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Thursday, June 19, 2008

From the end of a 4 page news story about Max Tegmark a physicist who believes in a somewhat more esoteric multiverse than the Everett multiple universe theory I have written on before.

But why do some equations describe our universe so perfectly and others not so much?
Stephen Hawking once asked it this way: “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?” If I am right and the cosmos is just mathematics, then no fire-breathing is required. A mathematical structure doesn’t describe a universe, it is a universe. The existence of the level IV multiverse also answers another question that has bothered people for a long time. John Wheeler put it this way: Even if we found equations that describe our universe perfectly, then why these particular equations and not others? The answer is that the other equations govern other, parallel universes, and that our universe has these particular equations because they are just statistically likely, given the distribution of mathematical structures that can support observers like us.

The article starts here.

Incidentally for all those "environmentalists" who say that science only counts if it is peer reviewed & published (one respected moron on an "environmentalist site |I was banned from recently said the Oregon Petition didn't count because it wasn't peer reviewed) may I point out Dr Tegmark's difficulties inn getting this published though not in getting more mainstream work done.

"Right from the start you tried to get this radical idea of yours published. Were you worried about whether it would affect your career?
I anticipated problems and did not submit until I had accepted a postdoctoral appointment at Princeton University. My first paper got rejected by three journals. Finally I got a good referee report from Annals of Physics, but the editor there rejected the paper as being too speculative.

Wait—that is not supposed to happen. If the referee likes a paper, it usually gets accepted.That’s what I thought. I was fortunate to be friends with John Wheeler, a Princeton theoretical physicist and one of my greatest physics heroes, who recently passed away. When I showed him the rejection letter, he said, “‘Extremely speculative’? Bah!” Then he reminded me that some of the original papers on quantum mechanics were also considered extremely speculative. So I wrote an appeal to Annals of Physics and included Wheeler’s comments. Finally the editors there published it."

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