Intelligent Design

Contest Question 1: Does the multiverse help science make sense – or simply destroy science?

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This is  Contest Question 1 for Earn Free Stuff: Does the multiverse help science make sense – or simply destroy science?

To help you decide, here’s a classic pop science article by Anil Ananthaswamy of New Scientist, fronting the multiverse:

Today’s measurements show the universe to be flat, but the uncertainty in those measurements still leaves room for space-time to be slightly curved – either like a saddle (negatively curved) or like a sphere (positively curved). “If we originated from a tunnelling event from an ancestor vacuum, the bet would be that the universe is negatively curved,” says Susskind. “If it turns out to be positively curved, we’d be very confused. That would be a setback for these ideas, no question about it.” 

Until any such setback the smart money will remain with the multiverse and string theory. “It has the best chance of anything we know to be right,” Weinberg says of string theory. “There’s an old joke about a gambler playing a game of poker,” he adds. “His friend says, ‘Don’t you know this game is crooked, and you are bound to lose?’ The gambler says, ‘Yes, but what can I do, it’s the only game in town.’ We don’t know if we are bound to lose, but even if we suspect we may, it is the only game in town.”

Question: For a free copy of Expelled, is this a way to do science?

Winner: Contest Question 1 winner: Does the multiverse help science make sense – or simply destroy science? (6 May 2009)

The Uncommon Descent Contest Question 1 winner is #27:

To claim the prize, a free copy of Expelled, #27 John A Designer must send me a snail address at dodesignorchance@gmail.com

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason“, wrote NASA astronomer Robert Jastrow in his book, God and the Astronomers, “the story ends like a bad dream.” Jastrow was talking about the impact of the Big Bang Theory, which by 1978 had virtually eliminated the competing “steady state hypothesis”, which had argued that the universe was eternal and self existent.

But why should the idea that the universe has a beginning be such a nightmare to some scientists?

It is because the big bang itself presents a metaphysical road block to both empirical science and worldviews, like materialism and naturalism, that pretend to be based on empirical natural science. Natural science requires some degree of causal continuity. The big bang presents an absolute dead end to any kind of natural causal continuity.

So what caused the universe to explode into existence?

I think there are logically three possibilities:

1. The universe was uncaused. It just happened.
2. Our universe was caused by some primordial universe (or universes) that preceded it.
3. Our universe was caused by an eternally existing, or self existing intelligence that ontologically transcends it.

How can we decide among these three options? While there are probably some people that believe in number one, I think most serious thinkers put their money on number 2 or 3, so I‘ll concentrate there.

#3 appeals to people who are predisposed to some kind of theistic worldview.

#2, on the other hand, has an appeal to people who prefer scientific or empirical explanations. #2 is the logical basis for the so called multiverse hypothesis. But how does one empirically prove such an idea? If one universe is the cause of another, how does that happen? Will our universe cause another universe? What evidence do presently have of that? Are these other universes observable?

Furthermore, the multiverse idea appears to lead to an infinite regress. How can one empirically prove the existence of an infinite regress? How does one empirically prove the existence of anything that is infinite?

The only thing that #2 seems to have going for it, is that it superficially appears to be scientific. But regrettably, at least for its proponents, it is only a matter of appearances.

In my opinion, the only thing that gives #2 any life is that is simply unthinkable to some people that the explanation is #3.

What I liked about this entry is its clear communication with lay people.

I also especially commend 41, #45, # 48, #51 and # 52

If you did not win, relax. There are 24 more prizes and another contest (#4) will be posted shortly. And if lots of people enter, I am certain to be offered more prizes. So remember, no more than 400 words, and the contest is judged two weeks after the question is posted. For more rules info (not that there is a lot of it), go here.

54 Replies to “Contest Question 1: Does the multiverse help science make sense – or simply destroy science?

  1. 1
    philosoteric says:

    No. The multiverse hypothesis is a backwards extrapolation from the naturalistic assumption. When confronted with the excessive fine-tuning of critical values and constants for basic physical laws, naturalism mutates (pardon the pun) into a new form to accommodate the data. By positing many or even an infinite number of universes, advocates of naturalism avoid (in their view) having to answer the glaring question of fine-tuning in the universe. They respond to “the only game in town” by coming up with the equally ridiculous assumption that there are an infinite number of games in an infinite number of towns, even though we play this game in our own town. While there may be multiple universes, the fact that we are unable to detect them and measure them as yet renders the multiverse hypothesis untenable as serious science.

    philosoteric

  2. 2
    Barb says:

    When I followed the link to the article on the multiverse, I noted with some amusement that the “most read” articles were on the multiverse and “13 things that don’t make sense.” The multiverse theory is one of those thirteen things.

    If the multiverse theory ascribes the value of the cosmological constant to “an accident” and the fundamental physical forces governing our universe are “randomly determined”, then why do physicists claim that we can continue asking meaningful questions about the universe and the life contained therein?

    What is meaningful about an accident?

    What is meaningful about randomness?

    The article also referenced the concept of “eternal inflation” with respect to multiverse theory. In 2001, Alan Guth (along with two other physicists) wrote an article on how inflation is not past eternal. Their results could also be applied to multidimensional models. So, even a multiverse has to have a beginning somewhere.

    Certainly, physics and astrophysics lend themselves to near-constant questioning and exploration. This is good, because this is what science is all about: the search for truthful answers about how things are they way they are. Science follows a path of empirical verification and experimentation to come up with those answers.

    Science, however, should not make the mistake of retreading old paths that have proven to be dead ends. The multiverse theory is one such dead end.

  3. 3
    Mapou says:

    It’s funny to observe physicists still talking about spacetime as if it were a physical entity capable of being modified (curved). The amazing and nasty little truth is that spacetime is a figment of the imagination, a mere superstition. Why? Because, by definition, spacetime is 100% frozen. Nothing can move in it. Surprise!

    This is the reason that Sir Karl Popper wrote in Conjectures and Refutations that spacetime was “Einstein’s block universe in which nothing happens.” Popper knew what he was talking about and nobody dared to contradict him.

