Saturday, August 23, 2008

Major media, imagining themselves sober, think there are many universes, not just double vision

Sometimes it seems hard to believe, but the idea that there are zillions of universes out there is not, for some people, merely the Drunkard's Excuse (= in another universe, I was sober, did not meet that woman, she is not infanticipating ....) Mmmm, yeah.

Anyway, here is CalTech's Sean Carroll's latest, in a puffball interview with the LA Times (June 28, 2008):

LA Times: The universe is more than what we see?

Carroll: The reason why you are not surprised when you open a deck of cards and it's in perfect order is not because it's just easy and natural to find it in perfect order, it's because the deck of cards is not a closed system. It came from a bigger system in which there is a card factory somewhere that arranged it. So I think there is a previous universe somewhere that made us and we came out.

We're part of a bigger structure.

LA Times: Are you saying that our universe came from some other universe?

Carroll: Right. It came from a bigger space-time that we don't observe. Our universe came from a tiny little bit of a larger high-entropy space.

I'm not saying this is true; I'm saying this is an idea worth thinking about.

LA Times: You're saying that in some universes there could be a person like you drinking coffee, but out of a blue cup rather than a red one.

Carroll: If our local, observable universe is embedded in a larger structure, a multiverse, then there's other places in this larger structure that have denizens in them that call their local environs the universe. And conditions in those other places could be very different. Or they could be pretty similar to what we have here.
Or they could just not exist.

Why do so few journalists have the guts to just ask why, apart from the need to "bet against" God (which Carroll admits is an issue at the end of the article), physicists are remotely considering this stuff?

Friend Casey Luskin (yes, yes, an evil Disco) notes that NewsWeek seems to be buying this brand uncritically too.

Too bad. There would be way more fun sending it all up than listening to these physics nerds as if they were prophets.

PS: If you see the image above you are, like, lost in a sea of cosmos. (Hint: That's the name of the flower.)