Across the multiverse: FSU physicist considers the big picture

Jan 12, 2010
Across the multiverse: FSU physicist considers the big picture
Alejandro Jenkins is a researcher at Florida State University. Credit: Florida State University

(PhysOrg.com) -- Is there anybody out there? In Alejandro Jenkins' case, the question refers not to whether life exists elsewhere in the universe, but whether it exists in other universes outside of our own.

While that might be a mind-blowing concept for the layperson to ponder, it's all in a day's work for Jenkins, a postdoctoral associate in theoretical at The Florida State University. In fact, his deep thoughts on the hypothetical "multiverse" — think of it as a mega-universe full of numerous smaller universes, including our own — are now receiving worldwide attention, thanks to a cover article he co-wrote for the January 2010 issue of Scientific American magazine.

In "Looking for Life in the Multiverse," Jenkins and co-writer Gilad Perez, a theorist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, discuss a provocative hypothesis known as the anthropic principle, which states that the existence of (capable of studying physical processes) imposes constraints on the possible form of the laws of physics.

"Our lives here on Earth — in fact, everything we see and know about the universe around us — depend on a precise set of conditions that makes us possible," Jenkins said. "For example, if the fundamental forces that shape matter in our universe were altered even slightly, it's conceivable that atoms never would have formed, or that the element , which is considered a basic building block of life as we know it, wouldn't exist. So how is it that such a perfect balance exists? Some would attribute it to God, but of course, that is outside the realm of physics."

The theory of "cosmic inflation," which was developed in the 1980s in order to solve certain puzzles about the structure of our universe, predicts that ours is just one of countless universes to emerge from the same primordial vacuum. We have no way of seeing those other universes, although many of the other predictions of cosmic inflation have recently been corroborated by astrophysical measurements.

Given some of science's current ideas about high-energy physics, it is plausible that those other universes might each have different physical interactions. So perhaps it's no mystery that we would happen to occupy the rare universe in which conditions are just right to make life possible. This is analogous to how, out of the many planets in our universe, we occupy the rare one where conditions are right for organic evolution.

"What theorists like Dr. Perez and I do is tweak the calculations of the fundamental forces in order to predict the resulting effects on possible, alternative universes," Jenkins said. "Some of these results are easy to predict; for example, if there was no electromagnetic force, there would be no atoms and no chemical bonds. And without gravity, matter wouldn't coalesce into planets, stars and galaxies.

"What is surprising about our results is that we found conditions that, while very different from those of our own , nevertheless might allow — again, at least hypothetically — for the existence of life. (What that life would look like is another story entirely.) This actually brings into question the usefulness of the anthropic principle when applied to particle physics, and might force us to think more carefully about what the multiverse would actually contain."

Jenkins has degrees from Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology, and he previously conducted postgraduate research on the topic of alternative universes while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Despite all of his training, however, the Scientific American article was unexpected.

"I am very proud of our research, but to be honest, I think that this had something to do with the fact that people are naturally intrigued by speculative ideas about cosmology and the 'big picture.'

"The idea of parallel universes, in particular, is one that many people find exciting," Jenkins said. "The current season of (the Fox-TV comedy) 'Family Guy' recently premiered with an episode called 'Road to the Multiverse,' which was premised on the idea that one can visit other universes — although that seems impossible given what we know about physics. Nevertheless, whether other universes actually exist is a question that has consequences for our understanding of physics in this world. I think our research raises important questions in that regard."

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superhuman
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 12, 2010
Cargo cult science.
jsa09
3.3 / 5 (8) Jan 12, 2010
This is analogous to how, out of the many planets in our universe, we occupy the rare one where conditions are right for organic evolution.


We are hardly likely to evolve on a planet that does not contain conditions where it is possible to evolve. Basically, most of the premise for this article are spurious.

In "Looking for Life in the Multiverse," Jenkins and co-writer Gilad Perez, a theorist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, discuss a provocative hypothesis known as the anthropic principle, which states that the existence of intelligent life (capable of studying physical processes) imposes constraints on the possible form of the laws of physics.


I think he has got it backwards.
wesjo
3.3 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2010
We will begin to take the multiverse seriously when there is experimental evidence as opposed to ruminations.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (6) Jan 12, 2010
Agreed. This isn't science. Without having established that a multiverse even exists it's pretty academic (not even that) to speculate on ET in the multiverse.

