“We are actually living in a million parallel realities every single minute.” -Marina Abramovic

Ever since quantum mechanics first came along, we’ve recognized how tenuous our perception of reality is, and how — in many ways — what we perceive is just a very small subset of what’s going on at the quantum level in our Universe. Then, along came cosmic inflation, teaching us that our observable Universe is just a tiny, tiny fraction of the matter-and-radiation filled space out there.

The observable Universe might be 46 billion light years in all directions from our point of view, but there's certainly more, unobservable Universe just like ours beyond that. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons users Frédéric MICHEL and Azcolvin429, annotated by E. Siegel.

The observable Universe might be 46 billion light years in all directions from our point of view, but there’s certainly more, unobservable Universe just like ours beyond that. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons users Frédéric MICHEL and Azcolvin429, annotated by E. Siegel.

There are very real possibilities of other Universes, including ones with different fundamental laws and constants, differing quantum outcomes existing in disconnected regions of space, and even the fantastic one of parallel Universes and alternate versions of you and me. It’s a fascinating possibility, but what does physics have to say about whether it reflects our reality?

A huge number of separate regions where Big Bangs occur are separated by continuously inflating space in eternal inflation. But unless there's a truly infinite amount of space out there, the number of possible outcomes grows faster than the number of possible Universes like ours. Image credit: Karen46 of http://www.freeimages.com/profile/karen46.

A huge number of separate regions where Big Bangs occur are separated by continuously inflating space in eternal inflation. But unless there’s a truly infinite amount of space out there, the number of possible outcomes grows faster than the number of possible Universes like ours. Image credit: Karen46 of http://www.freeimages.com/profile/karen46.

Here’s what the best modern evidence has to say, but there’s a warning: it isn’t necessarily the outcome you’re looking for!

Comments

  1. #1 eric
    November 18, 2016

    the number of possible outcomes from particles in any Universe interacting with one another tends towards infinity faster than the number of possible Universes increases due to inflation

    Ethan, I’m not sure, but I think you’ve only considered the case where all possible interactions are equiprobable. That might be considered something like a “no physical laws” universe or maybe a “no deterministic physical laws” universe. For a universe with deterministic physical laws, the number of possible outcomes of 2, 3, 4 etc. particles interacting is not 2!, 3!, or 4! (etc.), its 1, 1, and 1 (etc.). Now QM is not deterministic, so the factorial representation might be good for subatomic particles that are very close together. But as we consider particles further apart (example: the possible interactions between my atoms and an atom in the Andromeda galaxy), that factorial approximation/model looks less and less useful to me. I can mostly ignore such ‘possible interactions’ as at least so improbable as to be irrelevant. Which, mathematically, says the number of possible interactions is driving towards infinity slower than your simple model would predict. At least, I think. 🙂

  2. #2 Wow
    November 18, 2016

    No, there is, for three particles,

    a then b then c
    a then c then b
    b then a then c
    b then c then a
    c then a then b
    c then b then a

    And the resulting vectors would be different, even if the original vectors were identical in all cases.

  3. #3 eric
    November 18, 2016

    That’s the total of all possible states, when no law governs which states may be reached from others. But in our universe, starting with a state (a,b,c) and physical laws governing motion etc. may render some later state (a, c, b) impossible. If there’s a physical law governing your universe that says “never b after c”, then the number of ways your system can evolve is not well approximated by 3x2x1

    Put another way, what you and Ethan are talking about is the dimensionality of a phase space. What I’m pointing out is that vectors in it obey rules that prevent them from doing certain things, reaching certain end states.Thus the number of ways a set of particles in that space can evolve may not be well approximated by a simple factorial of the number of particles, since that factorial is basically assuming all combinations may be reached from the initial combination.

  4. #4 eboer
    CH
    November 18, 2016

    Hi Ethan, reading this article it sounds to me that the only problem is that we can not handle the sheer number of possibilities. We keep exploring the universe and everytime we understand something we are amazed about the infinite reality. Then how come that a increadibly large number of possiblities counts as a criterion of exclusion?

  5. #5 CFT
    November 18, 2016

    A very strange conceit to have that the laws of physics are arbitrary paremeters In other imaginary universes, when you can’t even demonstrate that in THIS universe. Stranger still, the even more ridiculous conceit that mathematics is somehow a multiversal constant across all imaginary universes …and this would be because?? Oh yeah, you made it up. So much for the scientific method, just make stuff up and call it a day.

    Multiverse in a nutshell: If you aunt had balls she’d be your uncle in another universe because you IMAGINED it. And that’s about all you can do with it.

    Ethan, please quit trying to tell us about other universes when you can’t even explain this one yet.

  6. #6 CFT
    November 18, 2016

    Oh,
    Just wanted you to know, each of myself in the other 10^10^10^16 universes just conferred by the MAGIC of cosmic assumption MATH, we discovered we had made each other up entirely, nothing actually exists at all, since in each multiverse anything else is just their imagination.

    When you embrace paradox as explanation, you are asking to be not even wrong.

  7. #7 Mark Thomas
    November 19, 2016

    It should be considered that the concept of infinity does not require that it includes everything in it. One can look at the infinite set of primes that end in the number three and see that it is in a sense not as broad or inclusive a spectrum as the total infinite set of all primes. Even infinite sets can be compared to infinite sets. Also, if you consider ‘initial conditions’ at time near = 0 the feathering spectrum could be infinitely large such that the butterfly effect ensures that there is no likelihood of an alternate me in an alternate Universe. This means at best a Universe which may be a similar analog.

  8. #8 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    November 19, 2016

    @Mark Thomas #7: Yes, and no. Your general statement that an infinite set doesn’t have to be all-encompasing is correct. However, your example is flawed only because of the specifics of your choice. The two facts that (a) there are an infinite number of primes, and (b) primes are integers (natural numbers, in particular) means that the size of the set of primes, or the size of any infinite subset of them (like all the primes ending in ‘3’) is _exactly_ the same as the size of the integers. The two sets can be placed into one-to-one correspondence (see, for example, the Hilbert’s Hotel problem).

  9. #9 Mark Thomas
    November 19, 2016

    The one to one correspondence goes on to infinity hence the cardinality of infinite sets are the same (HHP). Qualitatively, there can be a (descriptor) well defined set so that is inclusive or exclusive of elements and as a general term use ‘ the spectra’ of the infinite set of integers is different than just one of its infinite subsets. And as a generality applying one such set or another to Nature one may arrive at different outcomes or probabilities. It is a general statement only since we do not have a specific case.

  10. #10 Narad
    November 19, 2016

    Just wanted you to know, each of myself in the other 10^10^10^16 universes just conferred by the MAGIC of cosmic assumption MATH….

    MWI ≠ the string landscape.

  11. #11 dean
    leedwitt@gmail.com
    November 19, 2016

    “Qualitatively, there can be a (descriptor) well defined set so that is inclusive or exclusive of elements and as a general term use ‘ the spectra’ of the infinite set of integers is different than just one of its infinite subsets”

    That makes no sense. What are you trying to say?

  12. #12 Narad
    November 19, 2016

    The one to one correspondence goes on to infinity hence the cardinality of infinite sets are the same

    Countably infinite.

  13. #13 John Duffield
    November 20, 2016

    Ethan: this article is a tottering tower of popscience psueodscience speculation. What are you doing pimping the multiverse? Take it from me, a flat universe is not evidence of an infinite universe. Au contraire, an expanding universe is evidence of a finite universe.

  14. #14 dean
    United States
    November 20, 2016

    “Take it from me”

    Nobody should ever take anything from a science denier like you.

  15. #15 CFT
    November 20, 2016

    dean,
    Nobody should take any advice from some pompous schmuck who makes pathetic associations between those who deny the Jewish holocaust ever happened and those who have a differing opinion on a science issue in order to shame them into silence. There is always room for healthy debate in science, that what it’s all about. If you can’t take your positions, opinions and assumptions being challenged, put on a diaper safety pin and go find a safe space and curl up with your thumb in your mouth, you should find lots of company.

    Galileo was once a ‘denier’ against the establishment ‘expert’ position too. So was Ignaz Semmelweis. So was Alfred Wegener. Heaven forbid you read an actual book about science history, you will be horrified how often the consensus view turned out to be wrong.

  16. #16 dean
    November 20, 2016

    I am amazed at how fooolish you are making yourself seem. If you were self aware you’d stop.

    Easiest example: you do realize that it wasn’t the scientific community that threatened Galileo, right?

