Sean Carroll has a new paper out defending the Multiverse and attacking the naive Popperazi, entitled Beyond Falsifiability: Normal Science in a Multiverse. He also has a Beyond Falsifiability blog post here.Here is Carroll's argument that the multiverse is better than the Freudian-Marxist-crap that Popper was criticizing:
Much of the problem with the paper and blog post is that Carroll is arguing against a straw man, while ignoring the serious arguments about the problems with multiverse research.
Popper was offering an alternative to the intuitive idea that we garner support for ideas by verifying or confirming them. In particular, he was concerned that theories such as the psychoanalysis of Freud and Adler, or Marxist historical analysis, made no definite predictions; no matter what evidence was obtained from patients or from history, one could come up with a story within the appropriate theory that seemed to fit all of the evidence. Falsifiability was meant as a corrective to the claims of such theories to scientific status.Got that? Just redefine "conceivable" to include observations that could never be done!
On the face of it, the case of the multiverse seems quite different than the theories Popper was directly concerned with. There is no doubt that any particular multiverse scenario makes very definite claims about what is true. Such claims could conceivably be falsified, if we allow ourselves to count as "conceivable" observations made outside our light cone. (We can't actually make such observations in practice, but we can conceive of them.) So whatever one's stance toward the multiverse, its potential problems are of a different sort than those raised (in Popper's view) by psychoanalysis or Marxist history.
More broadly, falsifiability doesn't actually work as a solution to the demarcation problem, for reasons that have been discussed at great length by philosophers of science.
While Woit rejects string and multiverse theory, he is not sure about quantum computers:
I am no expert on quantum computing, but I do have quite a bit of experience with recognizing hype, and the Friedman piece appears to be well-loaded with it.I'll give a hint here -- scientists don't need all the crazy hype if they have real results to brag about.