Trying to attribute a probability to living in a universe where life is possible is an excercise in circular reasoning. The chances of being in a universe where the laws are just so that you yourself can exist is exactly 100%.

Saying that other universes could have other laws is also conjecture. Maybe there is only one 'law minimum' in law phase space into which universes can coalesce? Without evidence/testability that is as likely as each universe having different laws.
HarshMistress
4.8 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2010
Agreed. This isn't science.

Why, then, Higgs boson IS science?
"The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model in particle physics."

"Hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted...", and yet it's science. Why? Is it because we've built the LHC to prove or disprove the hypothesis while we cannot build a machine to prove or disprove the existence of multiverse?
Nemo
5 / 5 (3) Jan 12, 2010
Dunno guys. Lots of science/engineering is directed by exactly this kind of pie in the sky thinking. Myself I'm fond of guys who do this kind of work. The fact that the Big Bang happened is very suggestive that there is a huge backdrop of stuff out there and some kind od multiverse makes simple intuitive sense to me. Pretty much has to be I think. I'd welcome any kind of framework that logically stings some ideas together.
defunctdiety
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2010
Agreed. This isn't science.


Kind of like climate modeling... ah, but seriously I didn't come here to derail.

I don't think this is science either, but it's certainly worth speculating about in an open intellectual forum. No?

Is it unfortunate Physorg slapped it under the Physics category? Sure.

But I'm also sure that all of you guffawing up above have your own personal thoughts and beliefs regarding this topic and I would be surprised if it's "there's nothing else".

So, while you're all hoping it may give you some sort of pathetic physorg cred to "stick to the science", you must realize it's certainly much more pathetic to discourage such thought outright, simply because it is out of the realm of testability at this moment in time (maybe ever).

Open your freaking minds, there's more to -reality- than that which is measurable.
antialias_physorg
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2010
Why, then, Higgs boson IS science?

Because a test for it has been proposed and it does pose a hypothesis for an unexplained phenomenon (viz: where does matter get its mass from).

Positing ET in another universe explains no observables that are otherwise mysterious and is not testable (at least I see no proposed test in the article). If and when they come up with one THEN it will be science. Falsifiability is the key word here.

intuitive sense to me

Then you would argue that to many 'belief in god' is science? I'm astonished.

SciFi is all very nifty (a genre I dearly love) - but this kind of story has no place on physorg.
HarshMistress
5 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2010
"What theorists like Dr. Perez and I do is tweak the calculations of the fundamental forces in order to predict the resulting effects on possible, alternative universes," Jenkins said.

Jenkins and Perez play god, as theoretical physycists are supposed to. They mathematically model alternativee universes and allow POSSIBILITY of life forms in them, without speculations on their nature.

If theoretical physics isn't science, I don't know what is.
frajo
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2010
Is it because we've built the LHC to prove or disprove the hypothesis while we cannot build a machine to prove or disprove the existence of multiverse?
Almost exactly :)
The search for the higgs is science because it is _possible_ to build a machine to prove or disprove the higgs.
frajo
3 / 5 (6) Jan 13, 2010
The fact that the Big Bang happened is very suggestive that there is a huge backdrop of stuff out there and some kind od multiverse makes simple intuitive sense to me.
It's not a fact. It's colloquial for the contemporary mainstream "standard model" of cosmology.

150 years ago it was very suggestive that there is something like "aether" all around us. Otherwise, how could light be transported through space? "Aether" simply made intuitive sense to people.
But then came Michelson and Morley ...
frajo
3.4 / 5 (10) Jan 13, 2010
If theoretical physics isn't science, I don't know what is.

Yes, theoretical physics is science.
But speculating about multiverses is not theoretical physics. It's metaphysics.
bluehigh
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 13, 2010
(the Fox-TV comedy) Family Guy - used as a source for speculative metaphysics!

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has as much credibilty as the tosh from these nutters.
Objectivist
5 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2010
A lot of people are keen to jump to conclusion here about the existence or non-existence of the multiverse, big bang, and even the Higgs boson. The multiverse exists in mathematics, and while it hasn't been observed it is a direct consequence of the only existing theory which can be considered a candidate for the TOE. It wasn't like somebody down and said, "hey wouldn't it be cool if there were infinite universes?"

Now this doesn't prove its existence, but it does make it worth looking into. And if LHC shows any signs of supersymmetry, as first predicted by string theory, it will be very interesting to look into.

Those of you claiming that theoretical physics isn't science I truly do pity your ignorance, as you seem to think that science is so flat and mundane. If everybody would think like you Maxwell would never have discovered electromagnetism, nor would Dirac have discovered antimatter, nor would Einstein have discovered special relativity.
Tachyon8491
2 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2010
As the term "Universe" implies "all that exists" (unum = "one"; verse- from vertere = "to turn", literally "the All turned into one", any cosmic domain which in select attributes is separated / isolated from other cosmic domains, whether by informational or process connectivity, or dimentional phase boundary, or disjunt attributional dynamics, the aggregate sum total of these domains forms The Universe, a single aggregate entity. Therefore such a domain should properly be called a subdomain of the universe, or universal subdomain. The term "multiverse" is sometimes used to communicate the percept of the total aggregation of such subdomains, although this is conducive to conflation, or misconfraction, of the primary concepts concerned.
superhuman
3.5 / 5 (8) Jan 13, 2010
So, while you're all hoping it may give you some sort of pathetic physorg cred to "stick to the science", you must realize it's certainly much more pathetic to discourage such thought outright, simply because it is out of the realm of testability at this moment in time (maybe ever).


No one is discouraging such thoughts, what we are opposed to is labeling them as science. Science has to be falsifiable, if it's not falsifiable even in principle it is not science and has no place on science news site.
TheMuskyBuck
5 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2010
Speculating, hypothesizing, theorizing are all fundemental aspects of science.

Criticizing, cynical mean spirited personal attacks of those who do observe and fantasize have always been proven relative.
Objectivist
5 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2010
No one is discouraging such thoughts, what we are opposed to is labeling them as science. Science has to be falsifiable, if it's not falsifiable even in principle it is not science and has no place on science news site.

Really now? I would consider the existence of supersymmetry falsifiable. In a couple of decades we'll have a particle accelerator to display superpartners (if they exist) at energy levels predicted by string theory. If the experiments show nothing, wouldn't that make string theory (at least as it is then) falsifiable?
You don't seem to understand the principle of string theory, as many other "critics". It's not just a theory of "on this side is reality and on this side is the unconfirmable backside of reality called string theory", it is a unification of the fundamental forces which will inevitably play a role on things we are or will be able to detect. We haven't explored all verifiable things. What if string theory predicts the 10 or 20 next great discoveries?
HarshMistress
5 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2010
Not long ago, germs were a matter of pure speculation and intuition. Those playing with the idea were rediculed, at best. Poor wretches, couldn't "falsify" germs...
Mr_Man
1 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2010
I just don't understand how a multiverse could exist.. What is separating the different universes from coming together into one Universe??

I don't have physics degrees from Harvard or anywhere else for that matter, but I have yet to read anything other than speculation regarding how Multiverses work..

I just don't buy the multiverse theory yet...

...oh, and anyone that thinks physics isn't a real science are sure on the wrong website..
flaredone
not rated yet Jan 13, 2010
The main problem is an exact definition of multiverse/parallel universe/hyperuniverse...
antialias_physorg
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 13, 2010
Not long ago, germs were a matter of pure speculation and intuition. Those playing with the idea were rediculed, at best. Poor wretches, couldn't "falsify" germs...


I think you still don't understand. Even if you don't have he apparatus but you can _conceive_ of an apparatus to test that hypothesis then we are dealing with science. When you make conjectures about things of which there is no evidence and you also propose no method by which this could be tested then we're not dealing with science (but religion).

Germs were a hypothesis that explained an _unexplained_ phenomenon and which could be tested (and was by those who proposed them: namely Louis Pasteur et. al.)
Postulating ET in a multiverse does not explain _any_ unexplained phenomena and cannot be tested for. It's not science.
Objectivist
5 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2010
@antialias_physorg:

You still treat the concept of the multiverse as if it was something thought of in an isolated event. It was a consequence of the calculations of string theory. The concept of the multiverse is tightly bound to other phenomena that will one day be proven or disproven. It doesn't derive from a satisfying and religious method but from a scientifical one. If the complex equations of string theory predict the next 10 or 20 or 30 important discoveries then it is fair to say that, even though it isn't proven, it is very much a scientific theory and thus I am very much interested in knowing about the next prediction, since it becomes usable in scientific research.

