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At Mind Matters News: Sabine Hossenfelder asks, is the multiverse science or religion?


Or pseudoscience? The no-nonsense theoretical physicist reveals a gift for comedy as she tries to explain theories that place no constraints on what can happen:

Don’t miss her take on Many Worlds and the String Theory Landscape, especially if you wish to experience “elephants in the room which you coincidentally can’t see” — oh, and getting married to Elon Musk (but maybe only in that universe). On a serious note, she later addresses specific claims from physicists who defend the idea.

News, “Sabine Hossenfelder asks, is the multiverse science or religion?” at Mind Matters News (September 11, 2022)

Takehome: Introducing her new book, Existential Physics, Hossenfelder makes a strong case that the multiverse is not right or wrong; it’s fun but not really science.

Here are some other articles you may enjoy about the multiverse concept:

In an infinity of universes, is another you reading this article?

In an infinity of universes, countless ones are run by cats

Multiverse cosmology is not a good argument against God

Here is a way we can be sure if we are living in a multiverse. (Eric Holloway)

We don’t live in a multiverse because the concept makes nosense (Michael Egnor)

Is Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon right re the multiverse? (Robert J. Marks)

Am now waiting for the claim that the gravitational effects currently attributed to dark matter are the evidence of other universes. EvilSnack
Belfast/9 Never say never.... chuckdarwin
@Chuck. It’s not only the “lack” of empirical evidence - it’s the impossibility of ever finding it. The multiverse concept posits that other universes are disconnected from each other; different regions ,where a separate universe could form, never collide or interact. Belfast
It seems you have lost all hope in the potential of a multiverse to counter fine-tuning, Seversky. Seversky, “Maybe it is a dead-end but maybe in the context of some future discovery it will lead to a great breakthrough. “ Belfast
Lots of people comment on the implications of multiverse proposals in explaining apparent "fine-tuning" of our universe, but it's important to remember that multiverses have been proposed in order to explain a number of different things. The quantum multiverse is proposed as a solution to the measurement problem, cosmological multiverse ideas arise from string theory in the effort to reconcile QM with general relativity, and so on. Still, until we can figure out empirical tests for these ideas they are not scientific hypotheses, and until we can perform those tests they are certainly not scientific theories. Here's something else helpful from Sabine that explains a lot about the "Big Bang": https://nautil.us/the-trouble-with-the-big-bang-238547/ Turns out that it is the expansion of the universe - and not the idea of a sudden beginning of spacetime and energy - that is well supported by evidence at this time. dogdoc
The main argument against the multiverse is not logic, it is lack of empirical evidence
As usual ChuckDarwin gets it wrong. Does he understand anything? Well, the empirical evidence indicates he doesn’t. Aside: he did get one thing right once. This shows the power of random variation. jerry
It's not even good science-fiction or fantasy. If the point of storytelling is limiting choices, the multiverse is right out. I'd toss any story that included it straight into the trash. relatd
"it is an unproven theory" CD, It's a fantasy. Andrew asauber
The main argument against the multiverse is not logic, it is lack of empirical evidence. Like general relativity, it is an unproven theory until confirmatory evidence is collected. In the case of GR, it took a few years. That evidence may never come, or it may be just around the corner--time will tell.... chuckdarwin
The multiverse seems to be an intriguing speculation and a useful plot device in science-fiction but not much more at this point. Seversky
The main argument against the multiverse is logic. An infinite number of multiverses are necessary to overcome the fine tuning observations. But there is nothing physically impossible given an infinite number of universes. So which is it, the uniqueness of our fine tuned universe or absurdity? Of course we all know what some choose. jerry

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