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Despite lack of evidence, the multiverse gets a plug in Nature again

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In the form of a softball review of a multiverse book, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality:

Multiverse theory stands in stark opposition to the belief that there should be some reason, perhaps a Theory of Everything, that determines physical laws such as the types of particle that exist and the ways in which they interact. In the multiverse picture, it is all an accident. …

Like the tornado in the junkyard, only bigger, much bigger?

Once seen as a fringe interest of dubious scientific validity, the multiverse has developed a serious following. Steven Weinberg used it in 1987 to predict that our observable Universe ought to have a non-zero cosmological constant, probably of a magnitude great enough to accommodate the acceleration of the Universe’s expansion. To everyone’s surprise, this was verified a decade later through observations of distant supernovae by two teams of astronomers. Those who led the work, Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt, won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Subsequently, string theory and inflationary cosmology were recognized as providing a setting that could predict, or at least motivate, the existence of a multiverse. (paywall)

If Weinberg had used Aztec cosmology to make his prediction, would that have given Aztec cosmology more traction, absent any other light it shed? It’s relevant that string theory and inflationary cosmology have troubles enough of their own these days, and are not exactly beacons of illumination.

But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists.

By the way, what does it mean to “motivate” the existence of a multiverse?

See also: Science Fictions

FWIW, The Nobel prize used to be considered an award for lifetime achievement or something. This particular award, in 2011, makes about as much sense as giving Barack Hussein Obama a Peace-Prize after one week in office. It devalues the coin of the realm. What is particularly galling about the 2011 prize, is that there are easily 5 other, more traditional and more compelling explanations for the data. But simply that the data might be construed as possibly bolstering dark energy, the award was given. In my eyes, the award was given in order to keep a $1bn NASA mission to find "Dark Energy" on the books. In other words, like the Peas Prize, it was given for Future accomplishments. And you all know how well that worked out for the Norwegians... Robert Sheldon
What an irony, astronomy making astrology seem respectable! I suppose, given their seemingly endless propensity for radical dissembling, now that physics is meeting the barrier to them of the non-local / supernatural(!), such desperation on the part of the atheism's finest was inevitable. We can surely expect them to stage a hilariously-fascinating circus from now on. I was going to say, more and more riotously farcical, but they seem to have cut out the middle-man of imbecility, and plumped straight for cretinism. Axel
The bulk flow didn't show up in CMBR (Planck paper rejected the observation as it was not statistically significant), so String theory proponents jumped to the Douglas Denef string theory landscape and have claimed the CMBR hints the following: - Cold spot of about 10 degree in CMBR. - Void like region at k=1 and the derivations because of that- another 5 or so bunch of observations. So, as far as String theorists are concerned they think CMBR is observable proof of multiverse. The point is String theory is a marvelous theory, so well written and so hard to falsify -because its manifolds can only be probed at energy level we can't possibly achieve in the near future- that it will stay alive. The only fast way to kill the theory is to upgrade the LHC to show at least some of the SUSY particles predicted don't exist, that will put breaks on the stupid papers flowing out of the theory. selvaRajan
Does anybody have ANY observational evidence of the multiverse? I rest my case....... Andre
It's the same tactic used with darwin's myth: Repeat something often enough and it will become 'fact' in the consciousness of society....no need for evidence. Blue_Savannah
The fact that there is a book on the multiverse hypothesis by a well cited and published physicist is telling. It simply shows that modern physics is a farce. Why not the flat earth hypothesis, while we're at it? Mapou
No, what Nature is doing is presenting a book review of a book written by Max Tegmark on Tegmark's Mathematical universe hypothesis. He is a well cited and published physicist so simple to see why Nature would take interest. It is remarkable that O'Leary has managed to skip the topic of the review to then grind some axe about "multiverses". Lincoln Phipps

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