    Don’t bother answering: this time I’m really done responding to your content free comments.

  17. #17 CFT
    November 20, 2016

    dean,
    You would be wise to think before you yap, or least know what you are talking about. Read an actual book, like oh say, I don’t know, maybe “Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion ” by Ronald L. Numbers. The ‘official’ educated position taken at the time of Galileo was that Aristotle was correct and that heavier objects fall faster, it was in fact common knowledge of the time that this was so, so common in fact, many college students to this day think so as well until they take their first physics class, or pick up book instead of a video game. Galileo begged to differ with the commonly held view, and did various experiments demonstrating this. So yeah, it was the ‘scientific’ community of his time. Don’t make this all about your bigoted and uninformed dislike of religion, you sound a lot like Neil degrasse Tyson blathering about Giordano Bruno without knowing any actual history.

    Galileo also had a big mouth on him, didn’t self edit, and it didn’t help him when he was busy insulting people in high positions of power who actually liked him, and thought he was pretty clever. At the time Galileo lived, you simply did not insult the church and crown unless you had a death wish or an out of control ego.
    .
    Run along to your safe space little snowflake.

  18. #18 Wesley Dodson
    November 21, 2016

    “If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away.” Tung-Shan Liang-Chieh

  19. #19 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    That’s the total of all possible states, when no law governs which states may be reached from others

    No, eric, that’s the total of all possible states when the states are tied by the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. If no law applied, then there could be many more states:

    a then a then a …

    for example. After all, no law means there’s no law against the counting of the same entity multiple times. And if conservation of energy and momentum were not required, we would not know that reordering the states would change the answer.

    Think of commutative and non-commutative mathematical operations.

  20. #20 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “Put another way, what you and Ethan are talking about is the dimensionality of a phase space”

    Yes, and it’s the paucity of phase space *compared to the ability of matter to discover all those possibilities* that would indicate there being another “you” out there.

    If there isn’t enough thing to fill a notable fraction of “all possible phase states”, then there’s little chance there#s another “you” out there.

    And if the number of phase states goes to infinity quicker than the number of things to occupy that space, then it’s less and less likely that there’s a you out there the bigger the number of things out there is.

    e.g.

    x/x always goes to 1, even at infinity.

    x^2/x^2 always goes to 1, even at infinity.

    x^2/x goes to infinity at infinity, because x^2 goes to infinity faster than x does.

    So, yes, phase space is what we’re talking about, but your problem isn’t illustrated by it, it’s refuted.

  21. #21 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “A very strange conceit to have that the laws of physics are arbitrary paremeters In other imaginary universes, when you can’t even demonstrate that in THIS universe.”

    We don’t have to demonstrate they are in this one.

    Obviously you don’t have any theories not because you cannot bring your intellect to bear, but because you don’t know how they are formed.

  22. #22 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “just conferred by the MAGIC of cosmic assumption MATH”

    You also don’t appear to understand the language of your birth, either.

  23. #23 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “That makes no sense. What are you trying to say?”

    He’s trying to say “I’m smart” but doesn’t know the words, Narad.

  24. #24 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “Take it from me”

    Why? you might as well take it from me you are wrong, mr duffield.

  25. #25 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “Nobody should take any advice from some pompous schmuck ”

    We don’t. Hence dean’s post you were so stung by.

    “who makes pathetic associations between those who deny the Jewish holocaust ever happened and those who have a differing opinion on a science issue ”

    You are the only one here making that association, CFT.

    Denier was around more than a century before WW2.

    Deniers: denying reality, from whichever era it arises, because to attempt to find out the facts can only ever lead them to refusal to accept those facts, hence they don’t even try.

  26. #26 Wow
    November 21, 2016

    “Read an actual book, like oh say, I don’t know, maybe “Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion ” by Ronald L. Numbers”

    Ah, yeah, a “real book”.

    Funny how all those history books in the library that indicate dean is correct aren’t, to a denier like yourself, not “real”.

    Because, after all, reality can only ever be what you find most comfortable, right?

  27. #27 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    November 27, 2016

    Ethan, I find your conclusion puzzling. Uplifting as it is, it would apply equally well if we assume that the mutiverse scenario you explore were true. Could you please explain why we should have a different attitude or approach to life in a multiverse?

    Also, a multiverse scenario that produces multiple copies of you bar one quantum fluctuation is the most extreme version, which is demonstrably not required, simply by changing the definition of what defines a universe as unique.

    How this affects the maths, I don’t know, but it would certainly reduce the set by a significant amount by suggesting instead of a mere quantum fluctuation difference between each universe, it was instead a difference at the macro-scale.

    I mean, how would you be able to know or detect (as an observer) these differences. That would surely count from your doppelgangers point of view. There could be significant differences in the universe, and your doppelganger wouldn’t notice, therefore this universe would appear for all intents and purposes to be the rquired doppelganger universe.

    I suspect, respectfully, that while your maths is sound, you haven’t thought through the multiverse concept, and all it’s attendant implications, in a thorough enough manner. Personally, unless you can show me otherwise, I’m not convinced you are calculating from the correct foundation.

  28. #28 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 6, 2016

    #27 above is, upon reflection, a poorly written comment which did not convey my points well.

    Let me instead focus on the premise of the article; “Is there another ‘you’ out there in a parallel Universe?”, and consider whether this was answered or not.

    My main objection is that the title should instead have read; ‘Is there another identical 92–billion-light-years-across-‘hubble-bubble’ out there that contains a nearly identical you among all those 10^90 particles?’. Now, as Ethan correctly points out, that’s a big ask!

    But the ‘ask’ isn’t really that big after all. After carefully defining ‘identical’ as one tiny quantum outcome difference, Ethan concludes that when the maths is all and done, there is not enough space left for such an enormously unlikely scenario. What he didn’t seem to notice, however, is that he changed his definition in the very next paragraph to ‘except you did one tiny thing different’, which is a decidedly macro-scale change, many orders of magnitude more likely.

    I can go further. The hubble-bubble in question is defined by you, the observer. This is simply the result of an instrumentalist point of view – you can only know what you can observe. There is no way you can know the entire quantum state of that hubble-bubble, let alone the quantum state of your own body, or even a single tear-drop The fact is, that to answer the question, ‘is there another near identical me?’, you don’t need to know any of that. If a 17th century buccaneer, prone to such philosophy was wondering the same question, she would be satisfied that her universe was the same, even if the Virgo cluster was shaped like a pretzel. and her un-conceived of hubble-bubble was 117 billions light years across.

    The article’s second conclusion, is based on it’s first conclusion. Essentially, Ethan implies that somehow a universe is more precious than a multiverse, that your life path is more unique in a universe, as opposed to a multiverse, where you can somehow shed your responsibilities onto your clones. This is common misunderstanding of clones and multi-verses, but don’t be misled – your life path is equally precious, equally unique, in any and all universes.

    I contend that the question has not been answered due to the question getting muddled along the way.

  29. #29 Wow
    December 7, 2016

    “Now, as Ethan correctly points out, that’s a big ask!

    But the ‘ask’ isn’t really that big after all.”

    Really? Why isn’t it a big ask?

    “What he didn’t seem to notice, however, is that he changed his definition in the very next paragraph to ‘except you did one tiny thing different’, which is a decidedly macro-scale change, many orders of magnitude more likely.”

    No, that change is an order of magnitude LESS likely. The chance of hitting a snooker ball back to where it came from (time reversibility) is unlikely, but possible if you hit precisely. However, to do the same trick but put the entire pack back into the same position as before the break requires vastly more objects to be hit just as precisely, and in precisely the right order.

    • #30 Q W Rowe
      New Zealand
      December 7, 2016

      #29
      Wow, you are going to have to explain to me more clearly how a whole hubble-bubble (HB) with one small quantum fluctuation in difference is more likely to re-occur than the same HB with many more quantum fluctuations difference. Bear in mind that the ‘entire pack’ here is an entire HB. A macro-scale change gives MORE options because it is vaguely defined, and thus has a multitude of options to act out.

      Also, I think we can agree that Ethan’s definition did change between the two paragraphs, but for some reason you think this is of no consequence. This is not a good start for a mathematical exploration.

      Besides, you have completely skipped the main point of my reply, indeed the central understanding of multiverse existences, which is after all what the article was about. My point is that another ‘you’ doesn’t require a whole identical HB as an environment, or stage if you like, to live your life. Once again, it helps to think more like an instrumentalist.

