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This is in some related to the "many universes" position that most atheist cosmologists are coming to, because the one actual universe we live in is WAY too friendly to the development of life for it to be an accident.

Of course, there is no evidence for all these alternate universes. But it gets you away from the "God" sorts of explanations, which is the entire point. . .

Matthew, I was just about to comment on that. There is a posted documentary on YouTube called "Trouble with Atheism" that asks the question, "Is Atheism becoming a Religion?" The program interviews some of the most Dogmatic Atheists in the world today, and makes many comparisons between them and Dogmatic Religious Folk. It's a very well done documentary. In the documentary they interview a Scientist who states that the universe is so finely tuned there are only two possibilities: God or The Many Worlds Interpretation. Either have about the same amount of proof, accourding to the Scientist, so it all boils down to Faith either way.

Hey Eteponge,

I saw that doc on TV here. Peter Atkins is in it, giving us howlers like "science will solve all problems" and "it's not arrogant to be right [that there's no God]". He got into a tussle with Rupert Sheldrake recently because he didn't like the fact that Rupert was presenting his ideas at a science festival. Same old story really. Turned out he hadn't bothered examining the evidence but felt completely comfortable sneering at it.

There was an interview on BBC Radio Wales by author Laura Knight Jadczyk (sp?) where she talked about hyperdimensional physics. Very interesting all in all. You can listen here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/radiowales/

by clicking on the "listen again" link, then click on the "Adam and Mal" show from Monday. Only available until Monday 19th Feb 2007.

Website of author is www.cassiopaea.org

There was an interview on BBC Radio Wales by author Laura Knight Jadczyk (sp?) where she talked about hyperdimensional physics. Very interesting all in all. You can listen here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/radiowales/

by clicking on the "listen again" link, then click on the "Adam and Mal" show from Monday. Only available until Monday 19th Feb 2007. The interview begins about 15mins into the show.

Website of author is www.cassiopaea.org

The many universes theory comes up against an almost insurmountable barrier in Zeno's paradox. What actually constitutes an 'event' that causes the universe to split ? Reality may be composed of discrete particles, but the sequence of events is pretty analog in nature. To create discrete split-off universes you need discrete 'moments' in time. Something which Zeno demonstrated several thousand years ago does not exist.

A fascinating discussion...but what if 'universe' is an inappropriate term? The word implies immense size, but what if the human mind, being an organic supercomputer of sorts, has as its primary function the purpose of 'navigating', 'calculating', or 'coordinating' how these perceptions and subsequent manifestations play out? A compass for navigating these possible 'universes'. Then the size of the 'universe' or 'potential universe' is meaningless, eliminating a difficult term to get our heads 'round, as it were.

I recorded the interview part (Laura Knight Jadczyk) of the BBC Radio Wales broadcast since it will be removed soon. Anyone who needs a personal copy (mp3 aprox. 32 MB) can contact me via mail. She has some interessting thoughts but i can't agree with all of her conclusions. ;-)

Banshee

Would there be a universe then, where someone or some group would figure out how to transverse between the other ones and conquer them? Pretty much anything would be possible because the laws of physics may be a bit different. If this line of thought would continue, then it seems somewhat strange that we are not more aware of them. Perhaps that is just sill armchair banter, so feel free to ignore. Still, what created that mechanism in the first place? Maybe we are looking at time in the wrong way. Perhaps it is more our culture that adds linear progression. Many other cultures do not share such a view. Ahhh, I don't have a clue. Anyway, nice post.

There's a confusion between two very different physics concepts in the above discussion - the Many Worlds and the Multiverse. The two are quite distinct and answer two very different issues.

Firstly, the Many Worlds is the fully deterministic approach to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics. Basically every physically distinguishable state in a quantum system is actualised in different "Worlds", and because energy is quantised Zeno's paradox doesn't arise. The reason why the theory is deterministic is that there's none of the "mixed states" or "spooky action at a distance" which bedevils quantum interpretation. Instead outcomes are fully realised in "parallel Worlds".

Secondly, the Multiverse is the set of gazillions of subtly different vacua ("Universes") that realise all possible combinations of physical constants and laws - and a tiny few actually support intelligent life and can be observed. It's an ugly way of avoiding the need for a supra-cosmic Observer to choose a possible Universe. Yet it's really quite silly when you think it through.

For example, Richard Dawkins has complained that 'God' is really a quite complex entity that's in need of explaining and so is logically unnecessary when explaining the Universe. But isn't the Multiverse at least as complex as a Creator? Aren't atheists replacing one horrendously complex supra-cosmic entity for another?

OTOH the Multiverse has some physical theoretical justification in string theory and might produce a physically testable prediction. That's something 'God' hasn't produced as a cosmic explanation.

Anyone got a theory of God with real physical implications in this Universe we can test?

Well it's interesting you ask for a theory of God that can be tested, yet the same logic never seems to apply to multiple universes. I'm with Professor Paul Davies on this one. The 'multiverse' is largely a case of trying to replace a God who cannot be proven....with multiple universes that cannot be proven. We've simply replaced high priests with string theorists.

Might be a point gone cold by now, but Peter you missed the import of what I said - that the Multiverse is potentially testable, but the God "hypothesis" produces no physical consequences that can generate observational outcomes. Thus one is scientific (tho just barely) and the other is personal choice. My main point is that either God or the Multiverse are incredibly complex entities to posit to explain our world's apparent fine-tuning.

The Multiverse is ahead of God because at least there's some sort of physical theory that underpins it, whereas no one has a "physics of God" on offer. So if you do then can you present it to the rest of us? If not then a decent logical argument why God doesn't imply a particular physics will do for starters.

>the Multiverse is potentially testable

Is it? If the various parallel universes don't interact with our universe in any way, and if they can't be perceived by our senses or detected by our instruments, then can their existence be empirically tested?

The problem with those that worship at the altar of science is that they are trying to prove their atheistic beliefs by materialistic means. Now we have string theory that breaks down particles to even finer particles. I suspect they will continue to break down those particles until they fine that particles are really thoughts as Jeans surmised over a century ago.

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