If however your only concern is that of semantics then don't bother answering.
HarshMistress
5 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2010
@ antialias_physorg

So, without experimentation and empirical observation, or without methodology for development thereof, there's no science? Mathematical modelling is just a religion, or a sandbox for perverts of "science"?

Strange, I thought mathematics is the language of science.

Your ET mockery is impertinent.
El_Nose
5 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2010
@ant

Well as we know it there are about four maybe five principles that derive every other constant in this universe. The proposition is if we tweaked those 5 fundamental forces could we as humans exist. - thats a good experiment that doesn't need actualy testing to prove.

I think most people missed the point of the article -- it was to make you THINK. For you to read it and grasp the basic principle that changing various constraints on the fundamental forces removes the possibility that Carbon 12 i think maybe 13 could exist. And that is to say that life based on this element -- the kind we know and love -- could form.

In contrast it says nothing of silicon based life, of which i believe there are a couple example of on Earth.
YawningDog
1 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2010
Multiverse??? Chewing gum for the mind, something to be talked about with your college buddies after consuming copious quantities of alcohol then searching out the meaning of it all.

By the time the person graduates, they should be expected to know the definition of the word universe - that is: "The whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated...."

Multiverse??? The ignorant are taking control of the institution.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2010
Long Live Karl Popper!

(mathematics may be the "language of science", but mere use of language does not in itself guarantee that one is communicating anything useful...)

Falsifiability is the key distinction between actual science that can go somewhere vs. useless armchair fantasies.

IMHO, until and unless there's some sort of empirical implication, the idea of multiverses is a cop-out catch-all for every question dealing with first principles when it comes to existence -- in exactly the same way that "god" or "supernatural" is a catch-all for such questions among the religious.

So I agree with those who say this type of "work" is neither physics, nor science. Rather, it is entertainment -- in the same category as fairy tales, fantasy movies, and sci-fi shows. This is not to say that entertainment has or should have no place in our culture, but calling it "science" is just silly.
OckhamsRazor
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2010
Ideas like this sometimes seem to come from the resemblences shared by atoms and stars/planets. Although where gravity is concerned the sphere is simply a logical shape.

I guess I can at least see how people might think there is a bigger universe outside of our own (and we're just a group of atoms to a larger existence), but multiple universes existing parallel to one another I can't justify myself - but if someone thinks they can do enough study on it to prove or disprove I say go for it but I don't want to fund it. It wasn't long ago that many commonly accepted facts today were considered fairy tales to everyone else at some point.

I agree with the argument that it isn't science - yet. I just don't see enough scientific evidence for or against it. However, it is still an interesting thought.
ralph_wiggum
5 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2010
How can the notion of multiverse not be "science" but the many-worlds interpretation of QM, held by a good number of presumably legitimate physicists, be science?

See http://en.wikiped...retation

As others said, the multiverse is not an isolated idea somebody dreamed up one day. It's a possible or even likely consequence of other "science" such as the String theory. The String theory may turn out to be nonsense, but it is certainly "science" as of now and so work on its implication is also "science", however speculative or unlikely it might seem.

And for those who insist that any multiverse is by definition part of our universe, just think of the universe as defined not as "all that is real", but as "all that is real and governed by the physical laws as we know them". The other universes in the multiverse would then obey different physical laws and therefore not be part of our universe.
flaredone
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2010
If the complex equations of string theory predict the next 10 or 20 or 30 important discoveries.
Complex equations of string theory predict landscape of 10 E+500 solutions, whereas many particular insights of strings theory can be derived from another theories as well. For example supesymmetry was developed in context of QED originally - so that SUSY confirmation on LHC cannot serve as a specific evidence of string theory.

http://cerncourie...rn/28388

This is not particular problem of string theory, though - the quantum gravity is facing the same problems. Math modeling is good, but at the moment, when robust logical models are missing , number of free parameters increases and formal models are poorly conditioned, math based predictions become too flexible to remain falsifiable.

