Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. – Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Whitehead's Process Speculation about Multiverses before there was Speculation

Whitehead's Process Speculation about
Multiverses before there was Speculation

I just recently put together Over the last several days a couple articles on EM/QED and then saw Paul's statement below in connection with Whitehead's multiverse theory and electromagnetic societies as spacetime singularities:
Alfred North Whitehead, the smartest man who ever lived [in my opinion], foretold of our universe existing as only one of many. Today it is known as the multiverse theory.

Seventy years before modern physics, [mathematician-philosopher] Alfred North Whitehead pioneered the framework of multiverse theory by what he described as a "plurality of cosmic epochs", “the theory of society,” and the notion of "the geometrical society" which harbors the existence of the cosmic epochs - one which [may] contain all possible geometrical configurations, allowing multiple dimensions required by M-theory.

Whitehead also foretold that evidence of “our cosmic epoch” (our universe) is all we would be able to to trace. 
The phrase "cosmic epoch is used to mean the widest society of actual entities whose immediate relevance to ourselves is traceable.”

Whitehead also called “our cosmic epoch” an "electromagnetic society that began as a spacetime singularity" - now known as the big bang roughly 14 billion years ago and has been expanding and cooling ever since. 

Following up Paul's reference turned up this little gem by Leemon McHenry at California State University:

The Multiverse Conjecture: Whitehead’s Cosmic Epochs and Contemporary Cosmology (21 pages)

*Leemon McHenry teaches philosophy at California State University, Northridge, CA 
Abstract: Recent developments in cosmology and particle physics have led to speculation that our universe is merely one of a multitude of universes. While this notion, the multiverse hypothesis, is highly contested as legitimate science, it has nonetheless struck many physicists as a necessary consequence of the effort to construct a final, unified theory. In Process and Reality (1929), his magnum opus, Alfred North Whitehead advanced a cosmology as part of his general metaphysics of process. Part of this project involved a theory of cosmic epochs which bears a remarkable affinity to current cosmological speculation. This paper demonstrates how the basic framework of a multiverse theory is already present in Whitehead’s cosmology and defends the necessity of speculation in the quest for an explanatory description. 


An example of entropy in biological systems

Process as a Continuous State of Unfolding Entropy

For myself, I can see the historical appropriations of Whitehead connecting process philosophy to Maxwell's electromagnetic theory (it's easy enough to do between both systems as I hinted at here). And though I have no problem with multiverse theory (it'd be highly unusual if our cosmos were the only universe... without having simultaneous derivatives of all kinds of universes as proposed under M-theory). But I didn't think the many worlds concept came out until the late fifties by Hugh Everett (1957). Still, process philosophy would very easily connect with this theory too as apparently Whitehead speculated when sensing the flow and rhythm of an organic universe. That is to say, things do not arise by themselves, but in relational communities with one another, which is the nub of multiverse theory.

Said differently, even as evolutionary theory shows the process of entropy attempting to lowering its loss of energy (thus a hot earth is cooled by living organic processes) so too would one expect an evolution of cosmi (plural of cosmos?) which come-and-go exploiting all connective opportunities while driven towards novelty and in-state wellbeing.

Thus, these perturbations of our cosmos finds ourselves in it and asking the kind of questions sentient beings might ask within the framework and conditions of this cosmos (I lean strongly towards the weak anthropic principle - see here and here: "A Tale of Two Cities" - where there can be no preconditions, no divine fiats or commands overruling the process proceeding from God's Self, only undirected interactions in relational context to the whole. My only argument for the strong anthropic principle lies in the embedding of God's Self and His Love within the process itself granting a positive creativity and need for wellbeing. Combined, both concepts give a teleology to process theology).

Does Process Thought Allow for a Teleology?

That said, I also believe God gave to all universes indeterminant freewill underlaid by the process principles of divine love speaking to not only freedom but wellbeing (a kind of entropic statism, if you will).
How Do We Explain the Incredible Uniqueness of Our Form of Multiverse?