    Any talk of a physical time dimension (as in String theory) or of motion in time (i.e., time travel in any direction) is silly crackpottery. This is one of the reasons that I despair of seeing any major advance in physics any time soon, at least not from the physics community. There is a need for a radical Kuhnian revolution in the sciences, especially in physics.

    I won’t even get into the multiple universes interpretation of QM because it is, in the words of Pauli, not even wrong.

  4. 4
    tribune7 says:

    The cause of the Big Bang is the limit to human reason. We cannot conceive or understand an uncaused cause, yet we know there must be one.

    The multiverse may very well be true, and if so, and if it does not have our physics as some predict, will ironically dovetail rather nicely with Christian cosmology.

    I suppose we can say investigating it does help “science” make sense of things.

    And you still have to deal with the uncaused cause, which would obviously not be subject to our the physical laws upon which our science is based.

    Once those who study science understand and accept this, reality will make sense to them.

  5. 5
    Joseph says:

    No, we do not do science by reading pop science articles.

    However a little summary from Andrei Linde Prof of Physics may provide some clues as to how science is done pertaining to “multiverse” thinking.

  6. 6
    Avonwatches says:

    No.

    Whilst there are many reasons why this is not how to do science, I will simply point out the very first one: flawed assumptions.

    In science, frequently we make assumptions – or impose assumptions – about the nature of what we study. This may be from as simple as assuming that the force of gravity is equal at sea-level in all parts of the world (generally considered acceptable not to mention) to making the assumption that a sick dog is unlikely to have neoplasia because it is only six months old.

    Multiverse ‘science’ fails at the very first assumption where it rules out one of these categories (materialistic vs non-materialistic), without providing a reason. Nothing in science can be dismissed without a justification. And we cannot rule out a category on the basis of ‘preference’ nor ‘it is just not’, or immediately we have lost the objectivity the scienctific method is supposed to strive for.

    For multiverse ‘science’ to proceed, it necessitates the caveat: assuming that all of existence consists of only the material …*, or alternatively a demonstration of why non-material frameworks have been ruled out. Many will dispute the underlying materialistic assumption – and for good reason – but at least now we’re working within the scientific paradigm.

    And, of course, honesty.


    *This sort of thing should be conspicuously absent in multiverse writings to those that read alot of scientific papers. One of the most fundamental parts of any scientific investigation is the ‘Limitations of this study’ section in the discussion, a.k.a. “What factors in our assumptions and methodolgy could explain the discrepancies between our predicted results and actual results?”

  7. 7
    vrf says:

    What I love about the multiverse is that there is not even the facade of it being derived from scientific evidence. Something like it has to be true, since the numbers would otherwise support design.

    Multiverse proponents are puppets of their commitment to a materialist universe. This is religion, not science.

  8. 8
    Domoman says:

    While I suppose the theory of a multiverse could be looked at from an honest perspective, if it’s done with the idea to rule out design, then it’s really bad science. (If it could even be called science.) Trying to rule out design by imposing a multiverse still fails to explain how this multiverse/these multiple universes came to be in the first place. Rather than explain one universe, you’re forced to explain the existence of multiple universes.

  9. 9
    Bruce David says:

    The theory of the multiverse is simply an attempt to avoid the otherwise inescapable conclusion that follows from the Big Bang, namely, Yes, folks, there is a God.

    Nonetheless, in my opinion it isn’t science, notwithstanding the fact that the idea seems to have been suggested by the notion of the quantum vacuum, because, as the opponents of ID are so fond of trumpeting, “If it ain’t testable, it ain’t science.”

    What it is is speculation on the ultimate nature of reality, which makes it philosophy. But it’s not very good philosophy either, if you accept the validity of Occam’s razor, since the number of universes in the multiverse must be astronomical (no pun intended), whereas the number of additional entities in the alternative (God created the Heavens and the Earth.) is One.

  10. 10
    Bruce David says:

    Sorry, please add the words “and the fine tuning of the constants of physics and cosmology” after the words “Big Bang” in my post, above.

    Thanks.

  11. 11
    selectedpete says:

    Why should Anil Ananthaswamy get to be *the* Anil Ananthaswamy that gets the supreme privilege of fronting this theory? Shouldn’t all buhzillion of him get to bask in this new science glory equally (whilst, and, at the same time?).

    The multiverse seems a bit too close to the ultimate schizophrenia. I am not schizo! (..and neither am I, or the scientist sitting next to that version of me).

    But I don’t think this is such a problem after all, because I am most certain that the guys over there on the 7th thread next door to us are right this minute running Anil out on a rail and revoking his tenure.

  12. 12
    T M English says:

    If I were an ID advocate, I would say yes.

    You don’t like the conclusions of string theory (and the accompanying multiverse theories), but you really should love the methodology. It seems to me that the string theorists practice methodological supernaturalism. They infer causes that we presently cannot imagine observing. And they depend heavily (entirely?) on falsificationism for justifying the claim that their theories are scientific.

    There’s also a more subtle analogy. Theoretical physicists have developed, I think, something of a faith that if the math works out, nature will comply. Not to be mean, but there’s a similar aspect in the work of Dembski and Marks. They reason about a regress of probability measures, and subsequently treat those abstract mathematical entities as though they are physical. Their new Law of Conservation of Information does not work out as a law of nature unless probability measures are physically real. Again, nature presumably follows math.

    Nothing else accepted by the scientific establishment comes nearly as close to ID in methodology as string theory. If I were an ID activist, I would drive home the similarity at every opportunity.

    I know I gave the wrong answer, but do I get a consolation prize for nonconformism?

  13. 13
    T M English says:

    Denyse, forgive a word-choice error in the wee hours: nonconformity.

  14. 14
    tribune7 says:

    It seems to me that the string theorists practice methodological supernaturalism.

    LOL, exactly!!

    If I were an ID activist, I would drive home the similarity at every opportunity.

    And how, pray tell, are they similar?

    ID doesn’t presume to address anything unobservable. It simply says

    1. Design exists (Do you agree?)

    2. It has discrete qualities (Do you agree?)

    3. Here is what they are (Disagree? Please falsify)

    4. Here is how to find them.

    5. Apply it to whatever.

  15. 15
    the wonderer says:

    I refuse to answer the question. If I answer, it may create another universe in which I cease to exist. Not only is the fate of science depending on me not answering, but perhaps the entire existence of everything.

