the time".

10 posted on 12/08/2008 12:09:17 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: Soliton
Is there a God or a multiverse? Does modern cosmology force us to choose?

We probably don't get to choose. We were not even consulted.

11 posted on 12/08/2008 12:09:30 PM PST by RightWhale (We were so young two years ago and the DJIA was 12,000)
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To: Soliton

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7)


12 posted on 12/08/2008 12:09:53 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Barack Obama: In Error and arrogant -- he's errogant!)
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To: Soliton

i dont see how a choice needs to be made. if you say the universe is unlimited in size or there are an unlimited number of universes (multiverse), then theoretically you could make the argument that every possible combination of everything has to happen - which leads to other earths with you living on them somewhere out there in the cosmos. but i can see someone thinking there is no God and there is a finite universe.


13 posted on 12/08/2008 12:10:24 PM PST by philsfan24
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To: svcw; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
God, for believers, is the condition without which science cannot even get going; divinity is a final explanation for the laws of science, as a philosopher of religion would say. So wrong on so many levels.

Actually, betty boop and alamo_girl have written a book that pretty much contends just that.

14 posted on 12/08/2008 12:10:40 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton

They have a right to be wrong.


15 posted on 12/08/2008 12:11:20 PM PST by svcw (Great selection of Christmas gift baskets: http://baskettastic.com/)
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To: AndrewC
Whatever they are, they are most certainly more defining than "anything and everything happens all of the time".

I sincerely cannot see how someone can believe in something they can't even define

16 posted on 12/08/2008 12:11:59 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: RightWhale
We probably don't get to choose. We were not even consulted.

You have snatched the pebble from my hand Grasshopper. Go and teach the uninitiated

17 posted on 12/08/2008 12:14:17 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: philsfan24

You just summarized the article.


18 posted on 12/08/2008 12:15:21 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton

LOL
So, you don’t believe in pornography? ;)


19 posted on 12/08/2008 12:15:42 PM PST by brytlea (You can fool enough of the people enough of the time.)
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To: Soliton

Why couldn’t God have created the multiverse?


20 posted on 12/08/2008 12:16:01 PM PST by Terpfen (Ain't over yet, folks. Those 2004 Senate gains are up for grabs in 2 years.)
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To: Soliton

The silliness begins with the assumption that God and a multiverse is an exclusive “or”. It smacks of denying God because platypuses exist, and they are just too weird to have been created except randomly. Bad logic.

Let’s define terms. Say you take a coin from your pocket, and for no particular reason, you flip it. It is a “heads”, but it could just as likely have been a “tails”. In addition to what it was, the possible other outcome was created, an energetic possibility, a “microverse” in which “tails” was the outcome. But then you put the coin back in your pocket, and the two possibilities collapse back together.

So the term possibility, in this case, means a temporary division of reality.

Later that day, however, you decide to select your career from two choices: either the US Marine Corps, or to become a ballet dancer. Again, whichever one you choose, the other one is also chosen, but the divergence is so great, it transcends a “possibility” and becomes a true “alternative” reality. You essentially create an identical twin in a parallel reality, so you can experience both alternatives. And the alternate reality doesn’t collapse back together with this reality until you are both dead.

Possibilities and alternatives lend themselves to the “bubble membrane” theory of reality, in which events are contained in reality bubbles, that behave a little bit like bubbles in soda. Each bubble defines its own “microverse”, which contains event variables, but is in turn defined by the larger bubbles it is inside. Physical objects continually pass between bubbles with no loss of continuity, as they, along with events, actually make the bubbles in the first place.


21 posted on 12/08/2008 12:16:29 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Soliton

I vote for God AND multiverse.

They are in no way mutually exclusive.


22 posted on 12/08/2008 12:17:06 PM PST by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: svcw
They have a right to be wrong.

And a right to vote! Scary, isn't it?

23 posted on 12/08/2008 12:18:51 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton

Read “Star Maker” by Olaf Stapledon. Written in 1937, before the modern age of cosmology, he posits an ultimate creative force that creates cosmos after cosmos.


24 posted on 12/08/2008 12:18:59 PM PST by ZeitgeistSurfer (In which direction do I bow down to praise the One?)
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To: Soliton; metmom
I sincerely cannot see how someone can believe in something they can't even define

Did you really read my post or the article itself? I pointed out that your belief in a multiverse is not anything but wordy "sh*t happens". The article itself says as much and in fact has a rather intriguing conclusion.

25 posted on 12/08/2008 12:22:14 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: Soliton

The idea of multiple universes is generally driven by a notion of how many universes and how many life-spans of universes you’d have to have for even the simplest animals to evolve, i.e. by the basic probabilistic impossibility of macro-evolution. Dealing with reality as it lies is simpler.


26 posted on 12/08/2008 12:22:29 PM PST by varmintman
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To: Soliton

The multiverse has serious problems. Check out ‘Reasonable Faith’ by William Lane Craig, a philosophy who is renowned for consistently winning debates with atheists. Or if you prefer a mildly heretical atheist, check out ‘The Road to Reality’ by Roger Penrose. He has penetrating criticisms of both major theories of the multiverse (eternal inflation and cosmological natural selection).


27 posted on 12/08/2008 12:22:37 PM PST by Jibaholic ("Those people who are not ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants." --William Penn)
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To: svcw; Soliton; betty boop
Would either of you care to be more specific? Or perhaps join us in the ongoing discussion on this other thread?
28 posted on 12/08/2008 12:22:46 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: stefanbatory

It’s something called “putting God in a box” and somehow it forces and limits all of His wonders! Did I also say it was pure rubbish. Spoken out of satan’s mouth. Jesus was very clear on that point “you either belong to Me, or to your father the devil” Sorta limits the fashionable baloney and ambiguity of the intelligent designer set. It’s thankfully not my job to judge the sinners, nor glorify the saints. Give Jesus Christ the credit, give Him all of the glory!


29 posted on 12/08/2008 12:23:25 PM PST by STD (Go Out to the Nations Preaching the Good News)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7)

"The world is full of fools; and he who would not wish to see one, must not only shut himself up alone, butmust also break his looking-glass." --Boileau

30 posted on 12/08/2008 12:24:42 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: ZeitgeistSurfer

Asimov had one too. It ends with a super computer saying “let there be light”.


31 posted on 12/08/2008 12:26:20 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Terpfen
Why couldn’t God have created the multiverse?

I don't know

32 posted on 12/08/2008 12:27:33 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton

I must be in one of the other universes where Occam’s Razor doesn’t exist. The idea of the multiverse, in my opinion, gives the phrase “mental masterbation” it’s definition.


33 posted on 12/08/2008 12:28:19 PM PST by ZX12R
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To: Soliton

Why not both? If God is supernatural, by definition, he exists beyond our understanding of space/time. For God, it cold be that all options exist and He is not constrained human view of the progression of time (ie, past, present, future, and all probable outcomes exist to Him at the same moment.)


34 posted on 12/08/2008 12:31:04 PM PST by mnehring
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To: AndrewC
I pointed out that your belief in a multiverse is not anything but wordy "sh*t happens"

No not really. It just says that variety is necessary for natural selection to operate. Recently it has been suggested that we have detected gravitational effects FROM OUTSIDE THE BOUNDaRY OF OUR UNIVERSE

35 posted on 12/08/2008 12:32:35 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton
Is there a God or a multiverse?

Neither.

Does modern cosmology force us to choose?

Uh. False choice.

The multiverse theory is absurd. Talk to me when you can test it.

Is it the case that the apparent fine-tuning of constants

Not that sh-t, again.

I'm done.

36 posted on 12/08/2008 12:32:45 PM PST by CE2949BB (Fight.)
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To: mnehrling
Why not both?

That is the point of the article

37 posted on 12/08/2008 12:33:53 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton; SoftwareEngineer
Can you describe what characteristics your designer would have?

Intelligent- in order to have designed and created such a complex and orderly universe.

38 posted on 12/08/2008 12:33:59 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Soliton
Can you describe what characteristics your designer would have?

Well, Sollie, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

So the challenge goes to you, as well. Can you describe what characteristics a "multiverse" would have?

And since you're being all materialistic on us, can you describe how the multiverse came into existence in the first place?

We await your authoritative response.

39 posted on 12/08/2008 12:35:58 PM PST by r9etb
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To: Soliton; AndrewC
I sincerely cannot see how someone can believe in something they can't even define

Define *singularity*.

40 posted on 12/08/2008 12:36:26 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: CE2949BB
The multiverse theory is absurd. Talk to me when you can test it.

I am looking for an article that said that certain newly discovered features in the universe appear to be affected by gravitational effects from outside of our universe.

41 posted on 12/08/2008 12:37:25 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: Soliton
features in the universe appear to be affected by gravitational effects from outside of our universe.

