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Chalnoth
#36
Mar29-11, 06:32 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 4,782
Quote Quote by offroff View Post
Steinhardt makes a good point:

Now you should be disturbed. What does it mean to say that inflation makes certain predictions—that, for example, the universe is uniform or has scale-invariant fluctuations—if anything that can happen will happen an infinite number of times? And if the theory does not make testable predictions, how can cosmologists claim that the theory agrees with observations, as they routinely do?
I don't think that's a very good point. If it were, then quantum mechanics itself would make no predictions whatsoever. But it does: it makes probabilistic predictions. And when you have large numbers (the number of fluctuations in the early universe was very large), the statistics of those numbers becomes highly predictable, even if, in principle, anything can happen.

The primary issue that he does have a good point on is, to me, the measure problem. I am extremely skeptical of his discussion about the cyclical universe, however, as that seems to completely violate everything we know about thermodynamics.