Ruminations on multiverses; they are not real (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 11, 2019, 15:02 (98 days ago) @ David Turell

Sabine Hossenfelder again :

"Universes besides our own are logically equivalent to gods. They are unobservable by assumption, hence they can exist only in a religious sense. You can believe in them if you want to, but they are not part of science.

"I know that this is not a particularly remarkable argument. But physicists seem to have a hard time following it, especially those who happen to work on the multiverse. Therefore, let me sort out some common misunderstandings.

"First. The major misunderstanding is that I am saying the multiverse does not exist. But this is not what I am saying. I am saying science does not tell us anything about universes we cannot observe, therefore claiming they exist is not science.

"Second. They will argue the multiverse is simple. Most physicists who are in favor of the multiverse say it’s scientific because it’s simpler to assume that all universes of a certain type exist than it is to assume that only one of them exist.

"That’s a questionable claim. But more importantly, it’s beside the point. The simplest assumption is no assumption. And you do not need to make any statement about the existence of the multiverse to explain our observations. Therefore, science says, you should not. As I said, it’s the same with the multiverse as with god. It’s an unnecessary assumption. Not wrong, but superfluous.

"Third. They’ll claim the existence of the multiverse is a prediction of their theory.

It’s not. That’s just wrong. Just because you can write down a theory for something, doesn’t mean it exists*. We determine that something exists, in the scientific sense, if it is useful to describe observation. That’s exactly what the multiverse is not.

"Fourth. But then you are saying that discussing what’s inside a black hole is also not science

"That’s equally wrong. Other universes are not science because you cannot observe them. But you can totally observe what’s inside a black hole. You just cannot come back and tell us about it. Besides, no one really thinks that the inside of a black hole will remain inaccessible forever. For these reasons, the situation is entirely different for black holes. If it was correct that the inside of black holes cannot be observed, this would indeed mean that postulating its existence is not scientific.

"Fifth. But there are types of multiverses that have observable consequences.

"That’s right. Physicists have come up with certain types of multiverses that can be falsified. The problem with these ideas is conceptually entirely different. It’s that there is no reason to think we live in such multiverses to begin with. The requirement that a hypothesis must be falsifiable is certainly necessary to make the hypothesis scientific, but not sufficient.

"To sum it up. The multiverse is certainly an interesting idea and it attracts a lot of public attention. There is nothing wrong with that in principle. Entertainment has a value and so has thought-stimulating discussion. But do not confuse the multiverse with science, because it is not. "

comment: 'nuff said

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