Multiverses: No help for evolution
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Folger, T. Science’s alternative to an intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory, Discover, 10 November 2008; discovermagazine.com. Return to text.
- 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.
- Of course, the Big Bang still has many scientific problems and has been criticized even by secular scientists; creation.com/bigbangblast. Return to text.
- Steinhardt, P. J. The inflation debate, Sci. Am. 304(4):36–43, April 2011. Return to text.
- Scoles, S., Can physicists ever prove the multiverse is real? Smithsonian Magazine, 19 April 2016; smithsonianmag.com Return to text.
- Steinhardt, P., Big Bang blunder bursts the multiverse bubble, Nature 510(7503):9, June 2014. Return to text.
- 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.
- Gefter, A., What kind of bang was the big bang? newscientist.com, 2 July 2012. Return to text.
- 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.
- 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.
- Davies, P., Life force, New Scientist 163(2204):27–30, 18 September 1999. Return to text.