Multiverse Theories

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    Colins, Robin

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    Design and the Many-Worlds Hypothesis

    "In the rest of this paper, we will first explain why an inflationary many-universes scenario might be able to offer a viable explanation of the fine-tuning, but then go on to explain why there still remains a powerful case for design from physics and cosmology. Further, much of the evidence for design that we will present cannot be naturally explained by any many-universe scenario, and thus circumvents any objection to design based on the many-universe hypothesis, whether the inflationary version or some other version."
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    Collins, Robin

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    Does the Many-Universes Hypothesis Really Explain the Fine-Tuning?

    "In response to explaining the fine-tuning [of the parameters and initial conditions of the universe] in terms of design,...many atheists have offered an alternative explanation, what I will call the atheistic many-universes hypothesis... According to the many-universes hypothesis, there are a very large--perhaps infinite --number of universes, where by the term "universe" I mean any region of space-time that is disconnected from other regions in such a way that the constants or laws of physics in that region could differ significantly from the other regions...I will focus on one key problem with the many-universes hypothesis as an ultimate explanation of the fine-tuning: namely, it seems that the 'many-universes generator' would need to be fine-tuned, and hence it seems to transfer the problem of explaining cosmic fine-tuning up one level to that of the many-universes generator itself."
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    Collins, Robin

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    Universe or Multiverse? A Theistic Perspective

    "As keeping with the Templeton Foundation's goals for this symposium and the topic of my session (namely, the theological implications of the multiverse hypothesis), I will be addressing both the compatibility of the multiverse hypothesis with theism and the degree to which it provides an alternative to the hypothesis that God designed the universe to bring about conscious, embodied beings such as ourselves...My intention here is simply to sketch some of the reasons why one might think that contemporary physics and cosmology is not only compatible with theism, but that it actually might suggest a theistic explanation of the universe or multiverse."
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    Davies, Paul

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    Universes Galore: Where Will it All End?

    "I argue that, although 'a little bit of multiverse is good for you', invoking multiverse explanations willy-nilly is a seductive slippery slope. Followed to its logical extreme, it leads to conclusions that are at best bizarre, at worst absurd. After reviewing several shortcomings of indiscriminate multiverse explanations, I challenge the false dichotomy that fine-tuning requires the existence of either a multiverse or some sort of traditional cosmic architect. I explore the possibility of a 'third way', involving a radical reappraisal of the notion of physical law, presenting a toy illustration from the theory of cellular automata."
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    Davies, Paul

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    Multiverse Cosmological Models

    "Recent advances in string theory and in ationary cosmology have led to a surge of interest in the possible existence of an ensemble of cosmic regions, or 'universes', among the members of which key physical parameters, such as the masses of elementary particles and the coupling constants, might assume di erent values. The observed values in our cosmic region are then attributed to an observer selection effect (the so-called anthropic principle). The assemblage of universes has been dubbed 'the multiverse'. In this paper we review the multiverse concept and the criticisms that have been advanced against it on both scientific and philosophical grounds."
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    Dixon, Geoffrey

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    Mathematical Restrictions on the Multiverse

    "Were we to hypothesize the existence of other universes with other physics, the resonant mathematics of the division algebras would not change in any of these alternate universes, and it would still mirror our universe, with its particular physics. How far then can we be justified in postulating variations? If our theories predict a multiverse populated with universes with widely diverging physics, how strange it would be that we happen to exist in a variant that so neatly meshes with the mathematics of the resonant dimensions, 1, 2, 4 and 8 (the final resonant dimension may also play a role, connected to the fact that we live in a universe with not just one family of leptons and quarks, but three)? I suggest that it would be so strange as to be incredible, and that theories that are overly profligate with their multiverse predictions may be ruled out as a consequence."
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    Ellis, George

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    The Multiverse Proposal and the Anthropic Principle

