I was pleased to receive an email with the attachment of the paper "The Great Diversity of God’s Life: Against Astrobiology" by Chris Knight and Brian Simpson, Australians who had embraced the idea of intelligent design. Here in my country, the United States, there seems to be much more interest in intelligent design and alternatives to materialism. Perhaps Australia's desert landscapes gears the people more toward physicalism; I don't know having never visited your country.


Coming from a theoretical physics and mathematics background I can add a brief footnote discussion to the paper. While Knight and Simpson consider the materialist argument about the infinite universe, in both space and time, they do not consider the multi-verse or multi-universe objection.

Some believe that the "fine tuning" of the universe - the fact that physical constants and the laws of physics are such as to allow life to occur - seems to indicate that the universe is in some way "designed" for life. This is the anthropic principle: J.D.Barrow and F.J.Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principal, (Oxford University Press, 1986). On this line of thought, the universe is not likely to be "random" given the universes "design" to be hospitable for human existence - and after all, humans are the observers for physics and physics experiments.

Various quantum mechanical cosmological models, and indeed the famous "many-worlds" version of quantum mechanics, contemplate the existence of multiple universes, or multi-verses, not spatially or temporarily connected to this one: see J.Leslie (ed), Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, (MacMillan, 1990). If there are multiple universes, and indeed an infinite number of them, the probability of the existence of a universe such as ours is virtually certain. (See S.Grover, "Cosmological Fecundity", Inquiry 41, pp. 277-299)

However the "logic" of this argument has been challenged on technical mathematical grounds (see R.D.Holder, The Realisation of Infinitely Many Universes in Cosmology", Religious Studies, vol.37, 2001, pp. 343-350)
The argument is: “(1) There is an uncountable infinity of possible universes above a given size M.
(2) There can be at most countably many non-overlapping regions of size M in a single space.
(3) Hence, the universes realised in many universe cosmologies which postulate either a single 'containing' space or a single sequence of universes form a measure zero subset of the set of possible universes.
(4) Hence, the existence of many universes does not guarantee that there will be even one life-supporting universe". (p.345) Therefore there is no guarantee that the multi-verse contains any life-bearing universes at all, so the materialist argument fails.

We are left then still having to explain how the multi-verse came to be, which merely transfers the problem of explaining the existence of our universe to an even grander scale. The multi-verse hypothesis is not simple, and is in fact as complex a hypothesis as one could probably think of, so it is to be rejected on grounds of parsimony for the hypothesis of a creating God.