On Playing Gods: The Fallacy of the Many-Worlds Interpretation

Luis Cortés BarbadoIQOQI Vienna

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
1:00pm–2:30pm (East Coast time)

[Registration Form] (Abstract, Paper, and Video Below)

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Paper (arXiv), Video (YouTube)


Open Discussion and Q&A


We present a methodological argument to refute the so-called many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum theory. Several known criticisms in the literature have already pointed out problematic aspects of this interpretation, such as the lack of a satisfactory account of probabilities, or the huge ontological cost of MWI. Our criticism, however, does not go into the technical details of any version of MWI, but is at the same time more general and more radical. We show, in fact, that a whole class of theories—of which MWI is a prime examplefails to satisfy some basic tenets of science which we call facts about natural science. The problem of approaches the likes of MWI is that, in order to reproduce the observed empirical evidence about any concrete quantum measurement outcome, they require as a tacit assumption that the theory does in fact apply to an arbitrarily large range of phenomena, and ultimately to all phenomena. We call this fallacy the holistic inference loop, and we show that this is incompatible with the facts about natural science, rendering MWI untenable and dooming it to be refuted.