# Multiverse theory

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If the multiverse theory is true, then there exists a universe in which it isn't

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Nah. Even if we assume that there are infinitely many universes, no two of which are alike, it doesn't follow that you'll be able to find anything at all in particular in one of them.

For example, this is a transcendental number, which implies (among other things) that the decimal representation is infinite and does not repeat, but it doesn't follow that you'll be able to find any particular string in it (for instance, you can't find any string containing a digit other than 1 or 0).

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I have another issue with this reasoning, besides the obvious logical fallacy pointed out by cowsarenotevil. I claim the statement is ill-formed because it implies the multiverse theory is somehow a property of any one universe (this is given away by the "in which" phrasing). This is absurd, of course, since the multiverse theory, by definition, makes a statement about the existence of more than one universe. Hence this theory applies not to any one universe, but to the multiverse (the "set of all universes", as it were). All universes refer to the same multiverse theory, they don't have their own (they might have their own perception of said theory, e.g. "there is only one universe I can see", but that is an entirely different theory).

To better understand this, think of a basket of apples. Each apple has a worm on it. A worm on some apple looks around and says, "I see more than one apple". Another worm on another apple also sees more than one apple - of course, they are seeing the same set of apples in the basket. A worm on the opposite side of the basket might not be able to see any apple beyond the one it is on, e.g. because its apple is blocking the view, so it might conclude that there is only one apple. But that doesn't make the theory that "there is only one apple" true, since there are, in fact, multiple apples. This theory is independent of any given worm or apple, as it applies to all apples in the basket. The correct conclusion is that the theory "there are no apples I can see" is true, and that is a property of this particular worm and apple (and that would be a well-formed statement).

This argument can be made rigorous using type theory, or, I suppose, any remotely consistent logic system, but it's not hard to see that the statement is meaningless if you think about it this way. The paradox essentially plays on the unconditional nature of the multiverse theory versus each universe's interpretation of it. It you separate the two properly, the paradox disappears (and the statement becomes uninteresting).

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the statement is ill-formed because it implies the multiverse theory is somehow a property of any one universe (this is given away by the "in which" phrasing).

Yup.

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the statement is ill-formed because it implies the multiverse theory is somehow a property of any one universe (this is given away by the "in which" phrasing).

Well, no... we are a property of one universe, and all we can see and understand is very limited aspects of a very small part of one universe.

Who said that whatever the multiverse is part of has to make sense (in your opinion) or has to follow your rules of logic? It might be possible that an universe is part of the multiverse but within that universe's scope, no such thing as a multiverse exists. Or, it might be possible that one of an infinite number of multiverses (with an infinite number of universes each) exists and each multiverse does not exist at the same time. Maybe it even only exists as long as you don't look at it from the outside, or as long as 50.01% of the sentient beings inside it believe so. Who could tell without having visited another universe at the very least. Anything anyone says is just talk.

It's not like physics in our single-universe are always consistent and well-understood and don't have strange quirks. Practically all of quantum physics is "ill-formed" if you look at it from a "normal" angle, but it nevertheless verifiably and reproducably works (or at least seems to work) that way.

Why can't something that is much bigger than an universe have even bigger quirks? Why does it have to follow your logic?

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"It might be possible that an universe is part of the multiverse but within that universe's scope, no such thing as a multiverse exists."

But if you can change things around like that, I might as well say: "but in our Universe, the multiverse exists, even within that Universe's scope".

If a property like "existence" can change around like that, you had better define what we really mean by that term.

"Practically all of quantum physics is "ill-formed" if you look at it from a "normal" angle, but it nevertheless verifiably and reproducably works (or at least seems to work) that way."

Quantum physics may seem unintuitive, and different to what people normally observe, but quantum mechanics is a mathematically consistent system. I suppose yes, you could say there are things like "a cat being both alive and dead at the same time", but this is all built on a logical mathematical system. But if people just say things like existing and not existing at the same time, without the definitions or maths to explain it, it's meaningless.

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"a cat being both alive and dead at the same time"

That one is a particularly bad example though, since in reality the cat couldn't care less whether you know that it's dead or not. The kill mechanism going off and you looking are unrelated things, and the latter doesn't change the cat's state in retrospective, nor is the cat in a fluent state before. Unknown, yes. Unknown to you. But the cat doesn't care whether you know (nor does the kill mechanism).

Flash memory would be a better example. The electrons obviously cannot cross the isolative layer to make it into the charge trap, yet they demonstrably do. They do so without crossing it, which is, of course, entirely impossible. Yet, they do. Everybody who is using a flash drive proves it every day.

It doesn't really matter much what mathematical concept people have built around it to explain it. The concepts may look sound, but the theories of Socrates and Aristotle looked sound, too, at some time. What matters is that nature gives a fuck about what we think is right.

