Most scientists don’t believe such odds could be a coincidence. So how do materialists explain odds that seem miraculous? If they don’t want to acknowledge an intentionally designed universe, they must come up with another scenario that would explain it all, or their materialistic premise is toast. So if you are trying to avoid the implication of a creator, you would want to construct a theory that would decrease the odds of the universe being miraculous.
If you want to avoid the implication of a creator, your tack would be fairly obvious: decrease the odds.
One way you can decrease the odds is to add in the ingredient of several billion years. One might imagine that the universe could plausibly bake up just about anything in that much time, but even the 13.7 billion years that cosmologists estimate for the age of the universe is way too short for life to have reasonably arisen by natural means.
Therefore, some scientists, such as Stephen Hawking and his Cambridge colleague Sir Martin Rees, have taken a different approach. They have speculated that our universe might be merely one of many universes, thus dramatically improving the odds for life in ours. Let’s listen to what Rees himself says concerning his motive behind the multi-universe theory:
If one does not believe in providential design, but still thinks the fine-tuning needs some explanation, there is another perspective—a highly speculative one.… It is the one I prefer, however, even though in our present state of knowledge any such preference can be no
more than a hunch.…There may be many “universes” of which ours is just one.4
Rees and Hawking have persuaded many in the scientific community that other universes are possible, although highly speculative. According to Hawking, the multi-universe theory (also called the multiverse theory) would rule out the need for a designer.5
But is the search for other universes driven by science, speculation or a materialistic bias? Seife, a mathematician and journalist for Science magazine, explains what he believes to be the motivation behind the multi-universe theory: “Scientists tend to be uncomfortable with coincidences, and the many worlds interpretation gives a way out.”6
Rees, a materialist, likes the multi-universe theory because it provides an alternative to providential design. The undeniable reality of fine-tuning has energized the multi-universe theory, since it gives hope to the materialist that life could exist without a designer. But many scientists are raising their eyebrows at the speculative nature of the multi-universe theory, considering its premise to be flawed.
Continue reading page 4 of 7 of “Is the Universe a Product of Design or Chance?”