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Many worlds: Maybe easier to make pay than make sense?

Bill Dembski wanted to know, re the multiverse (many worlds) theory: here:

Do many worlds present a business opportunity? Would it be possible, for a modest fee, for people to have worlds named after them? Are worlds, like genes, patentable?

A physicist friend figures that it’s better – or worse – than that. It might work for business but it would whack science cold because

Discovering the laws of our universe matters no more than noting the random tosses of dice. It certainly does not bring us closer to the heart of things. Think of any logically possible theory, and it probably holds true somewhere. Technology still makes sense in a multiverse, of course, but science as a pursuit of truth certainly loses some of its shine.

By the way, hat tip to Paul Glenn, commenter of the week, for noting in a comment to this post that there is no controversy over Darwinian evolution in North America in the same sense as there are no homosexuals in Iran.

Just up at Colliding Universes

All things are possible through the scientist who postulates very large numbers? Especially unimaginable things, I am sure.

Settled science chronicles: Reader disses “best science” boilerplate

Life could be just plain rare but not unique in the universe

Catholic Cardinal: Multiverse theory an “abdication of human intelligence”?

Just up at Overwhelming Evidence: Mostly about textbooks

More textbook chronicles: To Goodwill, to Goodwill, to buy us a materialist text cheaply

Textbooks: Unfortunately, Richard Feynman was NOT joking about textbooks!

Textbooks: Yet another journalist skeptical of Darwin lobby. I am rapidly developing a guest list for a Hacks’ Pub Nite!

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89 Responses to Many worlds: Maybe easier to make pay than make sense?

  1. All things are possible through the scientist who postulates very large numbers? Especially unimaginable things, I am sure.

    It’s a shame that under the perspective of a multiverse, Dawkins will believe in just about anything as long as it’s not God.

    Suppose the probability trump cards that evolutionists play (such as the notion that the way atoms are arranged in the universe is highly improbable, or the possibility of a multiverse) are true, doesn’t that make the likelihood of a supernatural all-governing entity even more likely?

  2. Disclaimer: I don’t know if this has already been discussed, or is correct, but I think it’s interesting to think about.
    ——–

    While the multiverse hypothesis (and, I think it will have forever remain a hypothesis, never to be tested :/) allows non-design explanations a chance to account for the fine-tuned nature of our universe, how does the multiverse hypothesis explain the existence of…well, existence?

    We have two explanations for ‘existence’:

    1) design.
    2) natural (“always was/is/will be”)

    If we choose option number 1, then there is no need for multiverse theory.

    But if we choose #2, then the best hypothesis at the moment is an oscillating universe (at least, from what I’ve heard – feel free to inform/correct). However, if we choose to have an oscillating universe, there is no NEED to have a multiverse theory either! If we have a universe that has been and shall oscillate for eternity, then we have infinite time and just need to wait for our current universe to appear, with it’s fine tuned laws of physics and that happened to produce life.

    So there is no grounds/need for a multiverse theory, regardless whether you choose a design or natural explanation for existence.

    ————-

    However, one problem however is: if we induce the possibility of an oscillating universe in order to account for our current fine-tuned universe, what laws govern the oscillation, such that they continue forever?

    Is there an over/underlying set of physics laws that maintain the eternity of this oscillation, but within these oscillations all other natural laws can do what they like with each swing of the universe? I.e. natural laws fluctuate with each oscillation, but never affect the overlying laws of the oscillation.

    Then my question is: how did those laws of the oscillation eventuate?

    …there is more to be typed but this is getting long-winded. Any body have any thoughts?

  3. The universe does appear to be “rigged” (as my brother — a very bright physicist, engineer, mathematician, computer programmer, and no friend of ID — has noted).

    I like the word rigged.

    One can accept the the prima facie evidence that the universe is rigged, or one can postulate that an infinitude of in-principle undetectable universes exists to explain away the obvious.

    I’ll opt for one rigged observable universe over an infinitude of unobservable unrigged universes until I can be shown that the latter option is more credible than the former.

  4. Denyse,

    Thanks for the hat tip. (You missed the proper spelling of the last name, but, believe me, that’s not the first time. Not to mention that I blew Allen MacNeill’s first name once.)

    If people can just understand the parallel between those two statements, the teeth of the “no scientific controversy” argument would be pulled, and the argument could be seen for the opportunistic propaganda that it is.

  5. 5
    William J. Murray

    First, perhaps we shouldn’t make claims that the hypothesis can’t be tested; that’s what they said about I.D. Second, the idea shouldn’t be dismissed because one doesn’t like the implications.

    There is some experimental evidence (depending on how one interprets the data) that multiverses exist – not sequential oscillating universes (I’m not sure what that wuold even mean, considering that time itself is a product of and within a single universe, and would behave differently in each universe), but rather concurrent dimensional variants that explain certain aspects of photon double-slit experiments. One view is that there is no “objective” wave collapse at all of quantum field phenomena, but rather that it is subjectively experienced and that there are virtually infinite potential iterations.

    The Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum theory has been around a long time and has been the favorite interpretation of many leading physicists long before the I.D. debate drove some evolutionary biologists to theorize MWI as an explanation for problematical biological sequences. It would be an error to see MWI as a response to the I.D. challenge.

    The intersting thing about some MWI views is that it fully supports I.D. theory, but just doesn’t imply a God, and so many I.D.ers dismiss it outright. They shouldn’t, because MWI can fully support I.D. theory.

    In Julian Barbour’s book “The End of Time”, he outlines a reality that has every potential simultaneously coexistent, with time being simply another directional (dimensional) axis. Everything exists, in other words.

    That humans exist would be a given in such a situation; the question is, what kind of Universe would humans “observe” both currently and as they investigate their history? It would be one they “collapse” out of quantum potential, and as such it would necessarily be “intelligently designed” to achieve their existence via a sorting process of “past” events.

    Either way – via subjective wave-collapse of quantum phenomena (which includes historical references as part of the quantum matrix), or created by God, you have a universe uniquely designed by intelligence to accommodate human existence.

    The implication might not be what most I.D. supporters want, but if one is going to dismiss a hypotheses because it doesn’t implicate what one would like, then one is really no different from the anti-I.D.ers.

  6. First, perhaps we shouldn’t make claims that the hypothesis can’t be tested; that’s what they said about I.D.

    Maybe a better way of looking at it is that ID can be — is actually — applied and observed and what is occurring in the movement is the search for the most definitive way to quantify this undeniable phenomenon.

    The multiverse is neither observable nor applicable. Of course most of us Christians will agree that there is a dimension beyond the temporal. The concept of the multiverse certainly doesn’t bother me or affect my faith.

    The concern, as with anything that seem to contradict tradition, is that some will point to a possibility of a multiverse — regardless of the foundational establishment of the idea — as an excuse to do whatever they want.

  7. William Murray says: “Everything exists, in other wor[l]ds.”

    Fantastic, so no doubt each of us exist in each of these other worlds, played out in different scenarios, depending on how the direction of the old quantum waves collapse. And since the motion of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil may or may not create a perfect storm somewhere in the Atlantic, the possibilities are truly tremendous!!

    So, ladies and gentlemen, there is a world out there where Richard Dawkins is actually a Pentecostal born-again Fundie, busy studying the bible, speaking in tongues, and performing miraculous healings, on a daily basis! Why not? Of course this all deserves an explanation. What happened in this other universe is that he received a whole lot more love from his mother, and his father was more supportive and communicated a positive vision of his future, and they taught him about the love of Christ, and he saw authentic Christian modeling, and he was won over. His heart, in this other world, just like the Grinch’s, is three times the size that it is in this universe. Is this not glorious beyond belief?

