Our Special Universe
Listen now
Transcript: The Multiverse concept seeks to explain the unusual conditions in our universe by hypothesizing a multitude of universes with different physical properties. In only a tiny fraction of those universes are the physical conditions or the laws of nature suitable to the formation of stars and carbon and life, but is this falling into a logical trap? It’s called the inverse gambler’s fallacy. It says that rare or improbable events are more likely to occur somewhere or other in a long trial of runs than in a short one. Imagine you role a pair of dice many times. You are clearly more likely to throw a double six at some point than if you had only rolled them once, but this does not mean that after a long run of throws without a double six the next throw is any more likely to be a double six. In terms of this gambler’s analogy, it would be false to infer a long run of throws from the fact that someone has just thrown a double six. It’s always a one in thirty six shot, so the supposition does not explain it. Equally, the idea that there have been randomly many universes either in series or in parallel does not make this particular universe any less improbable, and so it does not explain it.
More Episodes
Transcript: In terms of life beyond Earth and life beyond the solar system, what are the prospects? Astronomers have learned that long-lived stars, planets, and carbon chemistry seem to be universal phenomenon. We know that planets exist around many nearby stars. We know that carbon is readily...
Published 07/28/11
Transcript: In terms of our speculation about life in the universe, what can we conclude with all the information we have learned about the history of life on Earth. We have learned that life formed very early in extreme conditions. We’ve learned that carbon chemistry offers many different...
Published 07/28/11
Transcript: Scientists tend to think in traditional and anthropocentric ways about the possibilities of life in the universe. The Drake equation is a deductive framework, the multiplication sequentially of several probabilities. It works in terms of the possibility of Sun-like stars and...
Published 07/28/11