    "What is crucially needed in developing the multiverse idea as a theory about the real universe is a serious attempt to engage with the philosophy of science, developing an approach to theory validation that is adequate for this kind of context where insubstantial evidential support has to be supplemented by other inferential principles. This has not been undertaken so far. One can then compare this with the idea of validation in the religious context, and see how the multiverse and religious versions of explanation hold up relative to each other in the light of such criteria - remembering that these options are not in fact mutually exclusive."
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    Ellis, George, W. R. Stoeger, and U. Kirchner

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    Multiverses and Cosmology: Philosophical Issues

    "Here we review how multiverses should be defined, stressing the distinction between the collection of all possible universes and ensembles of really existing universes, which distinction is essential for anthropic arguments. We show that such realised multiverses are by no means unique, and in general require the existence of a well-defined and physically motivated distribution function on the space of all possible universes. Furthermore, a proper measure on these spaces is also needed, so that probabilities can be calculated. We then discuss several other physical and philosophical problems arising in the context of ensembles of universes, including realized infinities and the issue of fine-tuning – whether very special or generic primordial conditions are more fundamental in cosmology. Then we briefly summarise scenarios like chaotic inflation, which suggest how ensembles of universe domains may be generated, and point out that the regularities underlying any systematic description of truly disjoint multiverses must imply some kind of common generating mechanism, whose testability is problematic."
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    Ellis, George, W. R. Stoeger, and U. Kirchner

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    Multiverses and Physical Cosmology

    "The idea of a multiverse – an ensemble of universes – has received increasing attention in cosmology, both as the outcome of the originating process that generated our own universe, and as an explanation for why our universe appears to be fine-tuned for life and consciousness. Here we carefully consider how multiverses should be defined, stressing the distinction between the collection of all possible universes, and ensembles of really existing universes that are essential for an anthropic argument."
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    Holder, Rodney D.

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    God, the Multiverse, and Everything

    "...[D]esign by God is a simple explanation, and much more economical than the multiverse. One is not invoking a whole multitude of complex entities with which one can have no possible interaction, but one intelligent being, like ourselves in some ways but so much greater, who designed the universe with the deliberate intention of its bringing forth creatures for a relationship with himself. Design by God explains why there should be intelligent life and why the universe should be special, even extra special as we find it. That is because it is the good creation of an all powerful, all knowing, perfectly good being. Is not modern cosmology pointing to God as designer?"
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    Koons, Robert C.

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    Theism vs. the Many-Worlds Hypothesis

    "The only alternative to a causal explanation of the [anthropic]coincidences is an explanation in terms of observer selection, which requires the postulation of a large number of unobserved universes. Consequently, we have narrowed the wide range of metaphysical possibilities down to just two: theism and the many-worlds hypothesis. Both seem coherent, and both would explain the coincidences...Nonetheless, I do not think that we have to leave the matter there. There are several considerations that raise the probability of theism still further, suggesting that theism is a better explanation of the available data, or that theism is needed as an explanation for the existence of such a large number of universes."
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    Mann, Robert B.

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    Inconstant Multiverse

    "Current explanatory paradigms—respectively the anthropic principle and the inflationary universe—have suggested to many that our observable universe is a small part of a much larger structure called the multiverse. A multiverse presents us with a containment problem, since its logical extension suggests that anything that can exist, does exist. I argue such a perspective is incompatible with the foundations of both science and theology. As an antidote, I propose the altiverse: a set of possible alternatives that logically exist but are not physically realized."
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    White, Roger

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    Fine-tuning and Multiple Universes

    "...[T]he Multiple Universe hypothesis screens off the probabilistic link between the Design hypothesis and the fine-tuning data. Hence if we happened to know, on independent grounds, that there are many universes, the fine-tuning facts would give us little reason to question whether the big bang was an accident, and hence our knowledge of the existence of many universes would render the fine-tuning of our universe unsurprising. However, postulate as many other universes as you wish, they do not make it any more likely that ours should be life-permitting or that we should be here. So our good fortune to exist in a life-permitting universe gives us no reason to suppose that there are many universes."