    By the way, has anybody sent a memo to Mr. Dawkins informing him of his mirror self? He will be truly stunned and impressed, will he not?

    I was thinking about laying out a scenario for Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris, but I thought I would spare you.

  8. 8
    William J. Murray

    Quote:
    “The multiverse is neither observable nor applicable.”

    It depends on what you mean by the terms observable and applicable. If true, their effects on this universe are both observable and applicable in many and various situations, and might even have practical applications for the individual.

    It might be interesting to note that a subjectively-collapsing wave-function universe might be entirely indistinguishable from a universe inhabited from a personal, omnipotent God; it would also account for miraculous, transcendental phenomena, life after death, and even the actual (in any meaningful sense of the word) existence of God.

    But, that’s philosophy and spirituality.

    Quote:

    “….regardless of the foundational establishment of the idea — as an excuse to do whatever they want.”

    They make the same argument about I.D.

    #7:

    Derision isn’t much of a conversation, and only demonstrates the depth of one’s preferential bias when discussing an idea/hypothesis.

  9. Physicist Stephen Barr (who has written that in physics there lies between the crazies and the dreamers a broad and well-populated spectrum of crackpots) makes a distinction between versions of the many worlds idea:

    quote:
    “Before examining this idea critically, one must distinguish two versions of it. In the version that physicists take seriously, the many “universes” are not really distinct and separate universes at all, but domains or regions of one all-encompassing Universe. The domains are far apart in space, or otherwise prevented from communicating with each other. Conditions are assumed to be so different from one domain to another that they appear superficially to have different physical laws. However, at a deeper level all the domains are really controlled by one and the same set of fundamental laws. These laws also control what types of domains the universe has, and how many of each type.

    The other version of the idea posits the existence of a large number of universes that really are universes, distinct and unconnected in any way with each other. Each has its own set of physical laws. There is no overarching physical system of which each is a part. One can understand why this version is not discussed among scientists. At least in the many-domains version all the domains are part of the same universe as we, so that, even if we cannot in practice observe them directly, we might hope at least to infer their existence theoretically from a deep understanding of the laws of nature. In the many-universes version, this is not the case. “

  10. It depends on what you mean by the terms observable and applicable.

    That sort of like saying that “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” :-)

    You cannot observe the multiverse. You cannot measurably apply it to anything. You don’t know that it exist.

    We can observe design. We make hundreds, if not thousands, if not tens of thousands, of decisions every hour based on these observations.

    We know design exist.

    But I grant that if the multiverse exist and we find that they are places we have been calling Heaven and Hell, then they will certainly be applicable to our existence.

  11. 11
    William J. Murray

    #9:

    As far as I know, MWI isn’t a theory of many separate universes, but rather of an overarching multiverse where every potential historical sequence is present in a decoherent state until observed.

    The copenhagen interpretation describes an ontologically objective collapse for each universe, making each such universe distinct and without need for communication.

    Since MWI describes a branching “multiverse”, every universe will have at least one point of communication – where they branched, and potentially more intersections. If – as Barbour hypthesizes – all such universes are manifest already in their entirety (including through time), then wave-collapse is like choosing cards out of complete, virtually infinite deck, and such universes can interact and communicate as restricted by the frame of reference (or nature) of the observer.

  12. 12
    William J. Murray

    “You cannot observe the multiverse. You cannot measurably apply it to anything. You don’t know that it exist.”

    Well, if you say so.

  13. There was an interesting Discovery Magazine article a few years ago about the multiworld interpretation of quantum mechanics. It acn be found here:

    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....%20quantum

    However, I have not read enough about the current multiworld hypothesis to know if the current ideas concur with the original idea from QM. Murray is right in that the original MWI was used to explain how a photon could appear to be in two places at once.

  14. 14

    It might be interesting to note that a subjectively-collapsing wave-function universe might be entirely indistinguishable from a universe inhabited from a personal, omnipotent God; it would also account for miraculous, transcendental phenomena, life after death, and even the actual (in any meaningful sense of the word) existence of God.

    Lets apply the multiverse to the criteria required for something to be scientific: falsifiability. The criteria to falsify ID is rather straight forward, so I’m not going to go over that here (since we’ve gone over it several times in the past).

    The problem with the multiverse is that, no matter what combination of evidence exists within this universe, no matter how this universe is oriented, no matter what we can and can’t observe, no matter what happens, this just happens to be a universe with this combination of evidence. In other words, no matter what combination of evidence exists within this universe, it does not falsify the multiverse.

  15. William Murray,

    My apologies, I did not mean it as derision. I was attempting to allude to another issue. If what we observe can have concurrent dimensional variants, than the thoughts in our minds, if they actually have material existence, would also be subject to the same phenomenom, would it not? So how can A collapse B to one variant, if both have infinite or near infinite variants going at the same time?

    And if some collapsing mechanism or factor exists and comes into play, it also, if material, may have variants, which means layers of mechanisms all the way down. And if not, then the collapsing mechanism is immaterial, and we are back to a spiritual reality!!

    And if there is no collapsing mechanism, than we have conscious existences going in a nearly infinite number of places, all at the same time!! So how does everything appear so consistent, how does it square with our experiences?

    One other dilemma. If we started with the big bang, then the number possible variants must have increased, and continue to do so, exponentially. While I suppose this in not impossible in theory, it seems a bit suspect. This is much like the problem with reincarnation — since the number of living organisms is increasing or decreasing across time, than the number of souls or whatever must also be fluctuating, which seems to pose a bit of a logical problem as well.

  16. 16

    The Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum theory has been around a long time and has been the favorite interpretation of many leading physicists long before the I.D. debate drove some evolutionary biologists to theorize MWI as an explanation for problematical biological sequences. It would be an error to see MWI as a response to the I.D. challenge.

    If it was never widely accepted as a consensus among the secular community and it gets accepted by them after ID became popular, perhaps it’s a secular response to ID.

  17. Thanks, Denyse, for the kind quote.

    My point wasn’t just that your friend is bringing philosophy to the table (as you point out, we often do this), but that his resulting position about the possibility of life in the universe is clearly a false dichotomy. Do we have a sample size of one? Indeed. But that does not mean that life is either common in the universe or absolutely unique to earth. Therefore, it seems something else might be driving your friend’s view besides the observation that we currently have a sample size of one.

    BTW, the link is broken (there are some extra characters after the html).

  18. You don’t know that it exist. . . .Well, if you say so.

    If you are saying they exist you are making a statement of faith.

  19. As an aside, Don Page (Born-again Christian physicist, I believe) has talked about the multiverse interpretation of QM recently, and has offered up a defense of it within a Christian mindset. I don’t have a link to the paper onhand, but it should be easy to find – I think he was working with Templeton regarding it.

    Also, as someone has already brought up Stephen Barr, it’s worth pointing out that he gave a rundown of the various interpretations of QM over at First Things’ website – I think this may be still available to read.

    And finally, I’m glad to see Denyse’s coverage expanding into physics. It’s interesting to read up on from a design perspective.

  20. Bill Dembski can take some measure of comfort in knowing that somewhere in the infinity of multiverses there is a planet called “Dembski” that exhibits exquisite intelligent design in all aspects of its existence.

    Of course, to be fair, there is also the possibility that somewhere in the infinity of multiverses there is a planet called “Dawkins”…but I’d rather not consider that!

  21. 21

    nullasalus,
    What ID brings to the table with regard to biology and the source of biological information speaks for itself. I’m more interested in what ID in physics brings to the table.

    I look forwards to what Denise has to say on the design perspective in physics – perhaps the people working in physics are more logical, less emotional people, and so more able to be convinced by rational argument regarding design?