    Nope. You are not gonna put that kinda pressure on me!!

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    I will restate my analysis of the multiverse. If there are an infinite number of universes X, there is a subset of X which is also infinite and contains only universes just like ours and which we will call X1. Even if universes like ours is produced at a rate of only 1 in 10^1000 there will still be an infinite number of them. In X1 there will be a subset which is also infinite where life arose naturally say X2. So there will be a boatload of universes just like ours where life arose naturally. Now in X2 which is infinite there will be a subset X3 which is also infinite that has an intelligence much greater than us. And just for argument sakes we say the range of intelligence in X3 is shaped like a bell curve there would be an infinite number of universes in X3 that are to the right of us on intelligence and some so far out that we would be in complete awe of their intelligence. Now these intelligences in which we are in awe and the universes in which they reside also form an infinite number of universes which we will call X4. Now in X4 some of these intelligences will be able to make new universes and communicate and travel to the other universes and this subset will be called X5. And each intelligence in X5 will be given a name which we will call God.

    So what we have from the infinite multiverse theory is that there will be an infinite number of Gods. QED.

    Now if we do not have an infinite number of universes but some paltry number such as 10^5000 then what are the odds of getting an X5 type universe. I would say probably pretty good. Either way the multiverse theory has created gods or more than likely a huge amount of them. And if one member in X5 is more intelligent than the rest, then maybe one of these gods is called God by the other gods.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    the wonderer at [15]. LOL! Problem is, for all you know REFUSING to answer might be what causes the rift in the space time continuum that results in this universe ceasing to exist. Any way you slice it, you’re in a fix.

  18. 18
    allanius says:

    Mapou…thanks, I needed that!

    “Spacetime” is actually a negation of applied physics? If so, that’s quite amusing, since much of Einstein’s popularity among the cultural elite came from the power of Relativity to annihilate the Transcendental Aesthetic with its universals of Space and Time (as is explicitly stated in Hawking’s encomium on the “Person of the Century.”)

    In other words, “science” is just as political as philosophy, and divided in pretty much the same way. Just as there were Idealists and Realists—lovers of pure intellect vs lovers of synthetic concepts of value—so the attempt to supplant philosophy with science in the modern era turned into a war between lovers of theory with its simplifying power and lovers of quantitation and ratios of value.

    Space and time can be used to create ratios, as in Newton, or they can be described as a theoretical unity—but not both. And any attempt to negate the complexity of the ratio and unify then in one simple term apparently leads to the same nothingness as Idealism and Rationalism.

    So what Nietzsche said about philosophers is also true of science at the cultural level. It’s not about truth. It’s about the will to power.

    Now about the length and frequency of Allen’s posts…

  19. 19
    R0b says:

    jerry, interesting thoughts. But I don’t follow your logic:

    If there are an infinite number of universes X, there is a subset of X which is also infinite and contains only universes just like ours and which we will call X1.

    To see why this isn’t necessarily so, consider that this logic implies that X should also contain an infinite subset of universes that are different from ours, which we’ll call X2. But X2 is an infinite set of universes, and it doesn’t contain X1. Thus, it isn’t necessary that an infinite set of universes contain X1.

    This is akin to the mistaken notion that in an infinite number of universes, everything that can happen, will happen. That’s like saying that an infinite set of numbers must contain all numbers, which is incorrect.

  20. 20
    Tommy V says:

    Time before time and infinity are concepts that I am just incapable of truly grasping.

    At some point, I think, we have to accept the limits of our consciousness. At least I have to!

    (Though I am curious why the multi-verse would somehow rebuke the existence of God as some seem to feel)

  21. 21
    Kyrilluk says:

    Does the multiverse help science make sense – or simply destroy science?
    After analysing several centuries of scientific research and focus on the way actual science is being done – not on the way science should be done- Feyerabend came to the conclusion that in science “everything goes”. So from an historical perspective, string theory or multiverse theories are as scientifics as for example heliocentrism. When copernic came up with this ideea, scientific fact of his time were actually in favor of the ideea of the earth being the center of the universe. Hence not being able to test a theory is not “unscientific”.
    Multiverse theory, like all other theory, imply to “believe” in the fact that some mathematical equation give a good model of the reality. Actually, it imply more than that: it imply to believe in a particular interpretation of these equations. Indeed, equations in quantum theory don’t come up with a meaning. The Human is the one creating this meaning.
    Actually, please note the use of the word “believe” in one of the strongest proponent of the multiverse theory, the physicist Lussky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDgzRIiQ4b8
    I do agree with the other comments about the motivation behind the “multiverse” theory. However, avoiding the need of God by refering to an infinity of world with an infinity of possibility make the thing much more complicated. Indeed, if there is an infinity of universe and an infinity of possibility, therefore there must be at least one universe where a God exist. And how can we be sure that this God is not the one that created our universe?
    Conclusion: yes, multiverse theory is science, but no, it’s not a very good help for people in need of clarity and certainty and it’s surely not a good argument against God existence.

  22. 22
    JDH says:

    My thought is that ID people should do all they can to make sure the multiverse gets adopted as the most promising scientific theory. If it does ID people can then put forward this obvious challenge.

    A cash prize should be offered for anyone who can design a doable experiment that would differentiate between a universe which is one universe in a multiverse reality, and a universe which has been designed..

    The experiment must be doable. No trains that travel close to the speed of light, no time travel through supposed worm holes. There must be a proposal that would allow the experiment to be concluded in a finite amount of time, preferably within a typical experimenter’s lifetime. Note the experiment does not have to be conclusive, It just has to show different results for a multiverse universe vs. a designed universe.

    Perhaps we could even include undoable ( thought ) experiments. Even though I have a PhD. in physics, I am not so up on the multiverse theory, but it seems to me by inspection that there is no way for someone in one of these universes to do any experiment that would reveal the existence of the other universes.

    The consequeces of multivers popularity then are:

    Multiverse may or may not be science, but it is no more or no less science that ID is. Wherever multiverse is taught, ID belongs in the same classification.

