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Creation 40(2):36–37, April 2018

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Multiverses: No help for evolution


multiverseCredit: 123rf.com / Vadim Sadovski

Creation scientists have long pointed out the enormous difficulties with ‘goo-to-you’ evolution, and even evolutionists have acknowledged these problems.1 Furthermore, the fundamental constants of the universe are finely tuned to permit life. Yet many evolutionists claim, despite these difficulties, that a multiverse can explain our existence without the need for a Creator.2

These evolutionists claim that our universe is not the only universe. They argue that it is just one of infinitely many universes, each having possibly different physical constants (and perhaps even different laws of physics). This multiverse, they say, removes the need for a supernatural Creator: if there really is an infinite number of universes, it is inevitable (so the argument goes) that some of these universes would have properties that permit life to exist. Supposedly, we ‘got lucky’ and just happen to live in one of these life-permitting universes.3

So, can a multiverse really explain our existence without God?

The origin of the concept

The idea of a multiverse is a consequence of inflation theory.4 Within the big bang model, inflation is a dramatic increase in the expansion rate of the early universe, faster even than light. Inflation was proposed to solve a handful of serious problems in the original big bang model.5

Theorists at first thought that inflation stopped everywhere at the same time, very shortly after the big bang itself. However, they later concluded that different regions of space would stop inflating at different times. This would result in ‘islands’ of non-inflating space (still expanding but at a slower rate) surrounded by enormous amounts of still-inflating space, which would forever ‘cut off’ these ‘islands’ from one another. These ‘islands’ would become filled with radiation and matter and become, in effect, their own universes!

Theorists also became convinced that, once inflation started, it would never stop. This means that inflation would ultimately produce an infinite number of universes. In this view, the alleged big bang 13.8 billion years ago is only the beginning of our universe, not the beginning of the multiverse itself. Inflation is supposedly still occurring in other regions of space, with other universes even now being created.6

But a multiverse doesn’t really explain our existence.

Some of the issues

First, there is no evidence whatsoever that other universes exist, even though the idea is often popularized in science fiction television shows and movies.

Second, the multiverse idea is unscientific: because these ‘island’ universes (even if they existed) would forever be isolated from one another, it is difficult to see how their existence could ever be confirmed or denied. Since the idea of a multiverse cannot be falsified (shown to be false), it is arguably not a truly scientific hypothesis.7

Third, there is no direct evidence for inflation itself: recent claims for ‘smoking gun’ evidence for inflation were quickly retracted.8 Rather, the main ‘evidence’ for inflation is based upon circular reasoning—the fact that the big bang doesn’t work without inflation is counted as evidence for inflation!9 Moreover, modern inflation theory has become increasingly bizarre, which has led some theorists to criticize and abandon it. One of these critics is Massachusetts Institute of Technology cosmologist Max Tegmark, who says, “Inflation has destroyed itself. It logically self-destructed.”10 Even Paul Steinhardt, a leading inflation theorist, has become a critic of the theory.11

No rabbit in this hat

Most important, although the multiverse of inflation theory may make the ‘goo-to-you’ story seem more believable, this is simply an illusion. As we saw, evolutionists claim it is inevitable that some universes in the multiverse would have laws of physics and chemistry that permit life to exist, and we just happen to live in one of those. But in order for their argument to come anywhere near to explaining our existence without a Creator, it is not enough for these laws to permit life to exist. Clearly they do permit this, or we wouldn’t be here; but this is also true in a biblical creation scenario. In order for this argument to favour evolution, these physical laws must also permit the formation of life from non-life, also known as chemical evolution or abiogenesis. But do the laws of physics and chemistry in our universe permit this?

Apparently not. Evolutionists still cannot explain the origin of life, despite investing enormous amounts of time and money on the problem. If we really do live in a universe whose laws of physics and chemistry permit chemical evolution, why has it never been observed?12 And why are evolutionist researchers still unable to convincingly explain how life could have ‘naturally’ appeared?

Could it be that perhaps the laws of physics and chemistry in our universe simply don’t permit abiogenesis? Everything we know about physics and chemistry in this universe indicates that life cannot come from non-life. Famous evolutionist Paul Davies has often pointed out that life is all about information (software)—programmed machinery. And, he says, “There is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”13

Thus, even if other universes did exist, and even if the laws of physics and chemistry in every single one of these other supposed universes did permit abiogenesis, this would do nothing to explain the existence of life in this universe. Do evolutionists really think that the enormous difficulties in ‘goo-to-you’ evolution stories will vanish simply because they claim that other universes exist?

