Title

The multiverse hypothesis: A theistic perspective

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Abstract

© Cambridge University Press 2007. Introduction In articles published in physics journals, the multiverse hypothesis is strictly regarded from a non-theistic perspective, as a possible explanatory hypothesis for the life-permitting values of the constants of physics. Further, there have been several attempts to make specific predictions with regard to the values of these constants from a multiverse hypothesis, such as the value of the cosmological constant [1—3]. Such approaches reflect the legitimate methodological naturalism of physics. However, in wider-ranging philosophical discussions of the multiverse hypothesis — as found in various books on the topic — the issue arises as to what is the relation between the multiverse hypothesis and much larger philosophical issues, particularly whether reality is ultimately impersonal or personal in nature. In such contexts, the multiverse hypothesis is often presented as the atheistic alternative to a theistic explanation — such as that offered by John Polkinghorne [4] — of the purported fine-tuning of the cosmos for intelligent life. In this contribution, I will attempt to explain why, contrary to the impression one often gets, contemporary physics and cosmology are not only compatible with theism, but could arguably be thought to suggest a theistic explanation of the Universe or multiverse. I do not expect necessarily to convince anyone of the theistic point of view, realizing that many factors — both theoretical and personal — underlie our views of the ultimate nature of reality.

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