My point is, the fact that it doesn't seem to make sense to you or doesn't fit your equations doesn't mean that it is necessarily wrong or impossible. It might as well be that you simply can't see far enough. Much as in the above worm-in-apple allegory. Except compared to the universe, we're more like bacteria living on a worm's butt in an apple in a basket loaded on a huge truck, and trying to tell what's going on in a different city, based on tales that another bacterium who never got out of that same apple told us.

Edited by samoth

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Who said that whatever the multiverse is part of has to make sense (in your opinion) or has to follow your rules of logic? It might be possible that an universe is part of the multiverse but within that universe's scope, no such thing as a multiverse exists.

No, that makes no sense; you are saying "is it not possible for an apple to be in a basket but at the same time for the basket not to exist" - you can't have one or the other. If something is part of the multiverse then from inside the universe the multiverse must exist. Now, as to if any intelligent life inside that universe has hit upon the theory is another matter.

However a multiverse is made up of a set of universes (defined as enclosed regions of space-time) therefore if a universe exists it is in a multiverse.

As to if multiverses exist, that is also another matter (set of universes which have their own distinct boundary conditions).

There is also nothing, afaik, which states there must be an infinite number of universes; for all we know there could be 57 of them. Or maybe there was 2000 and over time they ceased to exist for various reasons. Maybe there is an infinite number but this is the only one where the correct Laws Of Physics played out to allow for life to questions these things.

However, as far as the human definition of a universe and multiverse goes there is no way for one to exist outside the other or indeed for a universe to prevent a multiverse from existing. Trying to say otherwise is like saying that when you cover your eyes the universe no longer exists because you can't see it.

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Multiverse my ###! It's pure sci-fi!

I'll bet my left kidney that there is precisely one infinite universe. The expansion after the 'big bang' is simply a proper of our particular region of the universe.

NB: I could be wrong!

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Who said that whatever the multiverse is part of has to make sense (in your opinion) or has to follow your rules of logic? It might be possible that an universe is part of the multiverse but within that universe's scope, no such thing as a multiverse exists.

No, that makes no sense; you are saying "is it not possible for an apple to be in a basket but at the same time for the basket not to exist" - you can't have one or the other. If something is part of the multiverse then from inside the universe the multiverse must exist.
I was hoping that part of the post was a joke, but that is correct.

Multiverse means a collection of more than one. It is either part of the collection or not. The original post was nonsensical, illogically claiming if you have something in a group it can also be not part of the same group.

There is also nothing, afaik, which states there must be an infinite number of universes; for all we know there could be 57 of them. Or maybe there was 2000 and over time they ceased to exist for various reasons. Maybe there is an infinite number but this is the only one where the correct Laws Of Physics played out to allow for life to questions these things.

In most existential reasoning the numbers are "zero", "exactly one", and "unbounded more than one". Under the multiverse theories there is an unbounded number of them. The cool thing about unbounded numbers is that they can be any number, including 57 and 2000.

I do tend to agree. If one, why not more than one? That does not necessarily mean an uncountably infinite number of them, but the numbers are 0, 1, >1, with 1 being a rare condition.

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Did some explorer fess up and enter those darn blackholes and take photos of those so-called other universes thereby proving there might be some truth in the big bang or the multiverse theory?

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Did some explorer fess up and enter those darn blackholes and take photos of those so-called other universes thereby proving there might be some truth in the big bang or the multiverse theory?

No, but there was something I read a while back which pointed at certain aspects of the CMB as being possible imprints of where our universe 'bumped' into another one or three - although I've not heard any more about that and it's something which is hard to test/prove.

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Did some explorer fess up and enter those darn blackholes and take photos of those so-called other universes thereby proving there might be some truth in the big bang or the multiverse theory?

No, but there was something I read a while back which pointed at certain aspects of the CMB as being possible imprints of where our universe 'bumped' into another one or three
Riiiight, "bumped" into "another one or three" which came from?

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"Else where".

As I recall String Theory requires that our 4D universe sits on a brane which itself sits in a higher 10 dimensional space, so the 'bump' could have come from a universe on another brane having bumped into ours... or it could have been universes which are adjacent to our own at the moment of our formation.

Welcome to higher dimensional spaces - they don't work how your brain works

The notion of 'where' breaks down pretty quickly... it's a bit like the slightly mind bending answer to the question 'where did the universe start?' because there answer is where you are, where I am, where everything is.

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As I recall String Theory requires that ...

... the big bang is true.

a higher 10 dimensional space

You wouldn't be referring to the M-theory now, would you?

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As I recall String Theory requires that ...

... the big bang is true.

Which is the generally accepted case in most quarters... 'how' and 'what was before it' tend to be the questions most hotly debated, also questions about the expansion phase still need to be answered.

a higher 10 dimensional space

You wouldn't be referring to the M-theory now, would you?

