Intelligent Design Multiverse

Science writer critiques the “many worlds” (multiverse) fantasy; Rob Sheldon weighs in

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We don’t often see science writers breaking with the crowd and engaging in common sense reflection. The multiverse is too Hot, too Cool, too Whatever for that. But now:

But how, some ask, can we accept as truly scientific a proposition that can never be demonstrated to be true? Many Worlders reply that the truth of their interpretation is there for all to see in the Schrödinger equation itself; the onus is instead on other interpretations of the theory, which are forced to add something to the equation to explain how it “breaks” to give a unique outcome.

In other words, while some object that the Many Worlds Interpretation is poor science because it is too profligate with universes, Many Worlders say that it is in fact the most parsimonious interpretation in terms of assumptions. The truth is that neither of these positions is a strong argument.

A more serious objection to Many Worlds Interpretation is that it doesn’t explain how probabilities enter into quantum mechanics via Born’s rule for extracting an expected outcome from a wavefunction. How can we say that there is a 50% probability of outcome A (which we can verify experimentally) if the truth is that all outcomes always happen (in some world or other) with 100% probability? Some Many Worlders say that these probabilities should be understood instead as the “weighting” of the branches in a quantum split – what Nolan calls the “intensity”. But that doesn’t in itself mean much. If outcomes A and B have probabilities of 75 and 25%, say, this doesn’t make the universe in which B happens any less real, absolute or robust than that for A.

Philip Ball, “The many worlds fantasy” at IAI.TV

Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon offers, “Very briefly, Philip Ball, a truly outstanding science journalist, argues that Everett’s Many World’s Interpretation (MWI) of QM is trying to solve a QM paradox that has been better solved by the decoherence interpretation (DI). I tend to agree. But the test of a theory is its predictions and MWI makes no predictions, whereas DI has made several successful predictions and has experimentalists working on several new angles. So in addition to prediction, one might say that MWI can’t be falsified, whereas DI can be falsified—which makes MWI an inferior theory to boot.”

Likely so. But the multiverse isn’t really about evidence or falsifiability. The theory is held in defiance of the demand for evidence and believed in such a way as to make falsifiability sound unCool. As Ball perceptively notes, “Even though most physicists dismiss or even deride it, it is often eagerly embraced by physics popularizers and their audiences.” Perhaps it is best described as a lifestyle choice.

3 Replies to “Science writer critiques the “many worlds” (multiverse) fantasy; Rob Sheldon weighs in

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Well, while I agree with with Philip Ball and Rob Sheldon that MWI is absurd, I disagree with them that decoherence interpretation (DI) is the better solution.

    As the following video clearly explains around the 4:00 minute mark, DI does not, indeed can not, explain quantum wave collapse,

    The Measurement Problem in quantum mechanics – (Inspiring Philosophy) – 2014 video
    https://youtu.be/qB7d5V71vUE?t=237

    And as Steven Weinberg explained to Sabine Hossenfelder, “strictly speaking, within quantum mechanics itself there is no decoherence.”

    Lost in Math: The Particle Physics Quandary – 3 April 2019 – Wolfgang Smith
    Excerpt: ,,, What is it, however, which renders that (admittedly “limited”) “theory from the last century” — the one that “has no shortcomings whatsoever” — to be “not-understandable,” to use Sabine’s own term? It appears that Steven Weinberg — one of the greatest physicists of our time — has provided the crucial clue. In response to a question put to him by Sabine Hossenfelder, he states:
    “You can very well understand quantum mechanics in terms of an interaction of the system you’re studying with an external environment which includes an observer. But this involves a quantum mechanical system interacting with a macroscopic system that produces the decoherence between different branches of the initial wave function. And where does that come from? That should be described also quantum mechanically. And, strictly speaking, within quantum mechanics itself there is no decoherence.” (126)
    The impasse of long standing could not have been stated more clearly! The reason why “no one understands quantum theory” resides thus in the measuring problem. And what renders this conundrum insoluble to the physicist is the fact that “strictly speaking, within quantum theory itself there is no decoherence.” Here we have it: the very Beschränkung, it turns out, which bestows upon the physicist his sovereign power to comprehend the physical universe, renders the measuring problem insoluble — i.e., to the physicist! — by restricting his vision to the realm of the physical as such.
    What is it, then, that this vision excludes? I answered this question in the first paragraph of my first book: “It excludes the blueness of the sky and the roar of breaking waves” I wrote, “the fragrance of flowers and all the innumerable qualities that lend color, charm and meaning to our terrestrial and cosmic environment.” To which of course the “scientific” response will be: “But these are all subjective attributes: that color and that sound — that’s all in your head!” Here we have it: the Beschränkung is yet in force! It has not been transcended: the aficionados of physical science have apparently become de facto incapable of transcending it.
    https://philos-sophia.org/particle-physics-quandary/