[Excerpt] "The concept of other universes has been proposed to explain how our Universe appears to be fine-tuned for conscious life as we experience it. If there were a large (possibly infinite) number of universes, each with possibly different physical laws (or different fundamental physical constants), some of these universes, even if very few, would have the combination of laws and fundamental parameters that are suitable for the development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, stars, and planets that can exist long enough for life to emerge and evolve.

"The weak anthropic principle could then be applied to conclude that we (as conscious beings) would only exist in one of those few universes that happened to be finely tuned, permitting the existence of life with developing consciousness. Thus, while the probability might be extremely small that any particular universe would have the requisite conditions for life (as we understand [carbon-based] life) to emerge and evolve, this would not necessarily require intelligent design per a teleological argument for the strong anthropic principle as the only explanation for the conditions in the Universe which promotes our existence in it." - res, June14.2012  


Summary Speculations

Which means, our universe is neither the first, nor the last, in a long line of novel creations but are always found in the perpetual state of outcome as "organically relational cosmic entities" developing from states of being towards endless states of becoming. And not simply one after the other in linear progression, but as many, becoming many more, like bubbles shot out of an infinite number of bubble guns!

This is the kind of process creation which I would expect a process God to have created. A God who himself is the first process of all succeeding sub tending processes as they mix and break apart from one another in differing combinations of novelty and creative relational bundling.

And lastly, we live in a much older "-Verse" than mere physical light years can measure when thinking of all the preceding -verses which have come and gone before our own. -Verses which are more than their matter, of which makes they are composed. But of a summing up of a panpsychic, panexistential, albeit "spiritual," presence we seldom seem to senseas we bustle about like ants on the ground, but can feel vibrating all around us in the aftermaths of creational spaces.

The vagabond butterfly, the whispering tree, the moving wind... even our own personal beings and presence with one another with nature itself. There is a there, there, which one might call divine or spiritual but we might all call beauty and wonder. And like Whitehead's speculation, God's handiwork extends everywhere... both in this world and far beyond it.

Though a Process God does not determine the future, as the Very Process itself God is steeped within it, infilling all its spaces and relational processes. God does not need to know the future because God is the future. God is the One who ever lives on the edge of the becoming future.

Process Theology then is a different kind of animal then the church has witnessed before even as evolutionary processes and the quantum sciences. And it's time to re-read the bible's narratival stories with an eye towards the processes occuring in spacetime amongst the ancients - and even before them in the primal dawns of the living, the lit, and the whole. Peace, my friends. Peace.

July 1, 2021

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Are we living in a Multiverse?

A closer look at four different types
of parallel universe(s)

by Prince
March 26, 2018

I have found the multiverse subject extremely enticing, as it provided me a way to reflect upon my existence and forced me to question everything. In this article I want to share and explain from different perspectives (scientific, theological, fictional, philosophical) the four different levels of multiverses suggested by scientists and astronomers.

We usually think of our universe as a vast nearly endlessly expanse that contains every star [and] galaxy in existence. But, what if there is more than one universe? Could it be that we live in a multiverse?

Our universe as we know, originated from a huge explosion that is known as the big bang. In the first split second after the big bang the universe underwent a fast expansion, known as the cosmic inflation. 

Our universe in the last 13.7 billion years has expanded enormously from the size of an atom and [it has kept expanding ever] since then. There was a time when the universe was expanding so rapidly that the parts of it were moving away from each other faster than the speed of light.

Why we might be living in a Multiverse?

In ancient times it was believed that the earth [was the center of the universe and the other planet revolved around it. Then], later on, we discovered that the earth revolves around the Sun which is part of the solar system, and our solar system was found to be a part of the Milky Way galaxy. By further observations scientists learned that our universe is composed with other billions of such galaxies, each galaxy containing billions of stars. We can only see a small portion of the entire universe, known as the observable universe, which has a diameter of 93 billion light years and the radius of approximately 46 billion light years.