    Would you agree?

  22. nullasalus —

    My understanding of multiverses are places where our physical laws and constants don’t apply. So how could you show they exist as per the standards of science if our laws can’t measure them?

    You can only surmise they exist because of the observation of phenomena that can’t be explained by science, or even contradict what we think of as hard and fast physical laws.

    As a Christian, I’m OK with that:-)

    But ID is much better grounded.

  23. If there are a near infinite number of universes (or domians)then every logical possibility will be actualized in at least one. It is logically possible that a maximally great being exist and therefore there must be at least one universe in which such a being exists. But if this being is maximally great then it must exist in every possible universe, including ours.

    On the other hand, it is also logically possible (perhaps) that a maximally great being does not exist, in which case there must be at least one universe in which such a being does not exist. But if a maximally great being fails to exist in one universe it must not exist in any universe.

    The upshot of this, at least it seems to me, is that the idea of a near infinite number of worlds is incoherent.

  24. tribune7,

    Oh, I’m not a fan of multiverse thoughts either. Not in physics anyway – metaphysics, perhaps. I just was pointing out that someone else had weighed in on this topic from a Christian point of view.

    For me, there’s not much bite – if it’s true, it hardly affects my faith. But it doesn’t seem to be falsifiable, so it’s only metaphysically interesting at best.

  25. No, one doubts that materialism will easily abandon Natural Selection and place all bets on Many Worlds. Physics, as Phillip Johnson observed from the start, can relegate the Designer to the other side of the Big Bang and therefore not be as immediately threatening to materialism as biology.

    Many Worlds, me thinks, was devised to avoid certain uncomfortable implications (uncomfortable to materialists?) of Quantum Theory, later it was invoked against Fine Tuning, and now it’s there in case Darwin becomes too discredited.

    Anyway, folks, what do you think—can physics be rescued from absurdity without agency (i.e., the source of design) being seen as fundamental, not emergent or ultimately created but a “sky-hook” as Angus Menuge argues?

    But if agency is fundamental then what about time?

    Perhaps Euclid was right—space and time are as immutable as the laws of arithmetic. For if time is a created phenomenon, then within what time frame did the event of time’s creation occur?

    OK, I keep harping, but don’t y’all think it’s absurd that there is no such thing in modern physics as the present? that “now” is considered a subjective illusion?

    Am I wrong when I sense that physics suffers because the most fundamental aspect of reality—agency—was ruled out by Einstein? In doing away with the present and simultaneity and the direction in which agents act Einstein made blind determinism basic. No, not that we’re smarter, but could the Zeitgeist have induced Einstein and his age to err?

  26. nullasalus,

    What I like about the concept is pointing out that someone can be the biggest booster of the multiverse in the entire multiverse and still not lose his chance at tenure :-)

    I think few of us here are really bothered by the notion. I think those, however, who are pushing it as a way of cutting the odds of a universe fine-tuned for life happening without design have not considered the metaphysical ramifications.

  27. 27
    William J. Murray

    #14:

    [quote]
    In other words, no matter what combination of evidence exists within this universe, it does not falsify the multiverse. [end quote]

    MWI is a hypothesis that can be used to formulate predictive and retro-dictive theories that will either prove useful or not, and are/have been/will be falsifiable. If such predictive theories are not useful, then MWI becomes a fun bit of sophistry and nothing more; if such predictive theories are useful, as in quantum computing and other applications, then MWI is much like “a Designer” in I.D.; you might never be able to prove there are in fact other universes, but you can certainly prove that phenomena in this universe behaves as if there are.

  28. 28
    William J. Murray

    #14:

    [quote]
    In other words, no matter what combination of evidence exists within this universe, it does not falsify the multiverse. [end quote]

    MWI is a hypothesis that can be used to formulate predictive and retro-dictive theories that will either prove useful or not, and are/have been/will be falsifiable. If such predictive theories are not useful, then MWI becomes a fun bit of sophistry and nothing more; if such predictive theories are useful, as in quantum computing and other applications, then MWI is much like “a Designer” in I.D.; you might never be able to prove there are in fact other universes, but you can certainly prove that phenomena in this universe behaves as if there are.

  29. 29
    William J. Murray

    #15:
    [quote]

    So how can A collapse B to one variant, if both have infinite or near infinite variants going at the same time? [end quote]

    Under MWI, the terminology “collapse” makes it seem as if something is actually happening to “B”, whatever “B” is; the term “collapse” really means (if I’m not mistaken) that one version of “B” is “chosen” as the perception “A” is having. “Whatever A is” correlates in some way to what version of B is selected.

    All the other versions of B still exist, but not in that particular “A”‘s world. The other versions of B might be selected in the universes/experiences of other versions of A.

    [quote]
    And if there is no collapsing mechanism, than we have conscious existences going in a nearly infinite number of places, all at the same time!! So how does everything appear so consistent, how does it square with our experiences?
    [end quote]

    The collapsing mechanism is the “state of A” that exists in correspondence to a “state of B”. Nothing is really collapsing under MWI, I believe.

    The universe appears consistent because such a universe corresponds to that particular version of the observer.

    Other conscious entities may not correspond to so consistent a set of experiences.

  30. Dick #23

    [quote]If there are a near infinite number of universes (or domians)then every logical possibility will be actualized in at least one.[\quote]

    I don’t think this follows. If you have infinitely many universes and only finitely many logical possibilities, you can say that some logical possibility is actualized infinitely often, but not that every logical possibility is actualized. (If there are infinitely many logical possibilities, all bets are off!)

    As an analogy, if you know you have infinitely many slips of paper and on each one is written a number between 1 and 10, you can say that at least one of the numbers appears infinitely often, but you can’t say that every number appears; you could have all 5′s, in which case 7 (for instance) never shows up at all.

  31. 31
    William J. Murray

    Quote:
    I think those, however, who are pushing it as a way of cutting the odds of a universe fine-tuned for life happening without design have not considered the metaphysical ramifications. [end quote]

    I think also that many of those that fight against it have similarly not really considered the metaphysical ramifications.

    Many here argue that MWI is the last-gasp of materialism, so they fight the idea, but they don’t really fully consider the ramifications of MWI.

    Materialism becomes essentially meaningless under MWI, because macro physical actualities only represent lattice-works of quantum structure selected by observers; materialism would just be one selected continuity out of many potential scenarios.

    For those that select (so to speak) an existence under God, life after death, paranormal activity, the miraculous, etc. … the quantum structure can as easily support that.

    I think the real issue a lot of I.D.ers would have with the ramifications of MWI is while God would actually exist for those that “selected” such an existence, God wouldn’t exist for those that didn’t select it.

    Under MWI, you wouldn’t have to compete with others for “the one true reality”.

  32. 32
    William J. Murray

    #18:

    [quote]
    If you are saying they exist you are making a statement of faith. [end quote]

    “My wife loves me” is also a statement of faith; I have equal confidence that both statements are meaningfully valid.

  33. For those that select (so to speak) an existence under God, life after death, paranormal activity, the miraculous, etc. … the quantum structure can as easily support that.

    I agree with that.

    “My wife loves me” is also a statement of faith; I have equal confidence that both statements are meaningfully valid.

    I don’t dispute you there either but you are not claiming that is science are you?

  34. The question of the “MultiVerse” is an enigma to me. If anything can be observed in finite time it , like any empirically observable phenomenon falls within the category of universe. Having read Berlinski’s “THE DEVIL’S DELUSION,” this groping at straws by string theorists, et al, is a rather desperate attempt to explain metaphysics in physical categories. It is yet another tired effort at explaining away the “irrationality” found in religion.

