Physics, Santa, and God

OK, the argument above is cute. Can it be used to prove not only that there is a Santa Claus, but also that there is a God – indeed, an infinite number of them? Or does the apparent absence of Santa from our universe suggest that there are not an infinite number of universes? And if the multiverse idea ends up needing to be discarded, what are the implications for atheism and for various religious beliefs?

Since I have mentioned God and Santa in conjunction with one another, let me emphasize that I do not share the Santa-like view of God that some but not all theists hold, and which atheists and quite a number of religious believers reject. For me, and many others, questions about God (at least, the sort of God we are interested in) are about the fundamental nature of reality, and not about the presence or absence from a universe of a particularly powerful gift-bestowing person.


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  • David Chura

    What crap? If you move one letter from Santa it becomes Satan `N` and there you have that one settled, But if you had any brains and read the word of God you would know that God is LOVE
    Completely the opposite of the deception that Satan gives you. There is no God in anything that the devil does especially xmas. The world’s biggest pagan holiday!
    Keep all your thoughts to your self any analyse you can show is obviously wrong!
    God is God who is love
    Satna is Satan and is in no way related to what God does, Keep you pagan holidays of tradition and learn a lesson from leviticus where God`s holy days can be found!

    • emily

      I am a Christian myself but I am apalled by your argument here. “Santa” derived from his original name, “Saint Nicholas,” who was called a saint for his charitable works. You mean well, I’m sure, but your argument and lack of knowledge on the subject which you’re arguing (Santa Claus) are the reason many think Christians are ignorant and un-intelligent. I do not mean to attack you, however I felt the need to inform you and possibly defend believers from being further ridiculed and accused of ignorance.

    • lance d boyle

      spell GOD backwards and you have dog!
      If you had a BRAIN you would see that only one of theses is tangible…and then there is Santa


  • Gary

    “And if the multiverse idea ends up needing to be discarded”….There might be an “almost” infinite number of universes possible (Hawking said 10exp500), but they are not all equally probable. Same thing applies to the wave equation for an electron. The classical position is the most probable. There are an infinite number of solutions, but the further away from the classical position, the smaller the probability that the electron resides there. So I believe there may be multiple universes, but I don’t believe there are “almost” an infinite number. But maybe the same applies to God. I sure do not know. Joel had a post that stated we are all in a simulation. This is where physics and conjecture are fun, but not too scientific. Physics becomes theology, and theology, physics, which doesn’t make sense. So maybe the the probability of Santa Claus existing is ~10exp(-500).

  • David Evans

    “There is at least one Santa Claus who can travel to our universe”

    Ah, but would he choose to do so? I hear that he only visits children who have been good. Perhaps he only visits universes that have been good. I’m not sure our universe qualifies – it seems prone to outbursts of violence.

  • Steve Thomas

    I’m a retired Santa Claus and just as the First Commandment asserts that there are many Gods, there are many Santae. I never has a red suit, nor reindeer, but I was Santa when I had young kids, and there were obviously millions of us, for massively parallel processing is the only way to be so many places at midnight on Christrmas morning.

  • Santa Claus

    Hi, James: Perhaps, your readers might enjoy visiting TheSanta (dot) im and discover what I do these days.

  • Serotine

    For those of us with poor eyesight, it would be helpful if someone could transcribe what is on the chalkboard.

    • James F. McGrath

      The gist of it is that, if there is an infinite number of universes, then many of them will contain Santas, and even if ours doesn’t, there is bound in an infinite multiverse to be a universe where a Santa exists who will visit our universe. And so you shouldn’t let big kids convince you that Santa isn’t real. They only say that because they don’t understand physics.

  • Hamlet

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  • Ed Gibbs

    The problem with the whole infinite number of universes idea is that in it’s classical form where every possible arrangement of matter and energy can happen there are also an infinite number of universes where all spoons have holes in them, and no one has ever noticed. You cannot reduce everything to the arrangement of matter and energy – emergent features like the laws of economics need to be allowed to play their rightful role, so that companies making spoons with holes in them go broke, and things make sense. If you do that I’m afraid that Santa better have a really good business plan to get funding.

    • David Evans

      I think the proposition “People don’t buy spoons with holes in” might well reduce to a very complicated set of facts about the matter and energy in everyone’s brain. Of course no-one would try to explain those companies going broke by referring to those facts, but they might still be the ultimate cause.

      I have trouble understanding whether “X is an emergent feature” is a statement about X or about our knowledge of X.