Meh, practically the same difference, it's all the same general area.

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If only "chance" and "nothing" could create anything

Isn't the M-theory the same theory that supports "nothing creating something"?

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Did some explorer fess up and enter those darn blackholes and take photos of those so-called other universes thereby proving there might be some truth in the big bang or the multiverse theory?

Not sure why going into a black hole would yield any evidence of the big bang (OK, well, in fact it wouldn't yield any evidence of anything at all; that's sort of the idea of a black hole), but I'm also not really sure why you'd want more evidence that the big bang is true.

Light travels at a constant maximum speed, so the farther away you look into the universe, the older the light. If you want to see stuff from a thousand years ago, you just look at stuff roughly a thousand light years away. Similarly, if you want to see the big bang, pretty much all you have to do is look at it. It's (I think) about 40 billion light years away (rather than 14, due to the expansion of the universe over time), and it's like, totally right there. The cosmic microwave background was predicted and discovered independently, so it's really pretty compelling evidence.

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Did some explorer fess up and enter those darn blackholes and take photos of those so-called other universes thereby proving there might be some truth in the big bang or the multiverse theory?

Not sure why going into a black hole would yield any evidence of the big bang (OK, well, in fact it wouldn't yield any evidence of anything at all; that's sort of the idea of a black hole), but I'm also not really sure why you'd want more evidence that the big bang is true.
You assume that it's true.

Light travels at a constant maximum speed, so the farther away you look into the universe, the older the light. If you want to see stuff from a thousand years ago, you just look at stuff roughly a thousand light years away. Similarly, if you want to see the big bang, pretty much all you have to do is look at it. It's (I think) about 40 billion light years away (rather than 14, due to the expansion of the universe over time), and it's like, totally right there. The cosmic microwave background was predicted and discovered independently, so it's really pretty compelling evidence.

I know the "light years stuff". It's not proof of the big bang.

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Did some explorer fess up and enter those darn blackholes and take photos of those so-called other universes thereby proving there might be some truth in the big bang or the multiverse theory?

Not sure why going into a black hole would yield any evidence of the big bang (OK, well, in fact it wouldn't yield any evidence of anything at all; that's sort of the idea of a black hole), but I'm also not really sure why you'd want more evidence that the big bang is true.
You assume that it's true.

Light travels at a constant maximum speed, so the farther away you look into the universe, the older the light. If you want to see stuff from a thousand years ago, you just look at stuff roughly a thousand light years away. Similarly, if you want to see the big bang, pretty much all you have to do is look at it. It's (I think) about 40 billion light years away (rather than 14, due to the expansion of the universe over time), and it's like, totally right there. The cosmic microwave background was predicted and discovered independently, so it's really pretty compelling evidence.

I know the "light years stuff". It's not proof of the big bang.

Right, and if I say, 'there's a guy behind you with a knife" and you look behind yourself and light indistinguishable from the light that would be reflected off of a guy with a knife enters your eyes, you have no obligation to assume that there's actually a guy behind you with a knife, but I wouldn't encourage it. That's why science doesn't try to tell you what is, it just tries to create a model of what can actually be observed and then makes observations to see if they fit that model.

Everything you experience with your senses could be a trick. Everything you derive with deductive logic could be a trick too; no formal logic system can prove its own consistency (or, alternatively, an inconsistent system can also prove its own consistency, and proving the consistency of one logic system from within another doesn't help either, for obvious reasons). This "problem" is so deep that you genuinely can't prove anything, except that you can't even prove that you can't prove anything, so maybe you can prove stuff.

Insofar as scientific evidence is a thing that works at all, though, the big bang is pretty uncontroversial, and if the evidence doesn't seem sufficient to you in any practical sense, you should probably also be questioning lots of other things, like, for instance, "is the center of the earth actually made of kittens?"

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Right, and if I say ...

It's not proof of the big bang, in fact, it's actually a problem.

That's why science doesn't try to tell you what is.

It can't, scientists do and they do get it wrong and that's bad science e.g. evolution.

Everything you experience with your senses could be a trick ...

The situation evolutionists face, not moi.

Insofar as scientific evidence is a thing that works at all, though, the big bang is pretty uncontroversial

To who?

and if the evidence doesn't seem sufficient to you in any practical sense, you should probably also be questioning lots of other things, like, for instance, "is the center of the earth actually made of kittens?"

Ha ha, you're the one that's assuming there's sufficient evidence. To evolutionists, the center of the earth is technically made of kittens, or at least, the thing that made the thing they believe is their "common ancestor".

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This was bad even by trolling standards and you should feel bad.

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This was bad even by trolling standards

I bet you would know what those standards are, and considering it takes experience to establish a "standard" for something, it seems you are a regular troll somewhere.

Good advice you should be following.