"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." -- Psalm 19:1
"All things were mixed up together, then Mind came and arranged them all in distinct order." -- Anaxagoras, philosopher, 5th century B.C.
"Then I heard someone who had a book of Anaxagoras, as he said, out of which he read that mind was the disposer and cause of all, and I was quite delighted at the notion of this, which appeared admirable, and I said to myself; If mind is the disposer, mind will dispose all for the best, and put each particular in the best place ...." -- Plato, philosopher, Phaedo, 360 B.C.
"There are some too who ascribe this heavenly sphere and all the worlds to spontaneity. They say that the vortex arose spontaneously, i.e. the motion that separated and arranged in its present order all that exists. This statement might well cause surprise. For they are asserting that chance is not responsible for the existence or generation of animals and plants, nature or mind or something of the kind being the cause of them (for it is not any chance thing that comes from a given seed but an olive from one kind and a man from another); and yet at the same time they assert that the heavenly sphere and the divinest of visible things arose spontaneously, having no such cause as is assigned to animals and plants. Yet if this is so, it is a fact which deserves to be dwelt upon, and something might well have been said about it. For besides the other absurdities of the statement, it is the more absurd that people should make it when they see nothing coming to be spontaneously in the heavens ...." -- Aristotle, Physics, Book II, 350 B.C.
"... nor again could it be right to entrust so great a matter [nature] to spontaneity and chance. When one man said, then, that reason was present -- as in animals, so throughout nature -- as the cause of order and of all arrangement, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors. We know that Anaxagoras certainly adopted these views, but Hermotimus of Clazomenae is credited with expressing them earlier." -- Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book I, 350 B.C.
Telegraph: Are we living in a designer universe?
If our universe was made by a technologically advanced civilisation in another part of the multiverse, the designer may have been responsible for the Big Bang, but nothing more.
If such designers make universes by manufacturing black holes – the only way to do it that we are aware of – there are three levels at which they might operate. The first is just to manufacture black holes, without influencing the laws of physics in the new universe. Humanity is nearly at this level, which Gregory Benford's novel Cosm puts in an entertaining context: an American researcher finds herself, after an explosion in a particle accelerator, with a new universe on her hands, the size of a baseball.
The second level, for a slightly more advanced civilisation, would involve nudging the properties of the baby universes in a certain direction. It might be possible to tweak the black holes in such a way that the force of gravity was a little stronger than in the parent universe, without the designers being able to say exactly how much stronger.
The third level, for a very advanced civilisation, would involve the ability to set precise parameters, thereby designing it in detail. An analogy would be with designer babies – instead of tinkering with DNA to get a perfect child, a scientists might tinker with the laws of physics to get a perfect universe. Crucially, though, it would not be possible in any of these cases – even at the most advanced level – for the designers to interfere with the baby universes once they had formed. From the moment of its own Big Bang, each universe would be on its own.
This might sound far-fetched, but the startling thing about this theory is how likely it is to happen – and to have happened already. All that is required is that evolution occurs naturally in the multiverse until, in at least one universe, intelligence reaches roughly our level. From that seed point, intelligent designers create enough universes suitable for evolution, which bud off their own universes, that universes like our own (in other words, suitable for intelligent life) proliferate rapidly, with "unintelligent" universes coming to represent a tiny fraction of the whole multiverse. It therefore becomes overwhelmingly likely that any given universe, our own included, would be designed rather than "natural".