Archive for ‘Cosmology’

February 9th, 2014

Q&A 38: The Infinite Set of You in the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

Question

Dear Mr. Andrews,

I came upon your blog and I shall spend the better part of the night reading it, and I have a few questions about the multiverse that I don’t understand.

First off, why is it inevitable that some parallel universes would be identical to this one? Why would there be another me, identical down to each thought, instead of endlessly unique ones? That is to say, why would there be an infinite number of universes but only a finite variety of patterns?

Also, would endlessly different ones render the fantastic real? Unicorns and Greek gods roaming universes of their own?

Or have I missed what MWI supporters are trying to say?

Also, if the multiverse allows for at least a few super civilizations to exist, so powerful that they can create their own universes or cross others, then wouldn’t they essentially function as gods, albeit not our eternal one?

Thank you so much, and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Katy Meyrick

February 3rd, 2014

Max Tegmark and The Fluke Explanation for Life

by Max Andrews

our mathematical universe tegmarkI’m reading Max Tegmark’s newest and only book Our Mathematical Universe, which I will be reviewing for an academic journal. I wanted to share, as much as I could without copyright infringement an amazing point on the issues of fine-tuning in the most broad sense of the word (the existence of a universe that permits the existence of life).

 So what are we to make of this fine-tuning? First of all, why can’t we just dismiss it all as a bunch of fluke coincidences? Because the scientific method doesn’t tolerate unexplained coincidences saying, “My theory requires an unexplained coincidence to agree with observation.” For Example, we’ve seen how inflation predicts that space is flat and the spots in the cosmic microwave background should have an average size around a degree, and that the experiments…. confirmed this… Suppose the Planck team observed [something else being] much smaller average spy size, prompting them to announce that they’d ruled out inflation with 99.999% confidence. This would mean that random fluctuations in a flat universe could [author's emphasis] have caused spots to appear as unusually small as they measured, tricking them into an incorrect conclusion, but what with 99.999% probability this wouldn’t happen? In other words, inflation  would require a 1 – in – 100,000 unexplained coincidence in order to agree with the measurement…

January 15th, 2014

The Affirmations and Denials Directory

by Max Andrews

I’ve decided to make a referent post that outlines my position on many things philosophical, theological, scientific, biblical, and other. I have many similar directories: Molinism, Multiverse, Philosophy of Science, Epistemology, and the Origins Directory.

Ontological Basics

  1. Ontological Status. Existent
  2. Necessary. No
  3. Contingent. Yes
  4. Person. Yes
  5. Organic. Yes
  6. Faculty of Will. Incompatibilist (although all we need is that flicker of freedom).
  7. Personhood. Cartesian Substance Dualist, leaning Hasker’s emergentism.

Bible & Theology

  1. Theology. Theist
  2. Religion. Christian
  3. Trinity: Social Trinitarian
  4. Denomination. Associate Reformed Presbyterian (Don’t ask me how that happened…)
  5. Catholic. No. Some Catholic Dogma is contrary to what I understand the gospel to be. Some Catholics love Jesus and are saved as well, though in spite of the Catholic teaching.
  6. Eastern-Orthodoxy. No. See above.
  7. Middle Knolwedge. Yes
  8. Molinist. Yes.
  9. Soteriology. A Molinist Model
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November 29th, 2013

Would Multiple Universes Rule Out Fine-Tuning?

by Max Andrews

The multiverse hypothesis is the leading alternative to the competing fine-tuning hypothesis.  The multiverse dispels many aspects of the fine-tuning argument by suggesting that there are different initial conditions in each universe, varying constants of physics, and the laws of nature lose their known arbitrary values; thus, making the previous single-universe argument from fine-tuning incredibly weak.  There are four options for why a fine-tuning is either unnecessary to invoke or illusory if the multiverse hypothesis is used as an alternative explanans. Fine-tuning might be (1) illusory if life could adapt to very different conditions or if values of constants could compensate each other. Additionally, (2) it might be a result of chance or (3) it might be nonexistent because nature could not have been otherwise.  With hopes of discovering a fundamental theory of everything all states of affairs in nature may perhaps be tautologous.  Finally, (4) it may be a product of cosmic Darwinism, or cosmic natural selection, making the measured values quite likely within a multiverse of many different values. In this paper I contend that multiverse scenarios are insufficient in accounting for the fine-tuning of the laws of nature and that physicists and cosmologists must either accept it as a metaphysical brute fact or seriously entertain the hypothesis of a fine-tuner.

