Reasons to Believe

Multiverse Musings - I'm a Nobel Laureate

A few months ago, I discussed how a spatially infinite, Level I multiverse would impact apologetic arguments based on the fine-tunings of our observable universe. Although a number of philosophical arguments arise against an actual infinity, a sufficiently large but spatially finite Level I multiverse presents the same challenges to fine-tuning arguments. My purpose in this article is not to rebut these challenges but instead to highlight one peculiar consequence of such a Level I multiverse.

One of the rarest hands in poker is a royal flush. In fact, for any given five-card hand the chances of getting a royal flush are less than one in 2.5 million (assuming I specify a given suit). However, dealing a billion hands virtually assures that a fairly large number of those hands will contain a royal flush of the specified suit. Additionally, every possible combination of cards exists in a large number of hands, meaning an equally large number of royal flushes with an ace of the wrong suit also exist.

Switching back to the Level I multiverse, a large number of regions will look almost exactly like our observable universe. In one of those universes everything is the same except I decided not to write this article—or I decided to become a chemist instead of an astrophysicist—or my work in graduate school was rewarded with a Nobel Prize! In fact, any possible situation actually occurs in such a multiverse scenario. Max Tegmark at MIT calculated the distances to these “clone” regions and arrives at numbers like 101029 meters away. Granted these are huge distances but these clones come part-and-parcel with a sufficiently large Level I multiverse.

I haven’t thought through the details yet, but the existence of these other regions appear to dramatically impact our notion of free will and justice. Am I really being held accountable for my actions when I don’t commit those actions in some other regions or when I am not punished for them in others? Is that person in the other region really me? These are some of the interesting and alarming consequences of a spatially infinite (or sufficiently large) Level I multiverse that need addressing.

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.