Cosmology

Of course the multiverse is the end of science, but then we won’t need science any more.

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In “’Multiverse’ theory suggested by microwave background” (BBC News , 3 August 2011), Jason Palmer tells us, “The idea that other universes – as well as our own – lie within “bubbles” of space and time has received a boost”:

However, Dr Peiris stressed that the four regions were “not at a high statistical significance” – that more data would be needed to be assured of the existence of the “multiverse”. 

“Finding just four patches is not necessarily going to give you a good probability on the full sky,” she explained to BBC News. “That’s not statistically strong enough to either rule it out or to say that there is a collision.”

Dr Peiris said that data from the Planck telescope – a next-generation space telescope designed to study the CMB with far greater sensitivity – would put the idea on a firmer footing, or refute it. However, the data from Planck cannot be discussed publicly before January 2013.

Intriguingly, we are told, “Data from the Planck telescope should resolve the question once and for all.”

Hey, Jason, tell us another one. If Planck doesn’t find the multiverse, the cosmologists will just have to make one up, right? Too much is at stake. Only in a multiverse could everything they want be true, and all at the same time.

3 Replies to “Of course the multiverse is the end of science, but then we won’t need science any more.

  1. 1
    David W. Gibson says:

    Intriguingly, we are told, “Data from the Planck telescope should resolve the question once and for all.”

    Hey, Jason, tell us another one. If Planck doesn’t find the multiverse, the cosmologists will just have to make one up, right?

    I think you are not reading what the author intended (or perhaps I’m not, of course).

    This article says the Planck telescope can either support this particular multiverse theory, or it can refute it. This doesn’t say anything about any OTHER multiverse theories, of course. (And I would much prefer the term “conjecture” to “theory” – these are NOT scientific theories).

    The principle seems important to me, though. Refuting one proposal doesn’t necessarily refute something quite different, which would require a different set of observations. If cosmologists were only interested in Making Stuff Up to fit their preferences, why go to the considerable trouble and expense of constructing telescopes that might actually refute their preferences?

  2. 2
    nullasalus says:

    The data could not ‘refute’ even the particular theory in question, because said theory does not demand that our or any universe ever has even this sort of incidental ‘contact’ with another universe.

    Likewise, even if data indicated that there was some unusual pattern in the data, ‘other universes colliding with our own’ would not be the only explanation of the data – and is a considerable stretch as is. It’s not like we’ve collided universes together before and know what sort of telltale signs to look for.

  3. 3
    Miss Inga Tooth says:

    Nerd Sheldon on Big Bang Theory:

    “Penny, while I subscribe to the many worlds theory which posits the existence of an infinite number of Sheldons in an infinite number of universes, I assure you that in none of them am I dancing.”

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