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In another, I am in Fiji.

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In yet another, I was never born. This is some mind-bendy stuff.

But Stephen Hawking, who died on March 14 , argued in his final published scientific paper — which just came out in the journal High Energy Physics — that the theory is not quite right. There may be more than one universe, but not an infinite number. And this final finding is actually a very hopeful one: It means we may have a chance of understanding our laws of nature more deeply. Or, phrased another way, the multiverse represents the end of science. Think of it like this: Multiverse theory predicts things we can never see or observe directly.

And if your scientific theory predicts something that can never be tested, it ceases to be science. The multiverse is unsatisfying in another way. It suggests the laws that govern our universe have no deeper meaning; that they are just one random permutation on the infinite fractal of reality.


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So we went back to the theory of the Big Bang and tried to improve the theory. And in this two-dimensional representation, all the math that helps explain our laws of nature still checks out. You might have heard about this idea, that the universe is a hologram.

And with this new math, the fractal pattern of pocket universes goes away. In this model, there still may be more than one universe, but not an infinite number of them. In this model of the Big Bang, existence becomes more manageable, more knowable — but still filled with deep mystery. Though the math of the paper checks out, the conclusion is far from proven.

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While scientists recently detected gravitational waves from 3 billion years ago, they have yet to detect much older primordial gravitational waves, though the search for these ancient waves is underway. A few years ago, you may recall, there was a false positive from these efforts. For Hertog, who collaborated with Hawking for decades, publishing this final paper is bittersweet. But on the other hand, the science lives on, the legacy lives on. By choosing I Accept , you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. For example, in the so-called Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, there are universes containing our parallel selves, identical to us but for their different experiences of quantum physics.

These theories are attractive to some few theoretical physicists and philosophers, but there is absolutely no empirical evidence for them. Perhaps an increasing number of people need a system that accommodates anything they choose to believe, as opposed to a narrow, imperialistic system that insists on observable facts. And, no matter how much we might want to believe that God designed all life on Earth, we must accept that intelligent design makes no testable predictions of its own.

15 Years of Multiverse Mania | Not Even Wrong

If he did, and admitted how serious the problems are, his criticism of crackpot cosmology would be rejected and lose all force. Because, you see, he is allowed to criticize crackpot cosmology provided that he holds to no thesis about the nature of nature that would impede its actual advance.

He can regret it but he must not undermine it. So it is a hoot when an unbeliever tries to debunk something that people believe. That is a testable AKA falsifiable claim. To falsify it, all you need to do is make life in a lab. Their results?

A total flop. But they keep trying. The NSF gravy keeps coming and coming. ID makes no testable predictions of its own? You have to be willfully ignorant or very hostile to ID to say that ID is not falsifiable and not science.


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  • He comes across as arrogant to boot. To falsify ID all one has to do is demonstrate that blind and mindless processes are capable of producing what ID says was intelligently designed. Paraphrasing Michael Behe on the various biologists who have obviously believed that ID is falsifiable:. And since my claim for intelligent design requires that no unintelligent process be sufficient to produce such irreducibly complex systems, then the plausibility of ID would suffer enormously. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed.