Fine-tuning (Part 5): Can The Anthropic Principle And Multiverse Hypothesis Save Chance Theory?

THE FINE-TUNING ARGUMENT

We began by presenting this argument:

Premise 1: The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.
Premise 2: The fine-tuning is not due to physical necessity or chance.
Conclusion: Therefore, it is due to design.

FINE TUNING

In our last blog, we said that “laws of nature” are commonly expressed as mathematical formulas. We said there are two elements in those formulas we need to understand, but these two elements are true independent of any laws of nature:
“Constants” are set values that don’t change like gravity or the electromagnetic force.
• An “arbitrary quantity” represents initial conditions that existed before a law of nature took effect.

“Fine-tuning” refers to the fact that constants and quantities in those formulas or laws of nature MUST fit an extraordinarily narrow range to sustain life.

THREE OPTIONS TO EXPLAIN FINE TUNING

We also said that there presently are three theories that have been offered to explain the extraordinary fine-tuning we see in the universe:
• Physical necessity
• Chance
• Design

In our last blog, we discarded “physical necessity theory” because it maintains that it would be impossible for constants and quantities to be life-prohibiting, and that is simply not true. Constants and quantities could easily be life-prohibiting.

Regarding chance theorists’ attempts to explain fine-tuning, we explained why lottery analogies alone are inadequate to explain how there could be a life-permitting universe.

THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE

Some chance theorists submit that trying to figure out why a life-permitting universe exists is a waste of time because it is unknowable. It’s suggested that unless we are able to observe other universes that might be life-prohibiting, there is no way for us to know why this life-permitting universe exists.

In simple terms, the “anthropic principle” says that we can only observe properties of the universe that are consistent with our existence.

This is obviously true. If the properties of the universe that surrounds us were life-prohibiting, then we obviously couldn’t be here to observe anything. So it’s very clear that the only kind of universe we can observe is a life-permitting universe.

Using this as a basis, some chance theorists somehow draw a conclusion that, “Therefore, no explanation is needed for the extraordinary fine-tuning that sustains a life-permitting universe.”

OUR RESPONSE TO CHANCE THEORISTS WHO RESORT TO THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE

It’s true that we can only observe this life-permitting universe that is compatible with our existence. However, the fact that we can’t observe any life-prohibiting universes does not logically lead a rational person to conclude that it’s useless to ask the question, “Why does a life-permitting universe exist?”.

Chance theorists can’t use specious reasoning to declare “game over” and tell everyone to give up because we haven’t yet observed another universe.

The anthropic principle makes sense in saying that we can only observe this life-permitting universe, but the conclusion that chance theorists try to draw that “knowing why there is life” is beyond our grasp does NOT logically follow from the premise. This aspect of the anthropic principle does not make logical sense. But additionally, we have not yet explained how life exists despite the overwhelming odds against it in each of the physics examples that were mentioned in the third blog on fine-tuning.

So chance theorists have come to realize that the anthropic principle alone does not work!

MULTIVERSE THEORY

There is a hypothesis that some scientists have created out of whole cloth in order to offer support for “chance” theory. There is absolutely no empirical evidence, but the multiverse hypothesis asks us to imagine 10 to the 500th power universes, each with different laws of nature, constants and quantities. This complex idea has various names such as:
• multiverse theory,
• the many worlds hypothesis
• a world ensemble
• a cosmic landscape.

“With enough universes it’s thought that the incredible odds against life will not appear so outlandish. Surely one of them has to be finely-tuned enough to support life, and we just happen to be in that life-permitting universe.”

OUR RESPONSE TO MULTIVERSE THEORY

First, in order to suggest an idea like multiple universes, chance theorists still need to explain how certain ones happen to be fine-tuned to sustain life. Perhaps they could manufacture a theory about a mechanism that creates life-permitting universes, but that mechanism better not be fine-tuned itself, or all you’ve done is kick the can down the road. So simply making up a theory about a world ensemble is not enough to provide a convincing explanation for chance theory.

Second, a lot of scientists today are very skeptical of a many worlds hypothesis, and the Borde-Guth-Valenkin theorem proved that, if there is such a thing as a multiverse, it CANNOT be past eternal and MUST have a beginning.

Third, if our world is part of a larger multiverse, the odds against another universe forming are subject to Roger Penrose’s calculation that we discussed in our last blog. It would be 1 chance in 10 to a power that is 1 followed by 123 zeroes! That’s about as close to impossible as you can get!

OUR RESPONSE TO CHANCE THEORISTS ON BOTH IDEAS: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE AND MULTIVERSE THEORY

Let’s consider an analogy. Imagine that you are blindfolded and placed before a firing squad of 100 trained marksmen. A leader yells, “ready, aim, fire.” You hear the guns’ roar, but you don’t receive even a scratch . . . nothing!

Now think logically about what must have happened. Would you conveniently expand the realm of possibilities to rationalize that you were just lucky and they all missed?

