"Multiple Universes" is redundant and misleading

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Hesperado, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Hesperado Don't immanentize the eschaton Registered Senior Member

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    The premise of my "OP" (you kids with your abbreviations) is that the symbolism Universe properly speaking signifies everything -- and so to start generating "multiple universes" is specious and semantic nonsense.

    If we must speculate "multiple universes" then what I mean by "everything" would be the Totality of all those "multiple universes". I.e., those "multiple universes" aren't universes in the proper sense, but sub-universes -- subsumed under the one Universe that is the totality of all of them combined.

    As an afternote, I find it odd that such an unremarkable point has to be made at all...
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What terminology do you suggest instead?
     
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  5. Pierre-Normand Registered Member

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    Well, clearly he proposes to substitute "sub-universe/Universe" to the traditional "universe/Multiverse" of quantum-mechanical fame. That's not unreasonable but old terminological practices die hard.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I don't see how the term "multiple universes" is redundant and misleading, when it is used differently to the term "universe". Clearly that fact alone means it is not redundant. And the concept expressed by the term "multiple universes" is a fair reflection of what is being described.

    Maybe it's just me. :shrug:
     
  8. Pierre-Normand Registered Member

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    I thinks he sees redundancy in the fact that "Universe" on the traditional meaning of the term already should encompass anything that there is and he also may mean that the possibility of equivocation between the old and new (contextual) meaning is real.

    I have witnesses some such equivocation recently in a book written by a college physics professor who purported to show that quantum mechanics provides an alternative explanation from the traditional theistic one for the creation of the "universe" from "nothing". But he required there to be quantum mechanical fields and a zero sum total of energy (in the universe?) before there occurring a cosmological big-bang that maintained a balance between massive fermionic matter and negative-energy fields. So, he also equivocated between 'nothing' and 'no positive material mass'.
     
  9. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I see exactly what he's saying - but he really has no point. And it's not just a case of "old terminology, either.

    Even assuming for the moment that multiverses might exist, there's no conflict in the standard usage. That's because if their ARE others, they exist totally outside "our" universe which is our "all in all" and encompasses everything that exists that we can detect and measure.

    He's just playing a busybody by splitting hairs that most likely aren't real anyway. :shrug:
     
  10. Pierre-Normand Registered Member

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    I think you are being unnecessarily harsh.

    Also the universe never was meant to be restricted to "everything that we can detect and measure". We will never be able to detect and measure any event that has already occurred beyond the event-horizon of a black hole, for instance, but few physicists hold the space-time expanses laying beyond that horizon not to be part of the universe. Also, physicist David Deutsch has argued that while we can't gain information about specific parallel universes, we can gain information about features of their non-decohering quantum-superpositions through quantum-computational means.
     
  11. Nocturnumbra ... Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, the premise of the original post is something that I've always agreed with and said myself. We call it the universe because there's just one. It unites everything. Because of this, we can tautologically prove that no other universes exist. It's as simple as that. The fact of the matter is that it's not just an argument on definition application. The universe is the totality of everything, and it includes everything that exists. There are (note that "are" and "is" are synonymous with "exist") no other universes, and even if there "were" (whatever somebody would mean by that), they would essentially not exist, because there would be absolutely no way we would be able to interact with them. It's not as if we can design a technology to enter other universes. That's just absurd.
     
  12. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not being harsh at all, just being realistic rather than getting hung up on splitting hairs over something that probably doesn't exist. And besides that, precisely what advantage is to be gained - a more accurate verbiage to suit those who might feel that the current syntax is ineffectual? Give us a break, please!

    But I *will* be a bit harsh with you, though. Your final statement, although accurate, is also worthless. That can only be done by making a whole series of assumptions not evidenced in fact (in other words, just guesses). So what? We can construct all manners of models that will generate tons of data - but that data isn't worth looking at if the assumptions are just plucked out of thin air with no basis other than rough (or even whimsical)
    guesses.

    So would you like to try again to tell us exactly WHY this is such a serious issue that it requires any real attention in the first place?
     
  13. hardalee Registered Senior Member

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    I don't find the term multiverse misleading. They are not our universes, but other universes. In "The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and Deep Laws of the
    Cosmos", Brian Greene list the following types of Paralell Universes:

    1. The quilted multiverse.
    2. The inflationary multiverse.
    3. The Brane multiverse.
    4. The Cyclic multiverse.
    5. The landscape multiverse.
    6.The quantum multiverse.
    7.The holographic multiverse.
    8. The simulated multiverse.
    9. The Ultimate multiverse.

    With good explanation for theory of each.
     
  14. jmpet Valued Senior Member

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    Just because alternate universes are possible does not mean they are tangable. I happen to believe in time travel and see the biggest obstacles- the energy required to create an alternate universe and the effect of the causality of creating one.

