Monday, May 27, 2013

Physicist Lee Smolin Against Multiverse Theory

From Graham (Linda's nephew) and Hillary's wedding

Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in his new book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, argues for the reality of time and the relevance of our common experience of "now." Along the way Smolin dismisses multiverse theory as unscientific. 

James Gleick, in his review of Smolin's book, notes this. Gleick writes:

"Smolin maintains a fairly puritanical view of what science should and should not do. He doesn’t like the current fashion in “multiverses”—other universes lurking in extra dimensions or branching off infinitely from our own. Science for him needs to be testable, and no one can falsify a hypothesis about a universe held to be inaccessible to ours. For that matter, any theory about the entire cosmos has a weakness. The success of science over the centuries has come in giving rules and language for describing finite, isolated systems. We can make copies of those; we can repeat experiments many times. But when we talk about the whole universe, we have just the one, and we can’t make it start over."