    Since empirically they are the same, one must decide between them by blind faith. The multiverse or ID are both faith statements. I personally believe that Occam’s razor dictates ID to be the more believable. The only reason I can see to choose multiverse over ID is it excuses you from having to confront the Designer. Maybe some people will become a little more aware of why they make the choice of Darwinism will be made a little more obvious by the popularity of the multiverse.

  23. 23
    jlid says:

    I think the game is given away in the sentence “However, if our universe is part of a multiverse then we can ascribe the value of the cosmological constant to an accident.” Clearly the ability to describe something as an accident is given a philosophical preference; for some reason being able to say “it was just a big accident!” is considered desirable, as if it is associated with good science. I would be interested to hear the reasoning behind this, but suspect that it is merely to avoid the possibility of design in the universe and has nothing to do with definitions of “good science” (who can exactly agree on what science is anyway?).

    Since definitions of science are notoriously slippery, I am hesitant to pronounce the multiverse theory as science or non-science. For the sake of argument, at least, I have no problem considering it to be “science.” I think the focus should be not on whether or not it is properly scientific, but on its underlying assumptions and whether it is warranted given the evidence. This is similar to the approach ID theorists take with Darwinism; it is a scientific theory, sure, but is it true?

    The multiverse theory starts with the assumption that only chance can explain our universe; the only purpose of its bloated ontology is to improve the odds of an explanation settled upon beforehand. This has a rather ad hoc ring to it, and this, I suspect, most can agree is not generally a good characteristic for science to have.

    As for the evidence for the theory, there is none, as far as I can see. In the future it may or may not be possible for experiments to even address the theory. As it stands then, the materialist’s “only game in town” is not attractive as a meaningful explanation. To continue with Steven Wienberg’s analogy, it is as if the card-playing gambler, stuck playing the “only game in town,” is actually across the street from a casino with, say, computerized slot machines. When asked more explicitly why he refused to try them, the gambler replies, “Oh, I never play those machines. I prefer good old-fashioned cards.”

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    R0b,

    Are you saying that the infinite number of universes are generated in some random fashion but that all combinations are not likely? If so then there is some sort of bias in the generation process and the fact that our universe exists is not just a fluke of randomization but somehow preferred by this process to be more likely than others.

    And if the ways that generate universes favors the universe we have then it follows that there are an infinite number of universes just like ours either way you look at it. To say that we are a fluke but there are infinite numbers of other types of universes but not ours would be a very strange claim.

    It is common in mathematics to take infinite subsets of larger sets. Both are infinite but one is contained in the other. Odd integers within all integers. There are even an infinite number of primes which is a much smaller subset of all integers.

  25. 25
    R0b says:

    jerry, if there are an infinite number of universes, then I haven’t the faintest idea of how they’re likely to be distributed. I don’t know what logic could be used to argue that an infinite number of them are like ours. All I know is that it isn’t logically necessary.

    There are even an infinite number of primes which is a much smaller subset of all integers.

    Actually, they’re the same size.

  26. 26
    jasondulle says:

    Given the truth of the anthropic principle, the multiverse is the only way “science-as-methodological-naturalism” can make sense, but if science is, at its heart, is a pursuit to discover the causal truths of the universe (whatever they might be), and if science is an empirical discipline, then both the multiverse and the methodological naturalism that drives it, are derelictions of science.

  27. 27
    john_a_designer says:

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason“, wrote NASA astronomer Robert Jastrow in his book, God and the Astronomers, “the story ends like a bad dream.” Jastrow was talking about the impact of the Big Bang Theory, which by 1978 had virtually eliminated the competing “steady state hypothesis”, which had argued that the universe was eternal and self existent.

    But why should the idea that the universe has a beginning be such a nightmare to some scientists?

    It is because the big bang itself presents a metaphysical road block to both empirical science and worldviews, like materialism and naturalism, that pretend to be based on empirical natural science. Natural science requires some degree of causal continuity. The big bang presents an absolute dead end to any kind of natural causal continuity.

    So what caused the universe to explode into existence?

    I think there are logically three possibilities:

    1. The universe was uncaused. It just happened.
    2. Our universe was caused by some primordial universe (or universes) that preceded it.
    3. Our universe was caused by an eternally existing, or self existing intelligence that ontologically transcends it.

    How can we decide among these three options? While there are probably some people that believe in number one, I think most serious thinkers put their money on number 2 or 3, so I‘ll concentrate there.

    #3 appeals to people who are predisposed to some kind of theistic worldview.

    #2, on the other hand, has an appeal to people who prefer scientific or empirical explanations. #2 is the logical basis for the so called multiverse hypothesis. But how does one empirically prove such an idea? If one universe is the cause of another, how does that happen? Will our universe cause another universe? What evidence do presently have of that? Are these other universes observable?

    Furthermore, the multiverse idea appears to lead to an infinite regress. How can one empirically prove the existence of an infinite regress? How does one empirically prove the existence of anything that is infinite?

    The only thing that #2 seems to have going for it, is that it superficially appears to be scientific. But regrettably, at least for its proponents, it is only a matter of appearances.

    In my opinion, the only thing that gives #2 any life is that is simply unthinkable to some people that the explanation is #3.

    [winner is #27. For a free copy of Expelled, John A Designer needs to send his snail address to me at oleary@sympatico.ca. He will not be added to a mailing list. I do not have a mailing list and do not want one. ]

  28. 28
    jerry says:

    “I don’t know what logic could be used to argue that an infinite number of them are like ours. All I know is that it isn’t logically necessary.”

    If they are randomly distributed in terms of the values of the fundamental constants then there would have to be an infinite number of essentially the same universes as ours. There would be a range within which the fundamental constants would essentially act identically to our universe. Thus, the logic of what I said follows.

    Now I am not an expert on the multiverse hypotheses so do not know what the theories are. Actually I think they are a joke. But if one wants to postulate an infinite number of universes and there is no reason to believe they are not distributed randomly then the logic follows.

    If one wants to say that there are an infinite number of universes but that only one or a finite number are like ours then that would be an interesting assertion essentially saying our universe is special and wasn’t produced by chance. Which I already believe.

    Yes you are right that mathematically the set of prime numbers is considered the same size as the set of integers. They can be mapped onto each other. But this has nothing to do with the content of my comment which is based on the assumption that there will be an infinite number of universes almost exactly or identical to ours.

