John Byl, PhD (astronomy) #fundie bylogos.blogspot.com

Does the Bible speak about reality or only about appearances? Sometimes, to avoid conflict with alleged scientific facts, it is claimed that the Bible uses phenomenal (or phenomenological) language, describing things as they appear from our human, earth-bound perspective rather than being factually correct in a more scientific sense.

An early example of this is found in John Calvin's Commentary on Genesis, in reference to the sun and the moon as "two great lights" (Gen.1:16). According to Calvin, this is factually incorrect since science had proven Saturn to be larger than the moon. However, Calvin excuses this on the ground that Moses had to accommodate his message down to the level of unlearned men, by using the language of how things appear to humans on earth. Factually correct language, Calvin opines, would not have been understood.


Can science genuinely give us such superior knowledge?

The philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) famously distinguished between the phenomenal (reality as it appears to our senses) and the noumenal (the actual reality behind appearances). He claimed that human science is limited to the phenomenal, and could never attain knowledge of the noumenal. Science is grounded in observations (i.e., appearances); any attempt to get beyond these must necessarily rely on theoretical assumptions that can never be definitely proven by science.

Only God can discern the reality behind appearances. God's view of things is the way they really are. Hence our only means to attain knowledge of reality is via God's revelation of it to us, particularly in the Bible.

unknown #fundie bylogos.blogspot.com

Problems with Page's Multiverse

What are we to make of Page's theistic multiverse? It suffers from a number of shortcomings.

1. First, it depends on a particular interpretation of quantum mechanics. There are other interpretations--equally well satisfying the observational data--that do not involve world splits.

2. Second, it assumes that everything in the universe is entirely material and, further, that all material properties can be completely expressed in terms of quantum mechanics. Such reductive materialism has no place for a conscious mind, or a human soul. Nor is there any room for angels or demons. This restricted view of reality contradicts both common sense and Scripture.

3. Third, it entails multiple human incarnations of Jesus Christ. It is already difficult for us to conceive of Christ having two natures--human and divine. Yet Christ must now encompass numerous human natures, each having a separate consciousness.

Heaven is surely not ruled by quantum mechanics. Hence it should experience no quantum splits. We can thus expect that there is only one heaven, with only one great white throne (Rev.20), and only one Lamb. Yet, if there are multiple Christs, with multiple incarnations, resurrections and ascensions, then there should be numerous resurrected bodies of Christ in heaven. Which of these corresponds to the Lamb?

It seems clear from the Bible that Christ's Incarnation was unique, having cosmic significance. For example, "For in him the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things to himself, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." (Col.1:19-20).

4. The Bible relates that God did not create all possible worlds, nor even a restricted number of multiple worlds. Rather, God created one world according to one particular comprehensive plan: "a plan for the fulness of time...predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.." (Eph.1:10-11).

In sum, from a Christian perspective, I see little merit in Dr. Page's theistic MWI (Level 3) multiverse proposal.


What about the other levels of multiverses? As I noted above, the naturalist may find these convenient to explain the origin and apparent design of our universe. Christians, however, believe that God created this universe through supernatural means, following a specific design. We therefore have rather less incentive for believing in the existence of a multiverse.

Did God create multiple universes? The Bible tells us of only one universe that God made. Thus, if God did create parallel universes (other than heaven), He did not deem it necessary to reveal that to us. Since parallel universes--even if they were to exist--cannot physically interact with ours, the question is largely academic.

The most interesting theological question pertains to the possibility of intelligent beings in other universes, and their possible salvation. That raises concerns similar to the possibility of intelligent life in our own universe, which I discussed in my post Aliens and Christians. There I concluded that our earth has a special relation to heaven, and that Christ's sacrifice provided for the salvation only of believing humans--not aliens.