Carried to its logical conclusion string theory leads to a multiverse, or landscape, of independent universes. There are two ways of viewing the multiverse and its constituent universes. There is a series view and a parallel view. In the series view, the multiverse is one universe but we, in our little pocket universe, can only see a limited portion of the multiverse. The rest is so far away and is moving so fast that information (light) from those nether portions cannot ever reach us. This boundary between the observable and the unobservable is the horizon. Because we cannot get any information from beyond the horizon, whatever happens there is irrelevant to us. Events beyond the horizon can have no effect on our pocket universe.
The parallel view of the multiverse is more interesting. In that view there are many universes evolving simultaneously. At 10-35 seconds after the Big Bang “bubble” or parallel universes began to form because of slight variations. In the parallel or many-worlds view, each time there is more than one possibility, the universe splits, one for each possibility. Consider a leaf on a tree. The leaf can fall or it can remain on the tree. At that juncture the universe splits, one for the possibility that the leaf falls and one for the possibility that the leaf remains on the tree. At that instant both universes are identical except for the one leaf, but from that time forward each develops independently of the other. What is “now”’ to us lies in the pasts of innumerable future universes. Everything that can happen does happen. Perhaps not in “our” universe but in one of the future universes.
The parallel view of the multiverse is what science uses to rebut the need for a creator. With so many evolving universes at least one was destined to be suitable for life. But this view falls apart unless evidence is found for the multiverse. Right now it’s a conclusion to be drawn from M-Theory, which in turn is derived from string theory, neither of which can be proven.
It seems we have three possibilities. One, the multiverse exists and we are here simply due to the laws of probability. With so many parallel universes one of the 10500 and probably more were suitable for life. Two, it’s all just a fluke. Like the one bridge hand dealt out of six billion possible hands, we got lucky. Three, there is a creator or some sort of intelligent design behind this universe.
Neither of the first two possibilities is very fertile ground for further speculation. Only statisticians get excited over probability and if this was just a fluke then that’s all that need or can be said about why we’re here.
But if a creator or intelligent design is thrown in the mix all sorts of intriguing questions pop up. What form does the creator take? What was happening before the Big Bang? If time began at the Big Bang was there even a “before” to talk about?