    It is an interesting theory and one quite possible, given the biblical accounts found in the Pauline epistles. But the agenda at hand is decidedly materialist, and rather hopeless in my view.

  35. I agree with your pessimism on truth, Bill, It just has to be possible to have a misleading world: One that gives an illusion to even it’s best observer species that it is part of a multi-verse, while actually presenting the wrong multi-verse.

    BTW, well done, Bettawrekonize!

  36. William J. Murray: “My wife loves me” is also a statement of faith;

    tribune7: …you are not claiming that is science are you?

    In a Russellian sense, it would have to be. For the devotees of Scientism, it has to be reducible to scientific statements, or otherwise it’s a conceit–perhaps harmless, but nothing actually to it. If you don’t doubt him, and you approach it from this perspective, then there has to be a group of scientific facts at the base of it–which, he does not know directly.

  37. 37
    William J. Murray

    #32 & #35:

    It brings to question how one knows things; does one know things only because scientific evidence based on scientific premise indicates something to be true? Is everything else by default faith?

    I don’t subscribe to those definitions of faith and knowledge. I know my wife loves me, in any practical sense of the word. If I say “I know there is a multiverse,” then before you say “no, you do not” it might behoove you to at least question me on how I arrived at that conclusion before you assert it is the product of faith.

    You don’t know what I’ve experienced. It’s like claiming that anyone who believes there is a god believes it on faith; you don’t know what they’ve experienced.

  38. 38

    If such predictive theories are not useful, then MWI becomes a fun bit of sophistry and nothing more; if such predictive theories are useful, as in quantum computing and other applications, then MWI is much like “a Designer” in I.D.; you might never be able to prove there are in fact other universes, but you can certainly prove that phenomena in this universe behaves as if there are.

    The difference here is that we know what design looks like because we ourselves can design. We don’t know how this universe should behave if there are multiple universes since we can never experimentally observe the difference in behavior between the existence of one universe and multiple universes. One can only speculate how this universe should behave if there are multiple universes. How do we know all of the phenomena in this universe aren’t simply a function of this universe?

  39. 39

    That is, we can never experimentally observe the difference in behavior between one independent universe and one universe within multiple universes.

  40. You don’t know what I’ve experienced.

    Your right. I don’t. And you can’t empirically prove what you experienced. All you can do is witness to it.

  41. William & jj.

    Just because something isn’t science, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

  42. 42
    William J. Murray

    Quote:

    Your right. I don’t. And you can’t empirically prove what you experienced. All you can do is witness to it.

    End Quote

    It’s statements like this that are really fun to examine. What do you mean I can’t “empirically prove” it?

    I have “empirically proven” the existence of the multiverse to many people, through rational evaluations of experiential, experimental evidence based on predictions generated by certain premises and extrapolations of the postulated MWI format and relationship.

    Have I scientifically proven it? Again, it depends on what you mean by “scientifically proven”. Proven to whom? A consensus of mainstream scientists? Scientific and empirical are not synonymous; “proven” doesn’t mean “true for everyone”, and if MWI is meaningfully descriptive of what we are actually experiencing, do you really think I can successfully prove it to someone that selects sequences where it cannot be proven?

    MWI as a hypothesis requires that one very closely examine their premises; you are making comments about a hypothetical MWI existence based upon terms and axioms rooted in the idea of a single, objective physical universe.

  43. It’s statements like this that are really fun to examine. What do you mean I can’t “empirically prove” it?

    It’s self evident. Demonstrate this multiverse.

  44. I still have a VERY tough time at seeing how “design” is a logical alternative to describing the world working through cause and effect processess.
    It’s like we see this existence and all of its workings (which at one time seemed chaotic and magical to us humans) and we as humans parsed it down into definitions, statistics, categories, laws, analogies, explanations, and theories that are structured in a way that can be comprehended by other humans.
    Maybe we think it was “designed” because of the very nature of how we think? We’ve designed our own structured descriptions of our universe, and the natural by-product of that is a view of a universe that contains design.

  45. 45

    It’s self evident. Demonstrate this multiverse.

    I guess the real problem is that naturalists get to have a monopoly on what is taught while they get to censor criticisms and opposing views of anything that may contradict naturalism. This makes it much easier for them to get their views accepted without having to demonstrate what they claim.

    Then some naturalists (and I’m not pointing to anyone specific) go on message boards and blogs and clutter them with bad logic in order to overwhelm good logic against their nonsense in hopes that no one would notice the good logic (because of extreme volume) and in order to prevent us from discussing and developing/maturing/improving our viewpoints. After all, if they made an attempt to argue against us and improve their own logic (instead of repeating the same old bad logic over and over), that would only help us improve our arguments (and people reading our refutations of their better arguments can learn how to refute those better arguments and get a better understanding of our arguments) and if we are allowed to peer review each others views with good logic, then we can improve our understanding of the universe as well. They want to interrupt that process and they interrupt it by cluttering us with bad logic over and over and over, and never conceding to the fact that they are resorting to bad logic.

    I wish there was a (privately funded) forum like this for YEC’s where continuously repeated bad logic gets banned (and YEC moderators decide who gets banned). That way it’s a forum for people who believe in YEC to peer review each others views (and get their views peer reviewed by people who oppose YEC who aren’t simply interested in trolling and who would actually concede if they are wrong instead of constantly repeating bad logic, as if that would make them correct) and actually try and improve them (instead of having to constantly battle repeated bad logic). Well, it could be publicly funded as long as they have publicly funded forums like this for OETs (opposing views) where the moderators are OETs. I also wish there was a message board for YEC’s and ID proponents (that’s not a blog) like this (where bad logic, determined by ID and YEC proponents, gets banned). Blogs seem to have too many limitations (but they have their advantages and their limitations also give them some advantages to some).

  46. 46

    I guess the real problem is that naturalists get to have a monopoly on what is taught (in publicly funded schools)…

  47. 47

    If such predictive theories are not useful, then MWI becomes a fun bit of sophistry and nothing more; if such predictive theories are useful, as in quantum computing and other applications, then MWI is much like “a Designer” in I.D.; you might never be able to prove there are in fact other universes, but you can certainly prove that phenomena in this universe behaves as if there are.

    The difference here is that we know what design looks like because we ourselves can design. We don’t know how this universe should behave or look like if there are multiple universes since we can never experimentally observe the difference in behavior between one independent universe and one universe within multiple universes. One can only speculate how this universe should behave or look like if it is within many universes. How do we know all of the observable phenomena in this universe aren’t simply a function of this universe?

  48. 48

    If such predictive theories are not useful, then MWI becomes a fun bit of sophistry and nothing more; if such predictive theories are useful, as in quantum computing and other applications, then MWI is much like “a Designer” in I.D.; you might never be able to prove there are in fact other universes, but you can certainly prove that phenomena in this universe behaves as if there are.

    The difference here is that we know what design looks like because we ourselves can design. We don’t know how this universe should behave or look like if there are multiple universes since we can never experimentally observe the difference in behavior between one independent universe and one universe within multiple universes. One can only speculate how this universe should behave or look like if it is within many universes. How do we know all of the observable phenomena in this universe aren’t simply a function of this universe?

  49. 49
    William J. Murray

    Tribure said:

    It’s self evident. Demonstrate this multiverse.

    My response:

    I have, many times, to the satisfaction of several people. Arguing about it in this forum isn’t “emipirically proving” it, as you pointed out. Demonstrating it, or having others demonstrate it to themselves in a convincing manner, is the very definition of “empirically proving” it.

    Bettawreconize said:

    The difference here is that we know what design looks like because we ourselves can design. We don’t know how this universe should behave or look like if there are multiple universes since we can never experimentally observe the difference in behavior between one independent universe and one universe within multiple universes. One can only speculate how this universe should behave or look like if it is within many universes. How do we know all of the observable phenomena in this universe aren’t simply a function of this universe?

