Is the multiverse a scientific theory?

“The thing is, the Multiverse is not a scientific theory on its own. Rather, it’s a theoretical consequence of the laws of physics as they’re best understood today. It’s perhaps even an inevitable consequence of those laws: if you have an inflationary Universe governed by quantum physics, this is something you’re pretty much bound to wind up with. But — much like String Theory — it has some big problems: it doesn’t predict anything we either have observed and can’t explain without it, and it doesn’t predict anything definitive we can go and look for.”

When people use the word theory colloquially, they use it to mean an “idea” or a “possibility” that could conceivably be at play. But a scientific theory has a much more stringent set of things it must accomplish: it must encompass all the successes of the previously leading theory, it must make successful predictions for phenomena that the leading theory cannot make, and it must predict additional, novel phenomena that can be either validated or refuted. So, is the Multiverse a scientific theory? It arises as a consequence of a scientific theory, but it fails on the grounds of making successful and novel predictions. While it might someday rise to the status of a scientific theory, it isn’t there today.


Fly Geyser, Nevada

This bizarre formation in the middle of the Black Rock Desert started to grow around 100 years ago, when farmers tried to drill a well and geothermal boiling water was accidentally hit. This geyser was left alone and a calcium carbonate cone formed, that is still growing today. The alien-looking mound’s astonishing colour is caused by a rare algae, which flourishes in moist, hot environments, resulting in the multiple hues of green and red that add to its out-of-this-world appearance.


Herb Book (1914) Our medicinal plants in word and image Friedrich Losch on Flickr.

1914 Location: Esslingen, Munich
The original of this work was kindly provided by Hans-Henning Steinbiß available. Scanning by Sebastian Hoegen, editing by Kurt Stüber, April 2005.
This book is part of , the virtual biological Library ..
© Kurt Stueber , 2003

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