    And as Steven Weinberg further explained in the following article, “(Decoherence) begs the question. If the deterministic Schrödinger equation governs the changes through time not only of the spin but also of the measuring apparatus and the physicist using it, then the results of measurement should not in principle be unpredictable. So we still have to ask, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?,,,’

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 19, 2017
    Excerpt: The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?
    One common answer is that, in a measurement, the spin (or whatever else is measured) is put in an interaction with a macroscopic environment that jitters in an unpredictable way. For example, the environment might be the shower of photons in a beam of light that is used to observe the system, as unpredictable in practice as a shower of raindrops. Such an environment causes the superposition of different states in the wave function to break down, leading to an unpredictable result of the measurement. (This is called decoherence.) It is as if a noisy background somehow unpredictably left only one of the notes of a chord audible. But this begs the question. If the deterministic Schrödinger equation governs the changes through time not only of the spin but also of the measuring apparatus and the physicist using it, then the results of measurement should not in principle be unpredictable. So we still have to ask, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?,,,
    Today there are two widely followed approaches to quantum mechanics, the “realist” and “instrumentalist” approaches, which view the origin of probability in measurement in two very different ways.9 For reasons I will explain, neither approach seems to me quite satisfactory.10
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    Weinberg, after dismissing decoherence as a plausible explanation for wave collapse, stated that, “Today there are two widely followed approaches to quantum mechanics, the “realist” and “instrumentalist” approaches, which view the origin of probability in measurement in two very different ways. For reasons I will explain, neither approach seems to me quite satisfactory.”

    Weinberg rightly rejects the ‘realist approach’ to quantum mechanics because of sheer absurdity of the ‘many worlds interpretation’ (MWI), but, on the other hand, it is interesting to note the main reason why he rejects the ‘instrumentalist approach’ to quantum mechanics:

    “The instrumentalist approach,, (the) wave function,, is merely an instrument that provides predictions of the probabilities of various outcomes when measurements are made.,,
    In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11
    Thus the instrumentalist approach turns its back on a vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else. It is not that we object to thinking about humans. Rather, we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans. We may in the end have to give up this goal,,,
    Some physicists who adopt an instrumentalist approach argue that the probabilities we infer from the wave function are objective probabilities, independent of whether humans are making a measurement. I don’t find this tenable. In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,”
    – Steven Weinberg – The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – January 19, 2017

    Yet, although Weinberg rejected the Instrumentalist approach since humans are brought into the laws of nature at their most fundamental level, and as I explained yesterday, Quantum Mechanics itself could care less how Weinberg and other atheists prefer too world to behave.

    i.e. “regardless of how Steven Weinberg and other atheists may prefer the universe to behave, with the closing of the last remaining free will loophole in quantum mechanics, “humans are indeed brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level”, and thus these recent findings from quantum mechanics directly undermine, as Weinberg himself stated, the “vision that became possible after Darwin, of a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bruce-gordon-in-quantum-physics-reality-really-is-what-we-choose-to-observe/#comment-728916

    And as I further pointed out yesterday, this has some fairly profound, even stunning, implications for us personally in that the closing of the free will loophole allows the (very) plausible reconciliation of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘theory of everything’ by God, via the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

    What I did not touch on yesterday is the collapse of the quantum wave itself. (which is the central mystery that needs to be explained) (Of note: MWI simply denies that quantum wave collapse even occurs, and that denial is what leads to its inherent absurdity of postulating infinite parallel universes).

    The quantum wave, prior to its collapse to a ‘particle’ state, is mathematically defined as existing in an infinite dimensional state that takes and infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Thus, in order to give an adequate causal explanation to explain the collapse of a infinite dimensional-infinite information state to a finite particle state, we are forced to appeal to sufficient cause that has the capacity within itself to collapse a infinite dimensional-infinite information state to a finite particle state.

    In other words, in order to give an adequate causal account of quantum wave collapse we are forced to appeal to the Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent, Mind of God.

    The Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence of God – John M. Frame
    DEFINITION
    The three “omni” attributes of God characterize him as all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. Each of these involves the other two, and each provides a perspective on the all-embracing lordship of the true God.
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/omnipotence-omniscience-omnipresence-god/

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

  2. 2

    But after a photon wave is split for routes A and B, then you can just make the routes A and B converge again at point X, and then the position will be definite again at point X, without measurement of anything. Showing that measurement is not required to make a photon have a particulate position.

    I support the object + vacuum theory, instead of the object + measurement theory.

    Anyway, can’t you make it work technically, that you can have an alarm go off when someone is intently looking at your high security building? As like the hairs raised on the back of the neck, when someone is looking at you from behind?

    A device that if someone is looking at the building, then the device will not show an interference pattern, because of the”photons” being observed.

  3. 3
    EDTA says:

    Equations don’t give rise to realities, let alone an infinity of realities. We already have equations that predict things that we subsequently cannot find to be real.

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