    My response:

    The two are directaly analogous; we know how one thing behaves; we speculate that there may be more than just that one thing affecting what we are observing and make the best models we can describing what we would likely see if there is more than that one known thing.

    Is there only human I.D.? Are there other forms of I.D. affecting phenomena humans interact with? Does that other I.D. act enough like human I.D. for a comparison to be meaningful? Will we ever know for certain if there is actually another form of I.D. in operation?

    It’s directly related to the MWI issue; do we really know that there is just one universe? We assume our concept of living in a single universe is axiomatically correct; what if that’s not the case? What if more than just “one universe” is in operation in our daily lives?

    If more than one source of I.D. is a better explanation for what we observe than just one source, why not use that view? If more than one universe is a better explanation for what we observe than just one universe, why not use that view? Those are just terms we utilize to describe something; if “human I.D.” or “one universe” no longer satisfy their obligation to best describe whate we observe, then we change our terminology.

    Do we really know what “human” I.D. is, or is human I.D. just the product of another I.D.? Do we really know what it is to live in “one universe”, or is the experience we are having actually the product of living in a multiverse?

    At the end of the day, you go with what is a better, more descriptive model utilizing the best terms you can; aspects of the universe behave as if there are other sources of I.D. than humans; aspects of the universe behave as if there is a multiverse affecting it.

    Can we ever directly observe the other putative “designer”? I don’t know. Some people claim to have done so. Can we ever directly observe the other putative “universes”? I don’t know. Some people claim to have done so. It would be presumptuous to claim we cannot, though.

  50. There seems to be a lot of confusion and conflation of MWI and the multiverse here, including in Denyse’s post. Please note that Dr. Dembski’s conflation was apparently done for the sake of humor. For general edification: The two concepts are distinct.

    In MWI (the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics), there is still essentially one universe — It has one set of laws of nature. It’s just that it is held to be continually branching, such that all different kinds of histories (“worlds”) are occurring, in parallel, but we experience only one of them. The term ‘world’ was apparently first used by Herbert Minkowski to describe what is now typically called the spacetime continuum of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    In the multiverse hypthesis, there are multiple, separate universes, each with its own laws of nature, and only an infinitesimally small proportion of them support life of any kind — and we live in one of them.

    For my part, I think that Occam’s razor makes short work of both MWI and the multiverse hypothesis.
    __________

    William J. Murray (5): “It would be an error to see MWI as a response to the I.D. challenge.

    …but it wouldn’t be an error to see the multiverse “hypothesis” as a response to the challenge posed by ID. MWI has been talked about for decades as a consistent, but strange, alternative to the Copenhagen interpretation — and a perhaps desperate attempt to salvage determinism. However, the multiverse hypothesis seems to have been taken seriously, and widely advocated, only in direct proportion with the recognition of how finely-tuned the universe is.

  51. 51

    What is often forgotten about MWI is that it’s a tool that solves a particular class of problems. Some solutions are more elegant then others.

    However I fail to see how that is a problem as is that not also a “big tent” approach as is offered here? They might never decide on what is the “correct” interpretation, just like many issues on this side of the fence may never be decided.

    So, simply, follow the evidence where it leads and you won’t go far wrong.

    For my part, I think that Occam’s razor makes short work of both MWI and the multiverse hypothesis.

    Ah, but then it falls to you to find new tools to explain the data. Nobody is proposing MWI simply out of fun to make things more complex. They are proposed because data points to them, or something even stranger we don’t yet grasp. If it’s so simple to dismiss them via Mr Occam and his razor why do they stil persist? How about string theory? Should that also be razored away?

    Seems to me some people here would glady dismiss basic research that may never have a pratical benefit on the basis it’s speculative. I say let the scientists play with their models all they want, you never know what will come of it.

    Does ID propose a better non-thelogical solution to the problems solved by the many universe theory?

  52. I say let the scientists play with their models all they want, you never know what will come of it.

    I agree with that. Of course I’m including ID.

    Does ID propose a better non-thelogical solution to the problems solved by the many universe theory?

    ID is non-theological. It basically says here is what we know about design and when we apply it to life it shows life to be designed. It’s not so much a solution but an observation of reality and in no way does it invoke God.

    Unlike multiverse which basically is an attempt to explain why traditional materialist models fail without having to consider the possibility of the existence of God.

    Of course, when taken to it logical end, this backfires on the atheist. Christians always believed there are places where our natural laws don’t apply.

  53. 53

    William J. Murray

    The two are directaly analogous; we know how one thing behaves; we speculate that there may be more than just that one thing affecting what we are observing and make the best models we can describing what we would likely see if there is more than that one known thing.

    The two are not directly analogous. We know how this universe behaves but we have no experimental basis of comparing a single independent universe with one universe within multiple universes. We have such basis of comparing designed objects with undesigned objects and determining which characteristics are only seen in designed object. There is a difference.

    Is there only human I.D.? Are there other forms of I.D. affecting phenomena humans interact with?

    If we see a car, do we assume it’s a product of multiple universes? Or do we assume it’s a product of a designer (or designers) acting in/on this universe?

    It’s directly related to the MWI issue; do we really know that there is just one universe? We assume our concept of living in a single universe is axiomatically correct; what if that’s not the case? What if more than just “one universe” is in operation in our daily lives?

    Then the burden of proof is on you to provide experimental data showing the difference in behavior between one independent universe or one universe within multiple universes and then to show that our universe behaves like one universe within multiple universes. If you can’t then your claims are just unfalsifiable speculation. In the case of design, we know what design looks like and we can provide experimental data showing this.

  54. 54

    In the case of design, we know what design looks like and we can provide experimental data showing this.

    Please do so.

    In addition, do you think there is any chance of implementing this experimental data via a computer program that would allow semi-automated design detection?

  55. 55

    When we see an object with characteristics only seen in designed objects and the origins of the object are known, those characteristics of the object are always a product of design acting in/on this universe. This action is something we can observe. We can never observe the properties of multiple universes where this universe just happens to be a universe where that object comes to exist (and compare it to the properties of one independent universe).

    If more than one source of I.D. is a better explanation for what we observe than just one source, why not use that view?

    Well, more than one human can design a car but we never claim that the car exists as a product of multiple universes (and not design).
    Basically, your view is that our universe exists as a product of necessity (not design or chance). There are multiple universes, each universe covering a combination of every possible orientation and behavior, so by necessity, a universe like ours must exist. I have already outlined the problems with the multiverse though and how it differs from the design inference.

    Again, the only problem here is the naturalistic monopoly on thought (in public schools). ID is a better explanation than the multiverse (for reasons I already gave) and if students were equally exposed to non – strawman versions of both (pros and cons), they would probably buy ID over the multiverse. However, naturalists get to choose what is taught in public schools which makes it easier for them to convince students that their views provide better explanations when they don’t.

    BTW, this multiverse hypothesis is similar to that of natural selection. Darwin predicted that if there are multiple organisims to choose from, one of them is bound to provide the right combination of atoms to produce what we are and nature would select it. However, we never observe nature producing what it is proposed to produce. So now they are saying, “well, if we naturally select the right universe, we can produce a universe just like this one.” Such is a product of speculation.

  56. 56

    Bennith Karlow

    Please do so.

    This computer is designed and I can build another computer to show that we can design computers.

  57. 57

    if “human I.D.” or “one universe” no longer satisfy their obligation to best describe whate we observe, then we change our terminology.

