05 / 06

Did God Create Multiple Universes?

Closer to Truth interviews William Lane Craig

Time : 00:04:20

Robert Lawrence Kuhn (host of PBS' "Closer to Truth") aks William Lane Craig about the multiverse. Questions explored: Does the multiverse contradict theism? Could God have created the multiverse? What is "branching" and "planck time" in quantum mechanics? Did God in fact create a multiverse? What would a multiverse look like?


Robert Lawrence Kuhn: Bill, does the idea of a multiverse—many different kinds of universes, enumerable universes—does that bother your theism?

Dr. Craig: No, it doesn’t bother my theism at all. I think that God as the infinite creator of all space and time could create separate space-time manifolds or create a universe so vast that there would be different causally unconnected domains within one universe. So, once you have an infinite transcendent creator, there’s simply no problem with the scope of the space-time world that he brings into being.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn: How about in quantum mechanics? As you know, there is something called branching or differentiation, where at every Planck time, as they say, there’s a branching of or differentiation of the worlds. There’s infinite numbers of us talking in different ways with very slight differences. And then you have a multiplicity of these quantum mechanical worlds.

Dr. Craig: That’s one way in which theorists have thought to generate a world ensemble of universes, though I think that most quantum physicists would regard this as an extraordinarily implausible interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn: My question for you is: Does that bother your theism, however you generate—

Dr. Craig: Oh no, no, it wouldn’t bother my theism at all because God would still be the one who established the laws of quantum mechanics, who created the quantum vacuum and the space and time, the arena in which all these reactions take place. So, as I say, once you have a transcendent source of all space and time, matter and energy, then he’s free to create any sort of physical reality he wants.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn: Cosmologists talk about a multiverse, enumerable universes. Do you think God created a multiverse?

Dr. Craig: I must confess, Robert, that I’m very skeptical of this metaphysical hypothesis. I think that if we were just one random member of a world ensemble of worlds or universes, that we would be observing a very different kind of universe than we in fact do.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn: What would that look like?

Dr. Craig: It should include all sorts of improbable and absurd events that don’t happen, because in an infinite ensemble of worlds, if you can get events so improbable as the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant, the low entropy state, and so forth, then you should also get highly improbable events like a perpetual motion machine and rabbits wearing pink bow ties and so forth, because those are less improbable than the finely tuned constants and quantities.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn: Well, theoretically those are occurring in other parts of this world ensemble, just not in ours.

Dr. Craig: Well, but if we are just a randomly ordered member of this ensemble, such that the probability is that somewhere these constants would be finely tuned, then things that are even less improbable ought also to be appearing conjointly. And yet, we see a rationally ordered universe, and that cries out for some sort of explanation.

In addition to that, a much smaller inflationary patch would be sufficient for our existence rather than the large universe we see. And it is overwhelmingly more probable that if we were just a random member of a world ensemble, we should be observing a much smaller inflationary patch than what we do in fact observe. And I think this is really the Achilles’ heel in this multiverse hypothesis—that if we were just a member of a multiverse, randomly ordered, then it is overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly more probable we ought to be seeing a very different kind of universe than the rationally ordered world that we do in fact see. [1]

  • [1]

    Total Running Time: 4:20