According to modern theories of particle physics there might be other parallel universes like ours in the vast collection of universes so called multiverse. Scientists have started taking the idea of parallel universes very seriously in the past years and the majority of cosmologists today agree with the concept of a multiverse, which is the idea that our universe might not be the only one of its kind. There are number of theories about what the multiverse could be and there are four different perspectives of looking at them.

Level I — The Quilted Multiverse

Quilted Universe

There isn’t one single multiverse hypothesis, cosmologist Max Tegmark has proposed four different types of multiverse that might exist. The quilted universes model is predicted by the theory of inflation developed by Alan Guth and Andrei Linde, which suggests that the space itself is not just big but is infinite in size. Beyond the range of our telescopes are other regions of space, those regions are a type of parallel universes with the same physical laws and constants, some identical to ours while some very different from ours, and there is a probability for one of those parallel universes being identical to ours.

From scientific point of view, we are just a configuration of different particles, and according to science matter can be arranged only in finite ways and afterwards it tends to repeat itself. Based on the same idea according to Dr Tegmark an identical Hubble space to ours should be around 10 to the 10¹¹⁸, beyond that it must repeat, which means there might another you in another universe. However, we cannot observe those regions of space with our current technology, the farthest that we can observe is about 42 billion light years, which is the distance that light has been able to travel to us since the big bang happened. This quilted multiverse model is not really a theory, but rather a prediction, because it is predicted by the theory of inflation, and it agrees with the data provided by the cosmologists.

For example, Einstein’s general theory of relativity is not a theory anymore, it was in the past, but it has been proved and tested, and now scientists take it very seriously and use it as a scientific model in order to make sense of the events, even though it predicts lots of things which cannot be tested or observed, such as what happens if you fall inside a black hole. Hence, this model makes sense from scientific perspective, which requires logic and nature to make sense of the events. Even though this model is not a scientific model yet, as it is not testable, and we don’t have any observational evidences to prove this model, but it is predictable. For a theory to be scientific, you don’t have to observe everything that it predicts, but be able to observe only one thing that it predicts. Therefore, the lack of evidence for the existence of something, is not the evidence for the lack of something.

Level II — Inflationary Multiverse

Inflationary Multiverse

The level I multiverse model was complicated to comprehend, the level II model forces us to open our imagination to infinite possibilities. The second model is based on the idea of infinite bubble universes, known as the inflationary multiverse model. In order to understand this model it is necessary to understand how the theory of inflation works, which tells us how the big bang occurred. The inflationary multiverse model suggests that the universe is infinite in size, and according to the theory of cosmic inflation the big bang that created our universe may not have been a onetime event, instead it could have happened again and again and going on forever known as eternal inflation. As you are reading this sentence, there might be another big bang happening out in the cosmos, giving births to other universes or bubble universes. Our universe is part of one of those infinite bubbles, which is filled with matter deposited by the energy field that drove inflation, a process that would continue eternally. We will never get to those bubbles even if we travel at the speed of light. The bubbles vary not only in the initial conditions but also in aspects of nature with different space-time dimensions and different physical constants.

This model is not scientific either, as it lacks observable evidences. This idea of the multiverse is sounder from a theological perspective, where all the natural laws can be broken. Much of modern theology tries to address the questions concerning our existence on this planet. Since theology doesn’t require any observational evidences in order to make sense of the events.

Theists can easily argue that God is the creator and sustainer of the entire universe. Being omnipotent and omniscient God has the power to control everything. Hence, God decided to create not one universe but many, as God would be the one who created space and time, the inflation and the big bang. According to theism, once you have a transcendence source of everything, space and time, matter and energy, then God is free to create any type physical reality he wants. Therefore, theology can agree with this concept more than science, as science require evidence, unlike theology.

Level III — Quantum Universe

Quantum Universe

The third level multiverse model, is known as quantum many worlds, which is the most controversial type. This quantum multiverse model concentrates on the idea of quantum mechanics, and is very different from the first two models. Quantum mechanics works on probabilities, it states that there are a range of possible observations, each with a different probability. In order to be clear, if in this universe you are reading this paper, in another quantum universe you might be reading a different paper, in yet another universe you got offered a job, or perhaps in many you don’t exist at all. This idea tells us that there are an infinite number of universes, with infinite number of possible outcomes, where random quantum processes splits the universe into multiple copies. At every point, a new universe is being created.

