Life, the Universe, and Everything: A brief history of human understanding.There was a time in human history when scientists believed the Earth was the center of the universe. They believed that all of the "stars" orbited the Earth and had no idea the magnitude or vast distances between each object in the universe.
|Milky Way photo credit: Gemma Stiles cc|
At that point, if you were to tell them that the Sun is much larger than the Earth they would have thought you were crazy. They were pretty sure the entire universe existed within a geocentric system.
Later the human race realized that the objects of the solar system actually revolve around the sun.
At that point, humans thought the universe existed in a local system of solar systems still not knowing the magnitude of our galaxy.
Eventually we discovered our galaxy and then with the rapid advancement of observational and computational science we learned the true scope of the observable universe*.
You can probably see where I'm going at this point. Humans have repeatedly expanded the scope of their known universe. The universe as we know it has grown from just a planet to a solar system to a galaxy to a local cluster to what we know now as the observable universe.
Today's scientists think that the size of the universe is relative to the age of the universe due to the fact that it is constantly expanding and speeding up its expansion. It gets even more complicated by the fact that objects aren't just speeding away from each other, the distance itself between the objects is expanding.
How else would the universe be estimated 150 billion light years in diameter while estimating that the universe is only 13.7 billion years old?**
This implies that space itself is a thing which can be stretched, not just a large body of empty space containing tons of galaxies. Space itself is made of something that can stretch. There is no such thing as "nothing" in the universe, which will be important later on in this post.
Are you thinking yet? Now to the God part.Every single time the universe has "expanded" from the human perspective, the theological arguments surrounding the creation of the universe have not needed to change. For instance, the logic was originally there must be a God because who else made the Earth? We then learned of the solar system and the exact same argument still applies. There must be a God because where else did the solar system come from?
Now the universe is thought to be 150 billion light years across and the same argument still applies. Where did the universe come from. Can something be caused by nothing? Now though, the argument isn't just about the physical objects floating around; its about the fabric of space itself. We can now wonder where the entire fabric of space came from along with all of the things and properties of our known universe. This is the opposite of the classic "God of the Gaps" argument because as more and more scientific discovery occurs, our theological questions are increasingly confirmed.
|photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video cc|
For now, we know is that we exist in a universe that is expanding faster than our understanding of time itself allows for. Only something that is infinitely large and infinitely powerful could contain or create something such as our universe. The proposed multiverse with the properties to be able to create something with the power of our universe would need to also have infinitely powerful properties.
The point is, no matter how much our perspective of the universe expands there will always be something which must have created it all. Something infinitely powerful and exists outside of time itself in order to have created something that expands faster than time itself.
You can claim "multiverse" but then you must claim "multi-multiverse." At some point, you have to realize that infinity exists whether in our universe or in the grand scheme of everything. The multiverse would need to have some sort of properties in order to create our universe, and the multi-multiverse would need to have some sort of properties in order to create a multiverse. There is no endpoint in the scale of the cosmos, and only something infinitely powerful and outside of time itself could have started it all.
To me, that could only be God.
Notes (further scientific details and clarifications):
*The observable universe is that which can be examined based on the time it takes light to reach the Earth after accounting for the expansion of the universe.
**They say that the light speed limit only applies to objects moving through space, not because of it. Based on the rate that distant galaxies are receding from us, they claim that space itself is expanding which is a separate movement from objects actually traveling through space. This would imply that space is actually made of something (some people theorize a quantum foam) that can either stretch or multiply, and our traditional assumption of nothingness making up space has to be incorrect. This is how the universe might be 150 billion light years across while remaining 13.4 billion years old.