Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Big Templeton funding for the multiverse?

arroba Email

Not Even Wrong has the story:

Just about ten years ago, my April 1 posting here was a fantasy about the Stanford ITP getting major funding from the Templeton Foundation, using it to fund a program on the multiverse, and renaming themselves the Stanford Templeton Research Institute for Nature, God and Science. The last part hasn’t yet come true yet, but I just noticed the announcement last year of a $878K Inflation, the Multiverse, and Holography grant from Templeton to the SITP, the third part of “A three component Templeton Initiative at the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics.”

To get some idea of the scale of this funding, note that the entire NSF budget for theoretical HEP is about $12 million (the DOE spends about $50-60 million, but that supports groups at the labs, as well as computational hardware, and is decreasing). The Templeton Foundation has an endowment of over $3 billion (growing rapidly), and pays out over $100 million in grants/year (also growing rapidly). I don’t think my skills as a fantasist are good enough to imagine what this means for ten years from now in the future.

We might be able to help out here.

It will mean stuff like

Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

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

treated and funded as serious science. They’re all set now.

Is this science’s version of what happened to the humanities (which is mostly in the business of turning out socially conscious baristas now)?

See, the big problem isn’t whether there are or aren’t other universes. There could be. There could also be Bigfoot. Or space aliens. Or ghosts. (Unless one has a philosophical reason for believing that one or all of them can’t exist… ) What we used to think is important was evidence. But it has been clear from the beginning that the multiverse has been pursued for other reasons. There is a move to drop falsifiability as a category. So one thing we canreasonably expect I no shortage of well-funded nonsense in legacy media.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

OT: Meanwhile in the real world: Absence of gravitational-wave signal extends limit on knowable universe - April 10, 2015 Excerpt: Imagine an instrument that can measure motions a billion times smaller than an atom that last a millionth of a second. Fermilab's Holometer is currently the only machine with the ability to take these very precise measurements of space and time, and recently collected data has improved the limits on theories about exotic objects from the early universe.,,, According to Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, anything that accelerates creates gravitational waves, which are disturbances in the fabric of space and time that travel at the speed of light,,, "It's a huge advance in sensitivity compared to what anyone had done before," ,,, The Holometer is composed of two Michelson interferometers that each split a laser beam down two 40-meter arms. The beams reflect off the mirrors at the ends of the arms and travel back to reunite. Passing gravitational waves alter the lengths of the beams' paths, causing fluctuations in the laser light's brightness, which physicists can detect. The Holometer team spent five years building the apparatus and minimizing noise sources to prepare for experimentation. Now the Holometer is taking data continuously, and with an hour's worth of data, physicists were able to confirm that there are no high-frequency gravitational waves at the magnitude where they were searching.,, "It means that if there are primordial cosmic string loops or tiny black hole binaries, they have to be far away," Hogan said. "It puts a limit on how much of that stuff can be out there." Detecting these high-frequency gravitational waves is a secondary goal of the Holometer. Its main purpose is to determine whether our universe acts like a 2-D hologram, where information is coded into two-dimensional bits at the Planck scale, a length around ten trillion trillion times smaller than an atom. That investigation is still in progress.,,, http://phys.org/news/2015-04-absence-gravitational-wave-limit-knowable-universe.html bornagain77
Isn't it enough to see that the Universe is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies in the Multiverse? ppolish

Leave a Reply