"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS" Paul's Prayer For The Philippians (1:9-11) INTRODUCTION 1. True to the form found in several of his epistles, Paul follows his salutation and thanksgiving with a prayer for his readers 2. Found in 1:9-11, we find in this prayer that Paul is concerned about four things in the spiritual growth and development of the brethren at Philippi [The first of these is...] I. THAT THEIR LOVE MAY ABOUND (9) A. "STILL MORE AND MORE"... 1. We have seen where they had excelled in their love toward Paul and others in the past a. Towards Paul - Php 4:15-16 b. Towards the needy saints in Jerusalem - 2Co 8:1-5 2. But a cardinal principle of Christian growth is that it should never stop! a. In developing the graces of a Christ-like character, we should always be increasing - cf. 2Pe 1:5-8 b. Even if we are in no need for someone to teach us "how" to love, we can always use the admonition to "increase" our love! - e.g., 1Th 4:9-10 3. And so, Paul prays that their love may abound "still more and more" B. "IN KNOWLEDGE AND ALL DISCERNMENT"... 1. These are the "guidelines" in which their love was to abound a. "in knowledge" - according to the right moral principles (which comes from God's Word) b. "all discernment" - using wisdom to apply these moral principles most effectively (such wisdom comes from asking for it in prayer - Jm 1:5; Pr 2:1-9) 2. Thus Paul's prayer is that their love may abound for the right things and in the right way! [If Paul felt such was necessary for the Philippians, how much more for ourselves today! May we never be satisfied with the degree of love that we may have, but strive to increase our knowledge and wisdom of how to love others more abundantly. As Paul continues, it is his prayer for the Philippians...] II. THAT THEY MAY APPROVE THE THINGS THAT ARE EXCELLENT (10a) A. THE "PURPOSE" OF ABOUNDING IN LOVE STILL MORE AND MORE? 1. It is possible that Paul is being progressive in his thoughts here 2. I.e., rather than just listing four equal but unrelated thoughts in this prayer, each of the four are related and the last three are but building on the thoughts which precede them (a form of "stairlike" progressive parallelism common in Hebrew writings) 3. If such is the case, then Paul is now explaining "why" our love should abound... B. "MAY APPROVE THE THINGS THAT ARE EXCELLENT"... 1. To "approve" is to "try, test, demonstrate" 2. This passage is reminiscent of Ro 12:2, where we learn that we are to "prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" 3. Prove to whom? a. To ourselves? Certainly... b. But even more so, to prove to others that God's way is the best way! - cf. 1Pe 2:15 [Therefore, by abounding in love still more and more with all knowledge and discernment, we are able to demonstrate by our "actions" that God's way is the more excellent way! But there is another reason, as we continue to see that Paul is concerned for the Philippians...] III. THAT THEY MAY BE SINCERE AND WITHOUT OFFENSE (10b) A. DEFINING "SINCERE" AND "WITHOUT OFFENSE"... 1. "sincere" involves: a. Having perfect openness toward God and man b. With a clear conscience (not hypocritical) 2. "without offense" means not to provide occasions for others to stumble - Ro 14:13 B. SUCH VIRTUES WILL BE FOUND IN THOSE WHO ARE... 1. Abounding in love still more and more, in knowledge and all discernment! 2. Approving the things that are excellent by their conduct! -- See Paul's progression in thought? C. PAUL'S CONCERN IS THAT THESE VIRTUES WILL LAST "TILL THE DAY OF CHRIST"... 1. This is the second time in this epistle Paul has referred to this "day" (cf. 1:6) 2. He is referring to the day when Christ comes again, a day of "destruction" for some, but "glory" for others! - 2 Th 1:7-12 3. Perhaps Paul's concern that these virtues of being "sincere and without offense" lasting till the day of Christ is based upon what will happen to those in the kingdom who are guilty of such things - cf. Mt 13:41-43 [Such a strong warning by Jesus Himself should encourage us to take the thoughts of Paul very seriously! Finally, we notice in Paul's prayer for the Philippians a concern for their...] IV. BEING FILLED WITH THE FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (11) A. WHICH APPEAR TO BE THE RESULT OF... 1. Abounding in love still more and more in knowledge and all discernment 2. Approving the things that are excellent 3. Being sincere and without offense -- Notice again the "stairlike" progressive parallelism@! B. SUCH FRUITS ARE POSSIBLE ONLY "BY JESUS CHRIST"... 1. For without Him, we would not know what true love really is! - 1Jn 3:16 2. For without Him, we would not have the ability to demonstrate what is excellent - cf. Php 4:13 C. SUCH FRUITS ARE TO BE OFFERED "TO THE GLORY AND PRAISE OF GOD"... 1. Just as Jesus said in letting our light shine - Mt 5:16 2. Just as Peter wrote in speaking of our good works - 1Pe 2:12 3. And rightfully so, for it is God who through the gift of His Son has... a. Shown us what love really is b. Taught us what things are really excellent in His sight c. Empowered us to be able to demonstrate the excellence of His Will, that we may be sincere and without offense! CONCLUSION 1. Such is Paul's prayer for the Philippians, for a church that had demonstrated it's love and faithfulness to Paul again and again 2. Even as excellent as the church was, Paul could still pray for them to abound still more and more! 3. How much more, then, should we! May we take the prayer of Paul, and make it our own for ourselves and for brethren we know!
7 Reasons the Multiverse Is Not a Valid Alternative to God [Part 2]
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part 1 of this two-part series appeared in the April issue. Part 2 follows below and continues, without introductory comments, where the first article ended.]
