Here is a picture that would like to give us just a little fraction of the Universe. Even in this picture the Universe just seems so very....Large.
However, as big as the Universe used to seem, we now have one bigger.
Have you heard of the Mulitverse?
The Universe is everything that we have have. It is very, very large. It is some 15 billion lights years long. This means that if you shine a light from one end of the universe to the other end of the universe, it will take 15 billion years for the light to make it across the Universe.
The Multiverse is much bigger, and therefore, we need to look at what this is and why people are thinking about it. However, since I am a Christian, the thoughts of a Multiverse leads me to reflections on God.
Now, when we start to talk about the multiverse, you need to realize that there are many reasons for talking about a multiverse. One of the first reasons to create a multiverse was to take care of the problem of Quantum Mechanics and the mechanism of how you collapse a wave function. When you get to really tiny pieces of matter, you find out that they don't really exist at all. They only exist when you see these little particles. This is pretty disturbing. So, instead of saying that these little particles only collapsed into reality, Hugh Everett simple suggest that all possible states happened at once, and what we were seeing was Quantum Decoherence. Although it looked like particles were popping out of nothing, in reality, the were nicely falling out of a Quantum state as they went decoherent.
Much of the above is just a side comment, however, because what we are really are interested in is the idea of multiple Universes that are highly different.
I simply don't believe that anything in nature contradicts the scriptures. So, when we can see the Universe is 15 billion light year long, this means that must be at least 15 billion years old, other wise we wouldn't be able to see these far galaxies. I don't see this as threatening to the scriptures, and I believe that the scriptures speaks of the creation of the world with a story that is fully compatible with science.
Now, I tend to believe in evolution, but I also believe in a first mover. I also have written that I consider evolution highly unlikely, therefore, the creation of life is almost vanishingly small. If you had a mass of quarters, the size of the sun, and if you had only one chance at selecting any coin at random, you have a better chance finding this unique coin out of a sun sized mass than randomly creating life.
However, it turns out that while creating life is infinitesimally small, the chance of the universe having the right fundamental constants are even smaller.
When you dig into the nature of what we are made of, we have a several forces that dominate the make up of all matter.
For example, we have the electromagnetic force. This is the building block of all electicity and magneticism. Because of atom are made up o positive charges, the atom should fly apart because like charges repell. However, it doesn't because there is another force, the strong interaction force, holding the atom together. The interaction force is extremely weak at distance, but it is strong enough to keep the atom together.
However, there is no "autoset" of these forces that is created right after the Big Bang. In other words, there is almost a zero chance that the strong force would perfectly hold atoms together. Too strong, and the atom could not properly form molecules. Too weak, and the atom would fly apart.
This is called "the fine tuned universe" principle. For a good reason. A little mistuning, and we'd be toast.
Because the math leads us to the conclusion that the chance of a stable Universe is vanishingly small, we must roll the dice an almost infinite amount of times before we get a Universe that stick around.
Therefore, we must assume that the Universe has been recreated multiple times.
For many years, the scientists simply said that the Universe was oscillation. If you remember the Big Bang story, the Universe appeared from a singularity. This means that out of something smaller than a head of the pin, all that is in the universe popped out and expanded. This explosive force is driving all the galaxies apart.
The thought is eventually the Universe stops expanding, and then reverses and falls back on itself. It is as if you saw a cosmic atom bomb go off, then the film was played in reverse and it all got sucked back together. Commonly, this is called "The Big Crunch."
What happens next?
It explodes again.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
One is going to stick.
This is called "The Big Bounce." (Who says that physicists can't give catchy phrases. These are good.)
While this sounds great, but the data is pointing out that our universe doesn't appear to be slowing at all. There is not enough mass to cause the entire universe to fall back into itself.
Since we might not expand and collapse an infinite amount of times, the other answers is that there is an infinite amount of Universes.
If this is true, perhaps other Universes are being created all time, and we are just in one of the very, very, very lucky universes. This place of many Universes is call the "multiverse."
Now one of the challenges of the multiverse is that we will never be able to see it. As one professor described it, "It is as if many different layers of paper are all separated by small gaps, and ants are running on these sheets. The ants only see there sheet of paper, although many layers of ants are just a single paper away.
Iam highly, highly attracted to this viewpoint with a minor exception. The scientist has to believe that every univese is created. I believe that God was able to conceive of ever Universe at once, then only allowed the "best end" Universe to be created.
I am violently attracted to free will. Most people dislike a God that allows pain and suffering. How could God allow a child to be killed, raped, or starve to death.
However, in my mind, the answer is obvious:
1. You can have freewill, but the consequences that come with this. God will seek to minimize the pain and suffering to result in the best of a situation.
2. You can have no freewill, but a world without pain.
You might state, "I don't understand why this is true." The truth is that you will never understand. I will never understand. However, God never asks you to understand. This is simple a need to have faith that God is faithful and true. He seeks to create and save first, and reject those that reject him.
The whole of the Bible is about freewill, and the pain that this brings.
When you look at Genesis, it says that God hovered over the waters. There are some that says that the metaverse is like a bubbly sea. At this point, God saw all possibilities. He saw all alternatives. He saw everything at once.
Out of this, he allowed the one to happen that would bring him the most glory. God hasn't created an infinitive possibilities, but he saw each one. In the world that he allowed to happen, each creature has perfect free will. The Universe was created to bring God glory. God does not force it, but he allowed it.
This allows for man to have free will, and allows God to have infinite power.