I.  Outlining the Multiverse Hierarchy

Contemporary physics seem to indicate that there are good reasons, theoretically and physically, for the postulation a plurality of worlds.  This concept has come to be understood as the multiverse.  The multiverse is not monolithic, but it is modeled after the contemporary understanding of an inflationary model of the beginning of this universe.  Max Tegmark has championed the field of precision cosmology and has proposed the most prominent versions of the multiverse.[1]  Tegmark has made a four-way distinction in classifying these models.

November 28th, 2013

The Philosophy of Cosmology Flirts with the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

ID the Future just put out a new podcast reviewing an interview from The Atlantic discussing the new field in the philosophy of physics–the philosophy of cosmology. The content is from last year but the content isn’t outdated.

On this episode of ID The Future, host David Boze reports on the latest views of a group of cosmologists who want to establish a new philosophy of cosmology to tackle the big questions of the universe. What happened after the Big Bang? Was there something before that to cause the existence of the universe? What are bubble universes?

November 17th, 2013

A Theological Argument for Many Worlds

by Max Andrews

The following is the abstract to Don Page’s paper, “A Theological Argument for an Everett Multiverse.”

Science looks for the simplest hypotheses to explain observations. Starting with the simple assumption that {\em the actual world is the best possible world}, I sketch an {\it Optimal Argument for the Existence of God}, that the sufferings in our universe would not be consistent with its being alone the best possible world, but the total world could be the best possible if it includes an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God who experiences great value in creating and knowing a universe with great mathematical elegance, even though such a universe has suffering.

October 6th, 2013

Cosmic Darwinism: Evolving Laws of Nature?

by Max Andrews

The following are a few questions raised in light of Rupert Sheldrake’s The Science Delusion: Freeing The Spirit Of Enquiry. 

The argument that he advances in the chapter involves something he calls ‘habits’, which are “a kind of memory inherent in nature”. (From what I understand, he has also advanced this within a theory of ‘morphic resonance’ in his other published works.) Putting aside his case for these ‘habits’, three questions that he poses to materialists at the end of the chapter caught my eye:

1) If the laws of nature existed before the Big Bang, and governed the Big Bang from its first instant, where were they?

2) If the laws and constants of nature all came into being at the moment of the Big Bang, how does the universe remember them? Where are they ‘imprinted’?

3) How do you know that the laws of nature are fixed and not evolutionary?

July 22nd, 2013

Peter Atkins on the Origin of Everything: Much ado about Nothing

by Max Andrews

The Origin of Everything: Much Ado About Nothing” is a talk by physical chemist Peter Atkins on the boundaries between science and philosophy when it comes to examining the origins of the universe and nothingness.

June 17th, 2013

Boltzmann Brains and Multiverse Scenarios

by Max Andrews

Max Tegmark has introduced an anthropic principle specifically related to multiverse scenarios—the minimalistic anthropic principle (MAP). Tegmark believes the anthropic principle has generated more heat than light with so many different interpretations. MAP states that when testing fundamental theories with observational data, ignoring selection effects can give incorrect conclusions.[1]

Tegmark does not use MAP and selection effects to rule out everything. It cannot rule out chaotic inflation by the fact that we find ourselves living in the miniscule fraction of space where inflation has ended, since the inflating part is uninhabitable to us. As pointed out by Ludwig Boltzmann, if the universe were in a classical thermal equilibrium (heat death), thermal fluctuations could still make atoms assemble at random to briefly create a self-aware observer (a Boltzmann brain) like us every once in a blue moon, so the fact that we exist right now does not rule out the heat death cosmological model.[2]  So, what should we do with Boltzmann brains?

April 26th, 2013

Exceptions to a Finite Universe

by Max Andrews

The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 0 that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well.  There are four exceptions to the theorem.*

1. First Exception: Initial Contraction (Havg<0) … (The average rate of the Hubble expansion is less than zero)

  • Main Problem: Another problem this raises is that this requires acausal fine-tuning.  Any attempt to explain the fine-tuning apart from a fine-tuner is left bereft of any explanation.

2. Second Exception: Asymptotically static (Havg=O)

  • Main Problem: The exception is that it does not allow for an expanding or evolutionary universe.  This model cannot be true.  The best evidence and empirical observations indicate that the universe is not static; rather, it is expanding and evolving.  This might have been a great model under Newton but not since Einstein’s field equation concerning the energy-momentum of the universe.
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