Does Life Need a Multiverse to Exist?

  • Published on Nov 11, 2019
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    Life exists in our universe. There we go - one hopefully uncontroversial statement. Therefore our universe is capable of producing and supporting life. How am I going? Two for two? Let’s try for three: therefore there are countless universes. Hmmm. Did I break my streak?
    Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
    Written by Matt O'Dowd
    Graphics by Leonardo Scholzer & Adriano Leal
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    Our universe seems to operate according to a set of fundamental rules that we try to understand and model with the equations of our laws of physics. Those equations always include one or more fundamental constants - simple numbers that set the scale for the equation. We can’t determine the values of these constants from pure theory - we have to measure them in the real universe. These are things like the speed of light, the Planck constant, the masses of the elementary particles, and the constants defining the relative strengths of the fundamental forces - the so-called coupling constants.
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Comments • 3 906

  • Nonlin Org
    Nonlin Org 3 hours ago

    We got lucky? And this passes for science these days?
    Multiverse? That doesn't guarantee anything, much less life.

  • Rebecca Schade
    Rebecca Schade 9 hours ago

    What if there is no room for "fine tuning". What if our "settings of the dials" simply are the only possible settings? Could this even be possible?

  • Egaru Lastinn
    Egaru Lastinn Day ago

    What about the fourth option: The only way in which universe can exist is with the constant being as they are now?
    Or a fifth option: Universe is not fine-tuned to life, life is fine-tuned to the universe. Different set of rules would likely just produce different type of conscious observer, not no observer at all.

  • Jragon 1
    Jragon 1 2 days ago

    Overestimating the importance of life in or to the universe, underestimating the resilience and drive of life to survive, and occasionally, momentarily, flourish.

  • DJHise
    DJHise 2 days ago

    I'd go one step further in the "not fined tuned" argument. Life is special because it values its own existence.
    Going beyond the alternative kinds of life that may exist in alternate universes with different constants, how many possible phenomenons did the universe miss out on because the constants were just slightly wrong?

  • Chris Oakes
    Chris Oakes 2 days ago

    You experience this dimension because your tuned to it. But there's other planes of existence in the same room with you just as you see the TV station you turn on but all other stations are still in the room with you.

  • LM Production
    LM Production 4 days ago

    Another possibility is that the constants aren’t constant, and instead change or are different in different parts of the universe. This would mean if just one section of time or one section of the universe has the conditions for life then life will exist

  • TheIceThorn
    TheIceThorn 4 days ago

    life is just the change of universe in time... we're just lifeforms.

  • cosmos and physical laws

  • Thirst Fast
    Thirst Fast 5 days ago


  • Jefe Cristo
    Jefe Cristo 5 days ago

    Why do we assume the parameters of the universe could have been anything else? If the universe could only be what it is, there is no need for fine tuning. No need for probability.

  • Rob Grant
    Rob Grant 6 days ago

    Science Theory
    Science Facts
    We should have a LAW making them Declare Theory vs Fact...

  • Hayden Travis
    Hayden Travis 6 days ago

    You ever notice something for the first time, then notice it everywhere you didn't before? What if that's the universe? We are it noticing itself, and suddenly it's everywhere.

  • Techno Blast
    Techno Blast 6 days ago


  • Eduardo Martinez
    Eduardo Martinez 6 days ago

    Does Occamrazor apply here? I mean, a wizard did it seems more simple than multiverse...

  • Mike Blyth
    Mike Blyth 6 days ago

    Or 4, we just don't understand why the dials are set as they are.

  • Rob T.V.
    Rob T.V. 7 days ago

    My magic 8ball says different

  • Raghavendran T B
    Raghavendran T B 7 days ago

    One can create his own Universe with his mind power, if he attains that level with meditation.

  • Markxxx
    Markxxx 7 days ago

    The reason the universe has the "dials" is not a difficult question. And we are here simply because if the dials were not set as such, we wouldn't be around to question it and the question wouldn't need to be answered. It's a self answering question. It's the same thing as if my mother turned a corner and never met my father, you would not be around to ask that question.

