Does God exist in the multiverse?

08 March 2018

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

Don Page isn’t your typical scientist.

He strongly believes that God created the universe, and he won’t hesitate to tell you why.

Dr. Don Page

“I do believe God has created a very elegant universe, and he does it in some sense the simplest way that will accomplish his purposes,” Page, a physics professor at the University of Alberta, told a packed lecture hall on March 2.

Page explained that the multiverse theory contends that separate parts of the universe have different laws of physics.

It’s controversial for some Christians, who point to the laws of physics in our universe as proof of God’s existence. If the multiverse theory is true, then different sets of physics laws exist randomly, instead of being created by God.

Page is concerned that Christians might reject the multiverse theory for religious reasons, noting that Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has said the multiverse was “invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science.”

But Page, an evangelical Christian, says his scientific research is about understanding how God created the universe, and that the multiverse theory doesn’t ultimately disprove God’s creating it.

In fact, God may have designed the whole thing.

“(The multiverse theory) leaves open that God may have designed the whole process that led to a multiverse that includes parts where we exist,” said Page, who has studied under world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time which examines the origins of the universe.

Fr. Donald McLeod

Father Don McLeod, an associate professor from St. Joseph’s College at the U of A, counts himself among those who don’t see a conflict between the multiverse theory and the existence of God.

“God has given us the ability to reflect upon ourselves, the world we live in, and with God all possibilities are open,” said McLeod, who provided a theological afterword to Page’s lecture.

Kyeler Tymafichuk

Student Kyeler Tymafichuk is just beginning to learn about multiverse theory, but he appreciated how Page gave enough information so that he could do more research on his own.

“I don’t think that (science and religion) are incompatible, but that isn’t to say that I think they necessarily have to be compatible,” said Tymafichuk, who will be studying at the University of Alberta next year.

As for Page, he plans to continue researching the multiverse theory while not losing sight of God’s role.

“It’s a delight to be able to study this marvellous universe that God’s created.”

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