Problem #4: UnscientificAs with inflation theory, the multiverse is untestable and unobservable, making it unscientific. Astrophysicist and Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University Adam Riess and astrophysicist Mario Livio, previously at the Space Telescope Science Institute, stated: “Even just mentioning the multiverse idea…raises the blood pressure of some physicists. The notion seems hard to swallow and harder to test—perhaps signifying the end of the classical scientific method as we know it. Historically this method has required that hypotheses should be directly testable by new experiments or observations.”1 But observation, direct testing, and experimentation are not possible with the multiverse. Ellis, in apparent frustration, admitted:
Similar claims [about the existence of multiverses—JM] have been made since antiquity by many cultures. What is new is the assertion that the multiverse is a scientific theory, with all that implies about being mathematically rigorous and experimentally testable. I am skeptical about this claim. I do not believe the existence of those other universes has been proved—or ever could be. Proponents of the multiverse, as well as greatly enlarging our conception of physical reality, are implicitly redefining what is meant by “science”…. The various “proofs,” in effect, propose that we should accept a theoretical explanation instead of insisting on observational testing. But such testing has, up until now, been the central requirement of the scientific endeavor, and we abandon it at our peril. If we weaken the requirement of solid data, we weaken the core reason for the success of science over the past centuries.2Krauss noted that “for many people, multiverses…are indications of how far fundamental physics may appear to be diverging from what is otherwise considered to be sound empirical science.”3 Regarding string theory, inflation, and the multiverse theory, Ellis and Silk insisted, “We agree with theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: post-empirical science is an oxymoron…. In our view, the issue boils down to clarifying one question: what potential observational or experimental evidence is there that would persuade you that the theory is wrong and lead you to abandoning it? If there is none, it is not a scientific theory.”4 Buchanan, writing in New Scientist about the multiverse, bewilderedly said,
[F]antasy is the very word that occurs to many—including some physicists—when they hear some of the ideas popular in cosmology…. [I]nflationary cosmologists have opened the speculative throttle so fully that physicists now talk routinely of such things as an infinitude of parallel universes, or a “multiverse”…. Is this still science? Or has inflationary cosmology veered towards something akin to religion? Some physicists wonder….5By the end of the article, Buchanan’s answer was clear. “In the end, this [i.e., the multiverse—JM] isn’t science so much as philosophy using the language of science.”6
Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist, faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Waterloo. In an article titled, “You Think There’s a Multiverse? Get Real,” he forthrightly argued the following:
[T]he multiverse theory has difficulty making any firm predictions and threatens to take us out of the realm of science. These other universes are unobservable and because chance dictates the random distribution of properties across universes, positing the existence of a multiverse does not let us deduce anything about our universe beyond what we already know. As attractive as the idea may seem, it is basically a sleight of hand, which converts an explanatory failure into an apparent explanatory success…. We started out trying to explain why the universe is so special, and we end up being asked to believe that our universe is one of an infinite number of universes with random properties. This makes me suspect that there is a basic but unexamined assumption about the laws of nature that must be overturned…. [T]he multiverse fails as a scientific hypothesis in spite of the fact that simple versions of inflation made some predictions that have been confirmed. The idea of inflation is plagued by the need to explain how the initial conditions were chosen…. [W]e had to invent the multiverse. And thus with an infinite ensemble of unobservable entities we leave the domain of science behind. In some sense, the multiverse embodies the unreal ensemble of all possible solutions to the laws of physics, imagined as elements of an invented ensemble of bubble universes. But this just trades one imaginary, unreal ensemble for another.7Folger admitted, “The idea is controversial. Critics say it doesn’t even qualify as a scientific theory because the existence of other universes cannot be proved or disproved…. Does it make sense to talk about other universes if they can never be detected?... [Cambridge University astrophysicist Martin] Rees, an early supporter of Linde’s ideas, agrees that it may never be possible to observe other universes directly.”8
Naturalists routinely argue that Creation is “unscientific” and therefore should not be taught in science classrooms. After all, God cannot be directly observed, and Creation and Noah’s Flood cannot be reproduced scientifically. In truth, direct evidence for the truth of the biblical model is available9 and abundant indirect evidence exists to substantiate the biblical model as well.10 However, even if it was the case that Creation is unscientific, multiverse theory and inflation (along with the Big Bang) should, on the same grounds that naturalists use, be deemed unscientific by naturalists and left out of the science classroom. Don’t hold your breath that such rational, consistent thinking will prevail among naturalistic scientists. After all, “If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse,”11 and according to Harvard University evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin, naturalistic scientists “cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”12
Problem #5: Origin of the MultiverseFor the sake of argument, let us concede the existence of the multiverse. Next question: where did the multiverse come from? Ellis noted,
Many physicists who talk about the multiverse…assume a multiverse context for their theories without worrying about how it comes to be—which is what concerns cosmologists…. Scientists proposed the multiverse as a way of resolving deep issues about the nature of existence, but the proposal leaves the ultimate issues unresolved. All the same issues that arise in relation to the universe arise again in relation to the multiverse. If the multiverse exists, did it come into existence through necessity, chance or purpose? That is a metaphysical question that no physical theory can answer for either the universe or the multiverse.13Recall that Finkel wrote concerning the multiverse, “This is all highly speculative, but it’s possible that to give birth to a new universe you first need to take a bunch of matter from an existing universe, crunch it down, and seal it off.”14 If a Universe had to first be in existence before the new one was born, how did it all get started? And where did the “strings” of string theory come from? The multiverse theory still does not answer the ultimate question.
That ultimate question is precisely what Richard Webb titled a 2016 article in New Scientist: “Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” One of the hopes about the multiverse theory is that it could explain why our laws of physics are what they are. As we have highlighted elsewhere, they certainly could not write themselves.15 In the multiverse, every possible law would be expected to happen in some Universe at some time—and possibly many times throughout eternity. But again, the ultimate question is not answered. Webb highlights that truth: “A popular idea is that all the other possible laws of physics—including no laws—exist elsewhere in a ‘multiverse’ of all possible worlds. In that case, why a multiverse?”16 Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and Professor at Arizona State University Paul Davies weighed in as well in an article titled “Taking Science on Faith”:
The multiverse theory is increasingly popular, but it doesn’t so much explain the laws of physics as dodge the whole issue. There has to be a physical mechanism to make all those universes and bestow bylaws on them. This process will require its own laws, or meta-laws. Where do they come from? The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse.17In 2011, he said, “You still have to explain the multiverse. That still has laws. You need a Universe generating mechanism.”18 According to Davies, the multiverse theory merely moves the goal post. It does not really answer the ultimate question. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist of the City College of New York, agreed, but went even further: “[I]n string theory, there are other universes out there. There’s a multiverse of universes…. [T]he question is, ‘Where did the multiverse come from?’ You could argue, therefore, that maybe you need a god to create the multiverse, or a creator to create string theory, perhaps.”19
While there are different versions of the multiverse theory which have been suggested, according to Ellis, “[n]early all cosmologists today” accept the type of multiverse wherein “[e]ach [Universe—JM] has a different initial distribution of matter, but the same laws of physics operate in all.”20 As astronomer Shannon Hall wrote in New Scientist, the other universes of the hypothetical multiverse are “all bound by the same laws of physics” as ours. She reasoned, “At least that’s the assumption: those laws don’t change over the distances we can see, so there is no reason to think they will suddenly transform beyond them.”21 Recall again that in the multiverse model, in order to form a new Universe you “need to take a bunch of matter from an existing universe, crunch it down, and seal it off.”22 It stands to reason that if one Universe starts from another, then the same laws would apply to both, which agrees with what Ellis stated. But if that is the case, then the same laws which prohibit matter and energy from creating themselves or existing forever in our Universe23 hold in those other Universes as well.24 The origin of it all must still be accounted for. If matter and energy in our Universe come from “a neighbouring universe leaking into ours,”25 the matter in that Universe still has to have come from somewhere. In the words of evolutionary biologist of Oxford University Richard Dawkins, “Of course it’s counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing. Of course common sense doesn’t allow you to get something from nothing.”26 Reason still leads to an ultimate Creator of everything.
Problem #6: The Multiverse Admits the Existence of the SupernaturalRecall what Ellis and Silk wrote in 2014 in Nature: “This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done.”27 Ironically, the “difficulties” theoretical physicists have encountered have forced many naturalists to go beyond nature to try to explain. As Smolin said, “We had to invent the multiverse,”28 and according to Parker, it was from our “imagination.”29 The use of our imagination to determine where we came from certainly sounds like today’s “science” is moving ever further into the realm of fiction.
Regardless, notice that according to many physicists, something beyond the current definition of science is needed to explain certain things—i.e., the existence of the unobservable, supernatural realm is demanded by the evidence. Notice how Davies put it: “Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith—namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too.”30
Besides the existence of the laws of physics, what kind of “difficulties” are physicists encountering that are forcing them to conclude that something outside of the Universe exists, and therefore, that they need to “invent” the multiverse to avoid God? Many have articulated well the problem. Read on to see a great lesson by naturalists on the need for a supernatural Designer for the Universe. According to Folger, “The idea that the universe was made just for us—known as the anthropic principle—debuted in 1973.”31 Since then, the principle has grown in strength. Consider, for example:
In a 2011 article, under the heading “Seven Questionable Arguments” for the multiverse, Ellis discusses argument number four:
A remarkable fact about our universe is that physical constants have just the right values needed to allow for complex structures, including living things…. I agree that the multiverse is a possible valid explanation for [fine tuning examples—JM]…; arguably, it is the only scientifically based option we have right now. But we have no hope of testing it observationally.32[Notice that the multiverse is “the only scientifically based option,” and yet “we have no hope of testing it observationally.” Doesn’t that make it not a “scientifically based option”?]