J. von Neumann: "With four parameters I can fit an elephant and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk."
flaredone
1 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2010
This is why I'm saying, theoretical physics needs more illustrative models of reality right now. The frenetic activity of theorists is counterproductive here: Now we have to many formal theories and too low general level of intuitive understanding of reality. This doesn't say, string or whatever else theory is fundamentally wrong - these theories are just doing their best. But they're all based on one hundred years old relativity and quantum mechanics, so we cannot expect deeper level of understanding by it. Formal math is WYSIWYG approach: what you get is what you put in just because math language is supposed to be exact as possible, not creative.
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Jan 14, 2010
Complex equations of string theory predict landscape of 10 E+500 solutions,
Here we have to understand that this is the working status of string theory, not the final status. The task to do is to find out which of these 10**500 results are relevant for reality and which not.
Everybody knows that many mathematical solutions for an equation don't have any physical meaning.
One example: the tachyon which can exist only in the velocity realm above c. It's SF stuff, not science stuff.
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2010
How can the notion of multiverse not be "science" but the many-worlds interpretation of QM, held by a good number of presumably legitimate physicists, be science?


Simple answer: it is NOT science. The rather large hint is contained in your own statement, embodied within a rather salient word: INTERPRETATION. The real science (and theory) is in the equations and the experiments that confirm them. However, what these equations are actually supposed to MEAN, is not science at all in this case: it's pure and completely unsubstantiated conjecture.

Is it consistent with the equations? Yes. Is it the ONLY POSSIBLE interpretation of the equations? No. How can we determine it is better than any other equally-consistent interpretation? We cannot. And that's the key: it's not science.

An allegory: "a good number of presumably legitimate physicists" are religious. Therefore, religion is science. See anything wrong with this line of reasoning?
ralph_wiggum
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2010
An allegory: "a good number of presumably legitimate physicists" are religious. Therefore, religion is science. See anything wrong with this line of reasoning?


So your point is that QM = religion? I am not talking what Steven Hawking thinks about broccoli or God. I'm talking what and he many others think about QM. They know Occam's Razor as well as you do and if they felt that many-worlds was not a scientific view, they would not hold it. Just because there is no direct evidence for many-worlds or multiverse yet does not mean you can authoritatively state that there will never be any. For now, they are at least plausible, if not likely, results of other "science". Efforts would be better spent on confirming or refuting them and their underlying theories, rather than on calling them "not science".
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2010
Efforts would be better spent on confirming or refuting them and their underlying theories, rather than on calling them "not science".
There are statements and theories which can't be confirmed and can't be refuted. (Not because of technical difficulties but generally not.) Many-world and multiverse theories are among them. We call these things "not falsifiable". And something which is not falsifiable is, per definitionem, no scientific object.
And please don't confuse the theory of quantum mechanics (which is one of the best confirmed scientific theories) with the Copenhagen interpretation of QM. The CI is not a theory, it is an interpretation.
So your point is that QM = religion?
"Not scientific" does not automagically equal "religion". It might be philosophical, it might be just one of many points of view. It might be very valid in its own - without being scientific.
ralph_wiggum
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2010
OK I'll bite, please explain to me why it's not falsifiable? I understand that nobody has come with an experiment to falsify it so far. How do you go from that to concluding that it's not falsifiable in principle?

Please don't restate what it means to be falsifiable, but explain why multiverse/many-worlds cannot possibly be so.
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2010
explain why multiverse/many-worlds cannot possibly be so.
There's no way to get any information from these things. If there were then it would be part of our universe; it wouldn't be another one.
It's the same as godesses or the invisible lilac dragon in my garage who communicates only with me.
flaredone
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2010
..The real science (and theory) is in the equations ..
This is rather naive opinion about what interpretation means. So far, approximately twenty interpretations of quantum mechanics were developed, most of them exists only in very complex form of formal equations. Many of them were developed by famous physicists (Feynman, Penrose) and they're widely used in physics (for example Feynman's path integral formalism).

http://en.wikiped...echanics

The same phenomena can be described by different equations, for example the rotation can be described by complex numbers or by goniometric functions, while some predictions follows better from one set of equations, some other follow from another in more straightforward way.

Furthermore, it's not so easy to derive every prediction just by equations. If you don't believe me, try to derive order of Venus phases, as follows from heliocentric model just by using of formal equations.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2010
@ralph_wiggum,

I'm not saying that any given interpretation of QM is IN PRINCIPLE not falsifiable (I can't prove a negative.) Once upon a time, a Greek had the idea that all matter is made of atoms. The idea was correct in 20/20 hindsight, but at the time there was absolutely no way to distinguish its veracity from numerous other competing ideas.

