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The Multiverse Returns, or “Daddy, Is There A God”?

Posted by spritzophrenia on November 8, 2010

Some of you may know I’m a fan of webcomics. That’s why I have the link to Dr McNinja down there along with the more “serious” ones. Via Twitter, Iain introduced me to Scenes from a Multiverse:

Dad is there a god? Comic

If you’re wondering what a “multiverse” is, see my preview of The Grand Design.

And while we’re on the topic, I’ll quote one of “The Thirteen Missing Explanatory Links in the Atheist v. Theist Debate” by one of my favorite agnostic bloggers, Prometheus Unbound:

Universe/multiverse. If you are an atheist, the multiverse hypothesis is a godsend. As cosmologist Bernard Carr told Discover magazine, “If there is only one universe you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.” Like the God hypothesis (or Linus’s Great Pumpkin hypothesis), the multiverse hypothesis is a tidy catch-all for getting out of every thorny dilemma of probability: Life’s beginning? “With God the multiverse all things are possible.” Consciousness? ”Ditto.” If you adopt belief in The Great Pumpkin the multiverse, it makes every implausibility inevitable. But how the multiverse multiplies itself, or ever arrived at its spectacular powers of creation, who knows? If atheists have a god in the closet, it’s Fortuna, their Great Pumpkin.


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12 Responses to “The Multiverse Returns, or “Daddy, Is There A God”?”

  1. 'Seph said

    Cool and interesting.
    However, I can’t agree with you when you say, “If you are an atheist, the multiverse hypothesis is a godsend”.

    Assuming various universes exist as membranes – or ‘branes’ for short – these countless branes exist in an ocean of universes, commonly called The Bulk.

    “The Bulk” would be some sort of extradimensional ‘space’ or mechanism that naturally creates universes. Pretty amazing really. So then the question becomes, who created The Bulk?

    All the Multimverse Hypothesis really does in the Atheist-Theist debate is add yet another layer to the Chicken and Egg argument. Little more.


  2. “Finally, from what we now know about the cosmos, to think that all this was created for just one species among the tens of millions of species who live on one planet circling one of a couple of hundred billion stars that are located in one galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, all of which are in one universe among perhaps an infinite number of universes all nestled within a grand cosmic multiverse, is provincially insular and anthropocentrically blinkered. Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?”
    — Michael Shermer (Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design)

    • Great quote, Romy.

      I’ve noticed that atheists seem to be majoring on the “oh you’re so arrogant to think you’re special” theme recently. Or perhaps they always have?

      I think it’s problematic, and I think I shall write about this one of these days (adds to the very long list). eg,

      * not all theists have a low view of other species (there are plenty of “Green” christians now, for example
      * arrogance is not an argument, if it’s *true* that a g0d exists and cares about us. That’s the first thing to establish.
      * if we are not special in some way, do we risk devaluing human life dangerously?
      * etc

      Thanks 🙂

    • SugarPop said

      Intersting quote from Mr Shermer, and I do think as humans we have a tendency to anthropocentricity. Take our previous *thinking* that all the universe orbited the Earth, as opposed to the Earth and the rest of the planets in our solor system orbiting *our* sun (anthropocentricity lends itself to using the possessive!).

      This leads me to thinking about how to apply Shermers’s logic to other things, such as re-incarnation – a subject of considerable interest to me. If re-incarnation is not just a human phenomenon, i.e. it is a universal one available to all other forms (of life?), then why do we humans ever think that we have any past / future lives together? If the phenomena of re-incarnation is indeed universal, i.e. not just for humans, then the chances of having multiple incarnations with known others seems much less plausible…

      Just a germ of a thought 🙂

      • Sugarpop,
        Actually, in my book AGAIN I have an entire chapter called TOGETHER. In it, I point out that we stay in groups of souls. I create my own rules for reincarnation. These definitely go off of a traditional model. In that sense it cannot educate anyone about reincarnation. It would not serve the readers of this blog because it differs from the standard model, Jon. Permutations and proliferations have nothing to do with this.

        • To be honest, Romy, I have little idea of what the “standard model” of reincarnation is, I know almost nothing about it. So any information is new to me, on that one.

        • SugarPop said

          Hi Romy – thanks for your reply!

          I haven’t read your book, but I have explored re-incarnation at leangth over the years. One of the models I particularly like is the concept of a group of 27 that ebb and flow through time together. Converse to this is the anthroposophical perspective of reincarnation being quite individualised and following a known rhythm and process. This perspective, after some quite in-depth study, seems to me to be very self-consistent.

          As for my own *belief* – it continues to develop and evolve and I have yet to settle on any one perspective or model – if indeed I will at all.

          Jon’s post and your quote from Shermer made me question a basic assumption that most models hold – that re-incarnation is primarily the domain of humans (Note that I do acknowledge that this is not true for all perpsectives)

          As is often the case, there is a gap between what I think and what I feel, and I enjoy living on the cusp of that tension. 🙂

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