God vs The Multiverse (Part 1: Introduction)
Rabbi E. Feder and Rabbi A. Zimmer
The Rambam begins the Mishna Torah informing us that we are commanded to know (not merely to have faith) that there really is one, non-physical, Existence that causes all other things.
There are two places where we edited out the proofs (marked by ..........) that the Rambam gives from Aristotelian physics, as they are based upon the idea of absolute rest (which is rejected by the principle of inertia). While the proofs are no longer valid, the fact that the fulfillment of this commandment is via proof from the universe itself has not changed. Modern physics has supplied such a proof in the fine tuning of the constants of nature.
You can "will" yourself to have faith, but you can not will yourself to have knowledge. Knowledge demands an investigation into the nature of reality with an open mind, searching for the truth. You should have confidence that a search for truth and a search for the true God follow identical paths that lead to the same place.
No proof from current science is absolute. The Rambam's proof fell with Aristotelian science. Any proof from the creation itself is subject to the radical doubt that one's current model of reality is totally wrong. Nevertheless, it is rational and in fulfillment of the commandment to use your mind to the best of your ability to establish what you believe to be true.
Unfortunately, it is anathema to most scientists to recognize a non-physical, intelligent cause. So they deny it. The prevalent trend in explaining away the proof is the theory of the multiverse. Reading Stephen Hawking's article in the Wall Street Journal entitled Why God Did Not Create the Universe, as well as an article in Discover magazine entitled Science's Alternative to an Intelligent Creator, will be helpful in gaining background for some of the issues we will be discussing. Many top physicists believe in some version of the multiverse, and it seems that every year, more and more join the ranks of believers. By some accounts, most physicists currently have faith in it.
In general, the proofs that scientists use for the multiverse are, in fact, the best proofs for One God. There is a part of a person which initially doubts that there is a proof from science simply based of the fact most scientists don't believe in God. However, one's conviction in the reality of the true God can be qualitatively increased when he sees what many scientists are compelled to believe in an effort to deny an Intelligent Cause. The greatest minds of our generation's scientists would not posit something as wildly speculative as the multiverse, were it not for the fact that the necessary alternative is something of infinite intelligence.
Our main objectives are to show a path in studying the deep wisdom in the creation as revealed by modern science, and also to present a proof of God from the constants. We want to make it clear from the outset that we are not seeking to prove Divine Providence from any of these arguments. The proof from the constants only establishes that there is an Intelligent Cause to the universe, not that He relates to mankind in a unique manner.
The proof is predicated on a person recognizing that the universe we observe is special in the sense that it is highly structured and ordered on all scales of magnitude and complexity; that it has incredible beauty, symmetry, and simplicity from its most fundamental laws to the complex organisms that inhabit it. We have never heard of any scientist argue this point, and we think everyone who has basic scientific knowledge understands this point. This amazing interactive site (www.scaleofuniverse.com) helps convey an appreciation of this idea.
We will include many links to Wikipedia articles that further elaborate on background information and on points that we make. The initial stages of the proof will take the form of an idealized history of how it unfolded, in an effort to show the conceptual development of the problem. We will try to keep these posts as short and clear as possible and we encourage you to click on the links and at least read the first paragraph or two in order to deepen your understanding of the issues involved.
We will only mention a few of the many parameters that science knows are fine tuned. You can find a more detailed explanation of the fine tuning of specific constants in the book Just 6 Numbers by Martin Rees (who also happens to believe in the multiverse), intended for the general reader. There are many other good sources on the web and You Tube, should you choose to pursue the matter further.
We will not be able to take up every point in the articles and videos we link to. However, we will try to answer specific questions you have from the articles or videos in the comments section of each particular post. If you have any questions on what we say, or if you want to add any points that we missed, feel free to do so in the comments. We hope that an active discussion about the ideas of these posts, with us and between the readers themselves, will help illuminate the many nuances of the proof.