The Multiverse Is an Evasion
Fine Tuning Without a Tuner
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 10:22 pm
You’ve all heard the silly formulation. Given infinite monkeys on infinite typewriters in infinite time, one of those monkeys will tap out the complete works of Shakespeare. You see, improbable as that may be, the probability is not zero. Thus it must happen!
But is a probability that low — even assuming it is accurate — really other than zero? The universe is quantized. It is not a continuum. There are not infinite values of anything small. There is always a gap above zero, a very real sense in which some numbers are not allowed. Not everything can happen. Ridiculously tiny probabilities are meaningless. They vanish into that gap.
Believing that Spontaneous Shakespeare is not meaningless is part of the larger problem of getting lost in the math. Scientists do this all the time. Their equations imply something and therefore the universe must embody that implication. But an equation is itself an abstraction, a dilution, a partial representation. Its implications play out in something other than the physical universe.
Now, talk of probabilities usually brings us to the fine tuning of the universe. As you may have heard, the existence of life — meaning most especially of us — requires that the constants of the universe be just so. Tweak any constant — a jot more; a tittle less — and life cannot be at all. There’s simply no wiggle room. Every constant is perfect in its degree, and all are in perfect balance!
This would seem to be an exceedingly improbable situation.
But we have already been told that even Spontaneous Shakespeare is inevitable. So what’s the problem? Well — replies the scientist lost in his math — there is no problem, so long as we posit an infinity or two. You see, for this improbable fine-tuning to have occurred, there must have been infinite opportunities for it to do so. There must, that is, be infinite universes, most of them poorly tuned and lifeless. The equations even imply it. There must be a multiverse!
The multiverse is stupid.
The scientists envision infinite universes, each with a different possible balance of the constants. Yet all these universes still have the same slots. Never mind that the value of Constant A is X here and Y there. Why is there a Constant A at all? And why is it not always the same? There would have to be rules to ensure the existence of the constants and rules to ensure their variation — rules quite prior to the multiverse.
Likewise, space-time itself. Space-time would have to function consistently via constants that are not subject to variation — and hence are distinct from those usually evident within a universe — and indeed provide a mediating substance through which one universe can generate another universe, since both are internally subject to different physical law and cannot, strictly speaking, even interact. That is, space-time is quite prior to the multiverse.
Likewise, the laws of probability. Why should it be that "probable" and "improbable" are the way they are? Why are there not different possibilities of probable? If "probability" has only one manifestation, what, really, are the chances of that? Can I even speak of "chance" in this case? It appears there is a singular intelligible conception of "probable." More to the point, if the laws of probability demand a multiverse, then those laws must be quite prior to the multiverse.
What, then, is this prior entity that produces constants with values, facilitates multiversing, and provides the singular laws of probability? You could reasonably call it the Cosmos. Or, I guess, the Ur-Universe. But in the end all you’d have done is push the problem back a step. This sole Cosmos must be such that multiversing can and must occur — and must occur via the invariant mechanism to vary constants just so life is possible. You might even say such a Cosmos would need to be... finely tuned.
Uh oh! Looks like we need infinitely many Cosmoses!
The real issue, of course, is that he who promotes the multiverse is just afraid of God. To allow that a finely tuned universe is the only Universe is to allow that Someone tuned it. The scientist likes to pretend that he is adhering to science by falling into the math of the multiverse; but he has only made a metaphysical decision to flee the better explanation. After all, he must give no ground to theism.
Do you know that scientists initially rejected the theory of the Big Bang because it suggested fiat lux? They have embraced the Big Bang since then, but only because they could reasonably still ignore God. Perhaps they will find a better way to ignore the Tuning God than the math-besotted stupidity of infinitely proliferating universes.