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.
Follow UD News at Twitter!