At Scientific American, courtesy of Dan Falk and Quanta Magazine:
we learn that in his latest book, Science’s Path from Myth to Multiverse, Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg explores how science made the modern world, and where it might take us from here:
Myth to multiverse? Wasn’t a long haul, was it?:
But at least we can see some of those other planets. That’s not the case with the universes that are said to make up the multiverse.
It’s not part of the requirement of a successful physical theory that everything it describes be observable, or that all possible predictions of the theory be verifiable. For example, we have a very successful theory of the strong nuclear forces, called quantum chromodynamics [QCD], which is based on the idea that quarks are bound together by forces that increase with distance, so that we will never, even in principle, be able to observe a quark in isolation. All we can observe are other successful predictions of QCD. We can’t actually detect quarks, but it doesn’t matter; we know QCD is correct, because it makes predictions that we can verify.
Similarly, string theory, which predicts a multiverse, can’t be verified by detecting the other parts of the multiverse. But it might make other predictions that can be verified. For example, it may say that in all of the big bangs within the multiverse, certain things will always be true, and those things may be verifiable. It may say that certain symmetries will always be observed, or that they’ll always be broken according to a certain pattern that we can observe. If it made enough predictions like that, then we would say that string theory is correct. And if the theory predicted a multiverse, then we’d say that that’s correct too. You don’t have to verify every prediction to know that a theory is correct.
The multiversers are quite serious about the war on falsifiability, so wait till it hits the school system. Tax funding is a way more reliable gravy train for nonsense than commercialization.
How we got here.
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