Science fiction and fantasy has always fascinated me. From epic good v. evil battles in Star Wars and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to the simulated reality of The Matrix, I am intrigued by the happenings of other worlds. Based on the enthusiastic fan bases these movies cultivate, many people share my interest. In the end, however, these worlds exist only in the realm of fiction. In contrast, the multiverse posits the actual existence of other universes beyond our own and greatly expands our concept of reality.
Scientific interest in the multiverse parallels the popular interest in fictional other worlds. While the observable universe is enormous by any earthly standard, most likely a large unobserved expanse (the Level I multiverse) exists beyond the reach of astronomers’ most powerful telescopes. Although more speculative, a multitude of other universes with different laws of physics and different dimensions may exist as well. In previous articles, I have described a number of scientific and philosophical issues that arise from multiverse models.
But what if the multiverse turns out to be correct? Would its existence disprove the Bible? I would argue the answer is a qualified “no.”
Certain multiverse models do contradict historic Christianity’s understanding of the Bible. Any past and future eternal multiverse does not reconcile with the Bible’s description of the universe’s ex nihilo beginning. Furthermore, the Bible clearly states that the human incarnation, death and resurrection of God in Jesus occurred only once (1 Peter 3:18). Thus, positing histories with multiple human incarnations of Jesus also conflicts with Scripture.
As another example, the previous discussion about the existence of all possible histories assumes a completely physical basis for all life. In contrast, the biblical description of the image of God in humanity (Genesis 1:27) is spiritual.
On the other hand, the Bible refers to an angelic realm which exists beyond our universe. Further, God created a billion trillion stars and a billion trillion planets in order to provide a suitable habitat for humanity. Why then should we be troubled if God also chose to create a multitude of universes so that this one would support life? At worst, the multiverse merely diminishes the strength of one apologetic argument for God’s existence. It does not inherently contradict Scripture.
As with any other perceived challenge to Christianity, the multiverse should direct us to search out what both the Bible and science really say about this universe. If God is the author of both, a proper interpretation of Scripture will never conflict with a proper understanding of his creation.