Multiverse “beyond the domain of science” – but right at home in the domain of pop science

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In “Does the Multiverse Really Exist?” (New Scientist, July 19, 2011), mathematician George F. R. Ellis warns that “Proof of parallel universes radically different from our own may still lie beyond the domain of science”:

In the past decade an extraordinary claim has captivated cosmologists: that the expanding universe we see around us is not the only one; that billions of other universes are out there, too. There is not one universe—there is a multiverse. In Scientific American articles and books such as Brian Greene’s latest, The Hidden Reality, leading scientists have spoken of a super-Copernican revolution. In this view, not only is our planet one among many, but even our entire universe is insignificant on the cosmic scale of things. It is just one of countless universes, each doing its own thing.

The trouble is, he says, such universes are unobservable, and “even if the multiverse exists, it leaves the deep mysteries of nature unexplained.” If there really are “an infinite number of galaxies, an infinite number of planets and an infinite number of people with your name who are reading this article,” it makes the deep mysteries of nature too absurd to be inexplicable.

But why does Ellis assume that everyone is displeased with this state of affairs? The untestable multiverse is perfect for its true purpose: Getting around the fact that the only universe we know seems fine-tuned for life.

If the multiverse were testable, it could be falsified. Then what? It is a far more useful concept for the new atheist elite if it is comfortably beyond the reach of ever being demonstrated but yakked up incessantly enough to sell books, and eventually set education policy.

Also: Here Ellis observes that “Arguments for the multivese are mutually exclusive.”
Here claims for “proof” of a multiverse are dissected.

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7 Replies to “Multiverse “beyond the domain of science” – but right at home in the domain of pop science

  1. 1
    junkdnaforlife says:

    UD News 2011:

    “The untestable multiverse is perfect for its true purpose: Getting around the fact that the only universe we know seems fine-tuned for life.”

    L. Susskind 2005:

    “If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.”

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    JDFL (& News):

    A mathematically unique solution that forces our cosmos to be as it is, is by definition, fine tuned. Fine-tuning is easy to push up a level and miss that it has not gone away.

    If instead we are looking at a cosmos bakery that manages to capture what looks like a locally very precisely tuned cosmos with a life-friendly operating point then the cosmos bakery is looking fine tuned to hunt for that “knee” or “island of function.” [Cf the footnote point 5 on Collins here.]

    Last but not least, looking for a natural explanation of nature is not only the importation of a priori materialism, but when we are trying to explain the causal roots of nature on nature that is getting pretty close to causal absurdity: A causes A.

    A commenter at Feser’s blog, Nathaniel, has captured this issue well:

    To say that something came from nothing is really just another way of saying that it came into being uncaused (since clearly “nothing” [plainly, strict sense; a vacuum is a spatial entity with measurable properties — permittivity, permeability, speed of light as a result etc] and laws, it is not nothing, nor are the laws in such a space nothing . . . ] cannot legitimate be a positive cause of anything). Now for a thing to be uncaused, its existence would have to not depend on anything besides itself in order to be. For those things are called causes upon which things depend for their existence or coming to be.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a thing (X) came into existence uncaused. Now clearly the moment before (X) came to be it was possible for it to come to be, otherwise one would say that what came to be was impossible. But before (X) came to be, it did not exist. Similarly before (X) came to be, that which is impossible (a square–circle for example) did not exist either. But there must be something that makes the existence of (X) possible but does not make a square-circle possible, otherwise there would be no legitimate reason to say that (X) is possible but a square-circle is not. What makes that which is possible different from that which is impossible? It cannot be nothing, because nothing makes nothing distinct. Therefore what makes the possible distinct from the impossible is something positive in reality. Therefore there is something other than nothing that makes (X) possible but does not make a square-circle possible. But that which allows the possibility of the existence of (X) is something (X) depends on for its existence. For if that which allows the possibility of (X) did not exist, then the existence of (X) would not be possible. Therefore the existence of (X) is not uncaused, but caused. But this is contrary to what we said earlier. Therefore no uncaused being can come into existence. Hence something cannot come from nothing.

    In short, contingent beings are caused, necessary beings are not. The latter do not begin, nor can they end, they are eternal. Basic mathematical truths and the like are like that: 2 + 3 = 5 has always been true, it has no beginning nor end as a truth, and cannot be made non-true. (BTW, this is one root of why a great many theists have said that such truths eternally reside in the mind of him who is truth himself, God.)