Thus the multiverse idea, while it may superficially make evolution seem more plausible, actually gains the skeptics nothing in their attempt to explain their existence apart from their Creator.

References and notes

  1. See book review by Williams, A., Great minds on the origin of life, J. Creation 21(1): 38–42, 2007; creation.com/singularities . See also creation.com/origin-of-life. Return to text.
  2. Indeed, given the fine tuning, the multiverse appears to be the only alternative to a Creator; see Lewis, G.F. and Barnes, L.A., A Fortunate Universe: Life in a finely tuned cosmos, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Return to text.
  3. Folger, T. Science’s alternative to an intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory, Discover, 10 November 2008; discovermagazine.com. Return to text.
  4. Some physicists have recently claimed that an argument for a multiverse also comes from a speculative physics research program called string theory. However, one of the main criticisms of string theory is that it currently cannot be tested. Return to text.
  5. Of course, the Big Bang still has many scientific problems and has been criticized even by secular scientists; creation.com/bigbangblast. Return to text.
  6. Steinhardt, P. J. The inflation debate, Sci. Am. 304(4):36–43, April 2011. Return to text.
  7. Scoles, S., Can physicists ever prove the multiverse is real? Smithsonian Magazine, 19 April 2016; smithsonianmag.com Return to text.
  8. Steinhardt, P., Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble, Nature 510(7503):9, June 2014. Return to text.
  9. There is much circular reasoning in the interpretation of cosmological data; see Hartnett, J., Cosmic Inflation: Did it really happen? creation.com/inflation 11 September 2015, also Faulkner, D., Have cosmologists discovered evidence of inflation? creation.com/cosmo-inflation-evidence, 29 March 2006. Return to text.
  10. Gefter, A., What kind of bang was the big bang? newscientist.com, 2 July 2012. Return to text.
  11. Williams, A., Big bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble: Premature hype over gravitational waves highlights gaping holes in models for the origins and evolution of the universe, creation.com/multiverse-bubble-bursts, 12 June 2014. Return to text.
  12. According to the Bible, some people did witness supernatural transformations of non-life into life (Exodus 7:8–13, 8:16–19), not to mention the raising of the dead (Luke 24)! But skeptics reject this eyewitness testimony, since acknowledging these events would require them to acknowledge the supernatural in general, and God’s existence in particular. Return to text.
  13. Davies, P., Life force, New Scientist 163(2204):27–30, 18 September 1999. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments

Robert O.
"They argue that it is just one of infinitely many universes, each having possibly different physical constants (and perhaps even different laws of physics). This multiverse, they say, removes the need for a supernatural Creator: if there really is an infinite number of universes, it is inevitable (so the argument goes) that some of these universes would have properties that permit life to exist."

Then, as the argument goes, it can be shown, using Euclid's proof of an infinite number of prime numbers, that there are also an infinite number of universes that permit life. Kind of silly: proposing a multiverse to explain the origin of life because of such overwhelming probabilities, probabilities that approach zero, (= 0); which in actuality creates an infinite number of such universes; each one against those very same overwhelming probabilities.
Unapologetic S.
You realize that the multiverse hypothesis has no connection to evolution, yes? It's just a hypothesis about the birth of our universe and is not taken overly seriously. As it is currently untestable, it's just an idea that gets kicked around once in a while. If you want to disprove evolution, actually talk about evolution.
Jim Mason
Actually, the two are intimately connected via the presupposition of philosophical naturalism that underpins both.

The hypothesis of the multiverse was invented in a desperate attempt to salvage the presumption of a naturalistic origin for the universe in light of the considerable evidence for design, especially the extraordinary fine tuning for life that is a naturalist's nightmare.

This is clearly demonstrated in Multiverse theory—unknown science or illogical raison d’être?, where Amanda Gefter is quoted as writing in New Scientist, “Take the dialogue earlier this year between Richard Dawkins and physicist Steven Weinberg in Austin, Texas. Discussing the fact that the universe appears fine-tuned for our existence, Weinberg told Dawkins: ‘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.’” In the same article Gefter is also quoted as writing, (in the same New Scientist article and quoting from an article in Discover magazine), ““‘Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation,’ writes journalist Tim Folger. ‘Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse.’ Folger quotes cosmologist Bernard Carr: ‘If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.’”

Clearly, the multiverse is intended to try to obviate the logical conclusion that the evidence indicates that the universe was specially created by God.

