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new layer of reality

Discussion in 'English Only' started by evergreenhomeland, May 5, 2014.

  1. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Chinese
    Hello everyone:

    What does "reality" mean in following sentences?Is it a physics term?

    But for most of history, it was not an idea that was taken seriously. Philosophically, it was an unnecessary complication, one that simply pushed the mystery of our origins to a new layer of reality that was unobservable in principle. And, since a theory needs to be falsifiable in order to be scientific, many scientists did not see the multiverse as “real” science.


    The source is the essay "beyond-the-horizon-of-the-universe" by BY LAURA MERSINI-HOUGHTON
     
  2. Greyfriar

    Greyfriar Senior Member

    Portsmouth, Hampshire
    British English
    I read it as a theory/discovery of a new truth about the mystery of our origins.

    Please wait for other opinions.
     
  3. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thanks for your suggestion.
     
  4. dharasty Senior Member

    American English
    It seems to me "reality" in this passage means "a physical universe and the laws of science in that universe".

    The concept of the "multiverse" is getting serious consideration in modern physics these days, as the mathematics that seem to describe the origin of our universe also seem to predict that multiple, independent universes quite possibly have formed and continue to form.

    So this passage:

    Philosophically, it was an unnecessary complication, one that simply pushed the mystery of our origins to a new layer of reality that was unobservable in principle.​

    means:

    These ideas might well describe the origins of our physical universe (our reality) but only by introducing the concept of the "multiverse" (a new layer of reality), which some scientists will brush away as an unscientific conjecture since it is unobservable and therefore untestable.​
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  5. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thanks for your detailed suggestion.

    Here is my understanding:
    Introducing "multiverse" into existing theoretical framework of the origins of our universe, pushed it to a more complex situation, which is not observable and verifiable theoretically.
     
  6. dharasty Senior Member

    American English
    Yes, I believe that is the point of the passage you quote.

    Note I would change one word in your rephrasing: "... which is not observable and verifiable theoretically experimentally."
     
  7. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    Ever,
    I think you may have missed the point. I think the author is contrasting the new 'multiverse' theories with older ones. The older ones had a 'layer' of reality that lacked causal connections and to which one had, in principle, no observational access. "Reality" means, here, "that which is." The "physical reality" of science demands that it be subject, at least indirectly, to observation and in some cases, to experiment. Hence the old 'alternate universes' lay outside of science and could be ignored by scientists. The author, I think, is suggesting that the newer 'multiverse' theories do NOT have this inaccessibility problem. I think he suggests that some observations may, indirectly be relevant. In other word, the proposed 'multiverse' is part of the physical universe, not some metaphysical supposition. One might say that the multiverses then are part of a robust reality.



     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  8. dharasty Senior Member

    American English
    Ah -- I think bennymix picked up on something that I overlooked.

    Now I see the first part of the passage was talking about "older multiverse theories", and how they lacked "falsifiability". The passage then suggests the "modern multiverse theory" is better -- or at least "more scientific" -- because it CAN be scientifically investigated.

    Personally, I'm not sure the article really delivers on that claim... but -- with bennymix's comment -- I do think that is the point is it trying to make.
     
  9. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Chinese
    bennymix:
    Thanks for your correction. I missed some context.

    The old one not "multiverse" is an unnecessary complication of our origins. I need to rethink about the meaning of "reality" here.

    You Know, in another thread of mine(http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2829675) I have asked the clause modifies "reality" or "a new layer of reality".

    So it seems the word "reality" here is uncountable noun, describing how people in scientific world see these old thoughts, ideas or theories about the "universe".

    Some people say the word "reality" is a philosophy term. I doubt about it.

    In your comments, you mentioned " 'Reality' means, here, 'that which is.' ". I think you mean the awkward situation of old ideas and theories about the "universe". But is the "universe" and "our origins(human origins)" interchangeable?
     
  10. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    If human being has evolved from the earth itself, which I believe is the current theory, then the origin of the earth is also the origin of human being.

    Note that it says "a new layer of reality." I imagine it is rather simple. For example, when the microscope was invented, it gave scientists the opportunity to study a new layer of reality.

    The universe, as we know it, has been understood to be the outer limit of reality, whereas the inner limit has kept changing as smaller and smaller particles have been discovered.
     
  11. evergreenhomeland Senior Member

    Chinese
    Thanks for your explanation.
     

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