    No, what we do not do is play defintion games (that is something comitted naturalists do becuse they can’t overcome the problems with their nonsense). What we could do is add new termonology (like what Behe did when he came up with the termonology Irreducable complexity) but, for the sake of consistency and being able to express existing ideas, you do not change existing termonology. That’s a sign of bad science.

    4. Modify definitions used in the theory.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-that-too/

  58. Bennith Karlow (53): “Nobody is proposing MWI simply out of fun to make things more complex. They are proposed because data points to them, or something even stranger we don’t yet grasp. If it’s so simple to dismiss them via Mr Occam and his razor why do they stil persist?

    Maybe MWI persists because many people prefer a model composed of all known-type elements, even if it depends on positing the existence of unobservable, parallel spacetime continuums continually branching from, and then continuing to exist in parallel with, ours. The alternative is one universe, with everything that’s needed for consistency somehow computed “under the hood.” Imagine someone who had ridden a horse his entire life finding an automobile unbelievable, and guessing that there must be horses hidden in there somewhere.

    A monstrously vast number of (unseen) spacetime continuums vs. One “under the hood” mechanism. Occam says the latter is to be preferred.

    And, again, the promotion of the multiverse hypothesis is suspiciously correlated to the recognition of the exquisite fine-tuning in the universe.
    __________

    P.S. (52): Herbert Hermann Minkowski

  59. 59
    William J. Murray

    Most people here seem to be forgetting that MWI wasn’t invented to circumvent I.D.; it was hypothesized to account for facts discovered about subatomic phenomena. Unless there is some I.D. argument about the outcomes of photon-slit experiments and other quantum phenomena that led to the development of MWI, arguing that it is just being brought in to avoid design is irrelevant.

    The theory of I.D. is that some phenonema are better explained by I.D.; not that the phenomena “actually is” designed by I.D. Whether or not MWI is utilized to provide reasonable depth for something happening “naturally”, that doesn’t mean I.D. isn’t the better explanation.

    If I.D.is the better explantory model, then it will be able to make better predictions and it will be more useful than other models. The MWI backdrop is meaningless when it comes to which model is more useful in any particular case.

    Other than ideology, I don’t really see why I.D.ers have such an issue with MWI. MWI doesn’t invalidate any effective model just because there’s enough universes around (so to speak) for anything to happen.

    You still have to have effective, descriptive models that describe what goes on in this universe, and I.D. is obviously a better model at least in some cases.

  60. 60

    Yet, At its core MWI is a materialistic postulation.

    And in fact materialists do try to undercut the overwhelming design inference with either a MWI or the Multiverse conjecture whenever they are corned,

    for example just recently this tactic was used here;

    excerpt:

    Peer reviewed and published in Biology Today, Koonin calculated the probability of the most simple life form arising by natural processes, with the following conclusion:
    The requirements for the emergence of a primitive, coupled replication-translation system, which is considered a candidate for the breakthrough stage in this paper, are much greater. At a minimum, spontaneous formation of: – two rRNAs with a total size of at least 1000 nucleotides – ~10 primitive adaptors of ~30 nucleotides each, in total, ~300 nucleotides – at least one RNA encoding a replicase, ~500 nucleotides (low bound) is required. In the above notation, n = 1800, resulting in E

  61. 61

    cont.

    That is, the chance of life occurring by natural processes is 1 in 10 followed by 1018 zeros. Koonin’s intent was to show that short of postulating a multiverse of an infinite number of universes, the chance of life occuring on earth is vanishingly small, and we can understand the practical import to be that life by natural processes in a universe such as ours to be impossible.

  62. 62

    I completely disagree with you that quantum non-locality completely verifies the materialistic based MWI.

    In fact Anton Zeilinger, a leading expert in quantum mechanics, has gone so far as to tentively reject this materialistic MWI scenario in favor of a totally new “information based reality.

    Excerpt:

    In conclusion it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thene the question why narture appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word”.

    Anton Zeilinger Professor of Physics

    http://www.metanexus.net/Magaz.....fault.aspx

    For this reduction to a Information based reality is a much more reasonable proposition than postulating an infinite number of world’s.

  63. 63

    I’m always amused by the fine-tuning argument. What is says to me is that if we were sitting round in a universe where light was slower then sound and gravity was 1000 times stronger (as so us as lifeforms would be total different) then it currently is then people would still point to the constants that made it so as evidence of “fine tuning”.

    I believe Douglas Adams also came up with a similar thought with his “puddle” that fit “exactly” to the shape of the hole it was in. Not a good fit, but “exactly”. The puddle obviously read more into that fact then was warranted.

    Until somebody proved the values in this universe are the only possible ones to support life them perhaps that argument will hold water for me. And obviously, that’s impossible.

  64. Until somebody proved the values in this universe are the only possible ones to support life them perhaps that argument will hold water for me. And obviously, that’s impossible.

    The reality is there is other known circumstances in which life can be supported.

    But by faith, you can believe that it still might be possible :-)

  65. 65

    Tribune7,
    By jove, you’ve almost got it!

    The reality is that an unknown (and unknowable) number of different universes (if they exist) with different constants can support life. We simply don’t know how many or of what type.

    It’s not a matter of faith. It’s a matter of fact. The fact is that it cannot be proven that this universe and it’s constants is the only set that supports “life”.

    Which brings me to another point.

    If this universe and it’s constants are “fine tuned” for life why do we only see life on the merest speck of it? I.E Earth.

    Seems like the universe is positivly antagonistic towards what we would view as life.

    If the universe had been designed for the sort of life we see on this planet then I rather think it would be like a Larry Niven book, a gigantic gas filled universe where organic beings can fly around as required. 100% of the space available is available for life.

    WHereas in our universe the vast majority is empty space. Not very hospitable towards life. I know there is no requirement for design to be “optimum” but still, seems somewhat wasteful.

  66. The reality is that an unknown (and unknowable) number of different universes (if they exist) . . . It’s not a matter of faith. It’s a matter of fact.

    When you call something a fact without knowing it exist you are showing a degree of faith that far surpasses anything of which I, personally, am capable.

  67. 67

    Tribune,
    The quote was

    The reality is that an unknown (and unknowable) number of different universes (if they exist) with different constants can support life. We simply don’t know how many or of what type.

    It’s not a matter of faith. It’s a matter of fact. The fact is that it cannot be proven that this universe and it’s constants is the only set that supports “life”.

    I’ve highlighed what you quoted. I think it means something different when not chopped up.

    What exactly is it that you think I’m calling a “fact” here?

    Is it not a fact that if the multiverse does exist and constants can be differenn, then other universes with different constants, could support life? Who could disagree with that?

    I’m not sure what you are objecting to. And I feel that you are responding to a point that I’m not making.

    As a theist, tribune, don’t you call something “fact” without really “knowing it exists”?

  68. What exactly is it that you think I’m calling a “fact” here?

    What I took it to mean was that you were calling the multiverse a reality. Were you saying that if the multiverse did exist there would be at least one with different constants that could support life? To be hard-nosed about it, that’s a statement of faith as well.

    As a theist, tribune, don’t you call something “fact” without really “knowing it exists”?

    Well, I know God exists. What I also know is that I can’t demonstrate something to a doubter that by definition transcends our physical laws using those physical laws. :-)

  69. 69

    The multiverse solves some problems that are giving physics a headache at the moment. What is a reality is that those problems exist. The multiverse solves some of those problems in a elegant way. Sure the real answer might be something totally different but pooh-pooing the concept simply because it does not chime with theological beliefs strikes me as wrong.

    And yes, if the multiverse did exist and was infinite then logically there would be an infinite number that were capable of supporting life. It’s not a statement of faith. It’s a statement of fact.

