Reasons to Believe

Life in the Matrix: Addressing Multiverse Implications

Naturalists have something to worry about. According to evidence from nature, the universe looks to be finely tuned to support complex life. So the question arises: Does the universe exhibit real design or merely the (false) appearance of design?

RTB scholars assert that design is, in fact, real—and a substantial body of evidence supports the biblical message that a supernatural Designer fashioned this universe explicitly for human life. Some scientists who reject that notion argue for a naturalistic model that asserts the existence of an infinitude of universes (sometimes called multiverse). They propose that what looks like design is simply the result of a huge “selection effect.” The model identifies our universe as just one of a vast array of universes, each manifesting different features by naturalistic means. 

If this view were correct and if the multiverse were to provide a sampling of all possible universes, it must still address some major philosophical issues. Do multiple copies of me—each making slightly different choices—exist? If so, which is the “real” me? Am I just part of a highly complex, but unreal, simulation or almost exact duplication?

Multiverse advocates suggest that their model can explain the incredible improbability of our universe’s ability to support life—despite the likelihood that sterile universes would be far more abundant than life-supporting ones. This same argument means that inhabitants of Matrix-like simulations (as in The Matrix movie trilogy) must also abound and far outnumber the human beings on Earth-like planets. 

Cosmologist Sir Martin Rees explains the implications of this scenario: 

“All the multiverse ideas lead to a remarkable synthesis between cosmology and physics...But they also lead to the extraordinary consequence that we may not be the deepest reality, we may be a simulation...and the possibility that we’re in the matrix rather than the physics itself.”

However adequately multiverse theories may address the fine-tuned appearance of our observable universe, they still raise more—and increasingly complex—questions than they can hope to answer. Perhaps the best explanation for the fine-tuning is the simplest one: the universe looks designed because a Creator designed it.

Resources:

Multiverse theory is gaining popularity within the scientific community and is trickling into mainstream culture. RTB astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink offers several tools to help you explore the multiverse and its impact on Christian apologetics.

- Keyword search “Multiverse” for introductory articles.
- Check out Jeff’s in-depth booklet, Who’s Afraid of the Multiverse?

Subjects: Multiverse

Dr. Jeff Zweerink

While many Christians and non-Christians see faith and science as in perpetual conflict, I find they integrate well. They operate by the same principles and are committed to discovering foundational truths. Read more about Dr. Jeff Zweerink.