Sunday, August 17, 2014

Multiverse Theories Fail to Explain Our Finely Tuned Universe. Intelligent Design is a Better Explanation.

In the video The Beginning of the Universe and Fine-Tuning , Robert J. Spitzer, PhD. discusses the Big Bang theory and Bruce Gordon, PhD. discusses how the universe is finely tuned to support life and why multiverse theories do not provide a natural explanation for the fine-tuning.

There s also a fact sheet summarizing the information in the video at

This post will focus on Bruce Gordon's part of the video. In the video, Bruce Gordon explains that if the initial conditions, the natural laws, and the physical constants of the universe were just the tiniest bit different, the universe would not be able to support life. The fact that the universe is so finely tuned to support life is highly improbable. Gordon discusses a few examples of this fine-tuning such as the initial entropy of the universe, the gravitational constant and the cosmological constant. Then Gordon goes on to discuss multiverse theories and why they do not solve the problem of fine-tuning. He explains how inflation can produce a huge number of universes and how string theory can explain how each universe might have different natural laws. If there are enough different universes, then the chance that one like ours can exist becomes more probable. However Gordon explains why inflation does not solve the problem of fine-tuning, and he gives reasons why string theory is not credible, such as the absence of supersymmetric particles at low energy scales. Gordon then lists some of the absurd consequences of multiverse theories and using quotes from materialists shows that they believe in a multiverse instead of intelligent design not because of the science but because they don't want to believe in intelligent design.

Before going into the details of Bruce Gordon's talk, I would like to make the point that multiverse theories were not proposed in order to explain direct evidence of other universes. They were contrived to provide an alternative explanation for evidence that indicated the universe was designed and created at the time of the Big Bang (ie.was fine-tuned and had a transcendent creator). The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics was proposed to escape the conclusions that consciousness can collapse a wave function in a double slit experiment, sustain a wave function in the quantum Zeno effect, and cause the properties of matter to become fixed in a quantum entanglement experiment. These facts show that consciousness is fundamental and matter depends on consciousness therefore consciousness cannot be produced by the matter in the brain. The theory of punctuated equilibrium was proposed to explain the evidence that falsified Darwinism: the long stasis of species and sudden appearance of new species (and phyla) faster than any natural explanation of genetic change can explain. When one considers these facts, one can see that it is not the intelligent design proponents who are interpreting data according to their metaphysical beliefs, it is the materialist naturalists who are contriving theories in order to avoid the obvious conclusions from empirical data.

The Finely-Tuned Universe

In the video, Bruce Gordon explained the fine-tuning of the universe by analogy to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears where the porridge is not too hot and not too cold but just right. The initial conditions, natural laws, and physical constants of our universe are just right to support life. If they were even the tiniest bit different, the universe could not support life. This is highly improbable and as Gordon explains in his talk, cannot be explained as a natural phenomenon.

Initial Conditions: The Initial Entropy of the Universe

Gordon says that the Big Bang "explosion" was not "messy" it was an orderly expansion with finely tuned initial conditions represented by very low entropy. He explains how Roger Penrose calculated that the initial entropy of the universe to be 1 in 1010123. Penrose used the observed entropy of our universe, the entropy per baryon (a baryon is a proton or a neutron) and the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for the entropy of a black hole to calculate the entropy of the singularity at the beginning of the Big Bang. The observed entropy divided by the largest possible entropy is equal to the fine-tuning of the initial conditions and is 1 / 1010123. To explain how small that value is, Gordon said that to write out that number you would need to write one zero for each of the 1080 baryons in our universe and also write a zero for every baryon in 100 million trillion trillion trillion more universes with the same number of baryons.

The Gravitational Constant

Gordon continued on to explain how the gravitational constant is finely tuned to support life. He said that the strongest force in the universe is the strong nuclear force which is 1040 times stronger than gravity which is the weakest force in the universe. Gordon explained that this value of 1040 represented the range for which it is reasonable for a force of nature fall within, and so 1 in 1040 represents the fine tuning of the gravitational constant. He explained how finely tuned that value is by suggesting that if a tape measure the length of the universe, 30 billion light years long, or 1028 inches long was used as a scale, then if the gravitational constant was decreased by one inch, the gravitational constant would decrease a trillion fold and no structures would form in the universe. If the gravitational constant were increased by one inch, the gravitational constant would be one trillion times larger and as he said, "even weight watcher's wouldn't help you", meaning that gravity would be too strong for human life to exist.

The Cosmological Constant

Gordon also mentioned that the cosmological constant, the rate of expansion of space, is fine tuned to 1 part in 10120. If it was larger, space would expand too fast to form structures, if it was smaller, the universe would re-collapse into itself too quickly to support life.

Multiverse Theories


Gordon next began to discuss multiverse theories and started by discussing inflation. Inflation occurred a split-second after the Big Bang, when the universe underwent a period of super-fast expansion. This expansion was postulated to explain the uniform distribution of energy and matter, including the cosmic microwave background radiation and the fact that the universe is geometrically flat. After the inflationary period, the universe continued to expand at the rate we see today.

