A few years ago I wrote a post entitled “Evidence for a Creator,” in which I argued that science demonstrates that the probability of our universe existing in its present form is astronomically small; and if the the odds of the universe “just happening” are exceptionally small, there is a high probability that our universe has a Creator.
Critics of this argument have suggested that there could be an infinite number of universes (typically dubbed the “multiverse”), and therefore our universe just happens to be one of the rare ones conducive to intelligent life. The concept of the multiverse has gained some traction in popular culture, as Marvel has incorporated it into their perpetual movie series.
The Atlantic recently published an article by Alan Lightman about the improbability of our universe which (perhaps unwittingly) revealed the weakness of the hypothesis of a multiverse:
“Carter’s observation that our universe is finely tuned for the emergence of life has been called the anthropic principle. A profound question raised by the principle is: Why? Why should the universe care whether it contains animate matter? The theological answer to this question is a cosmic form of intelligent design: Our universe was created by an all-powerful and purposeful being, who wanted it to have life. Another explanation, more scientific, is that our universe is but one of a huge number of universes, called the multiverse, which have a wide range of values for the strength of the nuclear force, the amount of dark energy, and many other fundamental parameters. In most of those universes, these values would not lie within the narrow range permitting life to emerge. We live in one of the life-friendly universes because otherwise we wouldn’t be here to ask the question. Our existence, and our universe itself, is simply an accident, one throw of the cosmic dice.”
Why is the multiverse explanation “more scientific” than an all-powerful, purposeful being? Lightman doesn’t say. But later in the article, he makes an astonishing confession:
“There’s one more disturbing aspect of the multiverse idea. Even if this multitude of other universes are real, there may well be no way to prove or disprove their existence. By definition, a universe is a self-contained region of space and time that cannot send a signal to another such region even into the infinite future. Thus, a universe cannot communicate with another universe. The hypothesized boatload of universes must be accepted or rejected as a matter of faith. Just as scientists do not like accidents, they dislike being forced to accept things they cannot prove. But the multiverse, and other aspects of this strange cosmos we find ourselves in, may be not only unknown to us at this moment, but fundamentally unknowable. Although such a notion goes against the long tradition of science, it does offer a bit of humility, which is good medicine for any profession.”
“The hypothesized boatload of universes must be accepted or rejected as a matter of faith.” The question of belief in God, then, is not a question of whether or not you have faith. It’s a question of what you have faith in. You can have faith in a cold materialism, a soulless universe devoid of ultimate purpose or meaning, buttressed by unknowable and unverifiable alternate universes. Or you can have faith in a loving Creator, who knows you and loves you personally, and whose desire for you is to be united with Him eternally. Unlike the multiverse, this faith is buttressed by a multitude of evidence, or to borrow a better phrase from the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, a “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1):
- The evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus
- The Miracle of the Sun
- The Real Presence in the Eucharist
- The blood of the martyrs
- The witness of the saints
- The reliability of the gospels
- The heavenly experiences of those near death
- The tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- The personal encounters with the divine experienced by the countless humble and holy of all ages
Taken individually, these are compelling reasons to believe. Taken collectively, they are powerful evidence for God, and a wellspring of hope to refresh our weary world.