A MEDITATION ON MULTIVERSES

Then, there was Light. And the Bang, and the Expanding. But what happened before the “Then?”

For some time now, physicists have been telling their story of the universe all the way back to a bare one ten million, trillion, trillion, trillionth of a second from the beginning. They call the gap from there to the beginning the “Planck era.” Impressive.

But even more so is new data that makes possible more reasonable speculations about what happened during the Planck era itself. For me, the most breathtaking of these speculations is the suggestion that “in the beginning” there came into being more than just our own universe.

It is as if that single (?) primordial event (explosion?) sent the space, time, causalities, and substances it threw off into many different dimensions at the same (moment?). The result was a multitude of universes, possibly an infinite number of them, layered in different space/time configurations.

Clearly, language has come close to the end of its tether in these current attempts at describing the origins of things. If by “universe” we already mean all there is, can it make any sense to apply the word to more than one “All”?

Perhaps it can. All the experts now seem willing to try.

Actually, once I talked myself into believing that I know what “infinite” can mean, the multiverse hypothesis didn’t seem all that daunting. I came upon it first while reading the 1709 essay on God’s righteousness and justice (Theodicy) by the philosopher Leibniz, the famous Dr. Pangloss of Voltaire’s Candide.

Leibniz conjectured that our universe is one of an infinity of possible universes held resplendently in the divine mind before it was removed from the realm of abstract possibility and made the only actual universe. All the others remain only possible universes that God elected not to make actual. They continue to exist in God’s mind, but nowhere else.

If Leibniz were alive today, I think he might revise his original theory. Now, he might say, the Actualizer of our own universe is actualizing every possible universe also. And further, in all of those other universes there just might be beings with the same curiosity and wonder about theirs that we have about our own.

What end might all of these universes, and not just one of them, serve? Perhaps the infinite expansion of glorifying the infiniteness of their Creator.

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One Response to A MEDITATION ON MULTIVERSES

  1. Jim McConnell says:

    Could the verse “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” be a reference to the multiverses? I am not sure we will ever have definitive answers to all of the questions raised by scientific research. In fact, if we can answer every question with irrefutable proof what is the point of faith? If God created this wonderful universe we inhabit and gave us the ability to think and pose the questions we do and the ability to seek (and sometimes find) answers to some of those questions, why couldn’t (wouldn’t) God create other universes? It seems that human beings on this planet haven’t done too well by God’s standards, so I hope other beings on other worlds (if there are any) are doing a better job for our creator. Perhaps what God is up to is giving us multiple opportunities to seek Him out in everything we see and do and realize that our real purpose in existing is to glorify Him.

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