The Implausibility of Appealing to the Many-Worlds Hypothesis to Defeat the Fine-Tuning Argument

I know what I am about to write will be controversial among atheists–one of them may (?) be a certain professional physicist who writes regularly for The Secular Outpost–but I have never agreed with the idea of appealing to the hypothesis of multiple universes (“multiverse”) as an objection to the fine-tuning argument for God’s existence. Philosopher Bradley Monton is much more knowledgeable about the intersection of philosophy and physics than I am, so I felt good to discover he has the same concerns I do.

I like the way he begins his post:

Some physicists seem to think that the only good reply to the fine-tuning argument for God is an appeal to many universes. If that’s right, that puts the fine-tuning argument on pretty strong ground.


FWIW, I posted something to The Secular Outpost about 5 years ago with a link to a sophisticated critique of the multiverse hypothesis. LINK

About Jeffery Jay Lowder

Jeffery Jay Lowder is President Emeritus of Internet Infidels, Inc., which he co-founded in 1995. He is also co-editor of the book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.

  • Nathaniel

    My response to the fine tuning argument is thus: The universe is not tuned to life. It is the other way around. Evolutionary biology pretty much demands that life adapts to the environment(s) that it finds itself in. It would be premature and naive to think that life can only arise the way that it did on Earth.

  • Taner Edis

    Monton's example of "some physicists" is Leonard Susskind, who is pretty much the only physicist I can think of immediately who would answer to that description. And Susskind's views are driven largely by the need to convert string theory's "landscape," a possible embarrassment, into a virtue.

    In other words, Susskind is latching onto the ID debate as a way to push another agenda. There's nothing illegitimate about that, but don't read him out of context.

    Monton's doing the same thing: using Susskind as an excuse to mount his own hobbyhorse. There's nothing here that should be read as a general comment about physicists and alleged fine-tuning.