Or correct. Or incorrect. Nothing is. Physicists are simply beginning to act as though they realize that and it’s okay. We are animals and animals are never wrong. We just win or lose power struggles.
Yesterday, we noted that Peter “Not Even Wrong” Woit thinks that 2016 was the worst year ever for fake physics. He noted an item by Marcus Woo, at ScienceFriday, “Why the Multiverse Isn’t Just Madness”
The multiverse—the idea that infinite universes stretch beyond our own—has gained traction among physicists. But others think it’s just a multi-mess.
Alternate realities, parallel dimensions, and multiple universes. Whatever you call it, the notion of other versions of existence is one of the most popular tropes in science fiction. In some other universe, you’re not reading this sentence but skydiving. In another, you’re nothing but a cockroach. In yet another, not only is life impossible, but atoms don’t even exist.
In recent years, though, such seemingly crazy ideas have shifted from fantasy and speculation toward bona fide science. Even among physicists, the multiverse has gone mainstream.
Theoretically, infinite universes might stretch beyond our own, like endless bubbles in a sea of boiling water. Each bubble has its own laws of physics, and although we may never visit or even see another bubble, some physicists say growing evidence is making the multiverse increasingly plausible—and even probable.
“Fifteen years ago, when you talked about the multiverse, the attitude of many physicists was just ridicule,” says Alex Vilenkin, a physicist at Tufts University. “But there has been a great change in attitude.” More.
The change in attitude has been a more clearly stated willingness to accept non-evidence-based theorizing over evidence from this universe (because the evidence from our univese suggests fine-tuning or design).
As that attitude metastasizes, science disciplines will change beyond recognition. Persons with an attractive, though evidence-scant, theory will certainly like and promote the change. And science becomes politics by other means.
See also: 2016 the worst year ever for fake physics? Some think it is reasonable to believe in a multiverse, without evidence, because one must otherwise confront the evidence that our universe is designed as actual evidence. Such thinkers will always find whatever multiverse they are looking for.
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