Due to the appearance of the fine-tuning of our universe that gives the impression that it has been designed for us to live in, some cosmologists have posited the multiverse theory in attempt to explain this away. However, this fine-tuning of our universe is immediately apparent, as the prominent Fred Hoyle explains:
“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question” (1).
Theoretical physicist Tony Rothman is of a similar view writing that “When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it” (2).
Nevertheless, those who champion the multiverse claim that if an infinite number of universes exist then we should not be surprised to find ours to be hospitable for life. This brings us to the part of the false dilemma fallacy. World-renowned cosmologist George Ellis is critical of the multiverse, especially since it is both untestable and unobservable. He compares it to science fiction, arguing that “Multiverse thinking or the belief in the existence of parallel universes is more philosophy or science fiction than science. Cosmology must seem odd to scientists in other fields.”
However, despite Ellis’ view, assume that the multiverse really exists. According to the atheist we are expected to choose between belief in the multiverse or belief in God. We can’t choose to believe in both. However, the Christian could accuse the atheist of proposing a false dilemma, known as the false dilemma fallacy. This is committed when we’re expected to only choose between options A and B when in reality several more exist. In other words, the Christian theist might point out that to be forced to choose between God and the multiverse commits this fallacy. For example, one writer promotes this false dilemma”
“But the main reason for believing in an ensemble of universes is that it could explain why the laws governing our Universe appear to be so finely turned for our existence … This fine-tuning has two possible explanations. Either the Universe was designed specifically for us by a creator or there is a multitude of universes — a multiverse” (3).
So, it’s either God, or the multiverse, but not both. However, some have pointed out that the multiverse, and its universe generator, would have had to have come into existence at a finite point in the past otherwise we are left with an infinite regress of causes. So, the atheist has simply pushed the problem of the first cause back a step. However, one might want to know what is this alleged mechanism that is a universe-generating machine. We should wonder just how this mechanism gets all the right components to make a self-sustaining universe and then pop out a finished product. If this alleged machine exists then it must be material hence it, itself, must have been created in some manner. This leaves the atheist with the same problem of trying to explain the first cause; he hasn’t got around it. Even further, if this alleged multiverse actually exists then what about its fine-tuning? Philosopher William Craig writes:
“All this has been said, of course, without asking whether the multiverse itself must not exhibit fine-tuning in order to exist. If it does, as some have argued, then it is a non-starter as an alternative to design” (4).
Perhaps the multiverse is itself fine-tuned. Not only would that be an immense issue for the atheist (since he now has more fine-tuning to explain away), it would actually be for many, argues Craig, further confirmation for God’s existence: “The very fact that otherwise sober scientists must resort to such a remarkable hypothesis is a sort of backhanded compliment to the design hypothesis. It shows that the fine-tuning does cry out for explanation” (5).
1. Hoyle, F. 1981. “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections” in Engineering and Science. p. 8–12.
2. Tony Rothman quoted by John Casti in Paradigms Lost (1989). p. 482-483.
3. Quoted by Denyse O’Leary in Not Only Is Earth One Nice Planet Among Many, but Our Entire Universe Is Lost in a Crowd (2013). Available.
4. Craig, W. 2007. Multiverse and the Design Argument. Available.
5. Craig, W. 2007. Ibid.