Maurizio – Omnologos

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Multiverse: the Logical Choice for Atheists and Agnostics

with 8 comments

What constitutes “All There Is“, i.e. the Cosmos?

For awowed Atheists or less committal Agnostics not believing in the existence of one or more Divinities, the logical choice is a Multiverse made of an enormous number of Parallel Universes

(Here introductions to the Science and the Philosophy of Parallel Universes)

The reasoning is straightforward. Let’s say the Cosmos contains a number N of Universes. N is an integer and can be:

  1. one;
  2. a “relavitely small number
  3. a “very large number” (for example, a googolplex, too big to be stored, or even Graham’s Number, too large to be written)

========================

Now, if N were one or a relatively small number, that would be a strong indication that there is a God after all.

In fact, assuming there is no God or no way of knowing if there is one (or many):

(1) If there were only the Universe we live in (a widespread belief, nowadays) there would really be little or nothing left to justify its incredible circumstances;

We know for a fact that our Universe has all its basic constants and rules incredibly fine-tuned to allow our existence to happen; it even contains some “miracles”. (!)

By that I mean phenomena such as the “Miracle of Mathematics“, described by Nobel Prize E. P. Wigner in the 1960’s paper “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” as the peculiar occurrence where

the mathematical formulation of the physicist’s often crude experience leads in an uncanny number of cases to an amazingly accurate description of a large class of phenomena

Finally, in a single Universe Atheist/Agnostic scientists would (and do!) find themselves uncomfortably close to the Theist position, as indicated by George Johnson in a book review on Scientific American in October 2006

You can be a theist, believing that behind the veil of randomness lurks an active, loving, manipulative God, or you can be a materialist, for whom everything is matter and energy interacting within space and time. Whichever metaphysical club you belong to, the science comes out the same

(2) If there were instead a relatively small number of Universes, problems would be even worse;

We would still have to ponder the extraordinary stroke of luck that allowed our Universe to exist with all of the above plus try to understand the significance of yet another fundamental cosmological number, N.

(3) The issues above disappear when we consider a very large number of Universes;

Our whole set of “incredible circumstances” become just one possibility out of many: bound to happen however unlikely its chances,  like the perfect hand at a game of cards if the deck is shuffled enough times.

There is no more case for the necessity of some “Intelligent Being(s)” putting everything together in the right ways.

That is even more so if N, the number of Universes in the Cosmos is really, really big (e.g. when it so big it cannot be stored or even written). There is no meaning then in discussions on the significance of its precise value, as the situation wouldn’t change if that were, say, a billion billion times bigger or smaller.

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Everything considered then, it is only when N is enormous, i.e. in a Cosmos made of a huge number of Parallel Universes, that the Atheist/Agnostic option is viable

Written by omnologos

2007/Feb/03 at 12:16:35

8 Responses

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  1. I disagree. What were the a-priori chances of, say, your personal existence, even in this universe, 2,000 years ago, and even restricting the calculation to the success of the particular sperm that met the egg in the intercourse of each couple of your ancestors that led to your present existence? Over ~100 generations, about one over 100,000,000 raised to the 100th power, or about 10^-800. Yet, you do exist.
    What already happened already happened, no matter how unlikely such outcome was before, and that tells us nothing about planning or randomicity of the path that leads to the existing situation.

    Enzo

    2007/Feb/04 at 03:26:34

  2. For Enzo: I agree that (a) in a single Universe my own chances would have been pretty much nil.

    But (b) in 10^800 Universes (actually, many many more than that), those chances are close to one.

    Since I am here why would it be more logical to choose option (a) above, I don’t know.

    Otherwise one moves from the theistic “Chosen Ones” to the atheist/agnostic “Lucky Ones”

    omnologos

    2007/Feb/04 at 10:51:02

  3. Well, if we assume that the various sheets of Multiverse are totally independent from each other, positing their existence is by itself an act of faith: how would we ever be able to prove or disprove such assumption?

    More interesting is a scenario where they interact somehow, e.g. sharing common origins as in the Everett-Wheeler-DeWitt interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-worlds_interpretation ). And even that is still an interpretation, i.e. a meta-theory; it would become more than that if different sheets were found to interact also after splitting.

    But my point was that highly unlikely events do happen even in a single universe. If you pick up one particular grain of sand in a beach, that event did happen, although its probability was negligible. The fact that it happened is not suprising; the difficult thing would be to predict the outcome _before_ it happened.

    Enzo

    2007/Feb/05 at 06:09:11

  4. I see that I need to repost my giant articles on the topic, perhaps in smaller, more readable chunks!

    As for the sand, isn’t it almost infinitely more likely to find a grain of it on a beach, rather than alone by itself?

    omnologos

    2007/Feb/05 at 23:42:01

  5. “As for the sand, isn’t it almost infinitely more likely to find a grain of it on a beach, rather than alone by itself?”

    _A_ grain of it, yes, but I was talking about _that particular_ grain as opposed to the other zillions of individual grains.

    Enzo

    2007/Feb/06 at 02:23:50

  6. I have one for you to review Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. You can either get the book or here is a clip from the DVD. I am here to help with the truth. The evidence is compelling if you have an open mind and are truly searching for truth, if not we will see in your review.

    Just a concerned family man,

    Dan

    Dan

    2007/Apr/09 at 20:50:12

  7. A good illustration of the power of big numbers to “make” anything happen is to make up a strange name and do an internet search. I tried “Smith” with every biblical and mythological “given name” I could think of. I always got hits, and usually many of them.
    That there are “worlds without number” seems beyond debate, as does the fact that some of them must be like us.

    Andrew Smyth

    2007/Sep/13 at 07:44:01

  8. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

    Idetrorce

    2007/Dec/15 at 13:02:32


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