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It's Official-The Universe is Absurd!

  1. Apr 21, 2003 #1
    It's Official--The Universe is Absurd!

    The latest issue of Scientific American has an article on the multiverse declaring it now an offical scientific reality:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?ch...8A-1E90-8EA5809EC5880000&pageNumber=1&catID=2

    Astronomy is beginning to confirm the absurdities of Quantum Mechanics at the most profound levels. The deeper we gaze, it seems, the closer to Aleph Aleph, the ultimate absurdity, we come. :0)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2003 #2
    I am not impressed by that Max Tegmark.
    I think it's his alter-ego how wrote the article.
    Just take a number of existing theories, mix them, put them on other levels and call it the TOE-drink.
    It's a bartender who got drunk himself.
     
  4. Apr 21, 2003 #3
    I agree, laughed non-stop while reading the article. Notably he never questioned the validity of infinity or suggested the possibility the universe is paradoxical. Still, as he points out in the beginning of the article, its now official!
     
  5. Apr 21, 2003 #4

    Eh

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    It seems downright silly to be making philosophical claims unsupported by evidence like that. The notion that the universe is infinte, can never be confirmed by any evidence. While we can say the notion is compatible with observations, but so can a finite universe on the same evidence. Basically a finite universe with a big enough size would leave us with the impression of living in a flat cosmos. Never being able to see past our visible region of the universe (and this includes WMAP findings) the claim of infinite space is no more justified than finite space.

    Interesting article though. While the notion of an infinite universe has always sounded absurd, no one has been able to successfully show any logical inconsistancy about the idea. While we may not like it, it seems infinity just won't go away.
     
  6. Apr 21, 2003 #5
    The universe may not be absurd, but the guy who wrote this article sure is.
     
  7. Apr 21, 2003 #6

    Eh

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    He's just a physicist trying to make the article interesting. It may sound extraordinary, but the magazine wouldn't sell if the articles weren't.
     
  8. Apr 21, 2003 #7
    Good point.
     
  9. Apr 21, 2003 #8
    Note that in the article he claims the physical evidence proves that if the universe isn't infinite, it is unimaginably huge, on the order of 10 to 10 to the 28th power. Thus, parallel universes exist if in no other way then because they are outside of our light cone. In other words, Astronomy appears to be coming up against the same kind of barriers Quantum physicists routinely encounter. I expect soon they will come up with their version of Indeterminacy that can be applied on such large scales. :0)
     
  10. Apr 21, 2003 #9

    Eh

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    An unimaginably huge universe is still infinitely less difficult to swallow than an infinite one.

    Now I must wonder what other physicists would say about each of us having a "double" in a universe that size. I think many would disagree.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2003 #10
    Well, infinity is (IMO) extremely hard to swallow. My problem with it has always been that the Big Bang theory postulates the expanision of the spacial dimensions themselves. The spacial dimensions could not expand, however, if the universe was already infinite.
     
  12. Apr 21, 2003 #11

    drag

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    Re: It's Official--The Universe is Absurd!

    Oh NO !!! Really ?!
     
  13. Apr 22, 2003 #12

    amp

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    Paradoxical for sure.

    Mentat:
    Just a minor correction, I believe I read in the articule that space was refered to as being infinite-with there being an infinite number of universes in it(space). Fascinating article!
    Strange, at least to me was the info from the microwave background explorer lowers the possibility of a universe in finite space. And positively weird is that I read about infinite space and multiple universes in the Ubook(A religion topic)briefly,it says theres a central superverse, seven superverses surrounding it, outside of that space and more universes. Each superverse contains local universes.
    an odd thought I once had and which occurs to me again is consciousness may traverse the expanse from one universe to another when we are asleep simultaneously with a matching doppelganger.
    If level IV, is as Ted says then books like the 'compleat enchanter', Zalanzy's 'Amber' novels, and other sci-fi/fantasy works have a reality outside our universe, which is mentionedquite a few of them. Who was it that said yesterdays science fiction is todays (probable) science fact.
     
  14. Apr 22, 2003 #13
    Re: Paradoxical for sure.



    Yes, I've heard this before. I have no objection to this reasoning, except the use of the word "universe" in a way that allows for there to be more than one, and the fact that we would never be able to prove that there is in fact infinite space.
     
  15. Apr 22, 2003 #14

    amp

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    OK,

    I would hesitate to use the word 'never' though, we can't say for certain what the future holds. Ted did say that the multiverse idea "...is grounded in well-tested theories such as relativity and quantum mechanics, and it fulfills both of the basic criteria of an empirical science: it makes predictions, and it can be falsified."
    A few hundred years ago, the earth was the center of the then concieved universe and it was flat. The same sort of sentiment is not so different now.
     
  16. Apr 22, 2003 #15

    Eh

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    No, this one is a matter of logic. Infinity, by definition can never be proven. Even if you were to travel trillions of light years into space without finding a return point (replacement for the word edge) you would still be no more justified claiming the universe to be infinite than finite but very large.

    I don't know how the multiverse could ever possibly be falsified. Even if the universe were found to be closed, theorists would be talking about an infinite 4D multiverse instead.

    And just FYI, educated folks in ancient times knew the earth was round.
     
  17. Apr 22, 2003 #16

    amp

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    True Eh,

    however, the consensus(majority) of the elite/intellectuals were of the camp that the earth was flat, just as there are quite a few on this board that don't seem able to contenance a multiverse even at level I. Levels II, III and IV are more sureal.
     
  18. Apr 22, 2003 #17

    Eh

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    No, it was just the poor common peasant who thought the earth was flat. Educated people knew otherwise.

    A multiverse is really not a stretch, since it's just one space-time. But the problem a lot of people have is with the very concept of infinity itself. The very concept is defined entirely by a negative, and many find the idea to be absurd.
     
  19. Apr 22, 2003 #18
    Ahhhemmmm, the author of the article itself, no uneducated bafoon, premoted an infinite type IV universe. Likewise, the earliest evidence known showing that the earth was round only dates back a little over two thousand years. Education and scholarship evolved out of the primitive religious and spiritual beliefs of our hunter-gather forebearers who most definitely appreciated the infinite and paradoxical.
     
  20. Apr 22, 2003 #19

    Eh

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    Poor education has nothing to do with believing in an infinite universe.

    I was talking about the myth that everyone believed the world was flat in ancient times. As far back as the Greeks, the notion of a round earth had surfaced. But there still persists a myth that people believed the world was otherwise - even into the middle ages. In fact, you'll still find movies (about Columbus, for example) where the establishment persecuted anyone who dared proclaim the earth to be round. People don't give the ancients enough credit.
     
  21. Apr 22, 2003 #20
    When you start going back that far in time, anything and everything become myth. I agree that modern science doesn't give the ancients enough credit for brains, but by that same token it is too easy to give them credit where credit is most certainly undue.
     
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