By 2014, Ellis and Silk went even further:
The multiverse is motivated by a puzzle: why fundamental constants of nature, such as the fine-structure constant that characterizes the strength of electromagnetic interactions between particles and the cosmological constant associated with the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, have values that lie in the small range that allows life to exist…. Some physicists consider that the multiverse has no challenger as an explanation of many otherwise bizarre coincidences. The low value of the cosmological constant—known to be 120 factors of 10 smaller than the value predicted by quantum field theory—is difficult to explain, for instance.33
John Rennie, the editor for Scientific American, noted,
The basic laws of physics work equally well forward or backward in time, yet we perceive time to move in one direction only—toward the future. Why?34
Carroll, along the same lines, noted that
[i]f the observable universe were all that existed, it would be nearly impossible to account for the arrow of time in a natural way.35
According to Smolin,
Everything we know suggests that the universe is unusual. It is flatter, smoother, larger and emptier than a “typical” universe predicted by the known laws of physics. If we reached into a hat filled with pieces of paper, each with the specifications of a possible universe written on it, it is exceedingly unlikely that we would get a universe anything like ours in one pick—or even a billion. The challenge that cosmologists face is to make sense of this specialness. One approach to this question is inflation—the hypothesis that the early universe went through a phase of exponentially fast expansion. At first, inflation seemed to do the trick. A simple version of the idea gave correct predictions for the spectrum of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. But a closer look shows that we have just moved the problem further back in time. To make inflation happen at all requires us to fine-tune the initial conditions of the universe.36
Folger quotes Linde in Discover magazine:
“We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible,” Linde says. Physicists don’t like coincidences. They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea…. Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation: Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse…. Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable non-religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life…. [Andrei Linde:] “And if we double the mass of the electron, life as we know it will disappear. If we change the strength of the interaction between protons and electrons, life will disappear. Why are there three space dimensions and one time dimension? If we had four space dimensions and one time dimension, then planetary systems would be unstable and our version of life would be impossible. If we had two space dimensions and one time dimension, we would not exist,” he says…. [I]f there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”37
Stuart Clark and Richard Webb, writing in New Scientist, said,
We can’t explain the numbers that rule the universe…the different strengths of weak, strong and electromagnetic forces, for example, or the masses of the particles it introduces…. Were any of them to have even marginally different values, the universe would look very different. The Higgs boson’s mass, for example, is just about the smallest it can be without the universe’s matter becoming unstable. Similar “fine-tuning” problems bedevil cosmology…. Why is the carbon atom structured so precisely as to allow enough carbon for life to exist in the universe?38
Greene, commenting on Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford
University Leonard Susskind’s thinking about the multiverse, said,
Susskind was suggesting that string theory augments this grand cosmological unfolding by adorning each of the universes in the multiverse with a different shape for the extra dimensions. With or without string theory, the multiverse is a highly controversial schema, and deservedly so. It not only recasts the landscape of reality, but shifts the scientific goal posts. Questions once deemed profoundly puzzling—why do nature’s numbers, from particle masses to force strengths to the energy suffusing space, have the particular values they do?—would be answered with a shrug…. Most physicists, string theorists among them, agree that the multiverse is an option of last resort…. Looking back, I’m gratified at how far we’ve come but disappointed that a connection to experiment continues to elude us.39
Mary-Jane Rubenstein, writing in New Scientist, said,
Here’s the dilemma: if the universe began with a quantum particle blipping into existence, inflating godlessly into space-time and a whole zoo of materials, then why is it so well suited for life? For medieval philosophers, the purported perfection of the universe was the key to proving the existence of God. The universe is so fit for intelligent life that it must be the product of a powerful, benevolent external deity. Or, as popular theology might put it today: all this can’t be an accident. Modern physics has also wrestled with this “fine-tuning problem,” and supplies its own answer. If only one universe exists, then it is strange to find it so hospitable to life, when nearly any other value for the gravitational or cosmological constants would have produced nothing at all. But if there is a “multiverse” of many universes, all with different constants, the problem vanishes: we’re here because we happen to be in one of the universes that works. No miracles, no plan, no creator.40
Problem #7: Would the Existence of the Multiverse Actually Prove the Existence of God?According to multiverse theory, “All that can happen, happens” somewhere in the many Universes that make up the multiverse.41 Ellis explained concerning the multiverse that “[i]n seeking to explain why nature obeys certain laws and not others, some physicists and philosophers have speculated that nature never made any such choice: all conceivable laws apply somewhere. The idea is inspired in part by quantum mechanics, which, as Murray Gell-Mann memorably put it, holds that everything not forbidden is compulsory.”42 Sokol agrees: “In the multiverse of eternal inflation, everything that can happen has happened—and will probably happen again.”43 In 2014, Lisa Grossman authored an article in New Scientist titled “Quantum Twist Kills the Multiverse: Goodbye Eternal Multiverse, Hello the End of Everything.” Therein, she explained:
In such an infinite multiverse, everything that has even a slight chance of happening is virtually certain to happen—you just need to wait long enough. Some theorists have pointed out that, taken to its logical conclusion, that includes the spontaneous aggregation of matter so that it creates self-aware, disembodied brains. It’s the same kind of logic that says an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly would eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. “It sounds like something a bunch of college sophomores would discuss while high. It doesn’t sound like a real scientific problem,” says Scott Aaronson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.44It’s certainly a ludicrous idea—“pure speculation” in the words of Ellis45—but that is what multiverse theory suggests. Buchanan explained: “In the multiverse, every conceivable world exists, and individuals identical to you and I live out parallel lives in places we cannot have access to.”46 Gefter said that in the multiverse, “[e]very conceivable value of dark energy or anything else will exist an infinite number of times among the infinite number of universes, and any universal theory of physics valid throughout the multiverse must reproduce all those values.”47 Recall that Steinhardt, writing in Nature, criticized the multiverse concept: “Scanning over all possible bubbles in the multiverse, everything that can physically happen does happen an infinite number of times. No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes.”48
Now, that said: if in the multiverse, “all that can happen happens” and “every conceivable world exists”; if “everything that has even a slight chance of happening is virtually certain to happen”; if “anything” “will exist an infinite number of times”; if “everything that can happen has happened—and will probably happen again”; if “everything not forbidden is compulsory”; then why would it not be the case that a God with the characteristics of the one in the Bible would exist in at least one of those Universes? Does the multiverse not demand that God exists? If not, why not? And if a God like the one in the Bible exists, then that God is omnipresent—He is everywhere and every-when (cf. Psalm 139:7-10; Proverbs 15:3; Ecclesiastes 12:4; 1 Timothy 1:16-17). That means that if He exists in another Universe somewhere, He must exist here as well.
