Reasons to Believe

An Infinity of Universes

Dozens of cosmic characteristics must be exquisitely fine-tuned to make physical life possible. The degree of fine-tuning observed exceeds by many orders of magnitude the fine-tuning of which humans are capable. Despite such evidence, rather than because of it, some people, including scientists, speculate about the existence of an infinite number of universes. Given an infinite number of universes, they rationalize, at least one could be expected to develop, randomly, the characteristics physical life requires. Thus, chance, or “random fluctuations” in some kind of primeval field, seems to them as plausible an explanation for apparent design as a divine Designer.

The question remains, however, Where do the infinite number of universes come from? If from some kind of primeval field, then where does the primeval field come from? If “nothingness” represents an instability, and “nothing” must, therefore, give rise to “something,” why has no one ever observed something coming from nothing? Can any physical process deliver an infinity of products? Must infinite variety be the outcome? Asking enough questions ultimately leads to an all-powerful, uncaused Causer.

Growing evidence points to a universe that hyperexpanded (at many times light’s velocity) during its first 10-33 seconds of existence. The inflationary big bang multi-verse proposed by several astrophysicists to account for this hyperexpansion, however, can be much more easily structured as an inflationary big bang uni-verse.

Anyone who appeals to infinite (or even just a very large number of) universes commits a form of the gambler’s fallacy, as described in the following example: Someone flips a single coin in an auditorium in the presence of witnesses ten thousand consecutive times and each time that coin lands with heads facing up. One committing the gambler’s fallacy says that outside the auditorium 210,000 (2 x 2 x 2 . . . ten thousand such multiplications) coins might possibly exist and that all these coins may have been flipped 10,000 consecutive times each. He further speculates that every coin outside of the auditorium produced a different set of results in their 10,000 flips than the one observed inside the auditorium. On this basis he concludes that the coin flipped in the auditorium represents that one possible instance out of 210,000 coins that the laws of probability state would produce ten thousand consecutive heads. He, therefore, would conclude that the coin in the auditorium still has a 50/50 chance of landing on tails, and would be willing to bet on tails for the next flip.

The gambler here commits three major errors. He has no evidence that 210,000 coins must exist outside the auditorium. He has no evidence that all the coins outside the auditorium are flipped ten thousand consecutive times each. And, he especially has no evidence that all the coin flipping results outside the auditorium are different from those he has observed inside the auditorium.

Where the coin sample size is only one, a rational conclusion to draw from 10,000 consecutive coin flips yielding nothing but heads is that the coin has been purposed or designed to always produce a heads result. Likewise, where the universe sample size is only one, a rational conclusion to draw from cosmic fine-tuning that is many orders of magnitude greater than anything humans can manifest in their creations, is that a Being must have purposed or designed the universe in such a manner that it can support physical life.

In the case of the universe one can draw a stronger conclusion than one can for the coin. Whereas one knows that more than one coin exists, one does not know whether more than one universe exists. Moreover, one will never gain the technological capacity to scientifically discover the existence of another universe. Once observers exist in universe A, the theory of general relativity indicates that the space-time manifold or envelope of that universe can never overlap the space-time manifold of any other possibly existing universe. In other words, even if God made ten universes, one would forever lack the scientific means to detect any universe but his or her own. Thus, the sample size of universes for humans is one and it always will be just one. Therefore, the only rational option for human beings right now and at any time in the future, regardless of the speculations of theoretical physicists, philosophers, and others, is that there is only one universe and that God exquisitely designed the universe for the benefit of humanity.

Returning to the gambler, one could argue that his greatest error upon witnessing 10,000 consecutive flips producing 10,000 consecutive heads was his failure to more carefully investigate the properties of the coin before placing his bet on the 10,001st flip. If he had done so, he would have seen additional evidence for purposeful coin design. For example, he might have discovered that the coin had heads imprinted on both sides, or he might have noted that it had been weighted so that the heads side would always land face up.

Just like the gambler, astronomers and others can continue to make measurements on the universe. Such additional measurements will confirm the purposefulness of the universe for the support of physical life. Indeed, this already has been done. For the past forty years, the more astronomers have learned about the universe, the stronger has become the conclusion that it is exquisitely fine-tuned for the support of physical life and especially for the support of human beings. For any remaining skeptic, all she or he need do is wait a month or two. In that time period additional measurements probably will reveal whether the evidence for cosmic design has become weaker or stronger.

Subjects: Extrasolar Planets, Multiverse, Universe Design

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.