    If you want to carry this on, be my guest but I think the whole thing is a joke and have little interest in it except to show the absurdity of the use of the multiverse to get around the existence of a creator.

    The multiverse without a God still begs the question of why anything exists.

  29. 29
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    This question has a very easy answer, which I shall phrase in the form of a question.

    “How could pure unadulterated horse sh*t possibly HELP science?”

  30. 30
    R0b says:

    jerry, just trying to understand your logic. I still have questions about it, but I’m dropping the subject.

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    R0b,

    Try to explain why there wouldn’t be a infinite set X1 containing universes just like our universe. Why would X1 be finite? It certainly exists since it contains our universe.

    X1 does not have to be a set of universes exactly the same as our universe but they are similar enough that they would look and act the same because the fundamental constants would be essentially the same.

    Once you get to X1 then the rest follows.

  32. 32
    Bruce David says:

    To Tommy V (#20)

    You said,
    “Though I am curious why the multi-verse would somehow rebuke the existence of God as some seem to feel”

    It isn’t that the multi-verse rebukes the existence of God. Rather, it allows people to avoid the almost inescapable conclusion (from the Big Bang and “fine tuning”) that the Universe was created by an entity that wanted life as we know it to be possible (i.e., God).

  33. 33
    Kyrilluk says:

    @JDH: you said: “Note the experiment does not have to be conclusive, It just has to show different results for a multiverse universe vs. a designed universe.”

    The problem with such an experiment is that you assume that the law of physics are necessary the same in both case. It seems to me that the mutiverse theory speak about universes that don’t have necessarily the same law of physics (where for example the law of conservation of energy doesn’t hold or where two masses repulse one another, etc..). Therefore designing such an experiment is quite challenging and beyond “naturalistic science”.

  34. 34
    Avonwatches says:

    {‘inspired’ by the end of TM Enlgish’s #12 post, the ‘I know I gave the wrong answer’, here is my take on a Yes response to the question. If it reads like a rehash of my #6 response, then apologies, but I have difficulties ignoring the limitations of the issue.}

    “Does the multiverse help science make sense – or simply destroy science?”

    Yes (almost).

    In scientific investigation, frequently we have limitations in our study, whether imposed by us or inherent in the nature of our methodology/existence.

    Diagnosing a patient can often run into similar problems, whether it be insensitive tests or lack of money to perform a MRI/CT, etc. Or a possible disease might be incurable, and thus there would be little purpose investigating it (especially if the clock is ticking!). In such an instance, we acknowledge the possibility, but then discard it because we will not follow it through. This does not destroy science, and allows us to proceed onto more worthwhile testing/thinking.

    With regards to the multiverse, these factors may be things such as ‘I believe everything is material’, or that ‘I will never acknowledge a deity’, etc. We make a note that we are unable to follow these paths (e.g. non-materialistic) for whatever our reasons are, and then proceed.

    Within this avenue of investigation, we may never find a true result. The patient might die because we are unwilling to pay for MRI and expose the problem. However, we find the best explaination within the criteria – tests, thinking – we are willing to use.

    *Ultimately, while the above sounds like a reasonable response (at first), it is fatally flawed within the context of the multiverse subject: we are not performing a controlled study, but doing pure exploration about the nature of reality. In pure exploration the goal is an ultimate truth. Anything that prevents such a truth must be eliminated from our research.
    Still, I had a go ^^.

  35. 35
    Shazard says:

    Multiverse is bad science imo.

    Reason is that I don’t know what could be empirical experiment to proove or disproove it. By the very nature of multiverse, each of potential verses there has different laws of physics. How do you probe such universe.

    I will demonstarte it by IT case. Imagine that each universe is kind a comupter which runs it’s software purely on it’s own hardware by it’s own unique rules.
    Another computer int he multivers can have very different hardware, with very diferent software rules and very different software.
    Now all we have as software on our computer is possibility to probe that other computer with our own “protocols”. And I guarantee that all we will get back (if will get back) will be gibrish! Nothingness… So you can consider quantum buzz of quantum vaccum such “noise” from Multiverse… that’s all.. You can call it “Multiverse” but in reality it gives nothing to anybody.
    And even if our own software breakes down at the very begining of our universe, then the point of darkness is this BB moment… we can’t go beyond it no matter how hard we want. Empirically it is impossible to see multiverse.

    Now other approach would be mathematical “game”. But… mathematical model of Multiverse should explain atleast on universe which we can observe empirically – ours. If the model of Multiverse can’t explain our own Universe in it’s functionality, then mathematical model is nothing… it is cartoon!

    Another thing… if we consider Multvierse as one set of universes, then what is the context of Multvierse ontologically… what is interaction nature betwen these universes… Is there some channels of “information” leaking between them… Or are there “meta-laws” which govern all the universes, and performs random constant shuffling? Is there even some predefined constant set to be shuffled?

  36. 36
    R0b says:

    jerry, I got the sense from [28] that you wanted to drop the subject, but it appears that you don’t, so I’ll bite.

    Try to explain why there wouldn’t be a infinite set X1 containing universes just like our universe.

    Because universes might be generated in such a way that they’re all unique. As I said, I have no idea how an infinite set of universes would be distributed. But you seem to have an idea, and I’m wondering what your logic behind it is. Why is the distribution likely to be random? And if it’s random over the infinite possibilities, why is the density of universes in possibility space likely to be high enough that another universe, let alone an infinite number of universes, would be close to ours?

    I’m not trying to cause trouble. I’m just curious.

  37. 37
    Jack Golightly says:

    Nothing in Physics makes sense except in the light of Multiverse.

  38. 38
    jerry says:

    R0b,

    I am not interested in dropping the subject per se. In fact if you will read my next comment you will see I am willing to bring this up again and again whenever the multiverse concept is discussed.

    I am just not interested in senseless challenges for the sake of challenge. I would really like to see someone provide a reason why X1 is not infinite when our universe is in X1 and there are an infinite number of universes. Not every universe is necessarily the same in X1 but the differences are all within an epsilon as small as you want of each other(Calculus lingo.)

    What logic says we are unique in the infinite universe scenario (there are only a finite number just like us) and other universes are clumped together in infinite concentrations of similarity.