ConclusionIn this article, we have intentionally quoted extensively from emeritus distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa George Ellis since he is a well-respected cosmologist among naturalistic scientists and a key player in the multiverse discussion. Ellis thoroughly grasps why the multiverse is being championed. He understands what is at stake for naturalism, but he also understands that the multiverse theory has significant problems. Consider what he said in his critique of the multiverse in Scientific American in 2011:
Proponents of the multiverse make one final argument: that there are no good alternatives. As distasteful as scientists might find the proliferation of parallel worlds, if it is the best explanation, we would be driven to accept it; conversely, if we are to give up the multiverse, we need a viable alternative. This exploration of alternatives depends on what kind of explanation we are prepared to accept. Physicists’ hope has always been that the laws of nature are inevitable—that things are the way they are because there is no other way they might have been—but we have been unable to show this is true. Other options exist, too. The Universe might be pure happenstance—it just turned out that way. Or things might in some sense be meant to be the way they are—purpose or intent somehow underlies existence.49It is significant that Ellis and Silk acknowledge, “In our view, cosmologists should heed mathematician David Hilbert’s warning: although infinity is needed to complete mathematics, it occurs nowhere in the physical Universe.”50 The evidence is clear: there must be Something infinite beyond the physical Universe that brought about this Universe and its laws or ordinances. There is zero evidence for a multiverse being that supernatural realm. Indeed, by cosmologists’ own admissions, the multiverse concoction “leapt out of the pages of fiction into scientific journals”; is “hard to swallow”; is a “sleight of hand”; “dodge[s] the whole issue”; is “imaginary”; and is an “oxymoron.” But on the other hand, there is ample evidence that the God of the Bible exists.51 He wrote the “ordinances of the heavens” and “set their dominion” over the Universe (Job 38:33). By His word, “the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
Endnotes1 Adam G. Riess and Mario Livio (2016), “The Puzzle of Dark Energy,” Scientific American, 314:42, emp. added.
2 George F.R. Ellis (2011), “Does the Multiverse Really Exist?” Scientific American, 305:40-43, emp. added.
3 Lawrence M. Krauss (2014), “A Beacon from the Big Bang,” Scientific American, 311:67, emp. added.
4 George Ellis and Joe Silk (2014), “Defend the Integrity of Physics,” Nature, 516:322-323, December, emp. added.
5 Mark Buchanan (2014), “When Does Multiverse Speculation Cross into Fantasy?” New Scientist, 221:46-47, January 18, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129 520-900-when-does-multiverse-speculation-cross-into-fantasy/, emp. added.
6 Ibid., p. 47, emp. added.
7 Lee Smolin (2015), “You Think There’s a Multiverse? Get Real,” New Scientist, 225:24-25, January 17, emp. added.
8 Tim Folger (2008), “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory,” DiscoverMagazine.com, November 10.
9 Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/ Behold%20the%20Word%20of%20God.pdf; Jeff Miller (2014b), “Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate: Tying Up Really Loose Ends,” Reason & Revelation, 34:38-59, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1152.
10 See the following for a discussion of indirect evidence in science: Jeff Miller (2013b), “‘Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith,’” Reason & Revelation, 33:76-83, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1125&article=2164.
11 As quoted in Folger, emp. added.
12 Richard Lewontin (1997), “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9, p. 31.
13 Ellis, pp. 40-43, emp. added.
14 Michael Finkel (2014), “Our Star, The Sun, Will Die A Quiet Death,” National Geographic, 225:102, March, emp. added.
15 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Laws of Science—by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32:137-140, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1103&article=2072.
16 Richard Webb (2016), “Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” New Scientist, 231:32, September 3, emp. added.
17 Paul Davies (2007), “Taking Science on Faith,” The New York Times, November 24, emp. added, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/opinion/24davies.html?_r=0.
18 “The Creation Question: A Curiosity Conversation” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
20 Ellis, p. 38, emp. added.
21 Shannon Hall (2017), “Infinite Frontiers,” New Scientist, 233:28.
22 Finkel, p. 102, emp. added.
23 Concerning the eternality of matter/energy, some physicists have acknowledged that even the multiverse could not exist forever [Lisa Grossman (2014), “Quantum Twist Kills the Multiverse,” New Scientist, 222:9, May 17].
24 Jeff Miller (2013a), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786&topic=57.
25 Joshua Sokol (2015), “A Brush with a Universe Next Door,” New Scientist, 228:8, October 31.
26 Richard Dawkins and George Pell (2012), “Q&A: Religion and Atheism,” ABC Australia, April 9, http;//www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3469101.htm.
27 Ellis and Silk, p. 321, emp. added.
28 Smolin, p. 25.
29 Lawson Parker (2014), “Cosmic Questions,” , 225, April, center tearout.
31 Folger, emp. added.
32 Ellis, p. 42, emp. added.
33 Ellis and Silk, p. 322.
34 John Rennie, Editor’s Note in Sean M. Carroll (2008), “The Cosmic Origins of Time’s Arrow,” Scientific American, 298:48, June.
35 Sean M. Carroll (2008), “The Cosmic Origins of Time’s Arrow,” Scientific American, 298:57, June, emp. added.
36 Smolin, p. 24, emp. added.
37 Folger, emp. added.
38 Stuart Clark and Richard Webb (2016), “Six Principles/Six Problems/Six Solutions,” New Scientist, 231:33, emp. added.
39 Brian Greene (2015), “Why String Theory Still Offers Hope We Can Unify Physics,” Smithsonian Magazine, January, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/string-theory-about-unravel-180953637/?no-ist, emp. added.
40 Mary-Jane Rubenstein (2015), “God vs. the Multiverse,” New Scientist, 228[3052/3053]:64, December 19/26, emp. added.
41 Ellis, p. 42.
42 Ibid., emp. added.
43 Sokol, p. 8, emp. added.
44 Grossman, p. 9, emp. added.
45 Ellis, p. 42.
46 p. 46, emp. added.
47 Amanda Gefter (2012), “Bang Goes the Theory,” New Scientist, 214:34, June 30, emp. added.
48 Paul Steinhardt (2014), “Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble,” Nature on-line, 510:9, June 5, http://www.nature.com/news/big-bang-blunder-bursts-the-multiverse-bubble-1.15346.
49 Ellis, p. 43, emp. added.
50 Ellis and Silk, p. 322, emp. added.
51 Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Reason & Revelation, 34:110-119, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1175; Jeff Miller (2015b), “How Can a Person Know Which God Exists?” Reason & Revelation, 35:52-53, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1189&article=2506.
Special thanks to Dr. Mike Houts (AP Auxiliary Scientist and NASA nuclear engineer) for reviewing this article and offering helpful suggestions.
7 Reasons the Multiverse Is Not a Valid Alternative to God [Part 1]
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
In order to avoid admitting that a supernatural Being exists, the theory being invoked by a growing number of naturalists is that a supernatural (though apparently God-less) realm exists called the multiverse. This multiverse is thought to explain where matter, energy, the laws of physics, and even the “mysterious” examples of “fine-tuning” we see in the Universe came from, all without resorting to the existence of God as the explanation. In the words of cosmologist Bernard Carr of Queen Mary University of London, “If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”4 So, what is the multiverse? Is there evidence for the existence of such a place?
String Theory: Alleged Support for the MultiverseThe multiverse is the idea that the Universe is not the only Universe that exists: other Universes exist (10500, according to string theory5) outside our own, and those Universes can collide, creating Big Bangs of their own.6 Cosmologist and Professor of Physics at California Institute of Technology Sean Carroll explained: “If conditions are just right…[parts of one Universe—JM] can undergo inflation and pinch off to form a separate universe all its own—a baby universe. Our universe may be the offspring of some other universe.”7
Though the multiverse is not demanded by string theory, some cosmologists attempt to find support for it through string theory. Cosmologist and distinguished emeritus Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa George Ellis, and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University Joseph Silk said, “Fundamentally, the multiverse explanation relies on string theory.”8 So before responding to the multiverse theory, what is string theory?
Modern physics is comprised of two branches: general relativity—physics that governs the “large” realm that we can generally see (e.g., astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology), and a distinctly different physics that governs the “tiny” realm—namely, at the level of particles, atoms, and what makes up matter (i.e., quantum mechanics). The problem is that the physics of these two separate branches do not work together when joined. They apply only to their separate domains—not to the domain of the other. “This [realization—JM] set the stage for more than a half-century of despair as physicists valiantly struggled, but repeatedly failed, to meld general relativity and quantum mechanics, the laws of the large and small, into a single all-encompassing description”9—the so-called “theory of everything.”
