You’ve written critically about the Many Worlds (or Everettian) Interpretation of quantum mechanics. What are its main shortcomings?I have been saying similar things here for years. I quit calling Many-Worlds an interpretation, because it is not even that. It doesn't even make any predictions. As he says, there is no content to it.
Its main shortcoming is simply this: The interpretation is completely contentless. I am not exaggerating or trying to be rhetorical. It is not that the interpretation is too hard to believe or too nonintuitive or too outlandish for physicists to handle the truth (remember the movie A Few Good Men?). It is just that the interpretation actually does not say anything whatsoever about reality. I say this despite all the fluff of the science-writing press and a few otherwise reputable physicists, like Sean Carroll, who seem to believe this vision of the world religiously.
For me, the most important point is that the interpretation depends upon no particular or actual detail of the mathematics of quantum theory. No detail that is, except possibly on an erroneous analysis of the meaning of “quantum measurement” introduced by John von Neumann in the 1930s, which is based on a reading of quantum states as if they are states of reality. Some interpretations of quantum theory, such as the one known as QBism, reject that analysis. ..
The Many Worlds Interpretation just boils down to this: Whenever a coin is tossed (or any process occurs) the world splits. But who would know the difference if that were not true? What does this vision have to do with any of the details of physics? ..
You also object to the idea of multiple alternate worlds on a philosophical level, correct?
Depending in no way on the details of quantum theory, the Many Worlds Interpretation has always seemed to me as more of a comforting religion than anything else. It takes away human responsibility for anything happening in the world in the same way that a completely fatalistic, deterministic universe does, though it purportedly saves the appearance of quantum physics by having indeterministic chance in the branches.
Friday, December 6, 2019
Believe this vision of the world religiously
Physicist Chris Fuchs says in a Discover mag interview: