Multiverse and the Design Argument

Reasonable Faith

QUESTION: How do you answer sceptics who say that our universe doesn’t need a designer because it’s just a part of a bigger multiverse which is composed of all kinds of universes?  No matter how improbable our universe looks, the chances are that there will be some just like it somewhere in the multiverse.  If you deal the cards enough times, eventually every hand will come up sooner or later. — Bill

DR. CRAIG’S ANSWER: The idea that our universe is just a part of a wider multiverse is an expression of what I call the Many Worlds Hypothesis (MWH). This hypothesis is intimately connected with the so-called Anthropic Principle, which states that our own existence acts as a selection principle determining which properties of the universe we can observe.  That is to say, any observed properties of the universe which may at first seem to be astonishingly improbable can only be seen in their true perspective after we realize that other properties couldn’t be observed by us, since we can only observe properties of the universe which are compatible with our existence.  The Anthropic Principle implies that observers who have evolved within a universe must observe its constants and quantities to be fine-tuned for their existence, for otherwise they wouldn’t exist to observe them.  The Anthropic Principle is used by some people to try to show why we shouldn’t be surprised at the astonishingly improbable fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

Theorists now recognize that the Anthropic Principle can only legitimately be employed to explain away our observation of fine-tuning when it is conjoined to MWH, according to which an ensemble of concrete universes exists, actualizing a wide range of possibilities.  MWH is essentially an effort on the part of partisans of chance to multiply their probabilistic resources in order to reduce the improbability of the occurrence of fine-tuning…


Multiverse and the Design Argument | Reasonable Faith