Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Multiverse Theory As a Baffling Article of Faith

I'm reading Worlds Without End: The Many Live of the Multiverse, by Mary-Jane Rubenstein. Multiverse theory - the idea that there are trillions upon trillions of universes - is postulated so as to do an end run around the stunning fine-tuning of our universe, which includes the cosmological constant, represented by the Greek letter lambda (Λ). As physicist Bernard Carr has said, "If you don't want God, then you better have a multiverse." (Rubenstein gives two reasons for the origin of multiverse theory: 1) scientific developments; and 2) philosophical expediency.)

Rubenstein writes:

[With the multiverse] "the necessity for a God figure is gone; as the Atomists realized 2,500 years ago, the multiverse hypothesis does not disprove God’s existence—it just takes his most significant job away through the twin powers of infinity and accident. That having been said, the multiverse replaces God with what is perhaps an equally baffling article of faith: the actual existence of an infinite number of worlds, eternally generated yet forever inaccessible to us. The multiverse, then, becomes its own kind of theological postulate even as aims to unsettle all theological postulates." (Op. cit., 17-18)