7 Comments

  1. HarveyLM said:

    The universe, and I’m not referring to our universe, may be a lot bigger than the one we occupy but, rather, a multi-verse. This multi-verse may have always existed, changing forms as it evolves. This hypothesis is as logical as the one you proposed for God. As such, your first cause argument is limited.

    May 11, 2016
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    • Matt Nelson said:

      Thanks Harvey. The multiverse is an interesting hypothesis but it is as much a metaphysical explanation as that of a divine Creator. In both cases, science can say nothing explicitly. I would just say that based on other converging evidence the God hypothesis seems more plausible (consider the moral argument, the fine-tuning of the universe, testimony of the miraculous, and the historical Jesus and his impact on the world especially from his resurrection onwards). What evidence can you provide for a multiverse?

      May 11, 2016
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      • HarveyLM said:

        Hi Matt,

        Note that, in my response, I indicated that the multiverse hypothesis is as logical as the original cause explanation, meaning, that they are equally as hypothetical. Though this isn’t scientific evidence, there are increasing observational aspects of our universe that tend to lend credence, though not evidence, for its possibility. I could point to Black Holes as a possible example of mini-universes that were spawned from our own universe but that make fall under questionable assumptions and definitions. Still, yes, the jury is out. It would be interesting, though, if it were ever to reach the level of scientific theory. And interesting in terms of the God argument, in the least.

        I don’t have the time to detail why the fine tuning argument isn’t a very robust one. I’m sure you’ve heard the anthropomorphical arguments, as well as the mulit-verse one, though that’s more conjecture. There is string “theory” which lends credence to a multi-verse argument, at least in a sort of mathematical sense.

        Testimony of miracles falls under the strength of testimony in general,, don’t you think? It’s not a very reliable way to be sure of something. In the Flight 800 event (one of literally thousands), there were extremes in testimony and, in criminal trials, even the suspect has been shown to admit, incorrectly, their guilt…,etc.

        The bulk of proof for Jesus is in the Bible. That’s testimony and, in many cases, decades (and more) after the fact.

        I believe that, at least for me, the best reason to believe is simply because I choose to do so, for its “inner cleansing” purpose, social purpose, feeling good purpose, and more. I’ve never found apologetic/rational argumentation to be very convincing.

        Thanks Harvey. The multiverse is an interesting hypothesis but it is as much a metaphysical explanation as that of a divine Creator. In both cases, science can say nothing explicitly. I would just say that based on other converging evidence the God hypothesis seems more plausible (consider the moral argument, the fine-tuning of the universe, testimony of the miraculous, and the historical Jesus and his impact on the world especially from his resurrection onwards). What evidence can you provide for a multiverse?

        May 11, 2016
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        • Caecus said:

          On top of there being no evidence for any multiverse (and such evidence might turn out to be impossible to obtain), both the string theory ‘landscape’ and the chaotic inflationary model would still have needed an absolute beginning, as proven by the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem. So you’re left with the same problem: Whether there is one or many universes the absolute beginning of space-time is unavoidable.

          Secondly. multiverse theories often lead to absurdities, for example if the amount of parallel universes is infinite, then there are necessarily infinite copies of each possible universe including infinities of parallel earths containing someone that is identical to you doing the same thing you are doing right now.

          So to explain away the incredible fine-tuning of this universe, we need to conjure a possible infinity of alternate universe and throw the principle of parsimony into a black hole, I guess.

          May 13, 2016
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          • HarveyLM said:

            Hi Caecus,

            Yes, there is no scientific evidence for a multi-verse hypothesis, as I’ve already stated. Likewise, there is no scientific evidence for a deistic God. As such, either position is equally valid, to date.
            The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem, the latest favorite of educated theists that attempts to be used as “proof” for the existence of a deity, doesn’t prove an assertion of God nonetheless, though it’s an excellent attempt to do so (just my opinion). This quote from Vilenkin himself:

            ” Theologians have often welcomed any evidence for the beginning of the universe, regarding it as evidence for the existence of God … So what do we make of a proof that the beginning is unavoidable? Is it a proof of the existence of God? This view would be far too simplistic. Anyone who attempts to understand the origin of the universe should be prepared to address its logical paradoxes. In this regard, the theorem that I proved with my colleagues does not give much of an advantage to the theologian over the scientist.”

            Part of the problem, besides any of the obvious ones, is that the theorem doesn’t address the nature of whether the universe may exist in a non-changing state forever with, perhaps, branches each having their own beginnings and, possibly, endings. This “seed” universe may be composed of a netherworld quantum state/reality (note, quantum states do not exist in time or place) and therefore may exist without a beginning.

            As for the infinite numbers of universes leading to a conclusion that there are an infinite number of Earths and us’s, well, I think that is a misreading of what infinite means. For instance, even though (theoretically) there’s an infinite number of numbers, there is only one, say, number “3” as a whole number by itself in this infinite progression. This accepted definition of an infinite number of numbers doesn’t mean that there’s an infinite number of the 3, at least not in 3’s “pure” whole sense.

            As for our universe’s fine tuning, there’s loads of material on this subject all over the place. Our universe is “tuned” for atoms, complex molecules, gravity as we know it, but I’m not so sure how well it’s tuned for life, especially for mankind. In fact, not only is the majority of our universe a poor place for the kind of complex molecules you’ll find in life as we know it, but even our Earth can only harbor life in a relatively small part of its total volume, and for an expected short time in Earth’s total amount of existence (life probably for another billion years or so…maybe). And even our Earth isn’t ideal as a recent article in Discover had detailed.

            I’m not sure how well tuned that is, at least for life as we know it. You’d think that if it was to be purposely well tuned for life, or specifically for a being “made in God’s image”, intelligent, technological life would have appeared far sooner than it had and science wouldn’t have discovered its set of lucky circumstances that led to where we are today.

            But, if you think about it, what are the odds, given the entire history of our universe, for you and me to have this conversation in this precise manner? I’d say the odds are a lot less than the odds of life on our planet, or even perhaps the odds of our universe coming into being. Yet, here I am and here are you. Was our universe, therefore, fine tuned for this to occur since, after all, the odds for random chance for our specific conversation are so small? Perhaps it’s not as “random” as one would presuppose. Perhaps certain elements of what may, at first, seem random should be eliminated from the equation, things like the invention of the computer, and the Internet, and writing, etc., reduced the odds significantly. Similarly, the odds of a viable universe may be equally (or more so) reduced from seeming randomness.

            May 15, 2016
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  2. Caecus said:

    Hi,

    Of course, there is no scientific evidence for God, that is in principle impossible both because God is transcendent and science can only study what is natural (matter, energy, etc). However, a beginning, combined with the instances of fine-tuning fit very well with the metaphysical arguments for the existence of God.

    Concerning infinity (which I certainly don’t claim to understand), I would point out that numbers are abstract objects, whereas universes are concrete, space-time continua with matter & energy obeying physical constants. I don’t see why in a scenario of eternal inflation there would not be two identical bubbles, and therefore not an infinity of them. Or even if our own universe were infinite, there would also be the same problem of infinite earths. Vilenkin himself seems tosupport this notion : “In the worldview that emerges from eternal inflation, our Earth and our civilizations are anything but unique. Instead countless identical civilizations are scattered in the infinite expanse of the cosmos”.

    May 18, 2016
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    • HarveyLM said:

      Thanks for responding but your response was incomplete, at least to the points I’ve mentioned. If you could address them I’d be much appreciative.

      May 18, 2016
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