Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Multiverse Is Philosophy and Not Science

I enjoyed reading theoretical physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson's review of Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story. (Dyson, "What Can You Really Know?") I read Holt's book this summer and made some multiple posts on it herehere, here, here, and here.

Dyson's remarks on his personal experience as a student at Cambridge with Ludwig Wittgenstein are interesting. Wittgenstein was a brilliant but troubled person.

Dyson thinks "the multiverse is philosophy and not science." He writes: "Science is about facts that can be tested and mysteries that can be explored, and I see no way of testing hypotheses of the multiverse." I laughed when I read "the multiverse has its place in philosophy and in literature." It was a Scandinavian-Finnish laugh, which is indiscernible to anyone nearby.