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Physicist Brian Cox on how to think about the multiverse

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In his September 22 release book, Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos. In an interview with The Guardian:

How far are the dots apart for you to make that leap of understanding?
The theory of inflation itself is almost nailed down. We teach it at undergraduate level, and the data supports it as far as we can tell. The idea of multiverses is not too big a leap from that. If that is right then you have essentially an infinity of universes and it follows there is a very natural, almost unavoidable mechanism for varying the laws of nature in each universe. Therefore the idea that we look out on a universe that has been waiting for us to appear in it and understand it is at best incidental. Because every possible sort of universe is made real by inflationary cosmology.I’m a sucker for a Douglas Adams quote, at this point: “There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened…”More.

I think we can take it as a given that Cox will get his multiverse whether it has anything to do with science, as we presently understand it, or not. And that “thinking” will gradually become acquiescence in whatever the multiversers imagine.

Some day there will be science again.

See also: Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?

and

The war on falsifiability continues

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2 Replies to “Physicist Brian Cox on how to think about the multiverse

  1. 1
    PaV says:

    You can see in the quote above, that there is a connection between the theory of inflation and the multiverse.

    Here’s the reason: inflationary theory suggests that some great expansion in the size of the universe occurred in the very, very early universe (10^-33second, or something like that);further, this was brought about by an “inflaton”-field.

    How do we know this “inflaton”-field exists? Because inflation took place.

    Doesn’t this sound like ‘evolution’? How do we know that the theory of evolution is true? Because evolution took place. How did evolution take place? According to the theory of evolution.

    Now, since this “inflaton” (not “inflation”)-field is supposed, which borders on having provided an infinite amount of energy, well, just suppose it occurs an infinite number of times. Then you have ‘multiverse’ theory.

    So, as usual, pseudo-science traffics by postulating things that exist, but which remain forever immeasurable. Just think, in the case of evolution, of all those “intermediates” that Darwin felt sure would show up, and, for which, we still wait—with exponentially less likelihood that they will.

    Inflation is a theory. My own personal musings on all of this suggest to me an entirely much simpler way of explaining the uniformity of the early universe. IOW, “inflation” has not been “proven.” It’s a mathematical idea. (Just like neo-Darwinism, and Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection—which, BTW, he derived from formulas for the actuarial tables he invented).

  2. 2

    I was working out the consequences of having an enormous magnetic field in the Big Bang, and realized that it did all the things the inflaton field did, but better. And of course, we know what a magnetic field looks like, but we haven’t a clue on an inflaton field.
    Then it occurred to me that any field, be it magnetic or inflaton, causes distant parts of the universe to be all connected through the field. It provides coherence. The same coherence that, say, is provided by assuming a designer and a plan. So the lightbulb went on, and I realized the inflaton field is a backdoor way to reintroduce an intelligent designer. No wonder Brian Cox is dead set on it!

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