    Say you can go back in time. Well, you would not only create the alternate universe by being in it (and in that regard a god) but as you would exist in that new past you would change it to where the future becomes something different altogether... in effect you would be sending people back in time to unmake the future, and there is no viability to that.
     
  15. Big Chiller Registered Senior Member

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    1,106

    This is barely an issue since only in the context of QM and astrophysics is this term used. The term is simply used to distinguish according to requirements of the fields.
     
  16. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Ok which one is where you have:

    * <- a universe.

    * <- another universe (maybe 10 billion light years equivalent away)

    * <- yet another Universe (maybe ours)

    And so on in infinite directions.
     
  17. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,891
    Just because alternate universes are possible does not mean they are tangable. I happen to believe in time travel and see the biggest obstacles- the energy required to create an alternate universe and the effect of the causality of creating one.

    Say you can go back in time. Well, you would not only create the alternate universe by being in it (and in that regard a god) but as you would exist in that new past you would change it to where the future becomes something different altogether... in effect you would be sending people back in time to unmake the future, and there is no viability to that.
     
  18. Hesperado Don't immanentize the eschaton Registered Senior Member

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    177
    The term "universe" implies "all", "the only one". The term "universe" would properly denote (by its semantic implication) the totality beyond which there is nothing. The problem with the term "multiple universes" is the same as the term "multiple totalities" or "multiple alls". It's senseless. It's another way for modern physicists to try to have their cake and eat it too (which some of them indulge in with dizzying complexity).

    The term "multiverse" is fine, as long as it does not imply more than one universe, but rather parts of the one universe.
     
  19. Hesperado Don't immanentize the eschaton Registered Senior Member

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    If you know enough to posit these other universes outside the only one (ours) which we can know (= detect and measure), then all you have to do is readjust (= widen) the term to include those hypothetical others. Hence, all hypothetical/conceivable universes are really parts of the one universe -- where the term "universe" merely denotes the sum total of all hypothetical/conceivable universes, whether known or unknown.

    To use the term "universe" for each one of these parts is incoherent -- except when it's used to connote a kind of parochialism among the dwellers of each part when they think their part is the whole. But there too, of course, the term would be erroneous. Indeed, the incoherence is double here: Read-Only, whom I quote above, wants to have his cake and eat it too:

    1) He wants the parochial "universe" of Earthlings (who conceive their universe as the Whole when it's really only one of many universes) to be exposed as a parochial and erroneous arrogance

    yet

    2) He wants nevertheless to use the inherently all-encompassing term "universe" for each and every of these hypothetical other "universes", thus redeeming himself from arrogant parochialism by expanding his mind magnanimously into a grandly unifying incoherence.
     
  20. Big Chiller Registered Senior Member

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    1,106

    I don't think time travel to the past is possible because it violates causality: your grandmother is old before she was born? Creating an alternate timeline along with an alternate identical universe to achieve time travel to the past seems outrageous to me but I don't know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  21. Hesperado Don't immanentize the eschaton Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    177


    Or if they seem to, our awareness of the logic immediately readjusts them into being subsumed by "universe".

    A way to clarify this would be by using different terms. What people who indulge in "multiple universes" are doing would be like people who take the terms

    parts

    and

    the whole


    and then, for some reason, start positing that there are multiple "the wholes" -- when it's transparently obvious that these multiple "the wholes" are merely parts of the original "the whole"; and to say otherwise is semantic nonsense. (That otherwise intelligent people indulge in this semantic nonsense at great length and detail is one of the interesting features of this.)

    Indeed. It's tautological mysticism in the guise of science.
     
  22. Pierre-Normand Registered Member

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    You seem not to have noticed that the OP has been posted in the Philosophy sub-forum of a scientific forum. Some people here are motivated by intellectual curiosity and a quest for understanding. This is why you'll find many topics discussed here that may not even remotely concern practical solutions for world hunger or the best way to fix a fuel injection system.
     
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Nice point P-N.
    Well put.
    I shall follow this thread with interest.

    I was a little surprised that you opened it in Philosophy rather than Physics,
    but I can see the reasons for your choice.
    Probably wise.

    I feel that the Multiverse argument is used as a fudge to overcome the problems involved with a Goldilocks Universe.
    It is fundamentalism of the Atheist persuasion, and similar to Creationist science, cherry-picking the science according to pre-existing beliefs.

    I do have a criticism, and that is the title of your thread.
    Does it really express what you want to say?
    Unfortunately you can't change a thread title, but if you have chosen it wrongly, it will come back at you at every turn of the thread.

    The word "redundant" infers to me that it is a question that has already been settled.
    The word "Misleading". I don't get that at all.
    How can a theory be misleading?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

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