  • jdub isbest
    jdub isbest 7 days ago

    As a newly-born Feynman and Overly odd fellow, I Hypothesize the Multiverse is a Tree made of Cubes like Minecraft. An Octree to be exact. Also another valid example of Tesla's 3 6 9 enigma. It is multi-dimensional (3). There are (6) Faces at any point, at any scale. There are 9 points, each face has 1 point at it's center and Face Points Always point inwards(6). Where the Face Points converge is the Center of the Multiverse (7th). You need a Target or Destination, this is the 8th point. The (9th) Point is that you need to Understand and look at things from All perspectives. Perspective Changes and infers to each individual a different Center, and meaning to their own objectives. This also infers the Shape of the Universe, and Why it appears Flat. The Universe is a Cube, a Cube of infinite possibility, chance, and improbability that auto-adjusts in size to what is Observable. When we all get on the same Frequency, diversity suffers as everything becomes one and the same. It takes Less Energy or Computations than it seems, as the Universe is Very Efficient. You can still not comprehend, but, so long as you can Understand this, the Multiverse is Full of both Good and Bad Vibrations. Both Good and Bad Vibes are essential, for one cannot exist without the other and maintain equalibrium. I believe this Also explains the movie "The Fountain" with Hugh Jackman to a Masters degree level. Many times we can over-think the simple, and often forget our Razor, leaving scratchy scruffy whiskers of truth wrapped in misunderstanding. Here is where I leave you with the answer to Everything, Life, and The Universe ... It Cannot exist without Love, so be good Stewards and K.I.S.S. it every moment of every day, and we will all Evolve before you know it. (Keep, It, Simple, Seriously) If you need Tongue, find a Partner who is Willing. If you cannot find a Partner or Partners, Hope fades, Lights dim, and we resort to being Clever and re-complicating things all over again. With this I bid you "Au revoir", I'm going back in the water, it's Warm there, not Cold like most people.
    Though a Garden would also work, for you reap what you sow, and I think this Hem's quite a few thing together in a neat and simple way. Too bad there is no Prize..I'm pretty handsomly Hangry all the time, could have gone Shopping. Well at least I have my (tau + L)!
    by me, J.T.P.
    aka Elroi Jenkies and the Mystery Floor, waiting on an Elevator.

    • jdub isbest
      jdub isbest 7 days ago

      Remember the Lockers in M.I.B. More or less an example, Also Video games use the Octree for positioning and Tracking.

  • zengalileo
    zengalileo 7 days ago

    Even to say the phrase "fine tuning" is to put the cart before the horse. If a universe had no life we'd be amazed and impressed how fine tuning was just so, so that life doesn't exist. Maybe a universe without life would have something else that's even more impressive than life. Don't put down universes without life. They are universes too.

  • Calvin Sylveste
    Calvin Sylveste 8 days ago +1

    This fined tuned stuff is starting to sound a lot like every creationist video out there.

    • Danilego
      Danilego 4 days ago

      The amount of creationists in these comments is mind blowing! Never expected that in a PBS space time comment section

    • Audiotap
      Audiotap 7 days ago

      creationists just forget that we only know about this universe because we exist in it

  • James mason
    James mason 8 days ago

    As with life n death, forrune and misfortune, we are all lucky to be here let alone question or wonder over it. One thing ive noticed is that as intelligent entities even in isolation from books or knowledge sources, even as a child i wondered all these things, without ever being exposed to the big scientific theories, so are we all Boltzman type brains thinking or working on these problems. Is my simulation the same as yours? Whatever this rambling remeber no religion ever teaches gratefulness for just being, it all seems aimed at whats next after this and i want more life. Be grateful for the immense probablities that had to be in place just for u 2 read my words!

  • Ocean Flyer
    Ocean Flyer 9 days ago

    How can we prove the presence of multiverse? There will be infinite number of them.
    Just imagine if we change only 1 out 20 free but essential parameters of this universe, namely Planck's constant. Say we arrange a set of universe with Planck's constants spread from 10^100 to 10^-100, say each universe has the tiniest increment of this parameter. That variation set of Planck's constants is already infinite. We haven't talked about the other 19 parameters.

  • David Kelley
    David Kelley 9 days ago

    Some religious people use fine tuning to justify their particular god(s). Another example of religions trying to use our current ignorance as justification for their unsubstantiated beliefs.

  • Chris Duston
    Chris Duston 9 days ago

    So if I over-generalize, a goldilocks universe is one where energy dissipates at some ideal rate such that stable structures (matter) exist for long enough windows to develop sentient life. Makes you appreciate the vastness of it all :)

  • Marco Martinetto
    Marco Martinetto 10 days ago

    Therefore there must be a Multi Multiverse: there must be lots of multiverses, and our universe is in a "luky multiverse" that has constants. Therefore there must be a Multi Multimultiverse for the same reasons, and so on up to a fractal (multi^infinite)verse. This idea is good on so many levels.

