The multiverse as a scientific concept — part I

Scientia Salon

looking-for-life-in-the-multiverse_1by Coel Hellier

The multiverse concept is often derided as “unscientific” and an example of physicists indulging in metaphysical speculation of the sort they would usually deplore. For example, commenters here at Scientia Salon have said that the multiverse is “by definition not verifiable and thus outside the bounds of empirical science,’’ and that “advocates of multiverses seem to be in need of serious philosophical help” [1].

Critics thus claim that the multiverse amounts to a leap of faith akin to a religious belief. Indeed, the religious often accuse atheistic scientists of inventing the multiverse purely to rebut the “fine-tuning” argument that they say points to a creator god, though the fine-tuning argument is readily refuted in several other ways, and anyhow physicists really don’t care enough about theology these days to let that worry them; further, the concepts leading to a multiverse were developed well before theologians started taking…

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Among the Sleep: Review


Originally posted on Polygon:

“Among the Sleep seeks to answer a question that I imagine is pretty common for parents. I have a nine-month-old child myself, and when he wakes up in the middle of the night sobbing and shaken, I cannot help but wonder what it is that could be torturing the dreams of someone so young…”

Click here for the full review.

There is no Golden Age


“What the Founding Fathers actually meant was…”

“Well, if you really read into the Bible, you’ll see that Jesus meant…”

“We’re not meant to eat wheat.  If you knew what our paleo ancestors used to eat…”

We hear remarks like these all the time, in casual conversation on politics, religion, history, to the point of cliché.   They all share a common theme: to put it simply, things aren’t going as well today as they were yesterday, so if we simply figure out what people were doing yesterday, we can get better!

When I used to teach, I would occasionally drive home three “rules” of history.

1.  There is no Virgin Land

2.  There are no Indigenous Peoples

3.  There is no Golden Age

I’m going to focus here on the final of the three rules (the other two I may get to later).  The quotes I opened with were fixations…

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The FBI and JFK

Hanesydd Cymraeg


Over a period of a little more than twenty years, the FBI, under the instruction of J Edgar Hoover, collected a wealth of information on John F Kennedy, commencing when he was a Navy lieutenant working for Naval Intelligence in 1942, resuming when he became the Democrat presidential candidate in 1960 and continuing until his death in November 1963. The information, acquired through surveillance, wire tapping, informants and bugging, consisted of a variety of subjects, some idle gossip, some salacious rumour, others a possible threat to national security and capable of harming the prestige of the office of the President and, more importantly to Hoover, that of the international standing of the United States. It was done for a number of reasons, but the cause of Hoover’s campaign against Kennedy were fourfold: the political and ideological differences between the Kennedy’s and Hoover; Hoover’s moral judgement of John Kennedy’s actions; the…

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Ayahuasca (part 2 of 2)

Aidan J. Reid

This is a continuation of the original post which can be found here.

The Shamanic lodge was located in the middle of a forest about 45 minutes drive from the city of Cusco. That Saturday, after the Group readings, my buddy and I explored our surroundings. It was a beautiful location, hemmed in on all sides by pine trees and a little rocky river that flowed near the house. After spending a couple of hours basking in the sunshine, we returned to the lodge where we filled the empty hours with sleep and reading books.

The next ritual was a second, and final dose of ayahuasca which was at 8pm. It would be the same process as the one the night before except my friend would swap places with me, placing him beside the Shaman (he had been distracted by the movements of the staff in the twilight of…

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An academic crash course on Ayahausca


Originally posted by: Benton Rooks on Reality Sandwich

20 Essential Books on The Mysterious Power of Ayahausca

“Despite the recent surge in mainstream popularity of the vine (due primarily to celebrity culture, Elle, Oprah, and National Geographic) the subtle occult, paranormal, and metaphysical aspects of ayahuasca—for those who have dedicated their entire life to understanding and working with it—are still very much in need of further exploration….”