Once that conclusion is reached, of course, the idea that life ‘had to’ have a naturalistic origin (abiogenesis) disappears and the whole foundation of evolution collapses. Of course, abiogenesis is, itself, pretty straightforward to refute. As Dr. Paul Davies wrote (also New Scientist), ““[while] amino acids are written into the laws of nature, large and highly specialised molecules such as proteins are certainly not. … Throwing energy at amino acids will not create delicate chain molecules, just as putting dynamite under a pile of bricks won’t make a house. … We now know that the secret of life lies not with the chemical ingredients as such, but with the logical structure and organisational arrangement of the molecules. … biological information is not encoded in the laws of physics and chemistry … (and it) cannot come into existence spontaneously. … There is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”
Gian Carlo G.
The multiverse as an explanation to our existence doesn't address the problem, it merely redirects it. It's also ad hoc.
Mitch C.
As I understand it, the secularist is forced to believe that the incredible complexity of the DNA code in the first organism had to come about by the random recombination of organic molecules. Even though the odds of getting a viable DNA sequence are infinitesimally small, he would claim that, given "enough" universes, there would eventually be one that was lucky enough to produce life. (Basically, an "infinity divided by infinity" argument).

But, since he has no actual proof of a multiverse (nor is it even capable of proof), this must all be accepted on blind faith, which is an argument typically given against belief in the Biblical God ("you can't put God in a test tube").

However, that's where the similarity ends, because there are many evidences for the existence of God, such as fulfilled prophecy, the comprehensive explanatory power of scripture, and the existence of non-material entities, such as morality, consciousness, beauty, etc., none of which is consistent with an atheistic starting point.
Dan M.
More fanciful, hypothetical, just so story telling to save a dying religion, (universal evolution). If it happened in the past and you can't test it, it is faith and by definition a religion! This is a basic tenet of science. So by default, (since we cannot test or observe the past) we have to go with the best explanation which is in our bible. I can't by science prove the existence of God, (since He created science) but He is logically the best explanation. And did I mention we have droves of historical documents pointing to a creator not to mention a intuitive knowledge of One that has to be educated, (programmed really) out of us from birth. We know He exists, beep down in our inmost being.
The bottom line is we got here somehow. If evolution has failed us and we have historical evidence of a creator, well you be the judge.
I don't care how many just so stories the evo's come up with, I'm not converting to their religion or any other!
Thanks for your work Dr. Hebert.
John C.
If a truly infinite number of universes exist, as proposed by evolutionists, then by default those universes must include every possible universe, thus the possibility exists for at least one universe to exist that has been created by an All-powerful, All-knowing God Who has revealed himself in Creation (Romans 1:20) , in the Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3), and in the Scriptures (Genesis 1:1-2:3). There is no reason to suppose that this universe, the one in which we exist, cannot be that universe. But that particular version of the universe, would do away with any need for the multiverse itself. Thus, the multiverse theory is self-refuting, contradicting its stated purpose, to do away with the need for an Intelligent Creator.
Shaun Doyle
Michael B.
Thank you for clearing the brush to expose yet another "just so" bunny trail so that we are better equipped to get conversations back on track with reality.
Your Brother in Christ,
Kathy K.
The devil has many ideas to put in the heads of people who simply don’t want God/Creator to exist. Tragedies in Darwin’s life probably helped him put God out of his mind. He wasn’t the only one and as we see today, there will be enormous numbers of unbelievers that satan will use, I believe.

But given the technology we have today, God-given technology, we are able to be shown how complex all creation is and that there is a Creator. This Creator has had a plan from the beginning of time and knows all things, and his plan will be carried out no matter how many theories man comes up with, especially last-ditch efforts like the multiverse guess.

If our universe cries out for a Creator, so must all other universes. I can see today the rebellion against a God/Creator is truly against his moral laws and a law of “wills”. “I will do what I want to do”! And we know the story of that devil who wanted his own will done rather than God’s will. Thank the Lord we can trust Him for our eternal future! Thank you Mr. Hebert and CMI.
Bill P.
The wisdom of this world considers us fools because we believe the True and Living God created the heavens and the earth, or that this world was destroyed by a flood, or that The God of Israel parted the deep sea to bring His people out of Egypt, etc etc. At the same time they claim we are foolish, they teach and expect this world to believe that there are an infinite number of universes billions of yrs. old and we happen to be living in the one universe that evolved in such a way to support life. I would laugh at their wisdom but I can not because their faith in this idea can only lead to being separated from The True and Living God for all eternity with no more chances for them to be redeemed. I would not wish that on my worst enemy, but this is what they have willingly chosen. "Those who wait upon The Lord will not be ashamed".

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