This model makes more sense from fictional point of view, as there are no limits to the realms, events can make sense or not, one can either obey the logic or defy it. I am firmly unconvinced by this theory, it is still fictional to me, as I believe that we do not have established the analysis about how the quantum thinking would describe this observation. Quantum physics is the science that attempts to explain phenomena which cannot be explained by science and physics. This is why perhaps scientists love the quantum world idea as it explains mathematically things which are not observable.

I believe that we do not understand the quantum physics completely yet. In order to understand quantum mechanics it is very important to understand how quantum mechanics would link up with the observation. The link between quantum mechanics and the observation is still missing.If the ideas which makes sense mathematically are linked up with the observation, then perhaps it can enhance our understanding for the quantum multiverse. Nevertheless, there needs to be done more research on this theory in order to understand it completely which will require more time from physicists.

Level IV- Brane Multiverse

Brane Multiverse

The level I, II and III varies from each other but they are governed by the same natural fundamental laws. Moving to the fourth level multiverse, which revolves around string theory, is called the brane multiverse. This model suggests that universes can differ not only in shape, but also in different laws of physics. The brane multiverse theory suggests that there can be more dimensions than three. We live in a four dimensional universe including time, but in brane multiverse, our four dimensional universe lives on a membrane, or brane, that is embedded with more than four dimensions. The idea here is that our membrane is not the only one, there might be other membranes. Existing outside of space and time, they are almost impossible to visualize.

This model is the most unclear and sounds crazy to me. It is definitely not a scientific model, as String theory is not a complete theory yet. I would see this model more from a philosophical point of view, where observational evidences are not required, one can use logic to make sense of the events. I strongly believe that the brane multiverse hypothesis has high probability to fall under scientific realm in the near future, as the brane multiverse model has the chance of being experimentally tested based on string theory under shortest time frame.

String theory states that the space is made up of tiny little filaments known as strings which vibrates at different patterns, and according to scientists this proposal might be tested at the LSG (large hadron collider).

There is no doubt that the concept remains science fiction for now, however the lack of scientific proof should not be the reason to stop questioning. Hence, it is important for the concept of parallel universes to be explored completely, even though they lack observational evidences. One way can be to work on the multiverse theories which have highest chances of being tested in the shortest period of time frame.

I can confidently conclude, none of the multiverse models mentioned above are scientific models and remains unproven for now, as they lack observational evidences, but this should not stop science to investigate further on these ideas. I am eager to find out what the next big discovery will be in the multiverse hypothesis.

* * * * * * * *

Sean Carroll: Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
Nov 5, 2019

The Many Worlds of the Quantum Multiverse | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios
Oct 26, 2016

Parallel Worlds Probably Exist. Here’s Why
Mar 6, 2020

Sean Carroll explains: what is the many-worlds interpretation?
Jan 8, 2020

Roger Penrose - Many Worlds of Quantum Theory
Mar 16, 2020

Sean Carroll: The many worlds of quantum mechanics
Jun 24, 2020

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Many-worlds interpretation

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The quantum-mechanical "Schrödinger's cat" paradox according to the Many-Worlds interpretation. In this interpretation, every quantum event is a branch point; the cat is both alive and dead, even before the box is opened, but the "alive" and "dead" cats are in different branches of the universe, both of which are equally real, but which do not interact with each other.[a]
The many-worlds interpretation (MWI) is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts that the universal wavefunction is objectively real, and that there is no wavefunction collapse.[2] This implies that all possible outcomes of quantum measurements are physically realized in some "world" or universe.[3] In contrast to some other interpretations, such as the Copenhagen interpretation, the evolution of reality as a whole in MWI is rigidly deterministic.[2]:8–9 Many-worlds is also called the relative state formulation or the Everett interpretation, after physicist Hugh Everett, who first proposed it in 1957.[4][5] Bryce DeWitt popularized the formulation and named it many-worlds in the 1960s and 1970s.[1][6][7][2]

In many-worlds, the subjective appearance of wavefunction collapse is explained by the mechanism of quantum decoherence. Decoherence approaches to interpreting quantum theory have been widely explored and developed since the 1970s,[8][9][10] and have become quite popular. MWI is now considered a mainstream interpretation along with the other decoherence interpretations, collapse theories (including the Copenhagen interpretation), and hidden variable theories such as Bohmian mechanics.

