Sean M. Carroll
, a noted cosmologist, in his first column for Discovery Magazine called Welcome to the Multiverse
writes that the progress in cosmology has forced cosmologists "kicking and screaming" to accept the Multiverse, the same theory that caused Giordano Bruno
to be burned at the stake in Rome in 1600.
I sigh because the two pieces of evidence that have dragged him "kicking and screaming" into multiverse theory are "string theory" and "inflation". And what you should immediately ask, is "What!? Not Bruno's universalism??" because both of those "theories" have about as much to support them as Bruno did.
Carroll knows this, and in a clever twist, argues that like Bruno, we should explore scientific heresies with an open mind. Except that it isn't the Church, but the philosophy of science that is being trashed. That is, while I am all for exploring scientifically heretical subjects, I would prefer to do so on empirically sound foundations, which neither String Theory nor Inflation possess. One should read Bruce Gordon
on the metaphysics that undergirds both theories--which have gone through numerous modifications as they fail to conform to data. In fact, on Lakatos
' analysis, both StringTheory and Inflation are clearly "degenerate science programs".
So how does one get "forced" by degenerate science programs that expend all their disposable hypotheses on shoring up the main thesis?
By accepting the same main thesis. And what would that be?
The same one Bruno had--human autonomy and moral relativism. This was Stanley Jaki
's complaint in his book God and the Cosmologists
when he critiqued inflation, and it is the same complaint Bruce Gordon has about "multiverse" theory.
The main thesis, the whole theorizing effort is an attempt to shore up a discredited philosophy based on eternal particles moving through the void. It has been the same goal of Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius, Newton and Darwin, which goes by the moniker of Materialism. Because Materialism has no Creator.
In the case of Inflation
, it is an attempt to explain the enormous amount of information in the small-scale Earth coupled to the "flat" or informationless distribution of matter in the Big Bang
. One of them must be an illusion, and inflation has gone through multiple versions that attempt to find a spontaneous answer to flat space-time that is highly contingent. As Bruce Gordon observes, it is completely dependent on fine-tuned "inflaton" forces that are even more contingent than the Georges Lemaitre
's Big Bang cosmology. The goal is to replace the contingent Creator with a self-emergent autonomous contingent creation.
In the case of StringTheory
, it attempts to modify these point-like particle things into 2-D strings or n-D "branes", but the intent is the same--to find something that is eternal and unchanging and mindless. The appropriation of "landscape theory
" to "inflation" is an attempt to make each "inflaton"-generated Big Bang a different flavor of string, so that every possible flavor (10^500) is expressed. Why? Just because, like Bruno, this eliminates the need for a Creator again, replacing it with a cosmic Monte Carlo casino. Since there is absolutely no evidence that a casino is a better model than a Creator, I prefer to call this the worship of the "Chaos" god, who shows up in Greek mythology only to be vanquished by the Olympians.
The subtitle on Carroll's piece is "Could our universe be just one of a multitude, each with its own
reality? It may sound like fiction, but there is hard science behind
this outlandish idea."
Is Sean Carroll's physics really "hard science"? Hardly. No more than Bruno's physics was "hard science". And Carroll knows this, because he gives his doubts on his blog
, just not in his essay meant for mass consumption. We have one story for the plebians, and another for the Intelligentsia. Because there really is no difference with Bruno's time except that we've reversed the roles of the Church and Heretics, with the Heretics (Intelligentsia) now running the State. The only ones likely to be burnt at the stake are now those scientists who insist that science conform to reality. (You think I'm joking? Blasphemy against the Trinity of Darwin, Anthropogenic Global Warming, Newtonian Materialism will get you fired, pronto.)
The sad part about Carroll's piece, is that it confirms one of Jaki's hypotheses
--that what stopped the science of the golden age of Greece, what stopped the science of the Chinese or the Babylonians or the Caliphate was not politics, not anti-science reactionaries, not an epidemic of stupidity, but bad metaphysics. Bad metaphysics can turn any "progressive science program" into a "degenerate" one, and this infatuation with multiverses
is sucking the life of hundreds of grad students, the resources of a hundred tenure-track cosmologists into the impossible task of predicting the unobservable.
They'd be better off studying theology.