That hurts my head. :)

42 posted on 12/08/2008 12:39:09 PM PST by CE2949BB (Fight.)
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To: AndrewC; tpanther; betty boop; Alamo-Girl

Someone is just looking for rationale to justify their *God doesn’t exist* belief and thinks that this is evidence for it.

Where they get the concept that God and multi-universes are mutually exclusive is beyond me.

Heck, the Bible has been talking about other levels of existence for way longer than science has been dreaming up ways to disprove God. But labeling them *heaven* and *hell* just were never very popular with some folks.


43 posted on 12/08/2008 12:40:49 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: r9etb
So the challenge goes to you, as well. Can you describe what characteristics a "multiverse" would have?

A multiverse would be the base material for all of the individual universes to form in. It would have the characteristics of some simple medium that generated laws of physics based on geometry or topography or some other property. The laws of physics would vary in the universe of universe. Some, like ours would be stable. Others would disappear due to instability. Ours may be the only stable one.

44 posted on 12/08/2008 12:41:47 PM PST by Soliton (This 2 shall pass)
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To: metmom; AndrewC; tpanther; betty boop
Indeed, multi-verse theories cannot obviate God.

All they accomplish is moving the goalpost for the beginning of this universe to prior universes.

At the root, they require real space and time for physical causation. In the absence of space, things cannot exist. In the absence of time, events cannot occur.

And we have seen consistently from cosmic microwave background radiation measurements since the 1960's that there was a beginning of real space and time in this universe.

Bottom line, the universe is finite. Multi-verse theories do not support infinity past, the plentitude argument, anything that can happen did. Ditto for ekpyrotic, cyclic, imaginary time, hesitating, multi-world and other such physical cosmologies.

The only closed cosmology is Tegmark's Level IV universe precisely because it is radical Platonism - that this four dimensional universe is a manifestation of mathematical structures which actually do exist beyond space and time.


45 posted on 12/08/2008 12:49:11 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Soliton

I’ll go with both...or even more or anything.

I believe God can do anything, even manifest Himself in each of us differently, any way He chooses.


46 posted on 12/08/2008 12:52:29 PM PST by stuartcr (If the end doesn't justify the means...why have different means?)
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To: Soliton; metmom
No not really. It just says that variety is necessary for natural selection to operate.

You didn't read the article.

That said, there are other, powerful reasons for rejecting a multiverse. Finding conclusive evidence in support of the hypothesis seems highly unlikely; even its advocates admit as much. Worse, it is not clear a multiverse explains anything anyway – stating instead that everything is possible somewhere. If science routinely proceeded on that basis, it would have to conclude that God exists in some universes, following Richard Dawkins' reasoning that whilst God is highly unlikely, the possibility cannot be ruled out tout à fait. (That said, Dawkins' argument is itself flawed, because if God existed the deity would be a necessary not contingent being, and so not subject to the laws of probability.)

47 posted on 12/08/2008 12:52:34 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Possibilities and alternatives lend themselves to the “bubble membrane” theory of reality, in which events are contained in reality bubbles, that behave a little bit like bubbles in soda. Each bubble defines its own “microverse”, which contains event variables, but is in turn defined by the larger bubbles it is inside

I recall in the finale of 'Quantum Leap", that God was a bartender...

(Or maybe Don Ho?)

48 posted on 12/08/2008 12:53:02 PM PST by mikrofon (Tiny bubbles in the Cosmic brine)
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To: Soliton; AndrewC; tpanther; Fichori; Ethan Clive Osgoode; CottShop; Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; ...

Colossians 1:16 & 17 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether ( thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Sounds like attraction to me.

Evos have been demanding proof for the existence of God and here all these forces in this universe have been staring them in the face and the Bible addressed them thousands of years ago.

soliton: I am looking for an article that said that certain newly discovered features in the universe appear to be affected by gravitational effects from outside of our universe.

Can you describe what characteristics your outside the universe source of apparent gravitational attraction would have? If not, your theory has no validity. Get back to me when you can tell us what the source of this outside source is and who or what created THAT.

49 posted on 12/08/2008 12:55:30 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Soliton
A multiverse would be the base material for all of the individual universes to form in. It would have the characteristics of some simple medium that generated laws of physics based on geometry or topography or some other property. The laws of physics would vary in the universe of universe. Some, like ours would be stable. Others would disappear due to instability. Ours may be the only stable one.

The ToE meets cosmology, eh?

50 posted on 12/08/2008 12:56:48 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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