  39. 39
    jerry says:

    The multiverse concept makes great sense and thus great science.

    Instead of obviating the need for a creator it actually entails the existence of an infinite number of intelligences with the capability of creating universes and additional multiverses.

    Which then becomes the cause for infinitely more creator level intelligences? Ad infinitum.

    So each multiverse entails an infinite number of multiverses which are themselves infinite.

    Corollary – When these creators fight with each other we get the thunder and lightning in the sky. QED

  40. 40
    R0b says:

    jerry,

    What logic says we are unique in the infinite universe scenario (there are only a finite number just like us) and other universes are clumped together in infinite concentrations of similarity.

    I don’t think that anyone has made that claim. You’re the one making the claim, so it seems that you should be the one providing the logic to support it.

    My questions in 36 still stand, but I’m not curious enough to keep pressing the issue.

  41. 41
    CannuckianYankee says:

    April 21st, 2196 UPI

    Scientists at the U.S. Multiverse Exploration Center (USMEC) in Santa Monica California have reported a breakthrough discovery of universal proportions. Dr. Simon Schleppewicks, MEC spokesman states that a new universe has been located through use of the new detection technique called UDT. Scientists have been able to detect that there is an alternate planet Earth in that universe, and have made several other startling discoveries. Among them is that in that particular universe, there exists no evidence of a multiverse whatsoever, contrary to the obvious evidence we have in our own. However, Schleppewicks explains that this fact is to be expected, since scientists have been able to determine that anything possible exists in at least one of the infinite number of universes that does exist.

    Another startling discovery about the other planet Earth, is that they have people of beliefs other than Darwinism, and they actually have people who question evolution. Dr. Schleppewicks explains that on the alternate planet Earth most scientists believe in a “Big Bang” event, which explains their univeres’s beginning. Of course, our scientists reject such unscientific nonesense, having firmly established the theory of Flying Spaghetti Monster cosmology. Another fascinating peculiarity of the alternate planet Earth is that mice and other rodents don’t spontaneously generate out of trash heaps as they do here on our planet, and the sun is not in the center of their universe, like it is here. Another difference is that they don’t have Klingons, Vulcans or Cardassians in the alternate universe, but strangely, they do have a mythology based on these species. Scientists have not yet been able to discover the source of this mythology.

    Dr. Schleppewicks and his coleagues anticipate discovering many more peculiarities about this alternate universe that has not been detected in the countless others that have been discovered since the use of UDT first began two years ago.

    Dr. Schleppewicks imagines that in this newly discovered universe they might actually believe that vegetables contain healthy nutrients, and that tobacco has been ruled unhealthy. But Dr. Schleppewicks cautions that these ideas are mere speculation on his part, but since he is a scientist, they hold a much greater probability of being true.

    Jonathan Blakely, Staff reporter

  42. 42
    womanatwell says:

    One of Alan Guth’s papers, “Inflation,” describes eternal inflationary models which theoretically can lead to multiverses, including new and chaotic theories. It is found here (from: Carnegie Series of Astrophysics Series, Vol. 2):

    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0404546

    What is interesting is that in the conclusion (p21 in the pdf article link from this abstract), he says, “I have also described, however, that our picture of eternal inflation is not complete. In particular, we still do not understand how to define probabilities in an eternally inflating spacetime.”

    How can the probability of infinite universes be figured out if infinite universes wipe out probabilities?

    Many science disciplines are based at least in part on probabilities: the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution (describing the kinetic theory of matter); thermodynamics; even quantum mechanics. If the probabilities of biology are wiped out by the multiverse, so are they in all of science.

    Kurt Gödel analyzed mathematical logic (formal) systems and concluded in his famous Incompleteness Theorem that no formal system is totally consistent and complete. Although Gödel worked this theorem out for number systems, Stephen Hawking has linked it to the idea that physics may never have all the answers:

    http://www.physics.sfasu.edu/a.....030308.htm

    A common example of the self-referential, nonsensical loop that eventually surfaces is: This sentence is false. If the sentence is true it is false and if false it is true.

    As for multiverse theories:

    METHINKS IT IS GUTH MEETS GÖDEL.

  43. 43
    spark300c says:

    multiverse is mess. our universe has at lease four dimensions. The four is connected to the other three. Time travel is imposable since requires to effect the other three on universal scale.slowing down time does not effect the other three but reversing does. time travel is only passable if there is anther set of dimensions. Also time travel can create parallel universes. The evidence for multiverse is quantum particles seeming to places at once. The problems that multiverse rules out more integrated dimensions or other states existence in the same universe I think there could more integrated dimensions or other state of existence. Also if supernatural exist then it exist on some state or some integrated dimension.

  44. 44
    Lock says:

    Though I personally believe it is very much wrong, the multiverse helps science make sense in 2 ways:

    1. It confirms for me that science and philosophy are utterly indivisible.

    2. It confirms the existence of an ultimate reality in which all things consist.

    In my estimation, it is not so much that the multiverse is wrong, it is that it uses the wrong language.

    The barriers to observing the past (ie. big bang) create real language barriers to describing reality before the creation (or appearance) of the universe.

    The material terminology we use in modern science simply fails to harness the concepts needed to address the matter.

    So what language can we use?

    A man once posed the question to me:

    “Since the fundamental measurements deal only with ‘what’ (and ‘when’) issues in relation to observations of the universe perhaps you might present some measureable parameters of your own that deal with something other than ‘what and when’ conditionals of language…

    …Exactly how do you propose to apply the temporal word “cause” to less than planck time instance when it is meaningless to speak of any fundamentals of nature including time?”

    The parameters are very simple…

    In place of ‘what, how, and when’ we equate these matters with terminology such as, ‘who why and will’. The difficulty is easily overcome by leaving materialistic language behind.

    What cannot be explained or justified, is the demand that our language be limited to the material descriptions. There is nothing objective about such a demand.

    Some naturalists reassure us (and with great zeal), that our language cannot elucidate such matters, but they limit our language to material parameters. All this while admitting that such parameters fail in the beginning moments of the universe.

    I’ll tell you what doesn’t fail in the beginning. And it isn’t space, time, matter, or energy. Those terms do fail us in the beginning because they do not apply until after the big bang.

