Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Masters of the Multiverse


I've been meaning to write about this for some time, but commenting on CHRISSY THE HYPHENATED's post What’s a Greater Leap of Faith: God or the Multiverse? prompted me to go ahead and flesh these thoughts out a bit.

She said: "I don’t understand how any serious scientist can buy into the Multiverse theory. Energy cannot be created. How can they believe in an infinite number of energy-rich universes when they can’t explain where the energy in OUR universe came from?"

Not just the energy, but all the matter in the universe must be spontaneously created, not only by hundreds of billions of decisions by billions of people, but what about lesser beings? Is there a universe where your dog decides to scratch himself rather than lick? To chase a squirrel and catch it in one universe, while simultaneously creating another where it didn’t? Did the squirrel decide to zig left in one and right in another?
Multiverse may make for some interesting fiction, but it is a more preposterous theory than a “flat earth”.

In the book of Genesis, we are told that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. Not to criticize God's excellent work, but the universe has been differentiated since then. In addition to the original creation, there are highways, railroads, tunnels and cities, litter, junk cars, farm equipment, Victoria's Secret, and Klondike bars, plus all those people buried all over the place. So, when you're in the grocery story, deciding whether you want a Snickers or a Milky Way, and you grab the Snickers bar, that faint electrical activity in your brain has to somehow conjure up an entire differentiated universe, out of nothing, in less than the blink of an eye. Frankly, I'd be impressed if you could do it in six days, but, there you are! Billions of people creating billions of universes with nothing more than a casual thought!

Then, there is a question of dimensions. Since matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time, the first guy to conjure up a parallel universe with a thought, probably didn't think to park it anywhere else, causing all the matter in the universe to occupy the same space as all the matter in the new universe, causing a rip in the space/time continuum. This is most likely what caused the "Big Bang".

Back to our example in that infinitesimally small period of time it takes you to decide "Snickers", you not only have to create all the matter and energy that exists in the universe, in all its differentiation, but you have to find a dimension to park it in, among the billions and billions of universes created before you. Have trouble finding a parking place at Macy's on Black Friday? Child's play compared to parallel universe parking!

But something new recently occurred to me. In every scenario of some alternate universe, there is some alternate version of YOU. Captain Kirk meets evil Captain Kirk. Mr. Spock meets evil Spock, complete with alternate facial hair. But, if universes spring randomly into being on the basis of someone's choice, how about an alternate universe where you don't even exist, because your father didn't choose/have sex with/marry your mother? Your grandfather didn't choose your grandmother, so your parents were never born. Your great grandfather didn't marry your great grandmother, etc, etc.
Your father never met your mom but hooked up with Stormy Daniels instead, and your earliest childhood memory is mama dancing on a pole?
It is the ultimate conceit that somehow every universe is obligated to produce some version of you!  (Or Hitler, Genghis Khan or Martha Stewart!) Don't flatter yourself!

I am a lifelong fan of speculative fiction, what we used to just call "science fiction". For those of you despairing of ever having a parallel universe story line ever again, be of good cheer. Even though there is currently no evidence of parallel worlds, Dennis Rodman and Weird Al Yankovich notwithstanding, I could imagine a finite number of alternate worlds in alternate realities, which had been brought into existence at the same time. They could be as similar or dissimilar according to random choice, causality and their Creator dictates. However the dimensions might be breached or whatever similarities or differences you might find, you would not see matter and energy mindlessly, endlessly created.

If such portals between dimensions exist, I personally imagine they would be located at airports, where large numbers of travelers enter and exit in relative obscurity and anonymity. So long as you keep your transmogrifier in your carry on luggage, you should be fine!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Note to the Nobel committee in some alternate universe:
I'll meet you at the airport to pick up my prize!

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