      Any thoughtful insight would be genuinely appreciated, because I believe I am raising a valid point. It would be helpful if you explore the foundation of the idea. If this is skipped, then the article comes across as dismissive and incomplete.

  30. #31 dean
    United States
    December 7, 2016

    “Run along to your safe space little snowflake.”

    cft, you truly are an idiot. You can continue to misrepresent the Galileo affair, and find people who believe you, but that doesn’ alter the facts: church officials were unwilling to examine evidence and threatened the man with the evidence with torture.

    Ignorance like theirs is reflected in your modern attitude.

  31. #32 t marvell
    December 7, 2016

    I have a back-door argument for why there is another “me” in another world. The argument starts with the fact that the odds of my existing in this world are incredibly small. I am the product of countless chance occurrences, including: particle interactions over the fourteen multi-billion year life of our universe, factor that affect evolution of life, the chance meeting and mating times of forbearers (human and millions of ancestor species), and the chance that a particular sperm attaches an egg at each mating. That is, the chances of my existing are incalculably small. Really, I cannot exist, But I do.
    An argument for why I do exist is that there are infinitely many other worlds, such that, for every chance occurrence that led to my existence, there is another world where each other possible occurrence happened.
    That is similar to the argument that quantum physics does not mean “God rolling dice”, but rather our existence represents one outcome of a particular roll, and other rolls are found in alternate universes.
    Moreover, with an infinite universe, there are other worlds where all the occurrences leading to my existence also occurred. Thus, there is bound to be another “me” in a parallel universe.

  32. #33 Wow
    December 7, 2016

    “#29
    Wow, you are going to have to explain to me more clearly how a whole hubble-bubble (HB) with one small quantum fluctuation in difference is more likely to re-occur than the same HB with many more quantum fluctuations difference.”

    No, I’m not going to have to explain that.

    You are going to have to explain why that is necessary.

    You are ALSO going to have to explain why it’s going to be easier (or at least no harder) to reverse the motion of a stack of billiard balls than just two interacting balls.

    Then you might as well tell us how you answered the three-body problem.

  33. #34 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 7, 2016

    #32
    Wow, I believe you need to understand why it matters that another ‘you’ doesn’t require another HB. Unless you study that, this conversation will continue to go on at cross purposes.

    My explanation was reasonable in #28 – take it apart if you don’t agree, instead of skipping around it. Use your imagination. You don’t seem to appreciate just how undefined and undefinable you and your surroundings are. This affects the argument, therefore the foundation on which you need to perform the maths – can you refute this?

    You are working from bottom up, I’m working from top-down. Both should be valid. There are only so many ways to arrange 10^90 particles. When you have a less precisely defined HB, there are more versions that are close enough. You seem to be focusing on how they got arranged. I say that it doesn’t matter in the context of the article. The discussion does not require the three-body problem.

    More space is required to repeat a very specific HB, less space to repeat an HB with more flexible solutions. Macroscopic solutions have MORE internal options, therefore, there is a greater chance of finding this repeated HB in the available space. These odds increase the greater the macro-scale difference. Please refute this with a good explanation.

    I remind you, the article is about how many you’s are out there. If you can provide me with a definition of you to the degree of precision you expect from me in the form of the three-body-problem, then we’ll be square.

  34. #35 Wow
    December 7, 2016

    “#32
    Wow, I believe you need to understand why it matters that another ‘you’ doesn’t require another HB”

    Uh, this is rather like some fundie telling me that I need to understand why there must be an all powerful creator to make the universe we see.

    You can believe that all you like, but this doesn’t really make any difference. It doesn’t matter why it’s important when it comes to estimating the likelihood of it happening. An infinite source of clean renewable power is REALLY important, but that doesn’t really make cold fusion more likely.

    “My explanation was reasonable in #28”

    No, it was just begging the question.

    “take it apart if you don’t agree, ”

    I did.

    “Use your imagination.”

    Make believe and hoping doesn’t make anything more logical, it’s only demonstrating that you think that it reqires hope more than thinking to accept your claims.

    This is not a good thing.

    “You are working from bottom up, I’m working from top-down.”

    Even if this made sense and were correct, it doesn’t actually matter, again. It is as relevant as whether you’re wearing shorts and I’m wearing trousers.

    “There are only so many ways to arrange 10^90 particles.”

    Yeah, and that number is bigger than 10^90. A lot bigger.

    “When you have a less precisely defined HB, there are more versions that are close enough”

    Nonsense. undefined “less precisely” and “close enough”, ergo the statement is meaningless. And irrelevant to whether there’s another “you” out there in a parallel universe.

    “You seem to be focusing on how they got arranged.”

    Yes. So did you when you claimed: “There are only so many ways to arrange 10^90 particles.”. See the word “arranged” in both of them. And both said by you.

    Care to show why the number of arrangements is the wrong thing to do?

    “Macroscopic solutions have MORE internal options”

    Therefore have more options that aren’t the same. Not you, in other words. A different arrangement, if you like.

    “therefore, there is a greater chance of finding this repeated HB in the available space”

    No, there’s LESS liability to find a repeat.

    A deck of 32 cards will repeat more rapidly in random shuffling than a full deck of 52, because there are more items to arrange in each.

    “These odds increase the greater the macro-scale difference. Please refute this with a good explanation.”

    The explanation is that the premise you claim IS WRONG.

    You see, when a premise is wrong, the reason why the conclusion is wrong is because it is based of an incorrect premise.

    But even if you want a good explanation of why the premise is wrong (and I’ve given you several analogies to indicate why it is wrong), given all you have done is claim that the premise is true, that indicates a claim it is false is sufficiently good to provide refutation on its own.

    • #36 Q W Rowe
      New Zealand
      December 7, 2016

      #35 # 36
      Dammit, now I’ll never get any sleep – someone is wrong on the internet! 😉

      You’ve got some cheap shots in there Wow. You manage to associate me with cold fusion and endless energy, none of which I have hinted at or mentioned directly. That’s below your usual standard of reply. Please keep it above board.

      I’ve done nothing to deserve such a voluminous supply of under-cooked red-herrings. I’m engaging you in a conversation that’s attempting to address the foundation of the article, which I’ve shown has some issues, and which you steadfastly refuse to even look at.

      There is nothing to arrange. There are just combinations. There is no preferential order. So that leaves out reverse billiards, because there is no reverse in combinations. And that leaves out the 3 body problem. It’s a big fat red-herring.

      “Nonsense. undefined “less precisely” and “close enough”, ergo the statement is meaningless. And irrelevant to whether there’s another “you” out there in a parallel universe.”

      It’s the whole point, and yet you still miss it. Another ‘you’ can have squadgillions of different arrangements, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Therefore, there are greater chances of another ‘you’ appearing somewhere in the available space than that described by Ethan’s maths.

      And as for imagination, I’m sure you know well enough how useful this is in defining, or teasing out what a problem is to solve. You denigrate the word at my expense. I just want a discussion that explores, rather than defends obvious oversights.

  35. #37 Wow
    December 7, 2016

    “If you can provide me with a definition of you to the degree of precision you expect from me in the form of the three-body-problem”

    No solve it. Since you think that a large multi-body system is simpler (easier to arrange) than a smaller system of bodies, you should be able to solve the three body problem precisely, given we can solve the smaller (therefore less easy to arrange) two body problem precisely today.

    If you think that the three body problem is harder to figure out than the two body problem, then your premise that a larger system is easier to arrange identically is admitted to be incorrect.

  36. #38 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    December 7, 2016

    Boy-oh-boy! I always thought we were unique because of our own life experiences.

  37. #39 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    Apparently, some people think that “you” just means “something fairly close to your appearance”. This means that even if you live alone, there’s another “you” within the same street.

    Most people call them “Neighbours”.

    • #40 Q W Rowe
      New Zealand
      December 8, 2016

      #39-#42

      Ah, I now see who you really are Wow….

  38. #41 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    “There is nothing to arrange. There are just combinations.”

    Combinations ARE ARRANGEMENTS.

  39. #42 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    “Another ‘you’ can have squadgillions of different arrangements”

    And they wouldn’t be me. YOU have a different arrangement. YOU are not ME.

  40. #43 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    Note how you keep blathering on about “combinations not arrangements”, yet you keep using the word “arrangement”.

    Do you think this may be a clue as to whether the two words are incompatible in meaning or not?

  41. #44 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 8, 2016

    Wow, your technique of misrepresenting, attempting to put words in others mouths has now been officially called out.

