That is the only claim for evolution that has ever mattered to pop culture. Which is, of course, when it gets interesting:
After watching the Breakthrough Prize awards tonight, tomorrow night on the Science Channel you can watch a program that actually features physicists rather than Hollywood/Silicon Valley celebrities. There’s an hour long infomercial for the Multiverse, entitled “Which Universe Are We In?”. You get to hear from
Max Tegmark starting and ending the show with a generic promotional spiel about how wonderful the multiverse is. And others, similar.
The audience is informed that the BICEP findings provided support for the multiverse. Actually, that was just Scientific American oping to persuade Nature readers. And as Woit notes,
No mention of tedious things like dust. This multiverse is all new and shiny, slices, dices, provides every reality you could possibly want.
Woit is here referring to actual news like: Planck satellite data says that big BICEP2 cosmic inflation multiverse was just dust and BICEP2: Why it matters if those gravitational waves were just dust.
But why don’t we all see? If the multiverse is true by definition (just gotta be true), it doesn’t even matter if the gravitational waves were just dust in this one universe’s reality. Because the multiverse “provides every reality you could possibly want.”
Will they try to jam it into tax-funded textbooks?
Peiris acknowledges that this argument has its critics. “It can predict anything, and therefore it’s not valid,” Peiris said of the reasoning typically used to dismiss the notion of a multiverse as a tautology, rather than a true scientific theory. “But I think that’s the wrong way to think about it.” The theory of evolution, Peiris argues, also resembles a tautology in certain respects — “an organism exists because it survived” — yet it holds tremendous explanatory power. It is a simple model that requires little initial input to produce the vast diversity of species we see today.
A multiverse model tied to eternal inflation could have the same kind of explanatory power. In this case, the bubble universes function much like speciation. Those universes that happen to have the right laws of physics will eventually “succeed” — that is, they will become home to conscious observers like ourselves. If our universe is one of many in a much larger multiverse, our existence seems less unlikely.
Woit points out that bubble collision “predictions” are not falsifiable (but then one multiverse cosmologist wants to get rid of falsifiability as a criterion).
He notes that the WMAP-7 data didn’t see anything in the cosmic microwave background, which means that the simplest explanation that fits the facts is that there is no evidence that these colliding universes dot the sky (Occam’s Razor). But one philosopher of science so far also wants to dump Occam’s Razor.
Prediction: Assuming it hasn’t happened already, the ultimate goal will be: the duty to discount evidence that does not support the multiverse
Along these lines, see David Klinghoffer’s assessment of the Quanta article, cited by Woit.
And see also: The multiverse: Where everything turns out to be true, except philosophy and religion
As if the multiverse wasn’t bizarre enough …meet Many Worlds
But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists
Multiverse cosmology: Assuming that evidence still matters, what does it say?
In search of a road to reality
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