Stathis Papaioannou wrote: > We're very ambitious on this list, aiming for the One True Theory which will > explain the universe. It's fair enough to keep this in mind as the ultimate > goal, but you have to remember that every generation of scientists has > thought this goal was just in reach, no matter how simplistic and just plain > wrong their theories have turned out to be. It isn't just scientists who > have thought this way either; theologians and philosophers have also > regularly come up with Theories of Everything, or Everything Except a Few > Minor Details. Given this history, can we really be certain at the start of > the 21st century that our present knowledge and theories are somehow > fundamentally different to all that has come before?
I don't think most of our versions of multiverse theories depend on the assumption that present-day physics is close to being right. It's true that we have some efforts such as those of Russell Standish to derive QM from a multiverse model, but (no offense to Russell) I don't think most of us have found those very convincing. If it should turn out that QM is not right, is only an approximation to a deeper theory, I don't think that would be seen as invalidating any of our models. In fact, I don't see present day physics as being very likely to be right, from the context of the multiverse theories I favor. I would expect our universe's physical laws to have a simple mathematical/computational formulation; in fact, they should be among the simplest such laws that could allow life and consciousness to evolve. Does string theory or LCG or other exotic variants of QM meet this criterion? It doesn't seem so, to me. In Wolfram's book A New Kind of Science he emphasizes the important role of simple computational systems (i.e. systems which can be simulated with short programs, which means that they would have a large measure in the Universal Distribution). Wolfram was trained as a physicist and he makes an effort to sketch a computationally oriented physical model that might be consistent with observation. IMO what he comes up with is highly complex and not particularly physical. In short, if there really exists a simple mathematical explanation of our universe, which IMO is a prediction of multiverse theories, I don't see our present physical models as being very close to that goal. That doesn't mean that multiverse theories are wrong, but it illustrates an inconsistency between multiverse models and the belief that we are "almost there" towards a ToE. Hal Finney