The other three naturalistic explanations that attempt to make sense of the sheer unlikelihood that a life-permitting universe would come about spontaneously (without being designed by an intelligent being) postulate that countless universes--a multiverse
--exist and that the extremely large number of universes makes it likely that a life-friendly universe would come about.
Says Andrei Linde, "If inflation is there, the multiverse
Despite his self-effacing style (Manly admits that "a few of the multiverse
concepts described in this book are perhaps as fictitious as the Harry Potter series) his goal is to convince us that "the time has come to take seriously the idea of a multiple universe reality.
Yet maybe Bruno's real success was in beginning to grapple with the concept of a multiverse
(also called a "meta-universe") in which many universes co-exist: a concept that is now advanced in response to an argument that Christians raise when trying to prove that God exists.
Subsequent theories were to give birth to many variations of the Big Bang model and the process continues, producing, in turn, an inflationary universe, a chaotic universe, multiverses
, an eternal universe, and so on.
Rees quite lucidly trots out almost all of the current brainstorms and theories on how our universe came into being, not to mention other hypothetical multiverses
and their properties.
Life as we don't know it is "weird" by Toomey's definition, and he takes the reader on a fascinating journey starting with extreme environments on Earth as studied by microbiologists and ending with mind-bending multiverses
as theorized by astrophysicists.
He also summarizes string theory, the expansionary model of the universe, and the notion of multiverses
(universes other than our own).
He then points out that a more common approach is the so-called "weak anthropic principle" in which our universe, among endless multiverses
, by chance has the right properties for life.
He tells of the M-theory of superstrings and multiverses
, of speculations about the world as a computer program, and of new ideas of computation and complexity.
The first section has Jim Peebles, Martin Rees, Bob Hazen, and Steve Schneider, among others, providing eight excellent summaries of current thinking regarding the evolution of the universe including the first stars, the existence of multiverses
, the fate of the universe, misconceptions about the Big Bang, and the evolution of Earth.
125, now seems to be ruled out and the case for a multiverse