Suppose that everything that could exist does exist. The multiverse is not a bug but a feature. We have to be careful: The set of everything that could exist belongs to the realm of metaphysics rather than physics. Tegmark and I have shown that with a minor restriction, however, we can pull back from the metaphysical edge. Suppose that the physical multiverse contains all things that are locally finite, in the sense that any finite piece of the thing can be described by a finite amount of information. The set of locally finite things is mathematically well defined: It consists of things whose behavior can be simulated on a computer (more specifically, on a quantum computer). Because they’re locally finite, the universe we observe and the various other universes are all contained within this computational universe. As is, so somewhere, a giant cow.
Yup. And three marshmallows and a banshee. Oh, and
Modern physics stretches into realms far removed from everyday experience, and sometimes the connection to experiment becomes tenuous at best. String theory and other approaches to quantum gravity involve phenomena that are likely to manifest themselves only at energies enormously higher than anything we have access to here on Earth. The cosmological multiverse and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics posit other realms impossible for us to access directly. Some scientists, leaning on Popper, have suggested that these theories are non-scientific because they’re not falsifiable.
The truth is the opposite. Whether or not we can observe them directly, the entities involved in these theories are either real or they are not. Refusing to contemplate their possible existence on the grounds of some a-priori principle, even though they might play a crucial role in how the world works, is as non-scientific as it gets.
The falsifiability criterion gestures toward something true and important about science, but it’s a blunt instrument in a situation calling for subtlety and precision.
Well then, he can believe in the multiverse and on the same basis, someone else can believe in lucky numbers. It’s all science.
See also: The war on falsifiability in science continues.
Some of us can remember when atheist honchoes used to cheerlead in FAVOUR of falsifiability. Wonder what’s changed?
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