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Old 13th March 2019, 01:29 PM   #1
JeanTate
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"Hawking, Gell-Mann, and Feynman believed MWI was true"?

The full claim is (from the BLP sub-Reddit):

Quote:
Elvridge., Jim (2008-01-02). The Universe – Solved!. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-1-4243-3626-5. OCLC 247614399. 58% believed that the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) was true, including Stephen Hawking and Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman
Myself, I do not recall reading anything by Hawking or Feynman that is consistent with either "believ[ing] the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) was true" (I'm not as familiar with Gell-Mann). But of course, I certainly have not read everything either ever wrote!

From your own reading, dear reader, do you recall where any of these three wrote something that could be construed as believing MWI (other than as a possibility, like all the other quantum interpretations)?
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Old 13th March 2019, 02:18 PM   #2
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I sure don't remember that from Gell-Mann's bio
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Old 13th March 2019, 02:37 PM   #3
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I suspect they each let one that "they believed in the possibility". And somebody distorted that.

So why open a thread for that?
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
I suspect they each let one that "they believed in the possibility". And somebody distorted that.

So why open a thread for that?
Why not?


Imperfect models (and that's all of them) can sometimes give weird results. Sometimes people forget they're dealing with a model.
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Old 14th March 2019, 04:16 AM   #5
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Ultimately, though, does it even matter? QM works the same, no matter what interpretation you believe in.
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Old 14th March 2019, 04:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Why not?


Imperfect models (and that's all of them) can sometimes give weird results. Sometimes people forget they're dealing with a model.
The interpretations of QM are not even a part of the model, though, and have exactly zero bearing on the results. If different interpretations actually predicted ANY difference, we could use that to sort out which of them is right.

Really, it all boils down to: the QM maths works flawlessly, BUT it's in a domain that your brain and your past experiences don't help you at all. In fact, just about everything about it is counter-intuitive, and sometimes severely so. It's waaaahaahaay outside the domain that you evolved to deal with. So people invent ways to wrap their mind around such things and imagine anything even remotely relevant to QM. But the maths is the same either way.
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Old 14th March 2019, 09:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Ultimately, though, does it even matter? QM works the same, no matter what interpretation you believe in.
Yay!
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Old 14th March 2019, 09:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Ultimately, though, does it even matter? QM works the same, no matter what interpretation you believe in.
'shut up and calculate!'
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Old 14th March 2019, 09:59 AM   #9
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Gell-Mann. That's that superhero with the fancy hairdo, right?
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Old 14th March 2019, 12:45 PM   #10
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
'shut up and calculate!'
Pretty much, yes. At least if you're doing science or engineering. If it's just your personal way to visualize things, though, meh, knock yourself out.
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Old 14th March 2019, 02:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JeanTate View Post
The full claim is (from the BLP sub-Reddit):



Myself, I do not recall reading anything by Hawking or Feynman that is consistent with either "believ[ing] the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) was true" (I'm not as familiar with Gell-Mann). But of course, I certainly have not read everything either ever wrote!

From your own reading, dear reader, do you recall where any of these three wrote something that could be construed as believing MWI (other than as a possibility, like all the other quantum interpretations)?
It is hard to read "The Grand Design" without coming to the conclusion that Hawking favours some version of MWI. I recall in an answer to a young person who asked about such-and-such person who quit such-and-such boy band and Hawking said that the young person should take solace in physics which suggests that there is a Universe in which such-and-such was still a member of the boy band.
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:03 PM   #12
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We can obviously put Sean Carroll and David Deutsche in the MWI corner. Brian Cox seems to favour it. Any others?

Some believers are suggesting that within 10-15 years anyone who is not a solid Everettian will be regarded much as we regard proponents of intelligent design today.
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Old 14th March 2019, 03:18 PM   #13
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I don't find QM weird. That probably means, as per Feynman's maxim, that I don't understand it.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
It is hard to read "The Grand Design" without coming to the conclusion that Hawking favours some version of MWI. I recall in an answer to a young person who asked about such-and-such person who quit such-and-such boy band and Hawking said that the young person should take solace in physics which suggests that there is a Universe in which such-and-such was still a member of the boy band.
Wasn't there an interview with Hawking one time when some comedian asked, "Does that mean there is a universe somewhere where I am smarter than you?" And Hawking replied, "Yes, and there is also a universe somewhere where you are funny."

Maybe it's all made up, but I thought it was funny.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:15 AM   #15
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The key word here is “believed”. The evidence available can’t be used to distinguish between the interpretations.
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Old 15th March 2019, 06:37 AM   #16
JeanTate
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
We can obviously put Sean Carroll and David Deutsche in the MWI corner. Brian Cox seems to favour it. Any others?

Some believers are suggesting that within 10-15 years anyone who is not a solid Everettian will be regarded much as we regard proponents of intelligent design today.
Thanks.

I know Carroll is a big multiverse fan, but am a bit surprised about the MWI part. Deutsche? I haven't read him for a long time.

More generally, it used to be that MWI and multiverse were easily distinguishable (they really have almost nothing in common), but lately, in popular accounts (i.e. not papers), I find it harder to tell the difference.
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Old 15th March 2019, 11:36 AM   #17
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I don't find QM weird. That probably means, as per Feynman's maxim, that I don't understand it.
Trust me, if you actually understand enough of it and still don't find it weird, then you probably should have gone into physics. Because you'd probably be the greatest physicist ever.
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Old 17th March 2019, 09:30 AM   #18
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I am a physics undergrad, but right now am working on just understanding the basics. I will need to read more physicists before I can comment on posts like this, but for now it is good to see these posts for inspiration. I will get back to you when I have graduated and read more.
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Old 17th March 2019, 12:45 PM   #19
Robin
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Originally Posted by JeanTate View Post
Thanks.



I know Carroll is a big multiverse fan, but am a bit surprised about the MWI part. Deutsche? I haven't read him for a long time.



More generally, it used to be that MWI and multiverse were easily distinguishable (they really have almost nothing in common), but lately, in popular accounts (i.e. not papers), I find it harder to tell the difference.
Here is Carroll on the MWI

http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/...bably-correct/

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Old 17th March 2019, 01:17 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Trust me, if you actually understand enough of it and still don't find it weird, then you probably should have gone into physics. Because you'd probably be the greatest physicist ever.
In which case I would probably find it weird. I doubt I would.even make a middling physicist.

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Old 17th March 2019, 03:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Some believers are suggesting that within 10-15 years anyone who is not a solid Everettian will be regarded much as we regard proponents of intelligent design today.
I'm glad you mentioned intelligent design, because it has some believers, too.
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Old 17th March 2019, 11:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But the maths is the same either way.
That’s not really true. Every interpretation other tha Everett adds something to the math.
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