    It’s all in the record above. Mere blather…

  42. #45 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    “#39-#42

    Ah, I now see who you really are Wow…”

    Not you? Please try to put some conten tin your posts. TIA, the rest of the blogosphere.

    “Wow, your technique of misrepresenting”

    When I do so, then you can complain about it.

  43. #46 eric
    December 8, 2016

    If a 17th century buccaneer, prone to such philosophy was wondering the same question, she would be satisfied that her universe was the same, even if the Virgo cluster was shaped like a pretzel. and her un-conceived of hubble-bubble was 117 billions light years across.

    Maybe, but we are not 17th century buccaneers. I just looked up the half-life of Oganessium (element 118)-294. It’s ~0.89ms. However, that measurement is based on just one or a few observed decays. These decays are quantum indeterminate; we can derive an expected half-life from a measured average lifetime, but there is absolutely no guarantee that a rerun of the exact same experiment would produce a decay with the same lifetime. Even if everything else about my life were fully deterministic (it isn’t), my reading about that half-life and everything that happens afterwards has a bit of quantum-indeterminate-ness in it. In a re-run of this universe or in an alternate ‘hubble-bubble’ with the exact same starting conditions, I’d be reading 0.88ms. Or 0.91ms. Or what have you. That would result in a slightly different me. And now because you’ve read my post, you have a nonrepreatable quantum indeterminate effect in your life, too.

    Thus even if there was some ‘hubble bubble’ fully identical to this one up until 2002, it would not be identical now, and it would not produce an identical me or an identical you. Because humans now observe and measure single, quantum-indeterminate results of experiments, and those experiments would vary in result even if the starting conditions were exactly the same.

  44. #47 t marvell
    December 8, 2016

    If there are infinitely many universes, as Ethan suggests might be the case, then one cannot argue that a large number of universes, no matter now large, is unrealistic. Obviously.

    I don’t know that there will ever be a proof that there are infinitely many universes. Even if there are not, the actual number is likely to be much larger than we can ever contemplate. A possible starting point is to take the number of possible states of each particle in our universe, add that up, and multiply that by the number of possible combinations. There is probably no mathematical expression for a number that large.

  45. #48 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    Uh, go read Ethan’s article. He explains the process right there.

  46. #49 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 8, 2016

    #46
    Eric, I’m a bit taken aback at the confusion surrounding multiverses. I guess it’s because it’s such a contentious and pioneering subject.

    What perhaps has been missed in the discussion, is that when the 10^90 particles combinations are computed, every single possible scenario and outcome is built into that range of combinations including the ones you just described. You seem to be drawing from the block universe set of ideas which is not quite the same as multiverse.

    Therefore I believe your comment, while insightful, is mute in this context. I’m going to be like a broken record here – Ethan’s article has oversights that reveal the foundation of his calculations are based on muddled premises.

    I pointed out to Wow that the order isn’t accounted for in those calculations. Order would need to be calculated for on top of Ethan’s calculations. This issue was not refuted. I talk about indistinguishable (from an instrumentalist’s point of view) versions of other ‘you’s’ from an internal quantum arrangement, and Wow misrepresents this as my ‘neighbour’.

    Wow has tried to defend Ethan, but his loyalty is misplaced. I’m sure Ethan would like to get down to the facts and not rely on ear-bashing as his defense.

    I put it again that the simple issues I have raised have not been correctly addressed, and that Ethan’s article did not answer the questions he set out to ask. He sets a high standard for his column, freely admits and corrects errors and clears up misunderstandings. In this case, perhaps due to time constraints, I believe he did drop the ball.

  47. #50 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    “Eric, I’m a bit taken aback at the confusion surrounding multiverses. ”

    That’s not all you’re confusing about. Consider whether you are the reason for this, rather than a plethora of others.

    ” is that when the 10^90 particles combinations are computed, every single possible scenario and outcome is built into that range of combinations”

    What computation are you doing? You’ve done none to date.

    “Therefore I believe your comment, while insightful, is mute in this context”

    Moot.

    “I pointed out to Wow that the order isn’t accounted for in those calculations.”

    First time you’ve said that. Not that it’s actually the case, but maybe you’re still confused about what you’re talking about.

    “Order would need to be calculated for on top of Ethan’s calculations”

    This would need to be done, yes. You haven’t though, just asserted they must be done and somehow this would make “you” a lit easier to work out.

    “Wow has tried to defend Ethan, but his loyalty is misplaced. I’m sure Ethan would like to get down to the facts and not rely on ear-bashing as his defense.”

    Synethestic??? No, my loyalty isn’t misplaced, since the problem isn’t “loyalty” (an aside: aren’t you merely being loyal to yourself in your insistence that you must, by some mystical issue, be right? If “loyalty” is somehow destructive to an argument, yours is broken too). It’s that you aren’t making any sense. But because you’re just navel gazing, you’re not going to see it.

    “I put it again that the simple issues I have raised have not been correctly addressed”

    By which you appear to mean “Agrees with me”. This is not any useful definition of “correctly addressed” in any known or knowable universe.

    I put it again to you that your assertion is entirely wrong. Your insistence otherwise isn’t even attempting to address (never mind correctly address) that fact.

    “In this case, perhaps due to time constraints, I believe he did drop the ball.”

    But even if this were so, it is not via the method you’ve presented here.

  48. #51 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 8, 2016

    Wow – you are a Poodle…

  49. #52 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    No.That is incorrect.

    For a start, poodles can’t type. This would, for normal humans, be indication enough that a canine was unlikely to be the right answer.

  50. #53 Wow
    December 8, 2016

    I do note that despite you having admitted you need to do some computation on that 10^90 particles, you haven’t actually done that.

    Merely incompetence, or is malice the reason?

  51. #54 eric
    December 8, 2016

    What perhaps has been missed in the discussion, is that when the 10^90 particles combinations are computed, every single possible scenario and outcome is built into that range of combinations including the ones you just described.

    10^90 is an approximation, and this is a ‘spherical cow’ sort of calculation. In reality, many nuclear decays have branching ratios, which means they have reasonable probabilities of decaying in multiple ways. This in turn means that different runs of the same starting conditions will create universes with different numbers of massed particles and photons, just due to indeterminate quantum effects. So when you say this bubble has 10^90 and you are “calculating” how much more universe there would have to be before this exact set of 10^90 particles would be replicated, you are approximating and ignoring evolution over time. In reality, the 10^90 collection of particles of the hubble bubble described when I started typing this sentence, repeated in space somewhere else, would never produce the exact same 10^90 collection of particles of the hubble bubble described as I end this sentence, because the ratio (and absolute number) of photons and massed particles will be different in each evolution. Put another way, there is no specific ensemble of 10^90 particles that describes the alternatives to our hubble-bubble. Each millisecond, that ensemble changes in quantum indeterminate ways. And it would do the same if you did a cosmic ‘copy and paste’ putting a copy of it somewhere else.

    IMO these sorts of calculations might be useful for initial approximations of what might be out there, but don’t mistake them for exact and high confidence predictions.

  52. #55 t marvel
    December 8, 2016

    Answer to #48. That’s different. Ethan uses a calculation similar to mine to determine the number of possible variations on “me” in our universe. I am talking about the number of other universes (suggested by one brand of quantum theory). That number is only a minimum, since the same calculations can be done for every other universe.

  53. #56 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 8, 2016

    #54

    Eric, thanks for a considered reply.

    Just for the record, I’ve done no calculations, and don’t intend to to do any calculations. The calculations being discussed are offered by Ethan in his article. So any approximations referred to are credited to him, not me. I am wishing to discuss the foundation of the calculations. In other words, the basis on which he has decided the input values and terms of his calculations.

    It’s true that Ethan’s 10^90 particles are an approximation. That is why my discussion uses approximations. That, for a start, doesn’t invalidate Ethan’s calculations, nor our discussions about Ethan’s calculations, provided we are discussing what his article sets out to answer.

    Ethan’s calculations focus on combinations, which don’t directly allow for time. You can bring time into it if you allow also for all the different orders that the stack of cards can be dealt out, which is an even bigger number. So, as long as you are discussing time, you are not really discussing what his calculations are about.

    Are we getting closer to a mutual understanding here?