Gordon also explained that the mathematics describing inflation could provide a natural explanation for the improbably high level of fine tuning in our universe. Inflation allows for the creation of an infinite number of "bubbles", regions of space, other universes, distinct from our own. If there are an infinite number of other universes, then it becomes probable that there will be some like our universe no matter how improbable its fine-tuning. Gordon explains that the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth theorem (explained earlier in the video by Robert Spitzer and also in the fact sheet linked above) applies to inflation so this process of creating new universes could not extend infinitely into the past and there must have been an initial inflation bubble because the average Hubble expansion is greater than zero. Therefore, even a multiverse produced by inflationary processes must have a beginning and a transcendent cause (a cause outside itself).

However, inflation does not solve the problem of the fine tuning of the initial conditions of the universe, it makes it worse. Gordon says, "When inflation turns off and normal expansion begins, the shut-off energy is fine-tuned to at least one part in a hundred thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion." In addition, the initial fine-tuning of the Big Bang before inflation must be greater than it is after inflation. While inflation was proposed to explain the uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation which was fine-tuned to one part in 100,000 and the flatness of the universe which was fine tuned to one part in 1015, there is a huge amount of energy needed to turn off inflation in just the right way and this energy is fine-tuned to between 1 in 1053 and 1 in 10123. After inflation, the initial conditions are fine tuned to 1 part in 1010123 so before inflation, the fine tuning had to be greater than that value.

String Theory

Gordon continued on to explain how string theory has been proposed to explain why natural laws and constants are the way they are. He says, "String theory postulates that the fundamental constituents of nature are one-dimensional filaments instead of particles. These filaments are either open or closed into loops that vibrate in different ways to produce different particles." The size of strings are on the order of the Planck scale which is 1033cm. Strings move in a space time of nine spacial dimensions and one time dimension. Gordon says, "The extra six space dimensions must be curled up or 'compactified.' There are infinitely many ways of doing this. Each compactification of space can be thought of as representing a different universe with different laws and constants." The size of the compactification represents the strength of physical constants.

When inflationary cosmology is merged with string theory, one can propose that each universe allowed under inflation is different due to a different compactification in that universe.

Problems with String Theory

However, Gordon explains that, "The "mechanism" by which the string landscape produces universes is highly speculative and lacks justification. In order to work, the landscape has to start in its highest energy state and cascade downward - but there's no reason to believe this is what would happen." And, "If the landscape exists, there's good reason to think we should see "supersymmetric" particles at low energy scales. We do not." Although there are 10500 possible different string universes we don't know if any of them they exist except ours. No one knows if there are enough universes with the right properties to make the existence of our universe probable. Also, as mentioned above, inflation does not solve the problem of fine tuning it only moves it back one step.

Problems with the Multiverse Theory

Gordon also pointed out that materialists are willing to accept several very unlikely conjectures in order to avoid accepting that the universe was designed and created. Those conjecture are:

  • There is an inflaton field.
  • A potentially infinite number of universes exist.
  • Strings exist.
  • There are six additional compactified spacial dimensions.
  • "An infinite number of compactifications of the six additional spatial dimensions exist and each corresponds (via inflation) to a potential infinity of actual universes." Absurdly, the consequence of this is a space infinitely larger than our own universe.

Other absurd consequences of a multiverse theory include:

  • An infinite number of universes.
  • A subset of universes that are infinite in number and identical to ours.
  • An infinite subset of universes that are almost like ours but slightly different.

Gordon also mentioned the Boltzmann Brain paradox, explained here in a New York Times article: "... you yourself reading this article are more likely to be some momentary fluctuation in a field of matter and energy out in space than a person with a real past born through billions of years of evolution in an orderly star-spangled cosmos." Gordon explains that the multiverse is "falsified because the type of people we take ourselves to be are not the typical observers within it." Gordon says that cosmologists try to get around this but he implies it is not credible because it involves "gerrymandering" of the mathematics.

Gordon also explains how multiverse theories are self-defeating, "By providing an all-too-easy explanation for anything that has happened or may happen, the multiverse ends up explaining nothing at all."

Materialist's Bias

Gordon next asks why materialists persist in believing in multiverses? To answer that question Gordon give a series of quotes:

Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics, Stanford university:

... If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent - maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation ... then as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics.

Bernard Carr, University of London

To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed, anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it sees to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design.

Richard Lewontin, evolutionary biologist, Harvard University.

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
Materialists admit they believe in absurd things because they do not want to believe an intelligence designed and created the universe. It is ironic because believing in a multiverse requires believing in many much more absurd things than believing in a transcendent creator does. Gordon Closes with a slide that explains the absurdity of materialism:
  • In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
  • In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as an explanatory principle.
  • In a theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and thus are expressions of rational purpose.
  • Scientific materialism is epistemically self-defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.
  • UPDATE: My post Guillermo Gonzalez on the Fine-tuning of the Universe to Support Life has more information on why the mulitverse theory cannot explain the fine-tuning of the universe to support life. Points covered include:

    • Under the multiverse theory, it is 1010123 more likely that our universe is much smaller than we think and its vast size is only an illusion. You have to believe in illusionism if you believe in the multiverse.

    • The Boltzmann's Brain paradox is covered in more detail.

    • How the multiverse theory undermines scientific rationality is also discussed.

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