Intelligent Design Multiverse

Science writer: Multiverse is based on zero empirical evidence

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Theoretical astrophysicist Ethan Siegel may be sure that it exists but perhaps that’s just a private revelation:

The ‘mirrorverse’ is just one more in a long line of so-called multiverse theories. These theories are based on the notion that our Universe is not unique, that there exists a large number of other universes that somehow sit alongside or parallel to our own. For example, in the so-called Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are universes containing our parallel selves, identical to us but for their different experiences of quantum physics. These theories are attractive to some few theoretical physicists and philosophers, but there is absolutely no empirical evidence for them. And, as it seems we can’t ever experience these other universes, there will never be any evidence for them. As Broussard explained, these theories are sufficiently slippery to duck any kind of challenge that experimentalists might try to throw at them, and there’s always someone happy to keep the idea alive.

Is this really science? The answer depends on what you think society needs from science. In our post-truth age of casual lies, fake news and alternative facts, society is under extraordinary pressure from those pushing potentially dangerous antiscientific propaganda – ranging from climate-change denial to the anti-vaxxer movement to homeopathic medicines. I, for one, prefer a science that is rational and based on evidence, a science that is concerned with theories and empirical facts, a science that promotes the search for truth, no matter how transient or contingent. I prefer a science that does not readily admit theories so vague and slippery that empirical tests are either impossible or they mean absolutely nothing at all.

Jim Baggott, “But is it science?” at Aeon

He doesn’t like ID either but he also doesn’t appear to understand it:

And, no matter how much we might want to believe that God designed all life on Earth, we must accept that intelligent design makes no testable predictions of its own. It is simply a conceptual alternative to evolution as the cause of life’s incredible complexity. Intelligent design cannot be falsified, just as nobody can prove the existence or non-existence of a philosopher’s metaphysical God, or a God of religion that ‘moves in mysterious ways’. Intelligent design is not science: as a theory, it is simply overwhelmed by its metaphysical content.

Jim Baggott, “But is it science?” at Aeon


Intelligent design could certainly be falsified if it could be shown that complex, specified information arises all the time naturally from nothing. And no one has shown that. The presence of vast amounts of information in life forms that exceed random walks is evidence, provided one is willing to look at it.

Incidentally, anyone familiar with Darwinism (popularly called “evolution”) will know that it cannot be falsified. But that’s not a barrier to it forming part of compulsory public education.

What Baggott doesn’t seem to see is that the multiverse and Darwinism are accepted for ideological reasons and ID is rejected for those same reasons. None of it has anything to do with either evidence or falsification.

The multiverse fans will either proceed without evidence or make it up.

See also: Astrophysicist Ethan Siegel tells us why a multiverse must exist Siegel: “… if the theory of inflation is a good one, and the data says it is, a multiverse is all but inevitable.” Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon writes to offer a response.

14 Replies to “Science writer: Multiverse is based on zero empirical evidence

  1. 1
    ronvanwegen says:

    Excellent! I can add to my list of “Dumb Things Clever People Say”…

    “What If There Are No Laws Of Nature? How nothingness can explain everything about reality.” (Cover Page – New Scientist 11th November 2017)

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” (Stephen Hawking)

    “It doesn’t even mean that the multiverse is real, as this is a prediction we cannot verify, validate, or falsify. But if the theory of inflation is a good one, and the data says it is, a multiverse is all but inevitable.” (Ethan Siegel, “Why Do Physicists Say A Multiverse Has To Exist?” Forbes February 25, 2021)

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    It’s not exactly ideological reasons. Ideology is a cover story for plain old caste and status. Ideas are accepted when upper-caste aristocrats hold them. Ideas are rejected when lower-caste Neanderthals hold them.

  3. 3
    William J Murray says:

    Anyone who says “.. there is absolutely no empirical evidence for [X]” should be ignored regardless of what they say unless they can demonstrate logically why there can be no evidence for X, even in principle.

    There is an enormous amount of empirical evidence that other universes exist. Siegel, apparently, is oblivious to that evidence.

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    Intelligent design could certainly be falsified if it could be shown that complex, specified information arises all the time naturally from nothing.

    That would only falsify ID if you could also show that this would preclude an intelligent designer doing the same thing. After all, even if such feature could come about in this way, it still wouldn’t mean that they aren’t best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process.