  54. #57 Robert
    Adelaide
    December 9, 2016

    Another you is nonsensical. Basically it makes no logical sense in terms of infinite fractionality. The initial premise is that infinity exists, it must exist for anything to exist, because you can not get something from nothing, hence the potential for existence and any part of it, must be infinite.
    However as an existence within infinity, you are in a collective sense finite, even though in a quantum sense you are still infinite.
    As a finite expression within reality, even the entire expression of our universe is still finite within infinity. This finiteness within infinity allows for infinity variation from universe to universe, so each finite universe becomes infinitely different in terms of the infinite collection of universes.
    It’s a maths thing.

  55. #58 Wow
    December 9, 2016

    ” I am talking about the number of other universes (suggested by one brand of quantum theory). ”

    Which, as Ethan says, may not have the same physics. Rather hard to get an identical you when there’s no Carbon in the universe because there’s no resonance….

  56. #59 Wow
    December 9, 2016

    “Eric, thanks for a considered reply.”

    Of course, you’re not going to consider it has any validity, after all, it doesn’t agree with you.

    “Ethan’s calculations focus on combinations, which don’t directly allow for time.”

    And this changes things how? If all you consider is combinations, then there’s no need for time.

    Try considering that there’s also the factor of space: you with your head 100 light years from your body is not really a you, is it? Try considering that there’s also velocity: if the carbon atom just under your armpit is going at nearly light speed, you won’t be there for much longer, and if they’re all going fast in different directions, there never was a you there at all. Try considering that there’s energy too. An excited carbon atom doesn’t stay attached to a fragile human body because the binding energy isn’t binding any more.

    Your problem is you do not actually do any work, you just come up with an idea and then leap to the conclusion you’d like to be there.

    So, yeah, no consideration there from you. Just “nah, I’m right, and he forgot to include some arrangements, I mean combinations, I mean arrangements, stop!!!!!”

  57. #60 eric
    December 9, 2016

    Q.W. Rowe:

    The calculations being discussed are offered by Ethan in his article.

    Rereading Ethan’s full post, I don’t think you’re interpreting it correctly. In fact I think you’ve got it practically backwards and you’re not defending his conclusions at all. First, in his three numbered points he recognizes quantum indeterminacy and time evolution plays an important role in this sort of gedankenexperiment. Second, he says quite plainly “the number of possible outcomes from particles in any Universe interacting with one another tends towards infinity faster than the number of possible Universes increases due to inflation”. And later: “…the number of possible outcomes rises so quickly — so much faster than merely exponentially — that unless inflation has been occurring for a truly infinite amount of time, there are no parallel Universes identical to this one.”

    This is an explicit rejection of the notion that there’s another exact you out there, it isn’t supportive of it like you seem to think.

    So I don’t think we’re getting closer to mutual understanding, because you seem to be reading his article as supportive of a fully parallel ‘you’ out there somewhere, while I read his article as pretty much the opposite.

    • #61 Q W Rowe
      New Zealand
      December 11, 2016

      #60

      Eric, you correctly read my bias – I am clearly defending the multiverse hypothesis, but not very effectively as Wow points out. I now recognise that I have unstated assumptions, but these can be revealed if the discussion is allowed to proceed. Wow is also correct that I need to put some more work into the ideas I’m communicating. And this I am doing.

      I would like to point out that Wow makes it difficult to communicate, disrespecting the spirit of discussion that Ethan promotes in his comments policy page, and I’m quite upset by his behavior.

      http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/comments-policy/

      And here is another important point – I am exploring here, hopefully together, so we can all learn something. Exploring, learning – is this not the spirit of Ethan’s blog?

      Just to be clear, I’m not defending Ethan’s article, I am disagreeing with it.

      I disagree at the inflation end of Ethan’s argument, along the lines of t marvel’s comments #61. Ethan himself leaves it open that inflation could go on infinitely, so to leave the argument closed at the conclusion is logically difficult for a start.

      I show that his maths doesn’t match the question, and I point out that for another ‘you’ to exist, you don’t require an entire identical HB. For example, Ethan includes the evolution of the universe in his synopsis, but uses factorial maths where order is irrelevant. If you bring Steven Hawking’s idea of the puzzle-box to this discussion, then this is a good way to understanding the arrangements, where time’s direction is emergent, rather than a direct outcome of the equations.

      I disagree with Ethan’s argument also at the ‘you’ end of the maths also. My approach hinges on the idea of ‘you’ being indistinguishable, from an instrumentalist point of view, and that the outer environment can be drastically different without affecting the other ‘you’ in a way they would, or could, know. This will affect the maths, of which I don’t have the skill to calculate.

      And finally, I disagree with Ethan’s conclusion, implying that a universe existence is somehow more precious than multiverse existence. This is really what made me take a closer look at his assumptions. If he misunderstood this aspect, then what else had been glossed over?

      Ethan has several articles on this theme, so it’s worth exploring, as my objections extend to some degree to these as well. I remain willing to discuss, explore and learn about my objections to this article, even if it reveals me to be a complete idiot. I need feedback from fellow commenters here to achieve that, otherwise I’m talking to myself. Sarcastic BS is unnecessary and unwelcome.

  58. #62 t marvell
    December 9, 2016

    Comment on #60. Ethan talks about “the number of possible Universes increases due to inflation.” I see no reason to restrict the number of universes to those “due to inflation.”
    The history of cosmology suggests that if anything is possible, it is likely to exist. It is possible that there are infinitely many universes. Even if one objects to the notion of infinity, there is still the possibility that the number of other universes is finite, but so large that for practical purposes it cannot be distinguished from infinity.

    With respect to the other “me’s”, if there are infinitely many universes, there are infinitely many other “me’s”. If there are not infinitely many other universes, there are a finite number of other “me’s”. That number could be zero, or it could be very large.

  59. #63 eric
    December 9, 2016

    With respect to the other “me’s”, if there are infinitely many universes, there are infinitely many other “me’s”.

    A common trope but not necessarily true. Its entirely possible to have an infinitely sized set of things with no repeats. An infinite set can even lack some unique things altogether. The set of whole numbers is one simple example; it is infinite, but there is only one “1” in it and there is no “-1” in it at all.

  60. #64 Wow
    December 9, 2016

    There are also none of the infinite numbers of real numbers in that infinite set of integers.

  61. #65 t marvell
    December 10, 2016

    #62. I don’t see any reason to posit a “no repeat” restriction on the many-worlds speculation.

  62. #66 Wow
    December 10, 2016

    There doesn’t have to be, t.

    If the number of options available to be expressed goes up less quickly than the number of available options available to be occupied, then the possiblity of there being a repeat of an available option in the places that can be occupied is vanishingly small.

    Hence the conclusion Ethan comes to that it’s so unlikely the only answer to the question that can be supported is “No.”.

  63. #67 Wow
    December 10, 2016

    eric’s point was that just because there’s an infinite number in a set doesn’t mean that there must be a repeat, ergo you need an explanation of why there must be a repeat other than “It’s infinite, duh!”.

  64. #68 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 11, 2016

    #65 t marvell

    A ‘no repeat’ restriction is redundant. Another exact universe is the same universe from an internal point of view. A difference is required for change to register, just like in a movie. If you show the same frame over and over, it appears as a static single image. Change is compulsory in a dynamic universe.

  65. #69 PJ
    Perth, West Oz
    December 11, 2016

    If, as you say, our universe started everywhere at the same time,then that universe is singular, surely.

  66. #70 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    Either that or

    a) he doesn’t understand his own words, confusing himself
    b) he’s not stating the specific version of his own words, confusing others

    But if you take option a, you’re accused of being a poodle, and if you try option b, you’re accused of being a poodle. Somwhoe poodles means something bad, but he won’t say what, leaving EVERYONE ELSE confused.

    Rowe here is trying to woomancer people. Using, like any newager, science-like words in unique interpretations to pretend that their ideas are either right or plausible without having to actually provide evidence.

  67. #71 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    “Eric, you correctly read my bias – I am clearly defending the multiverse hypothesis,”

    Whether there’s another “you” out there is irrelevant to the supporting evidence of a multiverse. And Ethan’s maths merely extend the lack of another “you” in this universe to be EVEN LESS LIABLE in another universe in this multiverse (if there is one).

    And as you have belatedly admitted, none of your arguments were supporting the multiverse hypothesis, having nothing to do with it: another hubble bubble isn’t what the multiverse means. just one method for it.

  68. #72 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 11, 2016

    Wow, sorry for calling you a poodle. Don’t bring it up, and it will die a natural death.

    You are saying that I ‘ve said things that I didn’t say. You continue to misrepresent me. (#71)

    Whether there is another you out there is the whole point of the article.