    The sounder cosmological claim, is that the wider system of nature is the necessary being that explains our sub-cosmos with a beginning, and that is one root of the multiverse claims.

    GEM of TKI

  3. 3
    junkdnaforlife says:

    Kairosf: “The sounder cosmological claim, is that the wider system of nature is the necessary being that explains our sub-cosmos with a beginning, and that is one root of the multiverse claims.”

    The multi-verse talking points seem to sell well for rank and file atheists in their ideological yard sale to the rank and file populace. However, the physicists that develop these theories themselves seem to know better. When Brian Greene was asked [in a video posted on this site] “What makes the strings vibrate?” He replied, “If you mean, where does the energy come from? In other words, why is there something rather than nothing? … I do not know.”

    The theoretical multi-verse simply shoves the ultimate question back a bit. Like tugging on the knot of a neck tie, it gives the materialist a few more inches to breathe.

  4. 4
    ciphertext says:


    Post #3

    That video you referenced also displayed Prof. Gates commenting on his belief of the “cosmic error correction codes” did it not? Definitely a peculiar revelation, should it turn out to be true. Perhaps that is what allows the “laws of nature” (i.e. speed of light, gravitation, weak force, strong force, etc…) to continue eternally as a constant? One would assume that you would need to apply some sort of “check” against the outputs of those constants such that you could insure their fidelity to the required values. Sort of a “parity” check for the constants, if you will. To insure that those values do not become corrupted, and thus throw the dependent functionality “out of whack”.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the fine-tuning of the universal constants that have driven atheistic mathematicians, and physicists to such a state as to postulate, with absolutely no empirical warrant for doing so, infinite multi-verses,,,, ;

    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.

    ,,, it is interesting to take a closer look at the most ‘finely-tuned’ constant, which is the Cosmological Constant (Dark Energy). The Cosmological Constant (Dark Energy) is the constant that governs the expansion of space-time. And since space and time are to be treated as the same thing, per Einstein, the cosmological constant (Dark Energy), the finely tuned expansion of space, turns out to be the constant that actually makes time, as measured by our clocks, accurate for each clock measuring time in each point of 3D space.

    ,,, All individual constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy comparison to the most precise man-made machine (1 in 10^22 – gravity wave detector). For example, the cosmological constant (dark energy) is balanced to 1 part in 10^120 and the mass density constant is balanced to 1 part in 10^60.

    Fine Tuning Of Dark Energy and Mass of the Universe – Hugh Ross – video

    In relation to the fine-tuning of time itself, by the cosmological constant, It is also interesting to point out exactly how Einstein got his ‘insight into eternity’ which opened the door for him to be able to elucidate special relativity;

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video

    ,,, it is also interesting to point out that Einstein, when he was shown his general relativity equation indicated a universe that was unstable, added a ‘steady’ cosmological constant (his self professed ‘greatest blunder’), to his equation to reflect a universe that was stable, instead of properly adding a ‘expanding’ cosmological constant.

    Einstein and The Belgian Priest, George Lemaitre – The “Father” Of The Big Bang Theory – video

    ,,, the interesting thing in Einstein adding a steady cosmological constant to his equation, instead of a expanding cosmological constant, is the fact that Einstein is the person who first realized that time and space are inextricably linked, thus it naturally follows that since time is ‘flowing’ into the future then space must be expanding, for if space was not ‘expanding’ but remains ‘static’, being that time and space are two sides of the same coin, then time also would remain ‘static’, i.e. time would not flow into the future if 4-D space did not expand equally everywhere.

  6. 6
    junkdnaforlife says:

    ciphertext, Yes that was the video where Dr. Gates revealed he is finding error correcting code in the fabric of the cosmos. [I posted the quote somewhere]

  7. 7
    uchitrakar says:

    For a zero-energy universe multiverse theory cannot be true. This is because energy being zero mass will also be zero due to mass-energy equivalence. Scientists have also shown that anything having mass will always occupy some space. So if anything fails to occupy any space, then it cannot have any mass. Our universe as a whole perhaps fails to occupy any space, and that is why it does not have any mass. But if multiverse theory is true, then our universe will occupy some space within the multiverse, and thus it will satisfy the condition for having mass. So in that case it cannot be without mass. But as the mass of our universe is zero, therefore multiverse theory cannot be true.
    Radiation occupies space but it does not have any mass. So multiverse theory could have been true if our universe was some sort of pure radiation. Multiverse theory can also be true if total energy of our universe is not exactly zero.

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