Most of us have heard of the multiverse hypothesis where our universe is one of many universes all sitting close together but not able to actually interact with one another. If you picture a bubble bath where each bubble is a separate universe that will give you an idea of what a multiverse would sort of be like.
In a multiverse, each universe may have different physical laws that govern them. Some might be unable to support life, while others may support life that is far different than ‘life’ as we know it here in our little bubble.
Of course, the multiverse idea is only a hypothetical scenario but it has gained some traction in scientific circles. For this article, let’s assume it’s possible and a multiverse really does exist.
One argument used to argue for the existence of God is that our universe is finely tuned for life. From Wiki:
The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood. The existence and extent of fine-tuning in the Universe is a matter of dispute in the scientific community.
The multiverse hypothesis – if true – would destroy the fine-tuned universe argument for the existence of God because with an infinite number of universes, it would no longer be a long shot that our universe can support life. In essence, we just hit the universe jackpot and happen to be in one of the universes that can support our form of life. With enough time, life is just bound to happen.
Theoretical physicist and string theorist Brian Greene recently gave a TED talk that covered the possibility that our universe is just one of many and why some scientists think this is so. If you have time, I highly recommend that you watch it by following the link provided. You won’t be disappointed.
But if you don’t have time, here’s part of an interview that addresses the same thing with theoretical physicist, Lawrence Krauss:
Krauss: Well, if that hook gets you into the book that’s great. But in all seriousness, I never make that claim. In fact, in the preface I tried to be really clear that you can keep asking “Why?” forever. At some level there might be ultimate questions that we can’t answer, but if we can answer the “How?” questions, we should, because those are the questions that matter. And it may just be an infinite set of questions, but what I point out at the end of the book is that the multiverse may resolve all of those questions. From Aristotle’s prime mover to the Catholic Church’s first cause, we’re always driven to the idea of something eternal. If the multiverse really exists, then you could have an infinite object—infinite in time and space as opposed to our universe, which is finite. That may beg the question as to where the multiverse came from, but if it’s infinite, it’s infinite. You might not be able to answer that final question, and I try to be honest about that in the book. But if you can show how a set of physical mechanisms can bring about our universe, that itself is an amazing thing and it’s worth celebrating. I don’t ever claim to resolve that infinite regress of why-why-why-why-why; as far as I’m concerned it’s turtles all the way down. The multiverse could explain it by being eternal, in the same way that God explains it by being eternal, but there’s a huge difference: the multiverse is well motivated and God is just an invention of lazy minds.
In the past you’ve spoken quite eloquently about the Multiverse, this idea that our universe might be one of many universes, perhaps an infinite number. In your view does theoretical physics give a convincing account of how such a structure could come to exist?
Krauss: In certain ways, yes—in other ways, no. There are a variety of multiverses that people in physics talk about. The most convincing one derives from something called inflation, which we’re pretty certain happened because it produces effects that agree with almost everything we can observe. From what we know about particle physics, it seems quite likely that the universe underwent a period of exponential expansion early on. But inflation, insofar as we understand it, never ends—it only ends in certain regions and then those regions become a universe like ours. You can show that in an inflationary universe, you produce a multiverse, you produce an infinite number of causally separated universes over time, and the laws of physics are different in each one. There’s a real mechanism where you can calculate it.
And all of that comes, theoretically, from a very small region of space that becomes infinitely large over time. There’s a calculable multiverse; it’s almost required for inflation—it’s very hard to get around it. All the evidence suggests that our universe resulted from a period of inflation, and it’s strongly suggestive that well beyond our horizon there are other universes that are being created out of inflation, and that most of the multiverse is still expanding exponentially.
While the multiverse hypothesis would destroy the fine tuning argument, if I were religious I’d probably be tempted to grasp it with both hands – especially if I belonged to a religion that believed in a life after death, heaven or other supernatural realms of existence because one of those other universes could represent a supernatural realm. In fact, if proven true, science would in fact give these religions a reason to believe in such a realm and make it plausible that such a realm is entirely natural.
The problem with the multiverse hypothesis is that it would be incredibly difficult to test. It’s possible that we could create our own Big Bang by using things like the Hadron Collider but there is another possibility as well, although it to is problematic.
Some scientists believe that black holes may connect different universes or even contain universes. From a National Geographic article:
Like part of a cosmic Russian doll, our universe may be nested inside a black hole that is itself part of a larger universe.
In turn, all the black holes found so far in our universe—from the microscopic to the supermassive—may be doorways into alternate realities.
According to a mind-bending new theory, a black hole is actually a tunnel between universes—a type of wormhole. The matter the black hole attracts doesn’t collapse into a single point, as has been predicted, but rather gushes out a “white hole” at the other end of the black one, the theory goes.
Some scientists think these black holes and the gamma bursts that accompany them might be matter coming from other universes.
Wormholes might also explain gamma ray bursts, the second most powerful explosions in the universe after the big bang.
Gamma ray bursts occur at the fringes of the known universe. They appear to be associated with supernovae, or star explosions, in faraway galaxies, but their exact sources are a mystery
Poplawski proposes that the bursts may be discharges of matter from alternate universes. The matter, he says, might be escaping into our universe through supermassive black holes—wormholes—at the hearts of those galaxies, though it’s not clear how that would be possible.
This could also mean that if life existed in universes that were connected to ours by a black hole, we could send or receive messages from those universes. Of course, constructing something able to withstand the intense gravity of a black hole would be difficult to say the least. I actually watched one video (can’t remember exactly which one) that said those gamma bursts might be signals from other universes and we just don’t have the means to know what they’re saying.
Mind blowing stuff!
So…back on track.
Anyhow, what if one of those multiverses was a realm that we would consider heaven? What if one of those universes produced a being that could reside in a different dimension (spirit?) or was so drastically different from what we consider to be ‘life’ as to seem Godly?
The problem is that such an entity –while seeming God-like to us – would be natural. It would be as natural as we are. If it’s natural and a product of the Big Bang like we are, it really wouldn’t merit the title ‘God’. It also wouldn’t have been responsible for the Big Bang but merely a product of it.
From a biblical point of view, you have Revelation 22:13, which reads, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”.
Perhaps we could apply that to what Krauss said by saying existence itself is in a way representative of God, since it has always existed, it’s eternal and it’s the beginning and the end.