  69. #73 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    “You are saying that I ‘ve said things that I didn’t say. ”

    No, that’s you saying things that *I* didn’t say.

    “Don’t bring it up, and it will die a natural death.”

    But you DID say poodle. Have you learned anything from the error of doing so? Until you have, all we have to go on is that you make mistakes and would like to forget you ever made them. This is not what “We all make mistakes” is supposed to allow.

    “You continue to misrepresent me. (#71)”

    Argument by assertion is a fallacy. IOW stop misrepresenting and lying about me. JUST AS PROVEN AS YOUR CLAIM, ergo, you need now to defend yourself from that accusation and until that is successful, you’re guilty.

  70. #74 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 11, 2016

    Further more Wow, please let me speak for myself…

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/comments-policy/

    I’ve got plenty at stake here, I write under my own name, I don’t hide behind an anonymous identity. I care about what I say.

  71. #75 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    “Further more Wow, please let me speak for myself…”

    Right back atcha, dude!

    “I’ve got plenty at stake here, I write under my own name, I don’t hide behind an anonymous identity. ”

    But nobody here knows who the hell you are. WHAT are you “risking” by not using a pseudonym? Bugger all. And are you trying to imply that because I do use one that somehow my posts are less relevant or accurate?

    Another fallacy. Go see if you can guess which one.

    “I care about what I say.”

    So do I, dammit. I want it to be cogent, accurate AND ON POINT. Yet your entire history of posting here was trying to insist that another “you” out there was much much more possible than Ethan said (and, by the way, misrepresented lots of other people’s, including Ethan’s, words). But NOW you’re claiming you were trying to support the multiverse hypothersis.

    I EVEN SAID SO IN #71, yet you were whining and whinging and obsessing over the second part. AND STILL IGNORING IT.

    You DON’T care what you say, you only care to get your way. THAT’S ALL.

    *I* care more about what you say.

  72. #76 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 11, 2016

    #70

    “Somwhoe poodles means something bad, but he won’t say what, leaving EVERYONE ELSE confused.”

    hahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

    *breathes in…*

    hahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

  73. #77 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 11, 2016

    hahahahahahahahahahaha aha aha aha haha ha…

    .

    oh dear!

  74. #78 Wow
    December 11, 2016

    Well, at least you’ve stopped trying to tell everyone here that you care about what you say.

    And stopped pretending you had something to add.

  75. #79 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    Hey Wow,

    Check out this FQXi link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmamlnbDX9I , where Alan Guth argues for an infinite phase space. Very interesting.

    I’m posting it as part of my homework… 🙂

  76. #80 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    Yeah, really not at all relevant.

    Why has already been explained in Ethan’s post AND by Eric AND myself.

    Just because something is infinite doesn’t mean everything must happen somewhere.

  77. #81 eric
    December 12, 2016

    t marvell:

    I don’t see any reason to posit a “no repeat” restriction on the many-worlds speculation

    I think you’re confusing “infinite (possible) things happen” and “every (possible) thing happens.” They are not the same, and the first does not imply the second. Since Ethan and others have merely argued that infinite things happen, your conclusion that this means every thing happens is unwarranted. Its, ironically, too restrictive, because you’re ruling out the infinite number of infinite evolutions of the universe in which are not the ‘every thing happens’ evolution. 🙂

    I think this is much easier to see when it comes to sets. There are an infinite number of infinite number sets; the whole numbers. The odds. The evens. Etc. But there’s only going to be one such set that comprises all the things you consider to be a number. So let’s say you’re very sure you have an infinite set of numbers, but you’re not sure which one you have, and you can’t really check. Now you ask: knowing only that I have one of these ‘infinite number sets,’ what is the probability I got the “every number” set? The answer to that question is why it is unwarranted to assume infinite possible things => every possible thing.

    Q W Rowe:

    I show that his maths doesn’t match the question

    What you’ve argued is that if we only consider the human sense perspective, its much easier to form an apparent duplicate universe than if we consider the ‘every particle’ perspective. Okay. But have you shown its easier enough that Ethan’s conclusion no longer holds? I agree it might, because I haven’t seen the math behind it. But I also think you haven’t shown that it does because – again – I haven’t seen the math behind your position.

    This will affect the maths, of which I don’t have the skill to calculate.

    Well that’s a problem. As our requirements for what counts as a ‘duplicate’ gets less stringent, yes it becomes more likely the universe produced duplicates (by our less stringent definition). You’ve probably got that trend right. But as far as I can tell, there is no way to say where on the probability scale your specific example (the human perception bubble) lies…because you can’t do the math on that.

    I’m not even sure it’s a well-formed example, because its probably hard to define what would count as noticeable by humans. Depending on how much you believe chaos theory, pretty much anything in our causal bubble could have created a change noticeable by humans.

    And finally, I disagree with Ethan’s conclusion, implying that a universe existence is somehow more precious than multiverse existence.

    I view that as a human value judgment; Ethan editorializing on what the math means to Ethan. You can disagree with it if you like, but I don’t think a disagreement there does anything whatsoever to undermine the more technical argument in his post.

  78. #82 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    #80

    A predictable response Wow.

    Ethan’s article can only reach his conclusion because he dismisses infinite phase-space, even though he admits it may be possible.

    The link is to a lecture by Alan Guth, the father of inflation, from two years ago. Ethan’s article, and much of his life’s, work rests heavily on this mans work.

    Guth argues for an infinite phase-space.

    Wow says “not relevant”

    Then you appeal to the authority of yourself and Eric – case settled.

    .

    Methinks you have been attending Trump University!

  79. #83 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    #81

    Eric, I can see you have actually read my comment. Your response is insightful and well thought out. Thank you!

    “What you’ve argued is that if we only consider the human sense perspective, its much easier to form an apparent duplicate universe than if we consider the ‘every particle’ perspective. Okay. But have you shown its easier enough that Ethan’s conclusion no longer holds? I agree it might, because I haven’t seen the math behind it. But I also think you haven’t shown that it does because – again – I haven’t seen the math behind your position.”

    Finally, someone has got to the nub of my position. I have admitted that I don’t have the skill to do the maths. But that’s not the point. I set out to show that the foundation of Ethan’s argument was shaky. The fact that you are beginning to see this is encouraging.

    Multiverse is specialist subject, with some unpalatable implications. Unsurprisingly it is unappealing to many physicists. I think this article reveals that Ethan is one of those physicists.

  80. #84 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    On calculations.

    In the comments above I’ve put up with insults, ear-bashing, criticized for using approximations and accused of being incompetent because I don’t have the level of maths skills that Ethan has.

    Ethan performs two simple calculations in his article, and merely refers others. He also employs comparative references for values, for example in the quote below:

    “As sad as the case is, there are way more than (10^90)! possible outcomes for the particles in the Universe, and that number is many googolplexes times larger than a paltry number like 10^10^50.”

    .

    Why don’t those who casually throw around those accusations try tossing one to Ethan and see how well that goes down? The hypocrisy Index is high in here, to say the least! Can we all just put it to bed with the maths cock-fight and actually get on with discussing on point?

  81. #85 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    yes, on those calculations, I notice you’ve not done any, just whined, earbashing everyone else who DARES not agree with you.

  82. #86 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    “Ethan’s article can only reach his conclusion because he dismisses infinite phase-space, even though he admits it may be possible.”

    No, he includes infinite phase space. But which infinity are they? Aleph-0 or Aleph-1 or higher?

    You are CLEARLY clueless. And this is why we’re ignoring you: you demand everyone else do their work for you, before you’ll do anything.

  83. #87 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    #85-86

    Wow, what reality do you reside in? I’ve not been ignored, especially by you. That’s just you again, speaking for others, despite the evidence.

    You continue with your misrepresentation, accusing others of the very behavior you are committing yourself, dispensing insults and trying to speak for others – your signature traits.

    Eric engaged in a considered conversation, and came to his own conclusions. He doesn’t completely agree with me, and I’m ok with that., There was no ear-bashing on my part – your hypocrisy has no bounds!

    You sprinkle in red-herrings:
    “But which infinity are they? Aleph-0 or Aleph-1 or higher?”
    None of that is discussed in the article. Desperate, desperate stuff.

    Somehow, you manage to completely miss the point on almost every comment I make.

    All this, and you STILL don’t understand why I called you a poodle!

    .

    How about you wrench yourself from this echo-chamber, go for a walk in the real world, and see how many friends you can make by behaving as you do here. Consider it a science experiment.