While the concept of “string theory” has been around for several decades, persistent problems with the theory made it unpopular as a candidate for the “theory of everything.” Then in 1984, John Schwarz and Michael Green made discoveries that re-energized hope that string theory could bridge the divide between general relativity and quantum mechanics. Writing in Discover magazine, Steve Nadis explained, “[T]his theory attempted to unify all the known forces into a single, elegant package. Some physicists hailed string theory as the long-sought ‘theory of everything.’”10 Before string theory, the smallest, most fundamental “stuff” that were thought to make up matter (e.g., electrons, protons, neutrons, and photons) were infinitesimal, dimensionless particles—tiny dots that, unlike everything else, could not be broken down or divided into anything else and without any “internal machinery” of their own. In string theory, however, a change in the composition of the fundamental particles is hypothesized. Instead, the particles that make up matter are thought to be tiny, one dimensional, vibrating strings. How those strings vibrate determines what kind of particle something is (its mass, electric charge, nuclear properties, etc.). That might not necessarily sound far-fetched, but the fact that string theory requires the existence of six or seven unobserved dimensions—dimensions beyond those that we can perceive (i.e., length, width, height, and time)—in order for it to work,11 definitely causes some physicists to scratch their heads in concern. Regardless, according to cosmologists and physicists Paul Steinhardt,12 Justin Khoury,13 Burt Ovrut,14 and Neil Turok,15 the “inspiration” for their belief in the multiverse
came from string theory, the most widespread approach to get Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which best describes space and time, to play nicely with quantum mechanics, which best describes everything else. String theory proposes that the various particles that make up matter and transmit forces are vibrations of tiny quantum-mechanical strings, including one that produces a “graviton,” an as-yet-undetected particle that transmits gravity. It also predicts the existence of extra dimensions beyond the four [i.e., length, width, height, and time—JM] of space and time we see.16According to Ellis, “If we had proof that string theory is correct, its theoretical predictions could be a legitimate, experimentally based argument for a multiverse.”17
The Multiverse: Seven Problems for the NaturalistIs the multiverse theory true? Is it even science? Does it have any supporting evidence? Does it solve the naturalist’s problem of explaining the Universe without God?
Problem #1: String TheoryRecall that, while string theory does not necessarily imply that the multiverse is true, the multiverse “relies on string theory.”18 The first problem, then, with the multiverse hypothesis is that string theory, upon which the multiverse relies, still has no tangible evidence to substantiate it. Many physicists since Green’s and Schwarz’s discoveries
hailed string theory as the long-sought “theory of everything.” Harvard University physicist Andrew Strominger, a leader in string theory for decades…[knew] that such assertions were overblown. And, sure enough, skepticism has seeped in over the years. No one has yet conceived of an experiment that could definitively verify or refute string theory. The backlash may have peaked in 2006, when several high-profile books and articles attacked the theory.19Regarding string theory as it relates to the multiverse, George Ellis said, “String theory has moved from being a theory that explains everything to a theory where almost anything is possible…. But string theory is not a tried-and-tested theory; it is not even a complete theory.”20 Theoretical physicist and cosmologist of Arizona State University Lawrence Krauss admitted, “[W]e have, as of yet, no well-defined quantum theory of gravity—that is, a theory that describes gravity using the rules governing the behavior of matter and energy at the tiniest scales. String theory is perhaps the best attempt so far, but there is no evidence that it is correct or that it can consistently resolve all the problems that a complete quantum theory of gravity must address.”21 Astrophysicist Eric Chaison of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said, “Although the theory of superstrings is now causing great excitement in the physics community, there is to date not a shred of experimental or observational evidence to support it.”22 Tim Folger, writing in Discover magazine, admitted that “[a]lthough experimental evidence for string theory is still lacking, many physicists believe it to be their best candidate for a theory of everything.”23 Stuart Clark and Richard Webb, writing in New Scientist, acknowledged that “string theory has yet to make a single testable prediction.”24
So in spite of the lack of evidence for string theory, many physicists are still holding on to hope. Notice Strominger’s optimism: “String theory may not be the fabled theory of everything..., ‘but it is definitely a theory of something.’”25 But Silk and Ellis went further, acknowledging that string theory is “as yet unverified…. It is not, in our opinion, robust, let alone testable.”26 Notice that according to Silk and Ellis, not only is string theory unverified, it is not even testable. If it is not testable, how can it be scientific? And if other dimensions exist according to string theory, and we cannot even observe them, how can string theory qualify as a legitimate scientific theory? To ask is to answer.
Such problems have not gone unnoticed by some physicists. In 2014 in Nature, Ellis and Silk wrote an article titled “Defend the Integrity of Physics,” in which they rebuked theoretical physicists for the direction they have turned in their scientific endeavors regarding string theory. The need for tangible evidence before accepting a theory is becoming a thing of the past:
This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue—explicitly—that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific. Chief among the “elegance will suffice” advocates are some string theorists [who rely on unobservable entities to validate their theories—JM]…. These unprovable hypotheses [i.e., string theory and the multiverse—JM] are quite different from those that related directly to the real world and that are testable through observations…. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man’s land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any. The issue of testability has been lurking for a decade. String theory and multiverse theory have been criticized in popular books and articles.27So, string theorists are moving away from the long-standing definition of what constitutes “science.” Davide Castelvecchi, writing in Nature in 2015, said:
String theory is at the heart of a debate over the integrity of the scientific method itself. Is string theory science? Physicists and cosmologists have been debating the question for the past decade…. For a scientific theory to be considered valid, scientists often require that there be an experiment that could, in principle, rule the theory out—or “falsify” it, as the philosopher of science Karl Popper put it in the 1930s….28According to Castelvecchi, string theory is the “principal example” of theoretical physicists straying “from this guiding principle—even arguing for it to be relaxed…. The strings are too tiny to detect using today’s technology—but some argue that string theory is worth pursuing whether or not experiments will ever be able to measure its effects, simply because it seems to be the ‘right’ solution to many quandaries.”29
String theory is not science. It is evidence-less speculation and conjecture. And some physicists recognize that the problem is even worse than a lack of evidence for string theory:
Joe Polchinski at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Raphael Bousso at the University of California at Berkeley calculated that the basic equations of string theory have an astronomical number of different possible solutions, perhaps as many as 101,000. Each solution represents a unique way to describe the universe. This meant that almost any experimental result would be consistent with string theory; the theory could never be proved right or wrong. Some critics say this realization dooms string theory as a scientific enterprise…. String theory is still very much a work in progress.30Notice that scientists have correctly relied heavily on the ability to test, observe, and falsify scientific theories. Sadly, many scientists have moved to the extreme in their interpretation of that principle, claiming that since the supernatural realm cannot be empirically tested or observed, the existence of God or the Creation model should not be considered on the table of scientific discussion: it is essentially false by scientific definition, and pure naturalism is defined as true. The above scientists, however, are highlighting the fact that with regard to string theory, many scientists are now openly contradicting that long-held belief. But if supernatural options are now allowed in the discussion, why will these same scientists not allow the biblical explanation to be considered in the discussion, considering that the Bible has supernatural attributes and therefore provides positive evidence of the existence of the supernatural realm and its Ruler?31
To be clear, some physicists draw a marked distinction between string theory and the multiverse, arguing that string theory is “testable ‘in principle’ and thus perfectly scientific, because the strings are potentially detectable.”32 It may be that string theory will one day be verified, but the point is that, until it is verified, those who wish to point to the multiverse as “evidence” that God need not exist have absolutely no scientific foundation upon which to launch a campaign for the existence of the multiverse. Proponents of the multiverse hold to a belief in it without evidence—their faith is blind. Further, keep in mind, once again, even if string theory were true, it still would not mean that the multiverse is true. If string theory is not true, however, then the small shred of hope some naturalists have that string theory could provide a starting point based in fact for proving the existence of a multiverse disappears.