The many-worlds interpretation implies that there are very many universes, perhaps infinitely many.[11] It is one of many multiverse hypotheses in physics and philosophy. MWI views time as a many-branched tree, wherein every possible quantum outcome is realised. This is intended to resolve some paradoxes of quantum theory, such as the EPR paradox[5]:462[2]:118 and Schrödinger's cat,[1] since every possible outcome of a quantum event exists in its own universe.


In 1952, Erwin Schrödinger gave a lecture in Dublin in which at one point he jocularly warned his audience that what he was about to say might "seem lunatic". He went on to assert that while the Schrödinger equation seemed to be describing several different histories, they were "not alternatives but all really happen simultaneously". Schrödinger stated that replacing "simultaneous happenings" with "alternatives" followed from the assumption that "what we really observe are particles", calling it an inevitable consequence of that assumption yet a "strange decision". According to David Deutsch, this is the earliest known reference to many-worlds, while Jeffrey A. Barrett describes it as indicating the similarity of "general views" between Everett and Schrödinger.[12][13][14]

MWI originated in Everett's Princeton Ph.D. thesis "The Theory of the Universal Wavefunction",[2] developed under his thesis advisor John Archibald Wheeler, a shorter summary of which was published in 1957 under the title "Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics" (Wheeler contributed the title "relative state";[15] Everett originally called his approach the "Correlation Interpretation", where "correlation" refers to quantum entanglement). The phrase "many-worlds" is due to Bryce DeWitt,[2] who was responsible for the wider popularisation of Everett's theory, which was largely ignored for a decade after publication.[11]

~ The Overview and Science sections are skipped in this post ~


MWI's initial reception was overwhelmingly negative, with the notable exception of DeWitt. Wheeler made considerable efforts to formulate the theory in a way that would be palatable to Bohr, visited Copenhagen in 1956 to discuss it with him, and convinced Everett to visit as well, which happened in 1959. Nevertheless, Bohr and his collaborators completely rejected the theory.[d] Everett left academia in 1956, never to return, and Wheeler eventually disavowed the theory.[11]

One of MWI's strongest advocates is David Deutsch.[64] According to Deutsch, the single photon interference pattern observed in the double slit experiment can be explained by interference of photons in multiple universes. Viewed this way, the single photon interference experiment is indistinguishable from the multiple photon interference experiment. In a more practical vein, in one of the earliest papers on quantum computing,[65] he suggested that parallelism that results from MWI could lead to "a method by which certain probabilistic tasks can be performed faster by a universal quantum computer than by any classical restriction of it". Deutsch has also proposed that MWI will be testable (at least against "naive" Copenhagenism) when reversible computers become conscious via the reversible observation of spin.[66]

Asher Peres was an outspoken critic of MWI. A section of his 1993 textbook had the title Everett's interpretation and other bizarre theories. Peres argued that the various many-worlds interpretations merely shift the arbitrariness or vagueness of the collapse postulate to the question of when "worlds" can be regarded as separate, and that no objective criterion for that separation can actually be formulated.[67]

Some consider MWI[68][69] unfalsifiable and hence unscientific because the multiple parallel universes are non-communicating, in the sense that no information can be passed between them. Others[66] claim MWI is directly testable.

