In Saturday's Wall Street Journal, there was an article by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow clearly designed as a naked promotion of their new book. In the article, they argue that modern physics removes the need for a divine being to have created the universe. Religious arguments aside (seriously, guys, is that particular argument even news anymore?), one thing in the article especially annoyed me. Toward the end, the authors state:
As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.
Our universe seems to be one of many, each with different laws.
You know what's wrong with this? It states, as if it is established fact, that we understand cosmology well enough to declare that universes spontaneously self-create. It states that the multiverse is a prediction of "many" theories, implying strongly that it's on firm ground. The problem is, this isn't science. It's not falsifiable, and in its present form it's not even close to being falsifiable in the foreseeable future. Seriously, name one PREdiction (as opposed to retrodiction) of these cosmological models, or more seriously, the multiverse/landscape idea, that is testable. Don't claim that our existence is such a test - the anthropic principle is weak sauce and is by no means evidence of the multiverse. Man, it annoys me when high profile theorists (it always seems to be theorists who do this) forget that physics is actually an experimental science that rests on predictive power.