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Science at sunset: Dark energy might make a multiverse hospitable to life, IF it exists

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artistic impression of a multiverse/Jaime Salcido, EAGLE Collaboration

From ScienceDaily:

Questions about whether other universes might exist as part of a larger Multiverse, and if they could harbour life, are burning issues in modern cosmology.

Now new research led by Durham University, UK, and Australia’s University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and the University of Western Australia, has shown that life could potentially be common throughout the Multiverse, if it exists.

The key to this, the researchers say, is dark energy, a mysterious “force” that is accelerating the expansion of the Universe.

Scientists say that current theories of the origin of the Universe predict much more dark energy in our Universe than is observed. Adding larger amounts would cause such a rapid expansion that it would dilute matter before any stars, planets or life could form.

The Multiverse theory, introduced in the 1980s, can explain the “luckily small” amount of dark energy in our Universe that enabled it to host life, among many universes that could not.

Using huge computer simulations of the cosmos, the new research has found that adding dark energy, up to a few hundred times the amount observed in our Universe, would actually have a modest impact upon star and planet formation.

This opens up the prospect that life could be possible throughout a wider range of other universes, if they exist, the researchers said. Paper. (paywall) – Jaime Salcido, Richard G Bower, Luke A Barnes, Geraint F Lewis, Pascal J Elahi, Tom Theuns, Matthieu Schaller, Robert A Crain, Joop Schaye. The impact of dark energy on galaxy formation. What does the future of our Universe hold? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2018; 477 (3): 3744 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty879 More.

It’s not clear that dark energy even exists or that there is any way to test for the existence of a multiverse.

What is clear is that it doesn’t really matter: “This opens up the prospect that life could be possible throughout a wider range of other universes, if they exist, the researchers said. ” Yes, that minor, inconvenient question surfaces again: Do they really exist?

It’s hard to believe that stuff like this is considered “science.” It clearly serves a psychological purpose, probably to keep people from having to consider what their research really points to. To the rest of us, it reads like people trying to imagine what Fairyland would be like, if it exists.

See also: Stephen Hawking’s final theory scales back multiverse

and

The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide

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