Victor J. Stenger remarked that Murray Gell-Mann's published work explicitly rejects the existence of simultaneous parallel universes.[70] Collaborating with James Hartle, Gell-Mann had been, before his death, working toward the development a more "palatable" post-Everett quantum mechanics. Stenger thought it fair to say that most physicists dismiss the many-worlds interpretation as too extreme, while noting it "has merit in finding a place for the observer inside the system being analyzed and doing away with the troublesome notion of wave function collapse".[e]

Philosophers of science James Ladyman and Don Ross state that the MWI could be true, but that they do not embrace it. They note that no quantum theory is yet empirically adequate for describing all of reality, given its lack of unification with general relativity, and so they do not see a reason to regard any interpretation of quantum mechanics as the final word in metaphysics. They also suggest that the multiple branches may be an artifact of incomplete descriptions and of using quantum mechanics to represent the states of macroscopic objects. They argue that macroscopic objects are significantly different from microscopic objects in not being isolated from the environment, and that using quantum formalism to describe them lacks explanatory and descriptive power and accuracy.[71]


A poll of 72 "leading quantum cosmologists and other quantum field theorists" conducted before 1991 by L. David Raub showed 58% agreement with "Yes, I think MWI is true".[72]

Max Tegmark reports the result of a "highly unscientific" poll taken at a 1997 quantum mechanics workshop. According to Tegmark, "The many worlds interpretation (MWI) scored second, comfortably ahead of the consistent histories and Bohm interpretations."[73]

In response to Sean M. Carroll's statement "As crazy as it sounds, most working physicists buy into the many-worlds theory",[74] Michael Nielsen counters: "at a quantum computing conference at Cambridge in 1998, a many-worlder surveyed the audience of approximately 200 people... Many-worlds did just fine, garnering support on a level comparable to, but somewhat below, Copenhagen and decoherence." But Nielsen notes that it seemed most attendees found it to be a waste of time: Peres "got a huge and sustained round of applause…when he got up at the end of the polling and asked 'And who here believes the laws of physics are decided by a democratic vote?'"[75]

A 2005 poll of fewer than 40 students and researchers taken after a course on the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics at the Institute for Quantum Computing University of Waterloo found "Many Worlds (and decoherence)" to be the least favored.[76]

A 2011 poll of 33 participants at an Austrian conference found 6 endorsed MWI, 8 "Information-based/information-theoretical", and 14 Copenhagen;[77] the authors remark that MWI received a similar percentage of votes as in Tegmark's 1997 poll.[77]

Debate whether the other worlds are real

Everett believed in the literal reality of the other quantum worlds.[22] His son reported that he "never wavered in his belief over his many-worlds theory".[78]

According to Martin Gardner, the "other" worlds of MWI have two different interpretations: real or unreal; he claimed that Stephen Hawking and Steven Weinberg both favour the unreal interpretation.[79] Gardner also claimed that most physicists favour the unreal interpretation, whereas the "realist" view is supported only by MWI experts such as Deutsch and DeWitt. Hawking has said that "according to Feynman's idea", all other histories are as "equally real" as our own, [f] and Gardner reports Hawking saying that MWI is "trivially true".[81] In a 1983 interview, Hawking also said he regarded MWI as "self-evidently correct" but was dismissive of questions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics, saying, "When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my gun." In the same interview, he also said, "But, look: All that one does, really, is to calculate conditional probabilities—in other words, the probability of A happening, given B. I think that that's all the many worlds interpretation is. Some people overlay it with a lot of mysticism about the wave function splitting into different parts. But all that you're calculating is conditional probabilities."[82] Elsewhere Hawking contrasted his attitude towards the "reality" of physical theories with that of his colleague Roger Penrose, saying, "He's a Platonist and I'm a positivist. He's worried that Schrödinger's cat is in a quantum state, where it is half alive and half dead. He feels that can't correspond to reality. But that doesn't bother me. I don't demand that a theory correspond to reality because I don't know what it is. Reality is not a quality you can test with litmus paper. All I'm concerned with is that the theory should predict the results of measurements. Quantum theory does this very successfully."[83] For his own part, Penrose agrees with Hawking that quantum mechanics applied to the universe implies MW, but he believes the lack of a successful theory of quantum gravity negates the claimed universality of conventional quantum mechanics.[27]

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