    What doesn’t fail is, ‘In the beginning… God’.

    The problem with the multiverse is not that it is totally wrong. It is partially wrong.

    In the modern scientific tradition it continues to paint ultimate reality as a ‘what’, when the only language that even fits the questions coherently is the language of ‘who’.

    They ask the wrong questions. It is not ‘what is reality?’

    We musn’t forget to consider asking ‘Who is reality?’

  45. 45
    Bruce David says:

    Denyse,

    As I was waking up this morning, a slightly expanded version of my response to your question popped into my head, so I would like this to be my official response, if that’s ok with you:

    The really wacky and weird aspect of the multiverse theory is that each universe would have laws of physics and cosmology that are the same in form, but with different values for the constants. Since (as far as I know) no restraints are put on how much each constant can vary from universe to universe, the theory posits an essentially infinite number of other universes. There is really no scientific justification for this assumption of the variability of the constants from universe to universe. Clearly, the motive for incorporating it into the theory is to generate enough probabilistic resources for our own universe, with its anthropic fine tuning, not to be wildly improbable.

    Thus, the theory of the multiverse is fundamentally an attempt to avoid the otherwise inescapable conclusion that follows from the Big Bang and fine tuning, namely, Yes, folks, there is a God.

    Nonetheless, in my opinion it isn’t science, notwithstanding the fact that the idea seems to have been suggested by the notion of the quantum vacuum, because, as the opponents of ID are so fond of trumpeting, “If it ain’t testable, it ain’t science.”

    What it is is speculation on the ultimate nature of reality, which makes it philosophy. But it’s not very good philosophy either, if you accept the validity of Occam’s razor, since the number of universes in the multiverse would be infinite (assuming that the multiverse has been around forever) whereas the number of additional entities in the alternative (God created the Heavens and the Earth.) is One.

  46. 46
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Lock,

    Re: #43 Excellent post. If Denyse doesn’t get to the post office early Monday morning and send you a DVD or some other goodie, I’ll be very disappointed. 🙂

    Was it because of Mother’s Day that you chose to give to the multiverse (the mother of all preposterous ideas) it’s due?

    Anyway,

    “It confirms for me that science and philosophy are utterly indivisible.”

    Very true. Except that when some (not all) materialist theorists do philosophy they have a tendency to deny that they are doing so. They often believe that science exists in a vacuum of “empiricism.” but one has to wonder; if Einstein had not done philosophy, would he have come up with relativity?

    In the same vein, contrary philosophy to one’s own helps to strengthen one’s own perspective. For example, If there was no prior Darwinism, would ID have been theorized in the way it is rigorously posited (and challenged) today?

    I thank you for changing my perspective on this issue, because I was headed in the direction of it not helping science.

  47. 47
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Denyse,

    After reading over my “essays” I realize that I have broken most of your rules – the one here is not actually an essay, but a fictional news article from the multiverse, and the one I posted in question 2 is over 400 words long. So my posts should be seen as (perhaps and hopefully) entertaining diversions, and not actual entries.

  48. 48
    jerry says:

    This is the formalization of my proposition for Denyse.

    The multiverse is a science stopper because it entails an infinite number of gods or creators of universes.

    If there are an infinite number of universes, let us denote all these universes by the set X (this is a hypothesis of more than one version of the multiverse concept.) There will be a subset of X, which is also infinite and contains only universes just like ours that enable life, which we call X1 (these multiverse theories consider the laws governing the universes to be distributed randomly both in terms of form and the relevant constants.)

    In X1 there will be a subset, which is also infinite where life arose naturally, say X2 (whatever factors that led to life arising will be repeated an infinite number of times). So there will be an infinite number of universes just like ours where life arose naturally. In X2 which is infinite there will be a subset X3 which is also infinite that has an intelligence much greater than us.

    In X3 there will be some intelligences so far out that we would be in complete awe of their magnitude. Now these intelligences in which we are in awe and the universes in which they reside also form an infinite number of universes that we will call X4. Now in X4 some of these intelligences will be able to make new universes and communicate and travel to the other universes and this subset will be called X5 and X5 will also be infinite. And each intelligence in X5 will be given a name, which we will call god.

    So the infinite multiverse theory means that there will be an infinite number of gods or creators. QED.

    And if one member in X5 is more intelligent than the rest, then maybe one of these gods is called God by the other gods.

    Now if we do not have an infinite number of universes but some paltry number such as 10^500 as thought likely by some versions of string theory then what are the odds of getting an X5 type universe. I would say probably pretty good.

    Either way the multiverse theory has created a lot of gods or more than likely an infinite number of them.

  49. 49
    Lock says:

    CY,

    Thanks for the kind words in both threads…

    It’s obvious we are on the same chapter if not the very same page. I understand everything you said very well, and agree. Naturally I just say it a little differently, but all add theer unique take to the picture.

    I was only trying to point out that it isn’t a science stopper in the sense that any other wrong theory (eg geocentrism) is not a science stopper. We correct and move on…

    … or so it should be.

    Why don’t we?

    It’s the philosophy that is the real stopper, and where the real battle is in my mind. In the beginning was the Word, and it is our language that often covertly disguises assumptions and implications that follow quite naturally.

    And like you said, many a naturalist denies that their view is even philosophy. They had better either ignorantly or intentionally if they want to win politically.

    My other point (eluded to in the other thread) is that we cannot argue them into submmission. Spiritual battles cannot be won politically. They are playing politics, not genuine science in right relationship with its underlying and inevitable philosophy.

    In other words, we cannot beat them. We can argue until we are blue in the face. They cannot hear us. As in your case and mine, God Himself must be heard through whatever person or impersonal medium God shooses to use.

    But not even God will force them to concede. If they want to play god and insist on doing so (at whatever level) we must remember that He put the fruit there to eat. It’s a choice.

    The very first man could not resist it. At this horrible time, we now have centuries of sophistry to lean on to justify consuming something so pleasing to the eye and proud will.

    Like me, you have obviously argued alot. We may have even crossed paths at EVC or elsewhere. And to what frustration?

    I was only trying to remind everyone (and myself) that it is impossible with man. Only god can convert and break through the barriers. But He will use us to do it if we remember that it is His name and not our own.

