More multiverse maths

One can easily work out just how many universes like ours Eugene Kooning would need to produce his 10^-1018 molecule. Taking the number of possible events in each universe as 10^150, the minimum number of universes you’d need would be 10^868. Which as you’ll see is many orders of magnitude greater than the total number of events in our universe since it began. That, of course, is just to produce the one molecule. You’d need many orders of magnitude more to string several of these astronomical improbabilities together.

 And that in itself causes a problem for the theory.

If the sampling space is so large that even one event with a 10^-1018 probability has happened here, then it’s also so immense that an average universe would be experiencing events of greater, though still infinitesimal, probability, with some degree of frequency. Indeed, when it came to what we consider to be statistically impossible events of, say, 10^-160 probability, they’d actually be happening at a comparable rate to absolutely necessary events. In other words, our usual ideas of probabilities, bell curves and so on would have no meaning, because pretty well all conceivable events would be equally likely, within the limits of error.

 Every typical universe, in other words, would be totally chaotic. Predictable laws would be unheard of, because in an infinite multiverse, as Koonin’s article is at pains to point out, the vanishingly unlikely is commonplace, and miracles are the norm. Normality, on the other hand, would not exist.

 Now, you may have noticed that our Universe is not like this, and is to a large extent rational and repeatable. So we can state without hesitation that there is no such multiverse as Koonin proposes. QED. Who needs peer review?

Unless, that is, our own Universe is not a typical example of existence within the infinite multiverse. Maybe he is right, and the the origin of life was the inevitable result of the huge search space available in the multiverse. But otherwise, by an absolutely inexplicable coincidence, we’ve experienced none of the totally chaotic consequences you’d expect from membership of such a community. We’re governed by laws of physics! We’re a one-off, a complete exception, shielded from the fundamental mathematical laws of the Mulitiverse that preclude laws. In other words, if Koonin’s multiverse is a reality, then ours must have been singled out deliberately and intelligently designed…

Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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