Science advances only when empirical input is available, or can be obtained with effort. When there is no empirical input, ideas can be thrown about until we're all blue in the face, but not an inch of progress will be made. That's the difference between postulates that are "scientific" in nature, vs. those that are purely philosophical.

Until an idea is falsifiable, it is not a theory. It is not even a hypothesis. It's just a conjecture -- and those are a dime a dozen.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2010
@flaredone,

Do not confuse math with science. Math is the language of science. However, one can use language to convey useful information -- as in scientific theory -- or one can use language to compose meaningless ditties of stunning beauty. The mere presence of equations (no matter how complex) does not make a given mathematical essay "scientific". There is literally an infinite variety of possible self-consistent mathematical frameworks that can be designed, given enough time and effort. The only *practical* way to develop frameworks that actually model reality in any useful fashion, is through empirical testing.
flaredone
not rated yet Jan 16, 2010
@flaredone, do not confuse math with science.

This is a good advice, indeed - but I'm just disputing YOUR sentence "The real science (and theory) is in the equations".. :-)
MorituriMax
not rated yet Jan 16, 2010
Mr. Man,
I just don't understand how a multiverse could exist.. What is separating the different universes from coming together into one Universe??


A classic argument from ignorance statement. Just because you can't understand something isn't the measuring stick against which you decide if something is possible or not. I don't understand why we are here, which doesn't mean it's questionable whether we exist or not.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2010
I don't understand why we are here, which doesn't mean it's questionable whether we exist or not.
An egg and a sperm united. That's why you are here.

The question
What is separating the different universes
is a valid one. If multiverses are not separated by some kind of (abstract) space what else does separate them? Ontological categories are not equivalent to physical entities.
flaredone
not rated yet Jan 17, 2010
..just because you can't understand something isn't the measuring stick against which you decide if something is possible or not...
But the problem is completely symmetric. Just because you're claiming something doesn't mean, it really has some meaning. For example, Prof. Smolin argues against the timeless multiverse - and he is not ignorant in any way.

http://physicswor...nt/39306

In my opinion such question cannot be disputed, until we define exactly, what we are meaning by "multiverse" word exactly. And this is the point of Mr_Man: until you explain multiverse definition, he just uncovers vagueness in your thinking - not the weakness of his thinking.

The same situation occurs in every discussion about time for example, whereas mainstream physics recognizes many different definitions of time and/or time arrows:

http://en.wikiped..._of_time
flaredone
not rated yet Jan 17, 2010
In my opinion, we should apply utilitarian criterion, based on Occam razor. We should introduce new concept, only if we are able to derive some new falsifiable prediction(s) by using it. I mean prediction, which is impossible to derive by some existing theory by using of known concepts. For example God or multiverse concept is fine, but until it doesn't lead into new testable predictions - then sorry. The fact, I'm not able to see such predictions is not my problem, but your problem - or we are just replacing one tautology by another one, thus converting science into religion.
radiohalos
not rated yet Jan 17, 2010
In my opinion, we should apply utilitarian criterion, based on Occam razor. We should introduce new concept, only if we are able to derive some new falsifiable prediction(s) by using it. I mean prediction, which is impossible to derive by some existing theory by using of known concepts. For example God or multiverse concept is fine, but until it doesn't lead into new testable predictions - then sorry. The fact, I'm not able to see such predictions is not my problem, but your problem - or we are just replacing one tautology by another one, thus converting science into religion.


"In question of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." [Galileo Galilei, 1632, a quote signaling that what follows is surely by a crank and so it souldn't be believed blindly but judged only on its own merit]
jsa09
not rated yet Jan 17, 2010
I do not question peoples right to speculate. I think it can be fun. Imagine a universe where Pi=3 was true. Or perhaps another where the square root of -1 = some number you could hold in your hand. All possibly a lot of fun.

To say what a fluke it is that we evolved in this universe of the infinite number that can be postulated is non-sense however. We have evolved in this universe or we would not be holding this discussion. I think - therefore I am.
OckhamsRazor
not rated yet Jan 17, 2010
I think the most fascinating result of this multiverse concept is the discussions that have followed outlining a vast array of opinions and arguments. We don't need to consider a multitude of universes out there - we have them all right here!
denfire
not rated yet Jan 18, 2010
they had a word for this type of speculative science when i was in school.... "POP-PHYSICS".... can we get back to something more tangible and pragmatic!

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