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Surprising Science

If Our Universe Is Just a Random Occurrence, Science Has a Big Problem

Theoretical physicists may have arrived at an understanding that makes the pursuit of principles and laws through science meaningless.
Cap: Uh-oh. (IGOR MARX)

According to theoretical physicist Alan Lightman, scientists — and in particular, physicists — have long assumed that they’d someday be able to work out the basic principles and laws that logically and inevitably lead to our universe. Current theories, however, raise another, very unnerving possibility.

So what do we do if what causes the cosmos can lead to myriad outcomes, of which our universe is just a single, random one? Remove its inevitability, and you remove the ability to empirically test the validity of any of our theories. If what we observe is only one possible outcome, how do we prove or disprove anything? Should we just give up trying? Has the logic of theoretical physics undone science itself?

Down the rabbit hole we go.


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