    To be hard-nosed about it, the thought that this particular universes combination of constants and our location/configuration in this particular universe were put that way just so we could exist seems to me the height of self-importance.

    Space is very very big. We take up a very very small part of the universe. Yet somehow the universe was tuned just for us? No.

    I don’t believe so. If anything, the universe was tuned to create vast empty voids of space peppered with the very occasional star.

  70. Mavis Riley:
    “The multiverse solves some problems that are giving physics a headache at the moment.”

    Yes, and fairies at the bottom of my garden also solve some problems.

    Check this out. It is extremely relevant: http://www.nyas.org/publicatio.....pdateID=41

    Mavis Riley:
    “The multiverse solves some of those problems in a elegant way.”

    I guess it depends what you mean by elegant. If you want to explain the existence of a few phenomenon that are not defined by the properties of the materials used, are extremely improbable, do not flow as a necessity from knowledge of laws of physics and chemistry, have “awareness,” and can be explained by recourse to previous awareness because of an observed information/intelligence loop, then is the most elegant solution one that really doesn’t explain anything because it postulates that “given enough time and extra dimensions/universes/whatever-you-need, anything and everything logically possible will and does happen?”

    I thought elegance and explanation was found in mathematical relationships and testability, not in “well shucks, stuff like that just happens given enough extra stuff.”

    Mavis Riley:
    “To be hard-nosed about it, the thought that this particular universes combination of constants and our location/configuration in this particular universe were put that way just so we could exist seems to me the height of self-importance.”

    Nope, just the height of observation of physical constraints, informational structures, probabilities, and available options.

    Mavis Riley:
    “Space is very very big. We take up a very very small part of the universe. Yet somehow the universe was tuned just for us? No.”

    You know this how? And what if it was fine-tuned just for us. We are already extremely valuable in terms of rarity, configuration, and awareness of our universe and its structure, and capacity for understanding the beauty of logic and math and abstract reasoning which is essential to understanding the universe itself.

    “If anything, the universe was tuned to create vast empty voids of space peppered with the very occasional star.”

    Actually no, there really isn’t any tuning necessary to arrive at a bunch of random particles which configure themselves based on self-contained laws.

  71. 71

    CJYman

    Why motivations then do you think the people proposing multiverse theory have?

    For what reason are they proposing it?

    What are they trying to gain?

    if you want to explain the existence of a few phenomenon that are not defined by the properties of the materials used, are extremely improbable, do not flow as a necessity from knowledge of laws of physics and chemistry, have “awareness,” and can be explained by recourse to previous awareness because of an observed information/intelligence loop

    I don’t really understand what you are trying to say.

    I thought elegance and explanation was found in mathematical relationships and testability, not in “well shucks, stuff like that just happens given enough extra stuff.”

    The origin of life is not the only puzzle that multiverse theory can speaks of. Could you tell me what it is, exactly, that you think people are trying to prove when they invoke mutiple universes?

    You know this how?

    Space isbig. We do only take up a tiny part of observable space. I know that that how.

    . We are already extremely valuable in terms of rarity, configuration, and awareness of our universe and its structure, and capacity for understanding the beauty of logic and math and abstract reasoning which is essential to understanding the universe itself

    For all you know the rest of the universe’s population could have “ascended” to an energy only state billions of years ago and we’re in essentially a zoo for them to remember how it once was.

    Actually no, there really isn’t any tuning necessary to arrive at a bunch of random particles which configure themselves based on self-contained laws.

    Are you speaking of “emergent behaviours”?

    Who said anything about a bunch of random particles which configure themselves based on self-contained laws?

  72. Mavis Riley:
    “Why motivations then do you think the people proposing multiverse theory have?”

    To be honest, motivation for scientific discovery means little to me in the long run. Just “get the job done.”

    Mavis Riley:
    “For what reason are they proposing it?”

    Because it is one way to interpret the approx. 10^400 differing string theories which may be void of empirical testability.

    Please read the article linked in my last comment. It provides some insight into the situation.

    Mavis Riley:
    “I don’t really understand what you are trying to say.”

    I’m saying exactly what I’ve written. Multiplying probabilistic resources gives no ultimate explanation of the phenomenon that I’ve laid out. So multiverse “theory” is a no-starter in terms of explanatory power.

    Mavis Riley:
    “The origin of life is not the only puzzle that multiverse theory can speaks of.”

    That’s part of my point. It attempts to speak of everything but in the course explains nothing except to say that “of course everything that is logically possible happens.”

    Mavis Riley:
    “Could you tell me what it is, exactly, that you think people are trying to prove when they invoke mutiple universes?”

    You can’t prove anything by invoking multiple universes. The foundation of multiple universes is that “anything logical will and does happen.” This removes the need for proof as the answer becomes “of course it happens somewhere, sometime.”

    As a Prof. Haldane put it:
    ““The problem [of falsifiability of a probabilistic statement] has been dealt with in a recent book by G. Matheron, entitled Estimating and Choosing: An Essay on Probability in Practice (Springer-Verlag, 1989). He proposes that a probabilistic model be considered falsifiable if some of its consequences have zero (or in practice very low) probability. If one of these consequences is observed, the model is then rejected.
    ‘The fatal weakness of the monkey argument, which calculates probabilities of events “somewhere, sometime”, is that all events, no matter how unlikely they are, have probability one as long as they are logically possible, so that the suggested model can never be falsified. Accepting the validity of Huxley’s reasoning puts the whole probability theory outside the realm of verifiable science. In particular, it vitiates the whole of quantum theory and statistical mechanics, including thermodynamics, and therefore destroys the foundations of all modern science. For example, as Bertrand Russell once pointed out, if we put a kettle on a fire and the water in the kettle froze, we should argue, following Huxley, that a very unlikely event of statistical mechanics occurred, as it should “somewhere, sometime”, rather than trying to find out what went wrong with the experiment!’”

    I asked:
    “You know this how?”

    Mavis Riley, you responded:
    “Space is big. We do only take up a tiny part of observable space. I know that that how.”

    Sorry for not being clear, but my question was in reference to your statement, “Yet somehow the universe was tuned just for us? No.”

    In fact, that observation that the universe is so big and we are so small, yet so improbable (among other things), bolsters the case that the universe is fine tuned to “discover” the solution to human intelligence.

    I stated:
    ” We are already extremely valuable in terms of rarity, configuration, and awareness of our universe and its structure, and capacity for understanding the beauty of logic and math and abstract reasoning which is essential to understanding the universe itself.”

    Mavis Riley, you responded:
    “For all you know the rest of the universe’s population could have “ascended” to an energy only state billions of years ago and we’re in essentially a zoo for them to remember how it once was.”

    I’m sorry, but I’m speaking in terms of science — you know, observation and testability — not wild speculation in order to keep one’s faith afloat.

    Furthermore, I don’t see how that would negate my conclusion that life is extremely valuable in terms of configuration, and awareness of our universe and its structure, and capacity for understanding the beauty of logic and math and abstract reasoning which is essential to understanding the universe itself. And, if your scenario is not the case, then “rarity” can be added back on to the list of reasons why life (and human intelligence) is valuable.

    Mavis Riley:
    “Are you speaking of “emergent behaviours”?

    No I’m speaking of the laws which govern matter and energy.

    Mavis Riley:
    “Who said anything about a bunch of random particles which configure themselves based on self-contained laws?”

    You did when you mentioned the formation of stars. I’m just explaining that no fine-tuning is necessary in that case. Matter with *any* law will create some type of configuration, no fine tuning necessary. However, matter will not just create life (and its non-law based high informational configuration) based on just any law. In fact out of all mathematically possible universes, an extremely tiny sliver are even capable of supporting life much less even causing it to form. The vast majority of mathematically possible universes either contain only hydrogen, or expand so rapidly that after a second all that’s left is energy, or expand and then contract so fast that they only exist for a split second, etc.