  84. #88 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    Wow, perhaps you will find this link useful. For the most part, it’s quite positive! 🙂

    http://www.dogtemperament.com/poodle-temperament/#

  85. #89 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    “Wow, what reality do you reside in? ”

    This one, dumbass.

    ” I’ve not been ignored, especially by you.”

    Homonym. When you do your English homework, check them out.

    ““But which infinity are they? Aleph-0 or Aleph-1 or higher?”
    None of that is discussed in the article. Desperate, desperate stuff.”

    I was asking YOU dumbass. Do you know what they mean, or are you avoiding? If the phase space is aleph-1 and occupancy aleph-0, they’re both infinite sets, but how much of the phase space is occupied, as a fraction?

    Ask a grown-up what that means.

  86. #90 Wow
    December 12, 2016

    Why should I read a link that is irrelevant, boy?

  87. #91 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 12, 2016

    #90
    Go on, take a look – you look quite fetching…

  88. #92 eric
    December 12, 2016

    But that’s not the point. I set out to show that the foundation of Ethan’s argument was shaky.

    I don’t think you’ve done that at all. You’re asking a different question than the one he was answering (human-apparent duplication vs. full particle duplication), so the fact that he doesn’t fully address your question does not make his conclusion ‘shaky’. But also because you haven’t shown his conclusion is incorrect even for your human-apparent duplication standard; you’ve only shown it might be. I’m fine with the conclusion ‘it might be.’ But if you want to say ‘its wrong,’ I think the burden of proof shifts to you to show how you arrived at that conclusion.

    Multiverse is specialist subject, with some unpalatable implications. Unsurprisingly it is unappealing to many physicists. I think this article reveals that Ethan is one of those physicists.

    What?? Where did you get that idea? I have no idea whether he subscribes to eternal inflation, which is probably the “most infinite” type. But I’m really darn sure he subscribes to some form of inflation, and they all pretty much imply that there is something outside what pre-inflationary models considered the total universe. So I think you’re again misinterpreting what he’s saying.

  89. #93 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 13, 2016

    #92

    Eric, you are quite right, so my apologies to Ethan. He is not against the multiverse hypothesis, just the particular scenarios where there are multiple ‘you’s’. I didn’t make that clear in my final paragraph. This is why I make reference to the implications of the multiverse ideas. I do, however, understand that he subscribes to inflation , as I explicitly mention in #82.

    As for ‘might-be’ versus wrong, Ethan doesn’t use ‘might-be’, so why don’t you apply this criteria to him? I have reminded readers that Ethan states all the ‘ifs’ that need to be in place that could tip the argument either way, depending on which ‘ifs’ are true. Despite this, Ethan emphatically shuts the door on the argument in his conclusion.

    “You’re asking a different question than the one he was answering (human-apparent duplication vs. full particle duplication)”

    Well, yes, of course I am. This is precisely my objection. The article is first an foremost about infinite ‘you’s’, with infinite universes as the vehicle to the premise. If the ‘human-apparent duplication standard’ is possible in a multiverse, then it should be included in the ‘if’ list. You have recognized the difficulty in performing this calculation with these considerations in mind, and have put it on me to calculate it myself. This is unlikely to happen. But considering that it is an oversight on Ethan’s part, and affects his conclusion, then at the very least, it should appear in his ‘if’ ‘list.

    Then there is the matter of whether there is infinite phase-space available. Other physicists, such as Guth, Tegmark, and Carrol argue that there is. Clearly this is open for debate, which is what I thought.I was doing here.

  90. #94 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    “He is not against the multiverse hypothesis, just the particular scenarios where there are multiple ‘you’s’. I didn’t make that clear in my final paragraph.”

    You didn’t know in your final paragraph. You aren’t reading Ethan’s post, you’re thinking what it might be saying.

    BTW I notice you’ve now googled infinity, aleph and other math-y things to pretend that you’re an adept. Earlier (much earlier) would have been better. But you still need to comprehend what you looked up.

  91. #95 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 13, 2016

    #94
    Oh Wow, you flatter me so. It’s a nice thought that I may have looked up aleph and other ‘math-y’ things, but I haven’t a clue what aleph means. I do however recognise a red-herring when I see one.

    Unlike you, I’m quite secure with the fact I don’t know everything, and nor do I pretend to. Considering that sprinkling in irrelevant math-y things into your comments is one of your trademarks, I find this comment a bit rich.

    You are well practiced at dishing out insults, innuendo and disinformation, but if you wish to continue doing so, I suggest you grow a thicker skin.

  92. #96 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    “Oh Wow, you flatter me so.”

    Ah, if that’s how reality looks to you, then fair enough, we’re done.

    Can’t say it was a blast.

  93. #97 eric
    December 13, 2016

    As for ‘might-be’ versus wrong, Ethan doesn’t use ‘might-be’, so why don’t you apply this criteria to him?

    Okay, his math might be wrong. But since you don’t have any calculations at all backing up your conclusion that a human-apparent duplication occurs, the credibility of your assertion is IMO much much less than the credibility of his. He at least back-of-the-enveloped his concept, you didn’t even do that.

    If the ‘human-apparent duplication standard’ is possible in a multiverse, then it should be included in the ‘if’ list.

    That is your opinion, but I don’t think most physicists necessarily share it, because there’s really no objective standard for measuring what ‘human apparent duplication’ means. The full-particle version has the advantages of being objective, and fairly indisputable in terms of being a ‘duplication,’ so that’s the one physicists discuss.

    Right now, then, I’d say you have a somewhat vaguely-formed notion of possible philosophical interest (but probably not a lot of scientific interest). It would be difficult for anyone to even work on answering it until you clarify what you mean in technical terms. Moreover, both in science and philosophy, the promoters of new ideas and subjects typically have the burden of doing the initial work on it,* before anyone else will pay attention to it. So it would also be up to you to do some back of the envelope calculations to see if your idea holds water before others considered there to be any professional onus or obligation to discuss or address it.

    Lastly, and this is getting into the weeds, but are you counting human observations of quantum indeterminate events, such as single atom decays, in your ‘human apparent duplication’? If so, your whole idea might dead in the water for the same reasons I gave in @46. Truncate your hubble bubble down quite a lot, and if you still need the repeat to exactly duplicate eric-looking-up-Oganessian-half-life-and-reading-0.89ms for it to count, you have a problem. Because that event is unlikely to repeat exactly the same even if everything else is exactly the same. The observed decay time was quantum indeterminate, and yet its part of my ‘apparent’, macroscopic view universe.

    *Unless you have money. The main method non-scientists have of getting scientists to spend their time and effort on researching the non-scientist’s ideas is the venture capitalist route: pay someone else to work on your pet project. That route is obviously not open to most of us mere mortals, which means we are stuck having to do the drudgery of mathematical calculations and technical research for ourselves, before others will pay attention to our criticisms and ideas. Sorry, that’s just the way it works.

  94. #98 Wow
    December 13, 2016

    Okay, his math might be wrong. But since you don’t have any calculations at all backing up your conclusion that a human-apparent duplication occurs, the credibility of your assertion is IMO much much less than the credibility of his

    Tried that, didn’t work, the moron just goes and, if there’s no other option, proclaims that he ALWAYS HAD agreed with that statement, and that everyone else just got it wrong, and what he meant was something else.

    Until that goes titsup too.

    It would be difficult for anyone to even work on answering it until you clarify what you mean in technical terms.

    Tried that too.

    Guess what: Didn’t work either.

    Just keeping you abreast so you know where your efforts are liable to be underwhelming in their effect on this clown.

  95. #99 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 13, 2016

    #97

    Eric, you bring up many interesting issues, and I will address each one.

    “Okay, his math might be wrong. But since you don’t have any calculations at all backing up your conclusion that a human-apparent duplication occurs, the credibility of your assertion is IMO much much less than the credibility of his. He at least back-of-the-enveloped his concept, you didn’t even do that.”

    I’m not saying his maths is wrong. I’m saying it has shaky foundations. I’ve addressed this issue also in #84. If you want maths from me, you will get referring to approximations, which is exactly what Ethan has done. And yes, it is much harder to define the inputs for my approach, because the problem shifts from one boundary condition to multiple boundary conditions. Ethan has used the ‘spherical cow’ approach, simplifying to make the calcs easier. This suits his ‘back-of-the-envelope’ methods.