  5. 5
    Fasteddious says:

    Bob @ 4 is correct: you can “prove” that something was designed if there is enough supporting evidence (as with ID, I would add). But you cannot prove that something was not designed. Examples in modern art abound: looks like random paint spills? No it’s a million dollar masterpiece!

  6. 6
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Falsifiable Prediction?

    Try this:
    The Creationist Law of Abiogenesis
    “Absent Divine Intervention life comes only from life”.

    To falsify it, just make some life out of chemicals in a lab
    As top gurus, including Noble Prize winners, have been trying to do for 100 years, And failed for 100 years.

    So Creationist Science is not only falsifiable. It hasn’t been falsified after a huge effort
    And it is consistent with an enormous body of empirical evidence.

    That makes the Creationist Law, ahem, “The Settled Science”.
    And those who disagree are “Science Deniers”.

  7. 7
    Bob O'H says:

    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES – even if it’s possible to make life in a test tube, that doesn’t mean that life wasn’t originally created by divine intervention. You’re making exactly the same mistake that was made in the OP.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    LoL! @ Bob O’H- Look up Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning and parsimony, Bob. If someone can show that something can happen without an intelligent designer then it refutes those who say it takes an intelligent designer to produce it.

    So yes, science says that ID is falsified by demonstrating that nature can produce what ID says required an intelligent designer. That is how it works in archaeology, forensic science and SETI.

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    If someone can show that something can happen without an intelligent designer then it refutes those who say it takes an intelligent designer to produce it.

    Rocks can fall on peoples’ heads without any intervention from anyone intelligent. But that doesn’t falsify the existence of stoning as a way of killing people.

    That is how it works in archaeology, forensic science and SETI.

    I don’t think that’s actually truer for the first two. Guns accidentally go off, but that doesn’t mean that people are never murdered.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    Rocks can fall on peoples’ heads without any intervention from anyone intelligent. But that doesn’t falsify the existence of stoning as a way of killing people.

    Context matters, Bob.

    I don’t think that’s actually truer for the first two. Guns accidentally go off, but that doesn’t mean that people are never murdered.

    Context matters, Bob.

    If a person is charged with murder and the defense shows it wasn’t, then the murder charges are dropped.

  11. 11
    TAMMIE LEE HAYNES says:

    Dear Bob

    You put words in my mouth.
    And I would like to call your bluff

    You correctly stated this: “Even if it’s possible to make life in a test tube, that doesn’t mean that life wasn’t originally created by divine intervention”

    But then you added this falsehood
    “You’re making exactly the same mistake that was made in the OP”
    Except I DIDN’T make any mistake, because I didn’t claim that making life in a test tube would invalidate divine abiogenesis. It only would invalidate the Creationist Law, which claims that that ALL abiogenesis is divine.

    An analogy is Joule’s invalidating the law of Conservation of Heat Energy (often called “caloric”). Joule did not invalidate the conservation of heat energy in calorimetric processes.

    Now please let me call your bluff
    I pointed out, the Creationist Law of Abiogenesis is currently Settled Science, much like the Conservation of Energy, because it is confirmed by a large body of empirical data, can been falsified in principle, but has never been falsified in practice in spite of diligent efforts to do so.

    So if you agree that the Creationist Law of Abiogenesis is Settled Science, please say so. If you dont, please tell us why.

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    A scientist named Louis Pasteur was able to falsify the “spontaneous generation” of microorganisms in favor of biogenesis. That was in the 1860s.

    https://crev.info/2021/02/pasteur-was-right/

    Now some scientists are trying to use a new recipe for spontaneous generation of life on a prebiotic planet through random chemicals, evaporation, lighting bolts, thundering pronouncements, and handwaving to create mixtures that spontaneously and miraculously segregate chiral compounds.

    With the right alchemy (and massive funding), there’s undying optimism that some day with enough luck and persistence, there will be a *poof* and life will appear!

    -Q

  13. 13
    Bob O'H says:

    AMMIE LEE HAYNES @ 11 –

    You correctly stated this: “Even if it’s possible to make life in a test tube, that doesn’t mean that life wasn’t originally created by divine intervention”

    Thank you. So now how is Creationist Science falsifiable, which is what you claimed? Falsifying “The Creationist Law of Abiogenesis” doesn’t work, as you acknowledge.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Earth to Bob O’H- Please learn how to read for comprehension. She said if someone falsified the Creationist law of abiogenesis then Creation was falsified.

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