Cosmology Multiverse News

In at least one universe in the infinity, not every physicist drank the Kool-Aid?

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As David Klinghoffer notes at Evolution News & Views, Paul Steinhardt , a Princeton theoretical physicist who worked on eternal inflation theory, sees the multiverse as a “fatal flaw” in the reasoning he helped advance, and is “stridently anti-multiverse today”:

“The multiverse idea is baroque, unnatural, untestable and, in the end, dangerous to science and society.”

Steinhardt and other critics believe the multiverse hypothesis leads science away from uniquely explaining the properties of nature. When deep questions about matter, space and time have been elegantly answered over the past century through ever more powerful theories, deeming the universe’s remaining unexplained properties “random” feels, to them, like giving up. On the other hand, randomness has sometimes been the answer to scientific questions, as when early astronomers searched in vain for order in the solar system’s haphazard planetary orbits. As inflationary cosmology gains acceptance, more physicists are conceding that a multiverse of random universes might exist, just as there is a cosmos full of star systems arranged by chance and chaos.

The big problem is that the multiverse is fashionable without serious evidence.

It’s something that’s just gotta gotta gotta be true. That’s the danger to science and society.

Note, for example:

“The multiverse is regarded either as an open question or off the wall,” Guth said. “But ultimately, if the multiverse does become a standard part of science, it will be on the basis that it’s the most plausible explanation of the fine-tunings that we see in nature.”

Right. See Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

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3 Replies to “In at least one universe in the infinity, not every physicist drank the Kool-Aid?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Good for Dr. Steinhardt,,,

    “The multiverse idea is baroque, unnatural, untestable and, in the end, dangerous to science and society.”
    Paul Steinhardt who originally worked on eternal inflation theory, but has now repudiated it as ‘unscientific’

    As to the main article

    Infinity and Beyond: The Ultimate Test
    Excerpt: If modern physics is to be believed, we shouldn’t be here. The meager dose of energy infusing empty space, which at higher levels would rip the cosmos apart, is a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times tinier than theory predicts. And the minuscule mass of the Higgs boson, whose relative smallness allows big structures such as galaxies and humans to form, falls roughly 100 quadrillion times short of expectations. Dialing up either of these constants even a little would render the universe unlivable.
    http://www.quantamagazine.org/.....-the-odds/

    In the article, they are basically trying to ‘explain away’ the fine-tuning of the universe we observe by saying, ‘well, if such and such parameter were not as it were we would not be here to observe it’,,,

    “Weinberg turned to a concept called anthropic selection in response to “the continued failure to find a microscopic explanation of the smallness of the cosmological constant,” ,,He posited that life forms, from which observers of universes are drawn, require the existence of galaxies.”,,,

    Lucky us! 🙂

    The problem with their assumption, i.e. the assumption of ‘a universe habitable for observers’, i.e. livability, is that, as Robin Collins, Michael Denton, and Guillermo Gonzalez have now shown, not only is this universe habitable for life, i.e. livable, but this universe is also found to fine-tuned to be of maximum benefit for life just like human life to be able to discover the structure of the universe

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Predictive and Explanatory Power of Discoverability – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    Prediction: DLO: Within the range of values of a given parameter p that yield near – optimal livability, p will fall into that subrange of values that maximize discoverability (given constraints of elegance are not violated).
    In every case that I was able to make calculations regarding whether the fundamental parameters of physics are optimized in this way, they appear to pass the test.[iv] This alone is significant since this hypothesis is falsifiable in the sense that one could find data that potentially disconfirms it – namely, cases in which as best as we can determining, such as a case in which changing the value of a fundamental parameter – such as the fine – structure constant – increases discoverability while not negatively affecting livability.[v] Below, I will look at a case from cosmology where this thesis could have been disconfirmed but was not.,,,
    The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf

    Greer Heard Forum: Robin Collins – “God and the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Discovery” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBWmMU7BXGE

    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer – The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    The Privileged Planet – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ohuG3Vj_48&list=PLbzQ4aXdqWD-9kjFsSm-cxNlzgrkJuko7

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. ,,,
    There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.1

    Privileged Species – How the cosmos is designed for human life – website
    http://privilegedspecies.com/

    Dr. Michael Denton Interview
    Excerpt Question 14: 14. Q: ,,,you also detail that nature isn’t fine-tuned for just any kind of life, but life specifically like human life. Would you expound on this for our readers?
    A: there are certain elements of the fine-tuning which are clearly for advanced being like ourselves.
    http://successfulstudent.org/d.....interview/

    The main problem that the naturalistic physicists/astronomers ran into with ‘anthropic selection’, i.e. ‘we observe a universe with fine-tuning because otherwise we wouldn’t be here’, is that other universes with other observers, with the same constants that they are currently trying to ‘explain away’, are much more plentiful,,,

    “more prevalent universes can also contain observers, making our universe seem atypical among observable universes”

    Thus, let’s not forget grand-daddy of all problems in this area of ‘plentiful universes with other observers’, i.e. the Boltzmann Brains paradox.,,, a paradox which was wrought by Penrose’s 1 in 10^10^123 fine-tuning of the initial entropy of the universe.

    Multiverse and the Design Argument – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of our universe’s low entropy condition obtaining by chance alone are on the order of 1 in 10^10(123), an inconceivable number. If our universe were but one member of a multiverse of randomly ordered worlds, then it is vastly more probable that we should be observing a much smaller universe. For example, the odds of our solar system’s being formed instantly by the random collision of particles is about 1 in 10^10(60), a vast number, but inconceivably smaller than 1 in 10^10(123). (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison [The Road to Reality (Knopf, 2005), pp. 762-5]). Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....n-argument

    The Fine Tuning of the Universe – drcraigvideos – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpIiIaC4kRA

    Of course, there is also Leggett’s inequality that could be touched upon in regards to pointing out that consciousness is primary to reality in the first place, but I think the point is now sufficiently made that the naturalistic assumptions of these scientists, trying to ‘explain away’ the fine tuning of the universe, are what are leading them astray in their reasoning.

  2. 2
    roding says:

    It’s something that’s just gotta gotta gotta be true. That’s the danger to science and society.

    Sure there are some erroneously held beliefs that can be dangerous to science, but is the multiverse in that category?

    Seems to me that at best the multiverse is not much more than speculation or scientific musings. What’s wrong with speculation? Why exactly is that dangerous, other than upsetting News? (along with aliens too I think!).

    Seems some scientists support it and others like Steinhardt don’t. Perhaps the idea offends people of faith, but I’m not sure why it would.

  3. 3

    roding,

    “Seems some scientists support it and others like Steinhardt don’t. Perhaps the idea offends people of faith, but
    I’m not sure why it would.”

    I don’t think it’s a matter of being upset, rather, of the original basis for doing science being abandoned. It is the materialists who are upset with the inevitable if there is but one universe. The one universe we know of operates according to laws, and therefore, there is a law-giver. In a multiverse, everything being equal, is possible, in fact inevitable, even the law-giver himself; only he isn’t all that significant, given the many universes where he doesn’t exist. That seems more palatable for a materialist. The universe we already kkow to exist remains quite palatable to theists. i don’t see why anyone would be upset by it.

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