Is the Multiverse real? Two astrophysicists debate

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Is the Multiverse real? Two astrophysicists debate


Quote:[*]Astrophysicist (and Starts with a Bang columnist) Ethan Siegel argues that the Multiverse exists and is simply a matter of logical deduction based on solid theory.

[*]Astrophysicist (and 13.8 columnist) Adam Frank disagrees, arguing that accepting the existence of a Multiverse comes with a strange cost — namely, believing that there are an infinite number of Universes that we can never detect.

[*]Who do you think has the stronger argument?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • Ninshub
(2022-03-02, 08:17 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Is the Multiverse real? Two astrophysicists debate

The second is my choice.  Theories based on theories based on something we cannot witness prove nothing at all, so Occam's Razor says...
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Has the scientific model been used to establish the multiverse theory as valid and prevailing?

My understand is this couldn't be further from the truth.  Its a mathematical metaphysics at present.  Nothing wrong with that and it might be truth.  But it ain't science.
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I think Adam Frank's approach has to be right for me, though I would go a lot further!

As I wrote in Brian's Big Bang thread, I just think science (and especially science theory) has exploded into realms where it should not operate.

Quote:This is exactly what happens with “eternal inflation” and the Multiverse. A theory we understand in one regime (much lower energy particle accelerators) gets stretched into a very different one (10^(-36) of a second after the Big Bang). That extrapolation solves some problems (but not others), but it all comes at a strange cost. That cost is what I call “ontological exuberance.”

As Adam points out, the BB only seems to 'work' if you keep on piling in additional outlandish assumptions - the concept of an inflation force (utterly contrary to experience) and then the mutliverse.

Maybe part of the problem is that in 'ordinary' physics, everyone knows that equations can't be extrapolated to far, or they break down. For example, the famous gas laws encapsulated in PV=nRT are only approximate. It is only in High Energy Physics and cosmology that the equations are supposed to be exact - so that any singularities that appear must really be points in space-time where the laws of physics completely break down!

In addition, there are shaky pieces much further back. 'Hubble's Law' that states that galaxies recede from us at a speed proportional to their distance, is basically a huge assumption, which was seriously challenged by Halton Arp, a well respected astronomer, who fell from grace when he collected evidence that quasars - supposedly the most distant objects in the universe - were associated with much nearer galaxies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EckBfKPAGNM

If his conclusion were true, cosmology would basically implode because we would not know the absolute distance of anything outside our local group of galaxies. Needless to say, his work was derided, and I am not sure it is being pursued at all now that he is dead.

Possibly another example is the fact that when galaxies are observed, they simply do not rotate in the way they would if Einsteinian Relativity were in operation. The difference is quite stark, and lead to the utterly ad hoc notion that 96% of the universe is made of 'dark matter'! Wouldn't it be more honest to propose that GR may only operate up to a certain range before other forces dominate.

Then there has to be doubt about some of the experiments themselves. The EU paid a huge chunk of the cost of the LHC, and what do we have for all that money - supposedly the Higgs Boson! Alexander Uzzicker wrote a book about this discovery:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=the+higgs+f...nb_sb_noss

Now Uzzicker comes across as fairly intellectually aggressive, and he doesn't seem to have the qualifications in the subject, but he makes a lot of telling observations. One that I particularly like, is the fact that the data flows from this experiment at such a ludicrously high rate that the only way to collect it is using specially designed hardware which filters the data on the fly (the complete data set is too big to be stored) - so we have no record of what was actually detected except for the output from this filtration process. What could possibly go wrong? He estimates that 10^12 collisions have to be processed for every Higgs particle detected! I have seen objections to that figure, but to my knowledge no better estimate has been made.

Once I understood this process, I mentally dismissed this supposed triumph of modern physics.

I mean, the problem is that one dodgy conclusion gets baked into someone else's theory, which then gets baked into yet more theory - the result is a total disaster.
(This post was last modified: 2022-03-03, 05:26 PM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2022-03-03, 03:27 PM)Silence Wrote: Has the scientific model been used to establish the multiverse theory as valid and prevailing?

My understand is this couldn't be further from the truth.  Its a mathematical metaphysics at present.  Nothing wrong with that and it might be truth.  But it ain't science.

Even if it is the truth, it is merely a gigantic begging of the metaphysical question, since the origin of the complex and intricate physics meta-principles and laws governing the universe-generating mechanism itself (i.e. inflation for instance) has still to be established. The existing fine tuning of the laws of physics may be anthropically explained, but not the obviously supremely intelligent source of the overall system itself, which must embody all of the exceedingly complex designed mechanisms that constitute the potential for our system of physical laws. There's an old saying - "there's no free lunch" (in this case when it comes to design).
(This post was last modified: 2022-03-03, 05:36 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 3 times in total.)
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2022-03-03, 03:27 PM)Silence Wrote: Has the scientific model been used to establish the multiverse theory as valid and prevailing?

My understand is this couldn't be further from the truth.  Its a mathematical metaphysics at present.  Nothing wrong with that and it might be truth.  But it ain't science.

That is true, but of course, there is no absolute truth to be found in science - as opposed to mathematics. There is no sharp distinction between scientifically proved facts and unproved facts - there simply can't be. Newton's laws were very accepted until they were found wanting by both GR and QM.

The trouble is that tentative stuff like inflation seem to get baked into the fabric of science if it is not overturned within a short time span.

I think a lot more effort (i.e. money) in science should go into trying to break 'established facts'. Science would move more slowly but be more reliable.
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