The Mystery of the Multiverse

Sunday, July 28, 2019
First Aired: 
Sunday, October 23, 2016

What is it

At the foundation of modern theoretical physics lie the equations that define our universe, telling us of its beginnings, evolution, and future. Make even minor adjustments to the fundamental laws of the universe, and life as we know it would not exist. How do we explain this extraordinary fact that our universe is so uniquely fine-tuned for life? Could our universe may be just one of infinitely many in a vast multiverse? Does it make sense to talk about other universes if they can never be detected from this one? Can science ever prove or disprove the multiverse theory? Or does the theory make some testable predictions about our finely-tuned universe? John and Ken multiply their thoughts with George Ellis from the University of Cape Town, author of How Can Physics Underlie the Mind?

Part of our series A Philosophical Guide to the Cosmos.

Comments (1)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 -- 12:03 PM

Inasmuch as I am neither

Inasmuch as I am neither mathematician nor physicist, I cannot speak to those equations mentioned. But, on my own view, the notion of a multiverse as provable or not, is no more useful (the pragmatist---or pessimist---emerges) than whether or not there is something we call infinity. I have previously offered my thoughts on the infinity 'problem', so it would be redundant to restate those here. George Ellis' book, as described, is wholly and mindfully conceived. Physics, I am fairly certain, underlies everything in the universe we know, including life itself. If such is true in any possible unknown universes, or in fact, a posited multiverse, that would make those contingencies consistent with our own, meaning the laws of physics, known AND unknown, are consistent with one another(?) But wait: we cannot know this. So, it is all pie-in-the-sky. So to speak. This is just one aspect of philosophy which makes it fun. No robots here. They don't have fun.

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George Ellis, Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town

 
 

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