Cosmology Multiverse Philosophy

Theoretical physicist: Multiverse is about how we define science

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soap bubbles/Timothy Pilgrim

From Tasneem Zehra Husain at Nautilus:

It’s not the immensity or even the inscrutability, but that it reduces physical law to happenstance.

Not just a feature, a benefit.

I am not alone in my ambivalence. The multiverse has been hotly debated and continues to be a source of polarization among some of the most prominent scientists of the day. The debate over the multiverse is not a conversation about the particulars of a theory. It is a fight about identity and consequence, about what constitutes an explanation, what proof consists of, how we define science, and whether there is a point to it all.

The multiverse is less like a closed door and more like a key. To me, the word is now tinged with promise and fraught with possibility. It seems no more wasteful than a bower full of roses. More.

Not wasteful at all, if you don’t mind throwing science out. All the evidence supports fine-tuning, which cannot be considered in principle because of its possible theistic implications. No evidence supports the multiverse and many are looking for ways around that. If they establish the multiverse as a theory, to obviate contrary evidence, they will also, incidentally establish science as officially post-fact.

Cosmologist George Ellis has warned against that in Nature, but it may be too late. After all, we did not evolve so as to grasp reality anyway. Naturalism is closing in on itself.

See also: Steven Weinberg on what’s wrong with quantum mechanics In short, it may be that the assumption that there is a multiverse, in any scientifically meaningful sense, is part of the problem. Or…?

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