Would you say to yourself, “Well, there must be millions of people standing in front of firing squads every day, and in light of those large numbers I am just the fortunate recipient of incredibly good luck and they missed me by accident?”

Or would you conclude that this event had to be by design: “Perhaps they were trying to scare me and they fired blanks or fired into the air.”

So what would be your conclusion? Did the firing squad miss you by chance or did they do this intentionally, by design?

EXPANDING THE REALM OF POSSIBILITIES

If you decide to imagine in your mind that there must be millions of people standing in front of firing squads every day, you’ve just expanded the realm of possibilities to make it seem more likely that it was just dumb luck. However, the problem with this way of thinking is that you could use this approach to rationalize ANYTHING away!

If you are playing poker and a person playing next to you is dealt a royal flush every time he receives a hand, you could conclude that, “There must be an infinite number of poker games going on all over the world, and he just happens to be the lucky guy who gets a royal flush every time he’s dealt a hand!” So we can expand the realm of possibilities to rationalize anything. If money were at stake in such a game, would you really just continue playing and assume that such a circumstance was purely due to chance alone?

To always reflexively expand the realm of possibilities so that you could attribute everything to chance simply would not make good rational sense. Not in the case of a firing squad that misses, not in playing cards and not in the case of a fabricated hypothesis that there are a trillion-trillion universes. Any rational person would not simply attribute such events to mere chance!

CHANCE THEORISTS’ RESPONSE ON THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE AND MULTIVERSE THEORY

Chance theorists maintain that in the world ensemble or multiverse there must be life-permitting universes and life-prohibiting universes, but there will obviously only be living observers in the life-permitting universes.

So chance theorists’ say:
“We chance theorists don’t need to offer an explanation for the fine-tuning that we observe in this life-permitting universe (the anthropic principle).”
• “Incredible fine-tuning that results in a life-permitting universe is purely due to chance (multiverse theory).”

WHERE THE DEBATE OVER FINE TUNING CURRENTLY STANDS

So, you need to understand that, as of today, this question describes what the entire debate about fine-tuning is presently focused on:
“Even though we have never seen any other universes, is it possible that there could be trillions of universes, each with different laws, constants and quantities, that might justify our incredible good luck in being in a life-permitting one?”

That is the issue that is presently being debated among all leading theorists in science, philosophy, etc. If the answer is “no,” chance theory is dead. The anthropic principle alone will not suffice. The multiverse hypothesis absolutely must be true for chance theory to survive. So despite zero empirical evidence, we see atheists fighting tooth and nail to keep multiverse theory alive!

Now think about this. The field of science is absolutely dominated by a naturalistic worldview, which says that the physical world is the only reality and anything that cannot be directly observed by science DOES NOT EXIST. However, they say, “In the case of multiverse theory we will make an exception.”

For example, Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous atheist is a naturalist who says things that can’t be directly observed don’t exist. Well, no one has ever observed another universe, but he will become angry if you try to deny his pet theory about multiverses! (We need to remind you that Mr. Dawkins is a zoologist, not an astrophysicist or cosmologist, etc.)

For a field like science, that is so adamant about denying that anything exists which cannot be empirically verified, to then embrace a metaphysical speculation about a multiverse (not just embrace, but angrily insist that it is true) is a clear sign of DESPERATION!

Never stand between a naturalist and his religion!

CONCLUSION

We began by presenting this argument:
Premise 1: The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.
Premise 2: The fine-tuning is not due to physical necessity or chance.
Conclusion: Therefore, it is due to design.

“Physical Necessity” Theory

In our last blog, we demonstrated the weakness in attributing fine-tuning to “physical necessity.”

“Chance” Theory

Regarding the idea that fine-tuning is due entirely to accident or “chance”:
• In our last blog, we said that lottery analogies are woefully inadequate to explain fine-tuning due to chance.
• In this blog, we explained what does NOT make sense about the anthropic principle: Our inability to observe other universes does not logically lead to the conclusion that it’s useless to wonder why there’s a life-permitting universe.
• In this blog, we said that atheists desperately cling to the idea of a multiverse to breathe life into chance theory, but most scientists are naturalists who maintain that anything that is unobservable simply does not exist. The problem here is that a multiverse is unobservable!

Therefore, it appears that both physical necessity and chance are unlikely explanations for the extreme fine-tuning we see in the universe.

“Design” Theory

The only other theory that is offered by theorists is fine-tuning due to design.

Conclusion: After examining the existing theories being offered by experts in the world today, it appears more likely that the extraordinary fine-tuning we see in the universe is due to design. The fine-tuning argument appears more likely to be true than not. So design appears to be the best explanation.

You have just been given a brief overview of the major arguments on both sides of this issue. We attempted to communicate this in as simple terms as we possibly could. We hope it will be helpful in your search for the truth.

That concludes our third evidence for the existence of God.

Since each of the three arguments we’ve presented is independent from the others (does not rely on the others to be true) and attempts to make the same point, a logical approach requires that we consider the cumulative impact of all three arguments for the existence of God.

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