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Is the fine-tuning evidence for a multiverse?

Goff, Philip

Is the fine-tuning evidence for a multiverse? Thumbnail



Our best current science seems to suggest the laws of physics and the initial conditions of our universe are fine-tuned for the possibility of life. A significant number of scientists and philosophers believe that the fine-tuning is evidence for the multiverse hypothesis. This paper will focus on a much-discussed objection to the inference from the fine-tuning to the multiverse: the charge that this line of reasoning commits the inverse gambler’s fallacy. Despite the existence of a literature going back decades, this philosophical debate has made little contact with scientific discussion of fine-tuning and the multiverse, which mainly revolves around a specific form of the multiverse hypothesis rooted in eternal inflation combined with string theory. Because of this, potentially important implications from science to philosophy, and vice versa, have been left underexplored. In this paper, I will take a first step at joining up these two discussions, by arguing that attention to the eternal inflation + string theory conception of the multiverse supports the inverse gambler’s fallacy charge. It does this by supporting the idea that our universe is contingently fine-tuned, thus addressing the concern that proponents of the inverse gambler’s fallacy charge have assumed this without argument.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 3, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 18, 2024
Publication Date Jun 18, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2024
Journal Synthese
Print ISSN 0039-7857
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 204
Issue 1
Article Number 3
Pages 3
Keywords Design arguments for god, Inverse gambler’s fallacy, Fine-tuning, Multiverse
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (83 Kb)

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