  73. The multiverse solves some problems that are giving physics a headache at the moment. What is a reality is that those problems exist. The multiverse solves some of those problems in a elegant way.

    You seem to be saying that physics now finds it useful to assume that there are dimensions in which our physical laws do not apply.

    Sure the real answer might be something totally different but pooh-pooing the concept simply because it does not chime with theological beliefs strikes me as wrong.

    But Christianity has long held that there are dimensions in which our physical laws don’t apply :-)

    And yes, if the multiverse did exist and was infinite then logically there would be an infinite number that were capable of supporting life. It’s not a statement of faith. It’s a statement of fact.

    There does not have to be an infinite number of dimension to resolve the concerns of physics addressed by the multiverse.

    And infinity does not mean anything is possible. Suppose you had a rock sitting on a table in a room for an infinite amount of time. Would that rock ever sprout wings?

  74. 74

    But Christianity has long held that there are dimensions in which our physical laws don’t apply

    Has it? Are you sure about that? I think yes, it’s talked about places like that but “dimensions”? No, I don’t think so.

    here does not have to be an infinite number of dimension to resolve the concerns of physics addressed by the multiverse.

    Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. What are those concerns that are addressed by finite numbers of dimensions (or universes) then? :) And what do you propose to replace them to address those same concerns?

    And infinity does not mean anything is possible. Suppose you had a rock sitting on a table in a room for an infinite amount of time. Would that rock ever sprout wings?

    No, but it might sprout a flagellum.

  75. I think yes, it’s talked about places like that but “dimensions”?

    Why would ‘dimensions’ not apply?

    What are those concerns that are addressed by finite numbers of dimensions (or universes) then?

    That events considered impossible by traditional physics are observed.

  76. Would that rock ever sprout wings? . . .No, but it might sprout a flagellum.

    not by law or chance.

  77. 77

    Why would ‘dimensions’ not apply?

    Well, if it was discovered that in fact there were no additional dimensions would that not automatically mean there were no such places And why dimensions anyway? Will people get the ability to percieve and understand additional dimensions when they die? Where are you getting this from?

    That events considered impossible by traditional physics are observed.

    Ah, the details. Can you name such an event?

    not by law or chance

    What does that leave?

  78. 78

    Oh, if it was discovered that additional dimensions were not required would you then, Tribune, insist that in fact they did exist desipte the evidence, simply to support your idea of where Heaven is?

  79. Hey Mavis,

    Just so you know, you are confusing issues. There is a difference between multiple dimensions and multiple universes.

  80. Well, if it was discovered that in fact there were no additional dimensions would that not automatically mean there were no such places

    I should have accepted that we were using the literal definition rather than the one that is rather common in U.S. popular culture and is basically synonymous with “other planes of existence.”

    But let’s not lose track of what we are talking about.

    You are suggesting — or seem to be –that the existence of places that don’t follow our physical laws are required resolve issues in physics. Why would you think there would have to be a infinite number of them?

    That events considered impossible by traditional physics are observed. Ah, the details. Can you name such an event?

    Sure. How about you?

  81. 81

    Theb at least we both agree there is a problem to be solved and that it’s a serious attempt to do so.

  82. I have no prob with the multiverse.

    I wish you — and others — didn’t have a problem with ID.

  83. 83

    Theb at least we both agree there is a problem to be solved and that it’s a serious attempt to do so.

    I think that if we accept the notion that the evidence looks designed because it is designed, then there is no problem. I think the main problem here is that the evidence is one thing that stands in the way of being an intellectually honest atheist.

  84. How about a dose of reality? See:

    Doughnut-shaped Universe bites back
    Zeeya Merali

    Astronomers say Universe is small and finite.
    torusMmm… Universe. Calculations show it really might be shaped like the snack favourite.

    The doughnut is making a comeback – at least as a possible shape for our Universe. The idea that the universe is finite and relatively small, rather than infinitely large, first became popular in 2003, when cosmologists noticed unexpected patterns in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – the relic radiation left behind by the Big Bang….

  85. 85
    JunkyardTornado

    So until at least 2003, the prevailing view has been that the universe is infinite? That’s essentially what the article says:

    “The idea that the universe is finite and relatively small, rather than infinitely large, first became popular in 2003″

    “An infinite Universe should contain waves of all sizes, but cosmologists were surprised to find that longer wavelengths were missing from measurements ”

    “Steiner’s team used three separate techniques to compare predictions of how the temperature fluctuations in different areas of the sky should match up in both an infinite Universe and a doughnut one”

    ———

    I thought that the EF was predicated on a finite universe and a finite number of particle interactions therein.

    I suppose an infinite universe would equate to many worlds, because it would have infinite random variability. OTOH if an infinite universe could be finitely described accurately, then it wouldn’t really be infinite.

    Just my ignorant stream of consciousness, here – nothing more.

    The article also said the finite models it described (donut and otherwise) aren’t matching up with the observed data either:

    “Cosmologists predicted that a wrap-around Universe would act like a hall of mirrors, with images from distant objects being repeated multiple times across the sky. Glenn Starkman at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and his colleagues searched for the predicted patterns, but found nothing.”

  86. 86

    Cosmologists predicted that a wrap-around Universe would act like a hall of mirrors, with images from distant objects being repeated multiple times across the sky.

    I came out with this completely crazy hypothesis a long time ago and some people at the time thought it was nuts. I’m not saying it’s true (chances are that it’s not), but I do think it’s something worth considering. The reason I bring it up is because, while this quote does not directly support my crazy hypothesis, at least it doesn’t contradict it (which kinda made me think that it might not be so crazy after all). My crazy hypothesis assumes the First Law of Thermodynamics is true across the universe.

    The universe is expanding at an increasing rate. This is often referred to as “spacial expansion” and it is assumed that space itself is expanding. The question is, where does all the energy “come from” to cause everything in the universe to move outward at an increasing rate? Well, all these photons are “exiting” the universe, or reaching the “end.” When these photons reach the “end” of the universe, this energy is lost. That energy is replaced by accelerated spacial expansion. So part of the quantity of energy that is “gained” from “spacial expansion” is lost when photons reach the end of the universe. What we could try and do is see if we can calculate about how much ‘photon energy’ is reaching the end of the universe and about how much energy is required for everything in the universe to push outward at the acceleration rate that it does and see if they are roughly the same. Again, this crazy hypothesis is probably false, just something to consider.

  87. 87

    One problem with my above hypothesis is that, if the universe is expanding faster than C, how are photons ever supposed to reach the end?

  88. 88

    The above should read: if galaxies are receding faster than C…

    Bennith Karlow

    In addition, do you think there is any chance of implementing this experimental data via a computer program that would allow semi-automated design detection?

    There are a lot of things that humans do well that computers don’t (ie: pass the Turing test).

    Computer anti viruses can do a pretty decent job at detecting design (though they’re not as good as a human).

  89. John Redford: While I am semi-retired from this site, I cannot resist a temporary foray into the realm of physics, theology, and speculative cosmology.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that {A} because God’s mind is infinite and his creative power is unlimited {B} God must have created (infinite?) multiple universes. Obviously, that does not follow. Surely, I am missing something here.

    Also, in what way do those two passages from Hebrews (1:12 and 11:3) support the notion that God’s creative act implies more than one universe? To say that “the world was framed by the word of God” or that “from invisible things visible things might be made” is to say that spirit produced matter. It has nothing to do with multiple or unaccounted for universes and everything to do with an invisible creator made evident by his visible creation.

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