Problem #2: InflationAccording to cosmologist and Professor of Physics at Stanford University Andrei Linde, and cosmologist, physicist, and director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University Alex Vilenkin, during Big Bang inflation33 (which they believe is still on-going) “different regions of the cosmos are budding off, undergoing inflation, and evolving into essentially separate universes. The same process will occur in each of those new universes in turn.”34 The multiverse theory is tied to inflation, as is Big Bang Theory, but as we have shown elsewhere, inflation has no evidence to support it.35 Writing in Nature in 2014, Paul Steinhardt, “who helped develop inflationary theory but is now a scathing critic of it,”36 wrote a stinging critique of inflation. His article was in response to the lack of evidence for Big Bang inflation after the then newly discovered alleged evidence for it (the discovery of Big Bang gravitational waves) was found to be false.37 In the article, titled “Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble,” he argued that “[p]remature hype over gravitational waves highlights gaping holes in models for the origins and evolution of the Universe.”38 He noted that the “progeny” of inflation is the multiverse, but said,
The BICEP2 incident [i.e., the erroneously hailed discovery of Big Bang inflation gravitational waves—JM] has also revealed a truth about inflationary theory. The common view is that it is a highly predictive theory. If that was the case and the detection of gravitational waves was the “smoking gun” proof of inflation, one would think that non-detection means that the theory fails. Such is the nature of normal science. Yet some proponents of inflation who celebrated the BICEP2 announcement already insist that the theory is equally valid whether or not gravitational waves are detected. How is this possible? The answer given by proponents is alarming: the inflationary paradigm is so flexible that it is immune to experimental and observational tests…. [I]nflation does not end with a universe with uniform properties, but almost inevitably leads to a multiverse with an infinite number of bubbles, in which the cosmic and physical properties vary from bubble to bubble [i.e., inflation implies a multiverse—the two stand or fall together—JM]. Scanning over all possible bubbles in the multiverse, everything that can physically happen does happen an infinite number of times. No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes. Hence, the paradigm of inflation [and subsequently, the multiverse—JM] is unfalsifiable…. [I]t is clear that the inflationary paradigm is fundamentally untestable, and hence scientifically meaningless.39Problem #2 for the multiverse, therefore, is that even if string theory were true, there is no evidence for Big Bang inflation—another necessary puzzle piece in multiverse theory.
Problem #3: No Evidence for the MultiverseEven if string theory and inflation had evidence to substantiate their veracity, neither theory demands that the multiverse is a reality. The multiverse needs evidence of its own to substantiate it, and it has none. That means that, by definition, belief in the multiverse (like Big Bang inflation) is irrational, according to the Law of Rationality,40 and another example of naturalists’ blind “faith” in naturalism.
Ellis acknowledged concerning the multiverse: “We just do not know what actually happens, for we have no information about these regionsand never will…. All in all, the case for the multiverse is inconclusive. The basic reason is the extreme flexibility of the proposal: it is more a concept than a well-defined theory…. The key step in justifying a multiverse is extrapolation from the known to the unknown, from the testable to the untestable.”41 Ellis and Silk noted that “[f]undamentally, the multiverse explanation relies on string theory, which is as yet unverified, and on speculative mechanisms for realizing different physics in different sister universes.”42
Hugh Everett is credited with first proposing the popular “Many-Worlds Interpretation” of quantum physics: “a quantum ‘multiverse’ in which all possible outcomes are realized in a vast array of parallel worlds.” But after over 50 years since his proposal, according to theoretical physicist and professor at Columbia University Brian Greene, “we still do not know if his approach is right.”43 Evidence is still lacking. Michael Finkel, writing in National Geographic, said,
In recent years it’s become increasingly accepted among theoretical physicists that our universe is not all there is. We live, rather, in what’s known as the multiverse—a vast collection of universes, each a separate bubble in the Swiss cheese of reality. This is all highly speculative, but it’s possible that to give birth to a new universe you first need to take a bunch of matter from an existing universe, crunch it down, and seal it off.44Theoretical physicist and cosmologist of the University of Cambridge Stephen Hawking has advanced the multiverse idea as well, but admits that it is “still just a theory. It’s yet to be confirmed by any evidence.”45 Astrophysicst Gregory Benford of the University of California at Irvine wrote in his book, What We Believe but Cannot Prove, “This ‘multiverse’ view represents the failure of our grand agenda and seems to me contrary to the prescribed simplicity of Occam’s Razor, solving our lack of understanding by multiplyingunseen entities into infinity.”46 Physicist Mark Buchanan, writing in New Scientist, authored an article titled “When Does Multiverse Speculation Cross into Fantasy?” Responding to Max Tegmark’s claims about the multiverse in Our Mathematical Universe, Buchanan said,
Tegmark tries hard to make the seemingly outlandish sound almost obvious and unavoidable, and offers taxonomy to help organize a zoo of imagined parallel universes…. These other domains—or “universes”—could well exist, although we currently have no observational evidence for them…. [T]here does seem to be something a little questionable with this vast multiplication of multiverses…. Multiverse champions seem quite happy, even eager, to invoke infinite numbers of other universes as mechanisms for explaining things we see in our own universe. In a sense, multiverse enthusiasts take a “leap of faith” every bit as big as the leap to believing in a creator, as physicist Paul Davies put it in an article in The New York Times.47Philosopher Richard Dawid of Ludwig Maximillian University notes concerning the multiverse that “physicists have begun to use purely theoretical factors, such as the internal consistency of a theory or the absence of credible alternatives, to update estimates, instead of basing those revisions on actual data.”48 It is bewildering why scientists would not see Creation as a “credible alternative,” considering that it is based on evidence.49 Instead, they choose to throw out reason and make up imaginary realms without evidence. Is it possible that there is widespread bias against God in the scientific community?
There is no evidence for the multiverse, but that’s not the worst of it. Not only is there no evidence, but apparently, there can be no evidence. Theoretical physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, David Gross makes a distinction between string theory and the multiverse and sees multiverse theory as much more troubling than string theory, “because the other universes that it postulates probably cannot be observed from our own,even in principle.”50 Stephen Battersby, writing in New Scientist, stated in despair concerning the multiverse,
Our standard cosmology also says that space was stretched into shape just a split second after the big bang by a third dark and unknown entity called the inflation field. That might imply the existence of a multiverse of countless other universes hidden from our view, most of them unimaginably alien—just to make models of our own universe work. Are these weighty phantoms too great a burden for our observations to bear—a wholesale return of conjecture out of a trifling investment of fact, as Mark Twain put it?51Notice: the other Universes of the multiverse are “hidden from our view”—unobservable “phantoms”—and yet the multiverse is needed “just to make models of our own universe work.” In other words, the existence of a supernatural realm—an unobservable reality beyond our Universe—is demanded in order to make sense of the Universe (more on that subject later).
