Mending Broken Teenage Hearts with Multiverse
by Chris Price
At a scientific forum, Stephen Hawking was once asked about the cosmological implications of a young pop star named Zayn leaving the famous boy band, One Direction, consequently breaking the hearts of teenage girls across the globe. Hawking’s response was brilliant and helpful. “Finally, a question about something important,” he began. He continued by adding these memorable words:
My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe. And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.
Lastly, Hawking added, “This girl may like to know that in another possible universe, she and Zayn are happily married.”
An Infinite Number of Universes
Hawking is obviously making a joke, though it is a humorous comment rooted in a necessary implication of the multiverse, as it is sometimes understood. Some atheists who believe in the multiverse postulate that there are, potentially, an infinite number of universes. This allows atheists to both avoid an original universe in the series, which may require a first cause outside of itself, as well as deftly sidestepping the potential design implications of our universes remarkable fine-tuning. The reasoning is as follows: with enough universes eventually, by chance alone, you will have one with the physical parameters necessary for the development of complex, carbon-based life and this is, of course, the type of universe we happen to find ourselves in (otherwise known as the Weak-Anthropic principle). With an infinite number of universes this result is more than guaranteed, as we will see. And, again, without a first universe in the series of universes you avoid the need to explain what caused the first universe, undercutting the explanatory force of various cosmological arguments for God’s existence. All in all, an infinite number of universes suit both the heartbroken teenage girl and the intellectual atheist just fine…
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