    Speaking for myself, it has so often been about me.

  50. 50
    Frost122585 says:

    Is Mutliverse “the way” to do science?

    In today’s culture there is much controversy in the field of science. There is even the problem of defining science as a term. My definition of science is

    Science- an imperfect logically consistent framework whereby we seek new knowledge though, investigation, experimentation and reasoning.

    When we do science we “seek knowledge though investigation, experimentation and reasoning. The question then is what benefit can the hypothesis of a mutliverse model yield for science?

    I think we would be hard pressed to find any. To begin with there is not even a scintilla of evidence for multi-universes in existence. multiverse much like Materialism is actually a philosophical position- an apriori commitment, which comes out of the unsupported hypothesis that every event happens simply due to a necessary chance or total gamut of possibilities – and that it is the sum total of all possible events that characterizes and explains the true nature of our universe.

    Besides there being to evidence and hence no reason to adopt the multiverse perspective the second problem is that the logic and rezoning of multiverse as an explanation is completely wrong. The questions that science deals with must first fall within the bounds of epistemology. If science claims to have revealed something that we know he cannot know – then we know there is a problem- and conversely if science claims to explain something that we possibly can know but fails to demonstrate it’s conclusion though supportive, logically consistent, reasoning and facts then we have to dismiss it’s claim again on grounds of invalidity, unsoundness or simply not being cogent.

    Multiverse fails every logical test. It has no hard facts or physical evidence to back it up. Even if there was evidence a multiverse would still not explain why there is an infinite (or any particular number) of universes vs. any other number or finite number. Then multiverse cannot explain the physical causation of the big bang model- which even for materialists should be disheartening. Further it does not describe or allow for an explanation of what actually causes the “choosing.” Chance merely allows and makes reasonable a natural event- but it does not explain include or elucidate the mechanism that makes chance a reality.

    In truth all that multiverse does is create physics papers. It is only favored because it uses a very simple mechanism (if you even believe it to be one) of chance to purchase and circumvent the very real- very rational and very evident physical universe withal of its beautiful symmetry, geometry, laws and of course the miracle of original causation or perhaps even Creation if you want.

  51. 51
    vjtorley says:

    To further the cause of genuine science, the multiverse must do all of these things:

    (a) generate strikingly successful observational predictions (an absolute minimum requirement for a theory that goes beyond space and time);

    (b) provide both cosmology and physics with a unifying fundamental theory, as it has to explain both the history of the cosmos and the entire range of its constituent particles;

    (c) supply scientists with a “beauty yardstick”, that would at once enable them to (i) gauge the elegance of any theory of physics and (ii) ascertain that the theory instantiated by the multiverse itself is maximally elegant – i.e. the kind of theory we’d expect God would choose to build the cosmos;

    (d) specify the amount of information required for the maximally elegant multiverse to generate a universe able to support intelligent life, like our own;

    (e) be finite, and no “bigger” than it has to be to satisfy requirement (d) as parsimoniously as possible;

    (f) reveal the hand of God by uncovering, somewhere in the cosmos, the program code which God used to create both the cosmos at large and the particular universe we live in – for without this code, the multiverse would merely further the cause of atheism;

    (g) in particular, reveal a “global” program that no finite intelligence within the multiverse could possibly have created;

    (h) be free of any metaphysical baggage that would rule out either human freedom (no determinism, please) or Divine intervention, if God so wishes (no clockwork universe, please).

  52. 52

    Naturalism claims nature has no care, concern, or favor for life; instead life is merely an unplanned, un-designed accident – Designer not required. However, modern evidence contradicts naturalism; by showing the Universe itself is exceedingly finely-tuned for the existence of life. The Universe looks designed for life; an observation that would falsify naturalism.

    In response, evolutionists attempt to save naturalism by adding an untestable, unfalsifiable assertion. That is, they claim there exists (in reality or in potentiality) an infinitude of other universes unlike our own – they call it “Multiverses” – and therefore, on average there is no design, rather we just happen to be in an exceedingly rare universe; perhaps the only one suitable for life. In this way evolutionists claim a Designer is still not required. I call it a dilution argument because evolutionists respond to the design they actually see by attempting to dilute-it-away into nothing, by artificially adding an infinitude of unseen non-design.

    Nearly all leading evolutionists embrace testability as a requirement of science: (1) in all their court cases, and (2) by routinely using it as a weapon against their opponents. Therefore, since the Multiverses idea is not testable, we justifiably conclude it is unscientific. Ironically, evolutionists now embrace their own version of the supernatural – Multiverses – which is unscientific.

    [Note: How do evolutionists respond when their own explanations are untestable and therefore unscientific? Answer: By jettisoning the testability requirement! Evolutionary cosmologist, Leonard Susskind does that in his book on this subject, The Cosmic Landscape. Other evolutionists scarcely notice, much less object, to their double-standard.]

    By contrast the creationist/ID version of the supernatural is testable science, when approached properly. For example, we are driven to accept the supernatural by following the fine-tuning evidence where it leads. When the Universe itself shows design, the designer must have supernatural capabilities.

    For another example, the idea that “the origin-of-life requires an intelligent designer” is testable (and frequently tested), as is also a finite-age Universe (as indicated by Big Bang theories and the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics). These are all scientifically testable, and individually none of them even mentions the supernatural, yet when combined together, logical self-consistency leads us scientifically to the existence of a supernatural agency.

    The creationist/ID version of the supernatural is backed by testable science, while the evolutionist version of the supernatural – Multiverses – is an untestable, unscientific attempt to escape from the evidence.

  53. 53
    tribune7 says:

    The creationist/ID version of the supernatural is backed by testable science, while the evolutionist version of the supernatural – Multiverses – is an untestable, unscientific attempt to escape from the evidence.

    A very good point!

  54. 54
    O'Leary says:

    The contest is now closed, as I am now beginning to look over the entries. If you don’t win, enter another contest.

    There are two still going, and another to be announced shortly.

    And if this contest thing takes off, I will be offered more prizes to give out.

    Contest winner is #27. For a free copy of Expelled, John A Designer needs to send his snail address to me at oleary@sympatico.ca. He will not be added to a mailing list. I do not have a mailing list and do not want one.

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