The notion of parallel universes leapt out of the pages of fiction into scientific journals in the 1990s. Many scientists claim that megamillions of other universes, each with its own laws of physics, lie out there, beyond our visual horizon. They are collectively known as the multiverse. The trouble is that no possible astronomical observations can ever see those other universes. The arguments are indirect at best. And even if the multiverse exists, it leaves the deep mysteries of nature [e.g., why does anything exist?—JM] unexplained…. All the parallel universes lie outside our horizon and remain beyond our capacity to see, now or ever, no matter how technology evolves. In fact, they are too far away to have had any influence on our universe whatsoever. That is why none of the claims made by multiverse enthusiasts can be directly substantiated.52Notice: according to Ellis, the multiverse is beyond our ability to see “now or ever, no matter how technology evolves.” “[N]one of the claims made by multiverse enthusiasts can be directly substantiated.” Recall that Ellis and Silk called the multiverse (and string theory) “imperceptible domains” and “unprovable hypotheses.”53 In the multiverse, they say, “Billions of universes—and of galaxies and copies of each of us—accumulate with no possibility of communication between them or of testing their reality.”54 Folger said, “For many physicists, the multiverse remains a desperate measure, ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation.”55 One would think such admissions would give more scientists pause, but those bent on blindly rejecting God seem to be, literally, beyond reason on the matter.
Joshua Sokol, writing in New Scientist, said concerning “neighbouring universe[s] leaking into ours,” “Sadly, if they do exist, other bubbles are nigh on impossible to learn about.”56 Amanda Gefter, also writing in New Scientist, discussed making predictions and testing them through observations in the Universe.“That’s not possible in an infinite multiverse: there are no definite predictions, only probabilities.”57 Clark and Webb discuss various difficulties with the idea that there are many Universes: “The second is how you get convincing evidence for the existence of any of them.”58 Lawson Parker, writing in National Geographic, explained that “[i]nflation theory says our universe exploded from…[a quantum energy] fluctuation—a random event that, odds are, had happened many times before. Our cosmos may be one in a sea of others just like ours—or nothing like ours. These other cosmos will very likely remain forever inaccessible to observation, their possibilities limited only by our imagination.”59 How convenient for naturalists to be able to propose a theory to explain away God, and that theory be immune to falsification since it is known from the start to be “forever inaccessible to observation.”
Endnotes1 Jeff Miller (2013a), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786&topic=57.
2 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Laws of Science—by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32:137-140, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1103&article=2072.
3 Jeff Miller (2014), “There’s No Such Thing as a Naturalist,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=12&article=5050.
4 As quoted in Tim Folger (2008), “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory,” DiscoverMagazine.com, November 10, http://discovermagazine.com/2008/dec/10-sciences-alternative-to-an-intelligent-creator.
5 Amanda Gefter (2009), “Multiplying Universes: How Many is the Multiverse?” NewScientist.com, October 31, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427323-700-multiplying-universes-how-many-is-the-multiverse/.
6 Michio Kaku (n.d.), “Michio Kaku Explains String Theory,” YouTube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYAdwS5MFjQ.
7 Sean M. Carroll (2008), “The Cosmic Origins of Time’s Arrow,” Scientific American, 298:56, June.
8 George Ellis and Joe Silk (2014), “Defend the Integrity of Physics,” Nature, 516:322, December, emp. added.
9 Brian Greene (2015), “Why String Theory Still Offers Hope We Can Unify Physics,” Smithsonian Magazine, January, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/string-theory-about-unravel-180953637/?no-ist.
10 Steve Nadis (2016), “The Fall and Rise of String Theory,” Discover, 37:18, June.
11 Nadis, p. 19.
12 Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
13 Particle physicist, cosmologist, and Associate Professor and Chair of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania.
14 High energy particle physicist, cosmologist, and Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania.
15 Cosmologist, physicist, and Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
16 As noted in Amanda Gefter (2012), “Bang Goes the Theory,” New Scientist, 214:35, June 30, emp. added.
17 George F.R. Ellis (2011), “Does the Multiverse Really Exist?” Scientific American, 305:42.
18 Ellis and Silk, p. 322.
19 Nadis, p. 18, emp. added.
20 Ellis, p. 42, emp. added.
21 Lawrence M. Krauss (2014), “A Beacon from the Big Bang,” Scientific American, 311:67, emp. added.
22 Eric J. Chaison (2001), Cosmic Evolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), p. 246, emp. added.
23 Folger, emp. added.
24 Stuart Clark and Richard Webb (2016), “Six Principles/Six Problems/Six Solutions,” New Scientist, 231:28-35, p. 35, emp. added.
25 As quoted in Nadis, p. 18.
26 Ellis and Silk, p. 322, emp. added.
27 Ellis and Silk, p. 321, emp. added.
28 Davide Castelvecchi (2015), “Feuding Physicists Turn to Philosophy,” Nature, 528:446, December 24, emp. added.
30 Tim Folger (2008), “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory,” DiscoverMagazine.com, November 10, emp. added.
31 Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/ Behold%20the%20Word%20of%20God.pdf.
32 Castelvecchi, p. 447.
33 Inflation is generally understood to be the brief period of time at the beginning of the alleged Big Bang where the Universe is thought to have expanded faster than the speed of light.
34 As noted in Folger.
35 Jeff Miller (2015a), “Big Bang Inflation Officially Bites the Dust,” Reason & Revelation, 35:62-65.
36 Michael Slezak (2014), “The Rise and Fall of Cosmic Inflation,” New Scientist, 224:8, October 4.
37 Miller, 2015a.
38 Paul Steinhardt (2014), “Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble,” Nature on-line, 510:9, June 5, http://www.nature.com/news/big-bang-blunder-bursts-the-multiverse-bubble-1.15346.
39 Ibid., emp. added.
40 Lionel Ruby (1960), Logic: An Introduction (Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott), pp. 126-127.
41 Ellis, pp. 41-43, emp. added.
42 Ellis and Silk, p. 322, emp. added.
43 Brian Greene (2013), “Roots of Reality,” New Scientist, 217:39, March 2.
44 Michael Finkel (2014), “Our Star, The Sun, Will Die A Quiet Death,” National Geographic, 225:102, March, emp. added.
45 As quoted in David Shukman (2010), “Professor Stephen Hawking Says No God Created Universe,” BBC News, September 2, emp. added, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11172158.
46 Gregory Benford (2006), What We Believe But Cannot Prove, ed. John Brockman (New York: Harper Perennial), p. 226, emp. added.
47 Mark Buchanan (2014), “When Does Multiverse Speculation Cross into Fantasy?” New Scientist, 221:46-47, January 18, emp. added, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129 520-900-when-does-multiverse-speculation-cross-into-fantasy/.
48 As quoted in Castelvecchi, p. 447, emp. added.
49 Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Reason & Revelation, 34:110-119, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1175; Jeff Miller (2015b), “How Can a Person Know Which God Exists?” Reason & Revelation, 35:52-53, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1189&article=2506.
50 As noted in Castelvecchi, p. 447, emp. added.
51 Stephen Battersby (2013), “The Dark Side,” New Scientist, 217:41, March 2, emp. added.
52 Ellis, pp. 39-41, emp. added.
53 Ellis and Silk, p. 321.
54 Ibid., p. 322.
56 Joshua Sokol (2015), “A Brush with a Universe Next Door,” New Scientist, 228:8, October 31, emp. added.
57 Gefter, 2012, p. 34, emp. added.
58 Clark and Webb, p. 35, emp. added.
59 Lawson Parker (2014), “Cosmic Questions,” , 225, April, center tearout, emp. added.
Do Christians Need “Additional Scripture”?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
For many people who claim to be Christians, the Bible is not enough. Supposedly, it is not sufficient revelation. It does not give us enough information. These individuals seek additional works of inspiration. Either they want direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, or they want some kind of additional inspired work from God. In a recent Bible study with two gentlemen who claimed to believe in the divine inspiration of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, one of the men made the statement: “God wanted us to have…additional Scripture.” That is, allegedly God wanted us to have more than just the Bible. This gentleman then followed up this assertion by saying that it is “unfair to just choose one.”