  • ___
    ___ 10 days ago

    This will sound morbid but I can't help thinking this way. Even if we are the first intelligent life to exist, someday you and I will die and never know we existed. Further yet, someday all of time/space will cease to exist and none of anything we ever do or did will matter....Makes you wonder what is the purpose of anything? My advise...find something you enjoy doing while you are here.

  • Barry Deeks
    Barry Deeks 11 days ago

    I don't agree with the parallel universes theory, it attempts to explain the existence of the universe without God. There is only one of me or you, more you than me though, i am very proud of my creation and the people in it. The time has come for me to act, I realise that you will take at least a year to adjust.

  • TheOneAndOnlySame
    TheOneAndOnlySame 13 days ago

    "Life" is not actually a thing. There's no "life" and "unlife". No, really, there is not.

  • Csababo Balo
    Csababo Balo 13 days ago

    It looks so perfect becose our knowledge is based on our serounding. Just like the 4e demension is hard to amagion but the 3e is well understood. Our logic is puurly based on logic

  • María Martínez
    María Martínez 13 days ago

    Ever considered that it isn't the Universe (or universes) the one that is fine-tuned for life, but life the one that constantly fine-tunes itself to adapt to the Universe's conditions, laws, constants, etc? Which could happen samely in whichever universe it might exist, whatever its conditions, laws, constants, etc.? Life is essentially adaptative, and when any form of life can't adapt fast enough, another takes its place. We have seen it and are seeing it now.
    This hypothesis is like the old Spanish saying: "poner la carreta delante de los bueyes."

  • Annie
    Annie 14 days ago

    Someone is running a simulation and we are inside of it. Anyone who has ever ran a computer simulation has played with the parameters until they were satisfied with the end results. Our simulated universe is no different...

  • Makubex Gospel
    Makubex Gospel 14 days ago

    This might be a bit off topic:
    What if in another universe, time is faster than ours, and u decided to spend some vacation there. Would your body age following that universe's time or ours? Im simply looking for some theory based from facts, its impossible to prove anyway haha

  • Nemo_K
    Nemo_K 15 days ago

    Wait a minute. This totally fits in with simulation theory.
    Think about it: If human scientists want to find out how ant colonies grow under specific conditions, how would they do that? Let's say these scientists don't just want to study any colonies out in the wild - no - they want to observe as many possible different growing conditions as they can imagine. So, what is their solution? They literally create ant colonies in a controlled environment. The colonies will live in a glass box large enough to reasonably fit any ant colony well beyond its extinction (death of the universe). So, what properties would the scientists finetune in all these different colonies? Well, one colony would get rainfall every five days, and another colony every six days. One colony would have soil with 50% sand, and another colony 51%. One colony will experience a forest fire once every 621 days, and another colony every 622 days. It's preaty easy for us to think of many different conditions which could affect the growth and survival of the ant colony.

    Now, replace the glass box with a universe, replace the ant colonies with life in general, and replace the growth conditions with the cosmological constants. The human scientists are alien species, creating big bangs in many different (simulated) universes, each with slightly differently tuned constants, in order to observe which universes create life and which don't.

  • Guz Man
    Guz Man 15 days ago

    Can we excite the core of geologically inactive planets and thus initiate a terraforming process?

  • Sebastian Suśniak
    Sebastian Suśniak 17 days ago

    What is "container" for those multiverses? Can one universe interact with other one?

  • nikke10000
    nikke10000 17 days ago

    I'm not sure how the fact that the universe is suited for life is in anyway an indicator that there is a multiverse. I mean isn't this thing that we call life just a symptom of the universe. We were created by this universe in which we live so of course it suits us. We are this universe. If there is another universe with other laws of physics it's whole concept of what we call life will be completely different and they'll be suited to laws of physics of that universe. I don't see how there is anything special about our universe just because we are in it.

  • Smerg the Dargon
    Smerg the Dargon 18 days ago +4

    _Man looking displeased:_ Diproton
    _Man looking pleased:_ Helium-2

  • ppoint432
    ppoint432 18 days ago

    Anyone know what song is played at 3:10?