    As for credibility, I agree, I would get more credibility if I did perform those revised calculations, but I disagree that my inability to perform them takes away from the merit of the issues I raise. Once again, refer to #84.

    “That is your opinion, but I don’t think most physicists necessarily share it, because there’s really no objective standard for measuring what ‘human apparent duplication’ means.”

    Yes, all I have is my opinion, and an argument. And certainly, physicists have varying warmth towards the multiverse-hypothesis. There is even more contention regarding MV’s possible implications. Ethan’s article is, ultimately, his opinion. Because of his talent and passion for astrophysics, he gets to write this blog, and have a great influence with the public. He gets my greatest respect for this.

    “The full-particle version has the advantages of being objective, and fairly indisputable in terms of being a ‘duplication,’ so that’s the one physicists discuss.”

    Well, that’s just getting back to the ‘spherical-cow’ approach. It side-steps the richness of the multiverse hypothesis.

    “Right now, then, I’d say you have a somewhat vaguely-formed notion of possible philosophical interest (but probably not a lot of scientific interest). It would be difficult for anyone to even work on answering it until you clarify what you mean in technical terms. Moreover, both in science and philosophy, the promoters of new ideas and subjects typically have the burden of doing the initial work on it,* before anyone else will pay attention to it. So it would also be up to you to do some back of the envelope calculations to see if your idea holds water before others considered there to be any professional onus or obligation to discuss or address it.”

    These ideas are not only mine. I’m mining from the other camp, Tegmark, Linde, Carrol, Guth, plus many others where it is still a lively and open debate. Therefore, I’m not sure they a ‘new’. Perhaps because Ethan doesn’t support the multiple-you’s aspect of MV, then there will be less awareness of it in this forum?

    Regarding the ‘burden’, ultimately, I agree with you. For example, Ethan has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is now, so his word carries much weight, because he knows his subject. I haven’t, so I am a ‘nobody’ in this sense. However, this blog’s intention is a so called ‘citizen-science’ outreach. Just as amateurs can participate in galaxy-categorizing, or even discover a comet without a deep knowledge of maths and physics, then so too can I participate in foundation issues if my argument has some merit to it.

    “Lastly, and this is getting into the weeds, but are you counting human observations of quantum indeterminate events, such as single atom decays, in your ‘human apparent duplication’? If so, your whole idea might dead in the water for the same reasons I gave in @46. Truncate your hubble bubble down quite a lot, and if you still need the repeat to exactly duplicate eric-looking-up-Oganessian-half-life-and-reading-0.89ms for it to count, you have a problem. Because that event is unlikely to repeat exactly the same even if everything else is exactly the same. The observed decay time was quantum indeterminate, and yet its part of my ‘apparent’, macroscopic view universe.”

    An excellent point. As the human-centered hubble-bubble becomes more aware, then the odds of duplication reduce. So if you include your Oganessian decay example, you are narrowing the boundary conditions to the calculations. If the ‘one tiny quantum fluctuation difference’ universe used by Ethan is the extreme example, then your decay universe fits somewhere in along the spectrum between Ethan’s and the 17th century buccaneer’s universe. You can see why the maths is going to get a bit trickier.

    Totally agree on your last paragraph.

  96. #100 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    December 13, 2016

    Aleph – Hebrew for the letter A.

  97. #101 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 13, 2016

    #98

    Wow, you are back in the gutter again. If you had actually read my comments without bias, you would notice that all the way from #27-28, I have kept to point, and been consistent. The misunderstandings arise from not reading it thoroughly.

    There is some adaptation going on, because I am taking on board others comments. In other words, I am learning. Even some of yours have merit, but mostly they completely ignore Ethan’s comments policy.

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/questions-suggestions/

    So much for ‘I’m done here’…

    #100 PJ, do you get a prize around here for 100th comment? 🙂

  98. #102 Q W Rowe
    n
    December 13, 2016
  99. #103 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    December 13, 2016

    We have another one from a year or two ago which was up to 800 odd comments, but, no prizes. If you like, I can retract my 100, then you can have pride of place.
    🙂

  100. #104 Narad
    December 13, 2016

    Aleph – Hebrew for the letter A.

    Um, no, it’s English for the letter א. I’ve pretty much been ignoring this exchange since my comment #10 (many-worlds, Tegmark’s “level 3,” is routine-QM-ish and has nothing to with multiverses), but the alephs are standard set theory.

  101. #105 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 14, 2016

    #103 The honour is yours, PJ 🙂

    I have to say that 800+ comments shows quite some endurance by the commenters!

  102. #106 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 14, 2016

    #104

    PJ, Narad, thanks for that, I’m now a little less ignorant about alephs.

    Narad, it might be pushing it a bit to say that Tegmark has nothing to do with multiverses!? Tegmark’s “Level 3” refers to “Level 3 Multiverse”. The following link shows his proposed multiverse hierarchy.

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.1283.pdf

  103. #107 Wow
    December 14, 2016

    “many-worlds, Tegmark’s “level 3,” is routine-QM-ish and has nothing to with multiverses”

    Surely unpossible, Narad. Rowe here claims that they are only trying to support the multiverse. And Rowe knows they’re smarter than everyone else here.

  104. #108 Q W Rowe
    New Zealand
    December 14, 2016

    #107

    Jeez Wow, read the link – I’m not claiming it, Tegmark is. You deliverer yet another example of willful ignorance of evidence.

  105. #109 eric
    December 14, 2016

    I feel like we are arguing in circles, so this may be my last response.

    I’m not saying his maths is wrong. I’m saying it has shaky foundations.

    But it doesn’t. He wanted to address the full-particle-duplicate question, and that’s the question he did address. What you’re trying to argue is that because Ethan didn’t address a different scenario that you personally find equally or more important, his calculation has shaky foundations. That simply doesn’t follow. You can say his math isn’t relevant to the question that interests you, and that would be true. But that doesn’t make it “shaky.”

    [Me]“That is your opinion, but I don’t think most physicists necessarily share it, because there’s really no objective standard for measuring what ‘human apparent duplication’ means.”

    [QW] Yes, all I have is my opinion, and an argument. And certainly, physicists have varying warmth towards the multiverse-hypothesis.

    I’m not talking about the validity of the multiverse concept at all. I’m saying you haven’t defined what “human-apparent duplication” means in terms of testable criteria. Until you do, you can’t estimate how much more probable it is. Does it mean particle duplication out to Alpha Centauri or just Pluto? Or less? Does it mean no noticeable difference to cavemen, or no noticeable difference to me with by ability to perform and measure quantum indeterminate events? Does your concept give credence to chaos theory and the idea that a single particle or photon emanating from a distant black hole billions of years ago, and hitting the Earth’s atmosphere a year ago, could be responsible for significant weather differences today? Your concept is too ill-defined and vague to even test at this point. That is what I mean when I say that there is no objective standard for a human-apparent duplication: that “human apparent” is not a well defined criteria.

    I’m mining from the other camp, Tegmark, Linde, Carrol, Guth, plus many others where it is still a lively and open debate

    Please show me where. I was under the impression that the physicists on the ‘duplication happens’ side are generally using a full-particle-duplication concept, I was not and am not aware that they’re using some other standard. But I could be wrong about that.

    As the human-centered hubble-bubble becomes more aware, then the odds of duplication reduce. So if you include your Oganessian decay example, you are narrowing the boundary conditions to the calculations. If the ‘one tiny quantum fluctuation difference’ universe used by Ethan is the extreme example, then your decay universe fits somewhere in along the spectrum between Ethan’s and the 17th century buccaneer’s universe. You can see why the maths is going to get a bit trickier.

    So, are you agreeing that there isn’t a duplicate me out there? Because I actually did look up a lifetime value. That’s part of my experience. And had I looked it up and the number had been different (which it likely would be in any duplicate universe), me, you, and everyone else reading this thread would be subtly different.

  106. #110 Narad
    December 15, 2016

    Narad, it might be pushing it a bit to say that Tegmark has nothing to do with multiverses!? Tegmark’s “Level 3” refers to “Level 3 Multiverse”.

    I didn’t write the thing, but he rather plainly states that “level 3” is exactly what I said it is:

    “In unitary quantum mechanics, other branches of the wavefunction add nothing qualitatively new, which is ironic given that this level has historically been the most controversial.”

    Tegmark assumes that there’s a multiverse, so MWI gets shoehorned into this grab-bag of “levels,” but it’s completely independent – QM doesn’t require inflation. For that matter, “MWI” doesn’t require “many worlds” as some people try to sell it.

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