In response to Alan Lightman’s Here at Brain Pickings:, speculation about a multiverse, as an alternative to evidence for fine-tuning of the only universe we actually know anything about:
If the multiverse idea is correct, then the historic mission of physics to explain all the properties of our universe in terms of fundamental principles — to explain why the properties of our universe must necessarily be what they are — is futile, a beautiful philosophical dream that simply isn’t true. Our universe is what it is simply because we are here. The situation can be likened to that of a group of intelligent fish who one day begin wondering why their world is completely filled with water. Many of the fish, the theorists, hope to prove that the cosmos necessarily has to be filled with water. For years, they put their minds to the task but can never quite seem to prove their assertion. Then a wizened group of fish postulates that maybe they are fooling themselves. Maybe, they suggest, there are many other worlds, some of them completely dry, some wet, and everything in between.
The Accidental Universe is an exquisitely mind-bending read in its entirety, the kind that will leave you at once educated and disoriented, but above all able to embrace and celebrate the profound uncertainty that propels rather than hinders human knowledge.
Actually, the main thing the multiverse puts an end to is science. Science doesn’t thrive well in a state of permanent profound uncertainty. See But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists
But non-reality-based thinking is just what multiverse theory does, and is possibly intended to do. The alternative would be to investigate fine tuning for whatever it actually is.
As with so many cutting edge areas, naturalists would perhaps rather just not have answers than have answers that challenge naturalism.
December 2014: Events that made a difference to ID – one of which was Nature sponsoring a protest against crackpot cosmology of this sort (which is increasingly accompanied by demands to dump falsifiability, Occam’s razor, etc.)
The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).
Would we give up naturalism to solve the hard problem of consciousness?
Follow UD News at Twitter!