The fundamental laws and constants of our universe seem to be finely tuned for life. The various multiverse hypotheses are popular explanations for the fine tuning. This paper reviews the four main suggestions on inference in the presence of possible multiple universes and observer selection effects. Basic identities from probability theory and previously unnoticed conditional dependencies of the propositions involved are used to decide among the alternatives. In the case of cosmic fine-tuning, information about the observation is not independent of the hypothesis. It follows that the observation should be used as data when comparing hypotheses. Hence, approaches that use the observation only as background information are incorrect. It is also shown that in some cases the self-sampling assumption by Bostrom leads to probabilities greater than one, leaving the approach inconsistent. The "some universe" (SU) approach is found wanting. Several reasons are given on why the "this universe" (TU) approach seems to be correct. Lastly, the converse selection effect by White is clarified by showing formally that the converse condition leads to SU and its absence to TU. The overall result is that, because multiverse hypotheses do not predict the fine-tuning for this universe any better than a single universe hypothesis, the multiverse hypotheses fail as explanations for cosmic fine-tuning. Conversely, the fine-tuning data does not support the multiverse hypotheses.
- Pub Date:
- February 2008
- Physics - Data Analysis;
- Statistics and Probability;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- 14 pages, 2 figures v2 improved the language, corrected typos, improved references