Is it really “unfair” to believe only the Bible is inspired? Is it inappropriate to tell individuals who advocate additional Scripture that the Bible is the only inspired, written revelation for man? Does God really want us to have “additional Scripture”?
Almighty God has the power and authority to communicate with man in whatever way and however often He chooses. But these questions must be answered in light of what God said He did, and not what man might surmise God could do. A thorough study of the New Testament reveals that what God said He did (through His inspired writers—2 Peter 1:20-21) was give mankind (some 1,900 years ago) all the revelation he needed to live a faithful Christian life.
The Bible indicates that all truth necessary for salvation was revealed during the lifetime of the apostles. The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He promised His apostles that after His departure from them, the Spirit would come and guide them “into all truth” (John 16:13, emp. added), teaching them “all things,” and bringing to their remembrance “all things” that Jesus taught them (John 14:26, emp. added). After His crucifixion and resurrection (but before He ascended into heaven), Jesus then commanded these same disciples to “make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20, emp. added). The fact is, “the faith…was once for all delivered to the saints” in the first century (Jude 3, emp. added), so that since that time Christians have had “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3, emp. added). Since then, “the man of God” has been “complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, emp. added).
Indeed, hearing God’s will in the 21st century is as easy as picking up the providentially preserved Bible and reading what Jesus’ apostles and prophets recorded for our benefit (cf. Ephesians 3:1-5). No modern-day messages, dreams, visions, or “additional Scripture” are needed. Christians should be content with the powerful “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12) and be warned to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).
The Miracles of Jesus
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
In John 20:31, we learn why Jesus performed miracles—so “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” The miracles of Christ recorded in the Gospel accounts proved that Jesus had been given all power in heaven and on Earth. Trustworthy men documented that He had power over the human body and could heal sickness and disease with the touch of His hand (Matthew 8:1-4). On other occasions, He proved that He had power over the spiritual world by forgiving sins (Luke 5:20-24) and casting out demons (Luke 6:18). He also had power to control the physical world by calming storms and walking on water (Matthew 14:25-43). And His power over death was shown through His glorious resurrection three days after His crucifixion (John 20:24-29).
Jesus’ miracles were designed to prove His oral claim to be the Son of God. Even the Pharisees, His worst enemies, admitted: “This man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him” (John 11:47-48). Yet they steadfastly refused to believe that He was God’s Son. Many of them even saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead, heal the sick, and cause the blind to see. Yet they would not admit to His deity.
Why should it be any different today? Anyone who takes an honest look at the evidence should see that this world must have had a Creator. The Bible is inspired by that Creator, and informs us that Jesus performed miracles to prove He was the Son of God. Yet many people will brush aside all the evidence—just as the Pharisees did—and deny Christ’s divinity. The Judgment Day will find those people hearing the words of Christ: “Woe unto you!… For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” (Matthew 11:21).
CONCLUSIONMiracles are only impossible in a world with no God. Throughout history, God has used miracles to create the Universe, to add credibility to the men who had been entrusted with His message, and to accomplish His divine purposes. Jesus of Nazareth repeatedly performed miraculous deeds in order to prove to His followers (and to His enemies!) that He was indeed the Son of God. Sadly, many people during Christ’s day refused to believe in Him as God’s Son. And, just as sadly, many today stubbornly refuse to believe in the Sonship of Christ. As Christ told the unbelieving Pharisees of His day, so will He tell the modern-day disbelievers, “Woe unto you!"
The Miracles of Christ—Many and Varied
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
One of the biblical proofs for the deity of Christ is the miracles that Jesus worked. And, we are asked to believe that Jesus is the Son of God not because He performed one or two marvelous deeds during His lifetime. To the contrary, “miracles cluster around the Lord Jesus Christ like steel shavings to a magnet” (Witmer, 1973, 130:132). The gospel accounts are saturated with a variety of miracles that Christ performed, not for wealth or political power, but that the world may be convinced that He was sent by the Father to bring salvation to mankind (cf. John 5:36; 10:37-38). As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus performed miracles of healing (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16-17). He cleansed a leper with the touch of His hand (Matthew 8:1-4), and healed all manner of sickness and disease with the word of His mouth (cf. John 4:46-54). One woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years was healed immediately simply by touching the fringe of His garment (Luke 8:43-48). Similarly, on one occasion after Jesus came into the land of Gennesaret, all who were sick in all of the surrounding region came to Him, “and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well” (Matthew 14:34-36; Mark 3:10). Generally speaking, “great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them” (Matthew 15:30, emp. added). “He cured many of infirmities, afflictions...and to many blind He gave sight” (Luke 7:21, emp. added). Even Jesus’ enemies confessed to His “many signs” (John 11:48).
Jesus not only exhibited power over the sick and afflicted, He also showed His superiority over nature more than once. Whereas God’s prophet Moses turned water into blood by striking water with his rod (Exodus 7:20), Jesus simply willed water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11). He further exercised His power over the natural world by calming the Sea of Galilee during a turbulent storm (Matthew 8:23-27), by walking on water for a considerable distance to reach His disciples (Matthew 14:25-43), and by causing a fig tree to wither away at His command. Jesus’ supernatural superiority over the physical world (which He created—Colossians 1:16) is exactly what we would expect from One Who claimed to be the Son of God.
Jesus’ miracles were not limited to the natural world, however. As further proof of His deity, He also revealed His power over the spiritual world by casting out demons. “They brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word” (Matthew 8:16, emp. added). Luke also recorded that “He cured many of...evil spirits” (Luke 7:21, emp. added). Mark recorded where Jesus once exhibited power over a man overwhelmed with unclean spirits, which no one had been able to bind—not even with chains and shackles; neither could anyone tame the demon-infested man (Mark 5:1-21). Jesus, however, cured him. Afterwards, witnesses saw the man with the unclean spirits “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind” (Luke 8:35-36). On several occasions, Jesus healed individuals who were tortured by evil spirits. And, “they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, ‘What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out’” (Luke 4:36).
Finally, Jesus performed miracles that demonstrated His power even over death. Recall that when John the Baptizer’s disciples came to Jesus inquiring about His identity, Jesus instructed them to tell John that “the dead are raised” (Matthew 11:5). The widow of Nain’s son had already been declared dead and placed in a casket when Jesus touched the open coffin and told him to “arise.” Immediately, “he who was dead sat up and began to speak” (Luke 7:14-15). Lazarus had already been dead and buried for four days by the time Jesus raised him from the dead (John 11:1-44). Such a great demonstration of power over death caused “many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did” to believe in Him (John 11:45). What’s more, Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead was the climax of all of His miracles, and serves as perhaps the most convincing miracle of all (see Butt, 2002, 22:9-15).
In all, the gospel records contain some 37 specific supernatural acts that Jesus performed. If that number were to include such miracles as His virgin birth and transfiguration, and the multiple times He exemplified the ability to “read minds,” and to know the past or future without having to learn of them through ordinary means (cf. John 4:15-19; 13:21-30; 2:25), etc., the number would reach upwards of 50. Indeed, the miracles of Christ were varied and numerous. He healed the blind, lame, sick, and leprous, as well as demonstrated power over nature, demons, and death. The apostle John, who recorded miracles of Christ “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31), also commented on how “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book” (20:30, emp. added). In fact, Jesus worked so many miracles throughout His ministry on Earth that, “if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
Witmer, John (1973), “The Doctrine of Miracles,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 130:126-134, April.