  • Fan Jerry
    Fan Jerry 18 days ago +1

    Could be a single universe, but the constants are slowly shifting.

  • maxesmart
    maxesmart 19 days ago

    Life is like when I started smoking: by then, the cigarette was no harmful, neither life needed another place to be.

  • Eric White
    Eric White 19 days ago

    @PBS Space Time, 4:40, It actually was inevitable for our universe to be capable of life enabling chemistry or else we wouldn't be here and it wouldn't be our universe.

  • Juicyblunts
    Juicyblunts 20 days ago

    So you're telling me that everything works the way that it does *because* it works the way that it does. And that by changing the way that something works, it would work differently, or not at all? 🤔

  • Brianx Wall
    Brianx Wall 20 days ago

    Surely the idea of a finely tuned universe is misleading? This universe may indeed be tuned just right for carbon based life to evolve. So what? If the universe "settings" had been slightly different there would be no life as we know it Jim, but surely with different laws arising from this different universe, life of some other form could arise? Something we wouldn't recofnise as life if we were able to observe it. But nevertheless it would be life in the terms of that universe.

  • Andrew Colvin
    Andrew Colvin 20 days ago +1

    Just think, there is a universe where humanity has created a just and equal world, where Bernie Sanders is president, and where prosperity is based on self-determination instead of greed and environmental destruction. Let’s make this a reality in 2020. Vote for Bernie! 💙

  • Andrew Colvin
    Andrew Colvin 20 days ago +1

    The only thing findtuned is the property of emergence.

  • Battle Bitten
    Battle Bitten 21 day ago

    Matter was transmuted from high pressures coming from the living primeval dragon, the breath of life came from the dragon, all cycles dark/light, rest/action came from the fire breathing dragon! oO )

  • Jake Elliott
    Jake Elliott 21 day ago

    Observers are the creators of the universe?

  • Jacks-Over
    Jacks-Over 21 day ago +6

    How do you know these dials are free dials or that we just haven't discovered the theory or part of a theory that predicts them?

    AIVER SUING 21 day ago

    What are those 20 parameters??
    anybody who knows and can enumerate them???

  • Stephen Jones
    Stephen Jones 22 days ago

    The concept of the Multiverse is not going to be the final answer, should we ever be able to determine its existence (looking forward to your further insights on its testability, as you mentioned), simply because we're going to have to answer pretty much the same questions about that as we do about the Universe. If the Universe exists because of the Multiverse, then why does the Multiverse exist? What made *it* such the way it is? Also, I find the concept unsatisfactory, since, if there are an infinite number of Universes, then everything is possible and nothing is special nor or any distinct worth - there an infinite number of Me, most of which no doubt are grumbling away at their keyboards. It makes the meaningfulness of life neglibble, if not altogether zero, at least from a purely physical point of view.
    As for the first two mentioned hypotheses: that we're in a simulation, or we're the "playthings" of the gods, I think we can lump these together, since they are simply cases of existence (life) having an intelligent origin. While skeptics will obviously baulk at such a notion, I'm not convinced that the Multiverse is in any way more compelling or testable.

  • kaveti rakeshkumar
    kaveti rakeshkumar 22 days ago

    Speaking about multiverse but no mention about quantum theory and parallel universes predicted from double split experiment.

  • Ben Jenkins
    Ben Jenkins 22 days ago

    hawking radian makes no seance. black holes don"t eject partials!

    RAIS TOMILSON 23 days ago

    Long live theoretical physics

    RAIS TOMILSON 23 days ago

    I m so proud tht i m a part of this physics community

  • DjTotem
    DjTotem 23 days ago

    wait. what. what the fuck? i dont even thought about it

  • Kurt Fitzner
    Kurt Fitzner 23 days ago

    This entire video seems to be a violation of occam's razor and the mediocrity principle. We don't know there is a multiverse, and if there is then there is certainly no evidence that the fundamental constants, parameters, and laws of this universe are not universal for all of them.
    Trying to wade through the slough of imponderables to get an answer seems to be simply an exercise in interpreting the writings of typewriter monkeys.

  • Onechill Braj
    Onechill Braj 23 days ago

    what about scenario 4, life is very likely/Inevitable to occur in any universe. It doesnt have to be life as we know it but just the bare bones def of life.

  • Nemisis025
    Nemisis025 23 days ago

    Aussie Space Jesus knows this because Aussie Space Jesus made the multiverse