Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Irrational Multiverse, Pt. II: Why Molinism's "Possible Worlds" Assumption Is a Spin-Off of the Multiverse Theory

A few days ago, I wrote up an analysis on “The One,” a movie starring Jet Li and Jason Statham that entertains the idea of the multiverse: that is, that there is not just “one world,” but many. In case you don’t believe me, I’ll reprint the opening words of the movie itself:
“There is not one universe; there are many. A multiverse. We have the technology to travel between universes, but travel is highly restricted and policed. There is not one ‘you,’ but ‘many.’ Each of us exists in present time in parallel universes.”
The multiverse theory, then, gives us a few propositions: (1) there are many universes (hence “multi” verse); (2) there are many versions of each individual in these “many” worlds; (3) each world is happening all at the same time. The last proposition, that time is passing in all worlds at the same rate is what I deem to be the scariest part of it all. Somewhere in another universe (according to this theory), you and I are living in other lives, distinct from the actual life of the here and now. This is why in “The One,” Jet Li (playing Hiu Law in one of the universes) is a prisoner in an orange suit in a prison cell, whereas, in another universe, Law is a member of the multiverse authority. To use an example in our present world, a professor (in this world) could be a student in another world.
Well, what do I have against the multiverse theory? To be honest, I simply don’t have reasons to logically believe it to be true. Call me an “enemy of the state” like Hiu Law was, but I just think that the multiverse theory is “irrational” (to use Hiu Law’s term). It doesn’t make sense to argue for many worlds when one world is all that can be seen and scientifically empirified. Does not the Bible teach us that God’s invisible attributes have been revealed in the things that He has made (Romans 1:20)? If this is true, then why is it that science has not discovered these “many universes”? Why is it, that with all our technological advancements (even exploring conditions on mars and traveling to the moon), we still have failed to find “other worlds”?
I think that the multiverse theory itself is another part of the evolutionist agenda to find life on other planets. Surprisingly, Australian mathematician Michael Denton opened my eyes to the scientific mentality in looking for other life on other planets. In his book “Evolution: A Theory In Crisis” (1986), he devotes an entire chapter to the subject of other life, titled “The Enigma of Life’s Origin.” Within this chapter Denton provides some startling quotes that I think reveal what the “multiverse” theory is all about:
“...the discovery of life on one other planet—--e.g. Mars---- can, in the words of the American physicist Phillip Morrison of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘transform the origin of life from a miracle to a statistic” (Carl Sagan, “Intelligent Life In the Universe”; quoted by Michael Denton, “Evolution: A Theory In Crisis.” Chevy Chase, MD: Adler & Adler Publishers, 1986, page 252).
Denton refers to this as “the possibility of life on other worlds”---which I think aptly describes the need to find aliens or some other form of life on other planets.
Not only have evolutionists looked for life on Mars, to which they found none, but they have also looked for “intelligent signals” in the sky. One such case was “Project OZMA,” performed at the National Radio Astronomy observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Two hundred hours were spent looking in a dead sky for signs that would never come (Denton, 253). In addition, there were the spacecraft explorations, such as Mariner II and IV; one of the most important spacecraft explorations was the Viking mission. Denton tells us about the significance of the mission:
“At issue was the fundamental question as to whether life is unique to Earth. SCIENCE CAN ONLY DEAL WITH REPEATABLE OR RECURRENT EVENTS. A UNIQUE OR VERY IMPROBABLE EVENT CAN NEVER BE THE SUBJECT OF SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION. If life is unique to Earth then this means that it has only arisen once in all cosmic history, which would essentially exclude any sort of scientific approach to the problem of its origin. Before the study of the origin of life can be put on a serious scientific footing, the possibility that life is unique to Earth has to be excluded” (Denton, 255).
If life can be found on other planets, then it would be a “repeated” experience that could be subject to purely naturalistic explanation. The fact that life hasn’t been found elsewhere leaves us with only one answer: that life is unique to earth. If there is uniqueness to human existence and the planet itself (according to the “fine-tuning” theory), then our planet is tangible evidence of intelligent design (which is completely antithetical to the evolutionary theory).
Christians could easily say, “I don’t believe in other worlds or life on other planets”; however, what about “possible worlds”? If other worlds are not “actual,” could they be “possible”? Now before I go any further, let me say that the possible-worlds theory differs from the multiverse theory--- multiverse theory says that the worlds are “actual,” while possible-worlds theory says that they are “hypothetical.” But what is the dividing line between the two views? One says that other worlds do exist, while the other says that they “could” exist. Both agree that the theory is possible--- that there “could” be other worlds out there.
Sadly enough, possible-worlds theory seems in many ways to be a “Christian multiverse” theory. The Christian recognizes that there is one God and hence one world...but will not go so far as to say that “only” one world exists or could exist. I will affirm that God could have (so He desired) created many worlds; however, the current universe we have exists in the state it does to reflect the Creator (God). Think about it: there are three persons in the Trinity but one God; there are many creations but one Creator; there are many ethnicities but one human race; many nations but one world, etc. The fact that all of life consists of “diversity within unity” testifies to the “diversity within unity” theme that we find in existence within the Triune Godhead--- “diversity (three persons) within unity (one Lord).” God made all of creation to reflect Himself, so this should be no surprise to His children.
It is because of the reason above (the universe reflects the oneness of God) that multiverses (or possible worlds) do not exist. If we apply this within Molinism, possible worlds does not just involve the notion of other also involves the idea of libertarian freedom--- that is, I chose to do one action but I also had the choice to do other actions. For example, when I registered for classes for Spring 2011, I registered for certain classes based on graduation requirements; but in the possible-worlds theory of Molinism, I also had the choice to register for other classes that I did not register for in reality. Were those classes still available? Yes, even though I may never have registered for them. They were still options I could choose from.
When one gets to the subject of possible choices within the possible-worlds theory, the discussion becomes even more entangled. I have revealed in this post that I think “possible-worlds” comes rather close to “multiverse.” However, there is a Christian brand of “multiverse,” which I label “possible worlds.” In my next post, I will deal with my rejection of “possible worlds” in concept and terminology. Stay tuned.

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