Brian Auten of Apologetics 315 has a new interview with Jeff Zweerink on the multiverse.
Today’s interview is with astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink. Jeff is a research scholar with Reasons to Believe, and serves part-time on the physics and astronomy research faculty at UCLA. He is author of Who’s Afraid of the Multiverse?, the main topic of our interview today. He talks about his background and how he got into astrophysics, scientific evidences pointing to God, the role of natural theology, the strongest (and weakest) arguments from science, the multiverse, the various types of multiverses, why scientists postulate the multiverse, various objections to the multiverse, should Christians, how to be well-informed in scientific evidences, advice for apologists, and more.
Full Interview MP3 Audio here (55 min)
Krista Bontrager writes this about Jeff’s book:
Reasons To Believe has a new booklet out. It addresses the multiverse controversy: Who’s Afraid of the Multiverse? (And when I say “booklet” it would really be more accurate to call it a short book. It’s a “good-sized” short treatment.)
RTB’s newest research scholar, physicist, Dr. Jeff Zweerink, explores the multiverse idea and its implications for biblical creation models. He addresses such questions as:
- Does the multiverse pose problems for the Christian worldview?
- Does the multiverse offer atheists an escape-hatch, one that is capable of explaining away design of the universe?
Zweerink’s answers to these questions may surprise some readers. He believes it is quite possible that particular types of multiverses to exist. (Whereas I think it would be fair to characterize Hugh Ross as being a little more cautious about this issue.)
Zweerink does a good job of explaining the appeal of the multiverse approach for some athetists. In fact, he is so fair and even-handed that, at times, the reader may wonder whether he’s defending the multiverse in all of its forms.
I am not aware of any other treatment of this quality by a Christian physicist. If you have a teenager who is planning on a career in science, especially in astronomy or physics, Who’s Afraid of the Multiverse? is a must-read. It would probably also be of interest to those who are curious about the topic.
It sounds like Jeff actually is open to the multiverse. BOOOO! James Sinclair’s essay in Contending With Christianity’s Critics also seemed to give the idea a fair treatment. Oh well, I have to be open to being proven wrong, so here is the podcast and let’s see the evidence!
Five video clips.
Part 1 of 5:
Part 2 of 5:
Part 3 of 5:
Part 4 of 5:
Part 5 of 5:
Each clip is 10 minutes long.
This audio records a part of the Greer-Heard debate in 2007, between prominent atheist Daniel Dennett and lame theistic evolutionist Alister McGrath. Craig was one of the respondents, and this was the best part of the event. It is a little bit advanced, but I have found that if you listen to things like this over and over with your friends and family, and then try to explain it to non-Christians, you’ll get it.
By the way, this is mostly original material from Craig, dated 2007, and he delivers the speech perfectly, so it’s entertaining to listen to.
Craig presents three arguments for a Creator and Designer of the universe:
- the contingency argument
- the kalam cosmological argument
- the teleological argument
He also discusses Dennett’s published responses to these arguments.
Dennett’s response to Craig’s paper
Here is my snarky paraphrase of Dennett’s reponse: (I haven’t been snarky all day!)
- Craig’s three arguments are bulletproof, the premises are plausible, and grounded by the best cutting edge science we know today.
- I cannot find anything wrong with his arguments right now, but maybe later when I go home it will come to me what’s wrong with them.
- But atheism is true even if all the evidence is against it today. I know it’s true by my blind faith.
- The world is so mysterious, and all the science of today will be overturned tomorrow so that atheism will be rational again. I have blind faith that this new evidence will be discovered any minute.
- Just because the cause of the beginning of time is eternal and the cause of the beginning of space is non-physical, the cause doesn’t have to be God.
- “Maybe the cause of the universe is the idea of an apple, or the square root of 7”. (HE LITERALLY SAID THAT!)
- The principle of triangulation might have brought the entire physical universe into being out of nothing.
- I don’t understand anything about non-physical causation, even though I cannot even speak meaningful sentences unless I have a non-physical mind that is causing my body to emit the meaningful sentences in a non-determined manner.
- Alexander Vilenkin is much smarter than Craig and if he were here he would beat him up good with phantom arguments.
- Alan Guth is much smarter than Craig and if he were here he would beat him up good with phantom arguments.
- This science stuff is so complicated to me – so Craig can’t be right about it even though he’s published about it and debated it all with the best atheists on the planet.
- If God is outside of time, then this is just deism, not theism. (This part is correct, but Craig believes that God enters into time at the moment of creation – so that it is not a deistic God)
- If deism is true, then I can still be an atheist, because a Creator and Designer of the universe is compatible with atheism.
- I’m pretty sure that Craig doesn’t have any good arguments that can argue for Christianity – certainly not an historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus based on minimal facts, that he’s defended against the most prominent historians on the planet in public debates and in prestigous books and research journals.
I was in the second row at the Baylor Conference on intelligent design when Guth debated Craig on the origin of the universe. Guth admitted afterwards that the universe did require a cause.
I do not recommend purchasing the whole 2007 debate, because McGrath is a squish. You’re better off with the 2005 and 2008 sets. The 2006 one is OK, but not great. I don’t have the 2009 one yet, but it looks good.