A reader writes to ask, quoting Sabine Hossenfelder at her blog Back(Re)Action:
What the particle physicists got wrong was an argument based on a mathematical criterion called “naturalness”. If the laws of nature were “natural” according to this definition, then the LHC should have seen something besides the Higgs. The data analysis isn’t yet completed, but at this point it seems unlikely something more than statistical anomalies will show up.
I must have sat through hundreds of seminars in which naturalness arguments were repeated. Let me just flash you a representative slide from a 2007 talk by Michelangelo L. Mangano (full pdf here), so you get the idea. The punchline is at the very top: “new particles must appear” in an energy range of about a TeV (ie accessible at the LHC) “to avoid finetuning.” More.
So what’s the worst thing that would happen if fine-tuning were acknowledged as real? What science would actually be harmed?
Note: Hossenfelder’s right. But the problem is not caused by opponents of multiverse concepts; rather by the inherent intractability of the concept – if you think science is about evidence and not about what dope you smoke.
See also: After the multiverse, the… multiworse? Hossenfelder is one of those theoretical physicists who thinks that science should make sense. Wish her well. So may would just love to slip the bonds of reason…
New Scientist coins a new term: Uglyverse Of course, a universe in which we have not found a multiverse must be ugly to New Scientist readers. For others, beauty remains a possibility, best explained by apparent fine-tuning of our universe, which has always been the real problem for them.
The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide