The quality of Wikipedia entries about mathematics is often quite good, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for their entries about physics. I happened to take a look today at the Wikipedia entry for Multiverse, which is an outrageously one-sided promotional piece for pseudo-science.
It’s hard to know where to start with a document like this, and I’ve neither the time nor the Wikipedia expertise to start trying to edit it to something sensible (at this point I’d suggest that the most sensible edit would be to remove the whole thing).
I include just a couple of random examples of problems with the entry. The “criticism” section has little actual criticism, just some mild comments from Ellis and Davies, together with positive quotes from them about the multiverse as a research program. Nothing from Gross or Steinhardt, for instance. Much of the “criticism” section is actually defense of the multiverse through claims about experimental evidence from Mersini-Houghton that I don’t think anyone except her takes seriously. Other claims of experimental evidence are completely outrageous, for instance we read that “Recent research has indicated the possibility of the gravitational pull of other universes on ours.” where reference  is to a Planck collaboration paper which states the exact opposite (“There is no detection of bulk flow”).
There’s a good case to be made that I pay too much attention to popular media nonsense about the multiverse. Unfortunately Wikipedia is taken a lot more seriously by the public than magazine stories. At this very moment, hundreds of high school students may be copying material out of it for their assigments…
Update: Some people have written to tell me about the appearance of the multiverse in the new Cosmos program that started last night. I saw just 20 minutes of the end of the program, missed that part. Presumably Tyson will deal with this in more detail in a later episode, so I’ll wait to write more about this then.
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