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Forbes: The Multiverse For Non-Scientists


From Ethan Siegel:

From everything we can observe, and from all the theoretical hints the Universe gives us about its topology, shape, curvature and origin, we fully expect that there’s more Universe out there — identical in properties to what we observe — beyond what we can see. It’s only due to the fact that the Universe has been around for a finite amount of time that we can only observe a specific part of it. This is the most simple definition of Multiverse that’s out there: the idea that there’s simply more, unobservable Universe out there beyond what we can see.

That’s a very conservative definition of multiverse compared to most that one hears. And sure enough, soon:

The Multiverse may be finite in size and number of Universes, or it could be infinite. If you accept the Big Bang and modern cosmology, then the first one is definitely true. If you accept cosmic inflation (and there are good reasons to do so), then so is the second one. And if you accept certain models of String Theory or other unification ideas, the third one may be true as well. (But not necessarily!) And as for the finite-or-infinite question? That’s still something we don’t know; there’s a theorem that says inflation couldn’t have gone on forever, but there are loopholes that may allow it to have done exactly that, after all.

You might not like the philosophical implications of the Multiverse, or how many scientists seem to have given up on solving problems by appealing to this Universe; I don’t like it either. But don’t doubt the Multiverse’s existence without considering the very good, scientific reasons that motivate it. You don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate that! More.

Actually the multiverse did not originate in scientific reasoning at all. It originated as an unfalsifiable concept that attempts to account for the fine-tuning of our universe without design.

Taken seriously, it will pull down science because many other disciplines will start insisting on unfalsifiable concepts as well. And many will consider that a small price to pay.

Siegel’s graphics are great. The graphics are the best part of any multiverse argument.

See also: Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

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