RAR, 2/20/00, revised 5/2/01

If God Is So Great, How Come He Only Made One Universe?

 

The Dilemma

Think about it. The Earth has about 6 billion people, the most that it has ever had. Counting all the people who have ever lived, the total is only twice that many. Mankind has had organized civilizations for only a few thousand years. We have had scientific knowledge for only a few hundred years. And, we have been able to communicate by radio for only the past one hundred years. In effect, we have been deaf, dumb and blind about our surroundings for most of the time the Earth has existed.

So what have we now learned about our place in the universe? We find that our sun is only one of about 400 billion stars in the Milky Way. The Milky Way is only one of about 100 billion galaxies, each with 400 billion stars. The universe is of the order of 10 billion years old. And it is so vast that light has to travel a distance of 10 billion light years for us to see some of its far reaches.

Here is the dilemma. If God really wanted to look down at his handiwork and watch the progress of mankind, why would God make stars in such far greater numbers than people? Why would God make these entities exist for such a long time before mankind was able to appreciate their mere existence? Why did God make the universe so vast when man can never even expect to leave his own solar system? In effect, in our current golden age of knowledge, we find that we are only a very tiny, extremely short, flash in what is otherwise a very large darkness!

Assume that there is another Earth2 in some other galaxy. Could we ever expect to be able to send a message to or receive a message from Earth2? The fact of the matter is that even if our radios were extremely sensitive, the chances are essentially zero that a message that was sent from Earth2 would be received during the short time that we have had the technology to receive it. And of course, Earth2 may no longer have a civilization by the time that a return message from us arrived at their location. The mere facts of time and distance make it impossible that we shall ever know our fellow beings no matter where they are. Give up the idea of alien invasions and UFO sightings. Galactic distances relative to how far man can travel in a lifetime, make these things an utter impossibility!

 

A More Logical Situation

Consider the possibility that God would want to watch over the progress of all of His creatures for time immemorial. How would God best accomplish this? The easiest way would be to create billions of Earths spread out over time and space, so that there was always something going on somewhere. Those beings need never know of the existence of each other. They could each succeed or fail, or come to some environmental doom, and it would not affect what happened to the next civilization. The vastness of space and the extent of time would play no important roles in whether or not something important was going on. Something good or bad would surely be going on somewhere in the universe at all times. There would never be a dull moment. That's more like it!

 

Think Big

Let's come back to the original question, but rephrase it. If God is really so great, then why would God stop with the making of only one universe? The sheer numbers of galaxies and stars per galaxy that exist in our universe beg us to consider another alternative. Why not assume that God is even greater than we think, and that God might have made as many universes as God made galaxies! Ideas like this have been discussed by both Velan and Rees.

Velan [1] states: "God, being capable of doing anything, could have initiated the universe in any way He wanted, even in concentrating all mass and energy in a mathematical point and then letting it explode; all this in violation of established physical laws. The thought that God established only one universe would put considerable limitations on His creativity." Velan goes on to state his philosophy: "A universe is born in a dark and immense vastness, illuminated by other universes in various stages of development, some just being born and others in full development, contracting to their death. Such an overall theory of creativity seems to me a much more acceptable and complete assessment of the Creator's potential."

Rees [2] discusses the amazing conditions under which the universe has formed and life has developed. Cosmic evolution is determined by the magnitudes of only six characteristic numbers, and is so sensitive to their values that if any one of them were only slightly untuned, there could be no stars and no life! It is the mere existence of this delicate balance that makes our universe possible that also implies that there could be other universes besides ours.

Where might these other universes be located? A good place would be right next to one another, just like the array of atoms in a crystal. As our universe expands, the adjacent one might be contracting, and so on. The small amount of debris from the edge of one would overflow into the edge of the next, supplying a continuity boundary condition much like the boundary conditions for the adjacent atoms in the crystal. Nothing would be lost, but just slightly rearranged. It would be a self-balancing mechanism assuring that a multi-universe cosmos would be stable.

 

A New Type of Big Bang

But be careful. This idea implies that each universe occupies a specific place in space, and that each one is centered somehow in its own space. All expansions would have to be spherical, not uniform. And all universes would have to be closed, because they would be self-adjusting over cycles of time until they were.

Thus, by logic, we have been led to a true philosophical dilemma! If the idea of an all-powerful Creator is valid, then the Big Bang cannot have begun as a center-less hot singularity. The current Big Bang model doesn't admit the possible existence of multiple universes. It can't possibly be correct.

Hence, we will simply have to look for another way in which our expanding universe might have been created, a way that is consistent with an eternal process of life and death. This model has to be closed, by definition. This means that we can begin with the collapse of an earlier universe to a central point as considered by Velan, and somehow the excessive gravity of the resulting gigantic black hole is unable to prevent a re-expansion. This also implies that there may be pre-existing debris from the previous universe that can take part in the formation of new galaxies, quasars and globular clusters.

And finally, we will have to admit that what we have experimentally interpreted as a uniform expansion may be indeed a spherical expansion as seen from a position accidentally somewhat near the spatial origin of our own universe! So read on, and think about it, and see where all this might lead.

RETURN

References

1) A. Karel Velan, The Multi-Universe Cosmos, Plenum Press, 1992.

2) Sir Martin Rees, Just Six Numbers, Basic Books, 1999.