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Hearing less about “hard evidence” for the multiverse?

soap bubbles/Timothy Pilgrim

From Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong:

Back in 2013 one could read lots of claims in the media that “Hard evidence for the multiverse” had been found, based on “effects of quantum entanglement between our horizon patch and others”. These claims were discussed on this blog (with a response from the authors here). A new paper by Will Kinney has now been published in JCAP, including the following conclusion about such claims:

It is worthwhile to discuss in general the “concrete predictions” originally claimed by the authors of refs. [1,2], since several key claims do not survive even cursory scrutiny. For example, the discontinuity in the effective potential claimed to be correlated with voids and the CMB cold spot does not appear to in fact exist: for all physically relevant values of the parameters V0, λ, and b, the modulation F(φ) is a smooth function, with no characteristic discontinuities which would explain features in the power spectrum. Perhaps more importantly, the form of the effective potential resulting from landscape entanglement is completely dependent on the choice of inflationary potential V(φ), which is itself an arbitrary free function. One could just as consistently choose the underlying inflationary potential in the absence of landscape corrections to be the same as the effective potential (2.7)! In this sense, the landscape model is no more (or less) predictive than single-field inflation itself, and most of the claimed predictions of the entanglement model turn out not to have been predictions at all. However, any considerations of theoretical consistency are a moot point: even if one takes the claimed predictions at face value, almost all of them are ruled out by Planck. Experiment always supersedes theory, and the model does not match the data.

This paper has an unusual story behind it, with an author of the work it criticizes trying to keep it off the arXiv. For more about this, see here and here. More.

It’s hard for some of us to understand what’s “unusual” about an attempt to suppress the paper. Evidence for a multiverse actually need not be valid; it need only feel right.

Increasingly, the multiverse is believed without evidence because it avoids the implications of the evidence for fine-tuning of the universe. New Scientist is a good place to see this view unpacked.

Essentially, “no evidence” beats evidence if naturalism is at stake.

See also: Cosmic coincidences?: New Scientist says multiverse is best explanation!

The war on falsifiability in science continues


Evolution bred a sense of reality out of us

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Of related note: It was once claimed that anomalies in the CMB provided evidence for a multiverse:
This Week’s Hype - August 2011 Excerpt: ‘It’s well-known that one can find Stephen Hawking’s initials, and just about any other pattern one can think of somewhere in the CMB data.,, So, the bottom line is that they see nothing, but a press release has been issued about how wonderful it is that they have looked for evidence of a Multiverse, without mentioning that they found nothing.’ – Peter Woit PhD. http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3879
And although those hoped for 'multiverse anomalies', as usual, fell through for materialists, it is interesting to note some of the anomalies in the CMB that did not fall through:
Planck reveals an almost perfect Universe (Disconfirms inflationary models) – video Quote at 2:00 minute mark: "What's surprising in Planck's latest findings and is inconsistent with prevailing theories, is the presence of unexpected large scale anomalies in the sky. Including a large cold region. Stronger fluctuations in one half of the sky than the other. And less light signals than expected across the entire sky." Planck spokesman: "When we look at only the large features on this (CMBR) map you find that our find that our best fitting theory (inflation) has a problem fitting the data." "Planck launched in 2009,, is the 3rd mission to study the Cosmic Microwave Background to date. While these unusual features in the sky were hinted at the two previous US missions, COBE and WMAP, Planck's ability to measure the tiniest of fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background has made these so called anomalies impossible to ignore." Planck spokesman: "Because of these features that we are finding in the sky, people really are in a situation now where they cannot ignore them any more. ,,, We've established them (the anomalies) as fact!". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2CWaLU6eMI
What is curious about these 'anomalies' (that cannot be explained by the 'simple' inflation model of materialists), is that these 'anomalies' in the Cosmic Background Radiation strangely line up with the earth and solar system.
What Is Evil About The Axis Of Evil? - February 17, 2015 The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation contains small temperature fluctuations. When these temperature fluctuations are analyzed using image processing techniques (specifically spherical harmonics), they indicate a special direction in space, or, in a sense, an axis through the universe. This axis is correlated back to us, and causes many difficulties for the current big bang and standard cosmology theories. What has been discovered is shocking. Two scientists, Kate Land and João Magueijo, in a paper in 2005 describing the axis, dubbed it the “Axis of Evil” because of the damage it does to current theories, and (tongue in cheek) as a response to George Bush’ Axis of Evil speech regarding Iraq, Iran and, North Korea. (Youtube clip on site) In the above video, Max Tegmark describes in a simplified way how spherical harmonics analysis decomposes the small temperature fluctuations into more averaged and spatially arranged temperature components, known as multipoles. The “Axis of Evil” correlates to the earth’s ecliptic and equinoxes, and this represents a very unusual and unexpected special direction in space, a direct challenge to the Copernican Principle. http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/evil-axis-evil/
At the 13:55 minute mark of this following video, Max Tegmark, an atheist, finally admits, post Planck 2013, that the CMBR anomalies do indeed line up with the earth and solar system
"Thoughtcrime: The Conspiracy to Stop The Principle" - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0eVUSDy_rO0#t=832 Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer - 2007 The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights? Caption under figure on page 43: ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~huterer/PRESS/CMB_Huterer.pdf Here is the actual graph of the alignment from the Huterer 2007 paper (worth a thousand words): http://i44.servimg.com/u/f44/16/14/18/96/axis_o10.jpg
Here are some of the papers which confirm Huterer's 2007 paper:
Large-scale alignments from WMAP and Planck – 2013 We revisit the alignments of the largest structures observed in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using the seven and nine-year WMAP and first-year Planck data releases. The observed alignments — the quadrupole with the octopole and their joint alignment with the direction of our motion with respect to the CMB (the dipole direction) and the geometry of the Solar System (defined by the Ecliptic plane) — are generally in good agreement with results from the previous WMAP data releases.,,, both the WMAP and Planck data confirm the alignments of the largest observable CMB modes in the Universe. http://arxiv.org/abs/1311.4562 Planck Collaboration 2013, “Planck 2013 results. XXIII. Isotropy and Statistics of the CMB”, Submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics on March 22, 2013. Copi, Craig J. et al 2010, “Large angle anomalies in the CMB”, Adv.Astron. 2010, Article ID 847541; DOI: 10.1155/2010/847541.

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