Multiple universes: The evidence is good
May 16, 2006 | 48 comments
Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
What if you had an identical twin? What if you had 10 identical twins? A million twins? what if all of these "others" were more than just twins in the sibling sense? What if these others were literally “you,” yet living independently in their own world or universe?Astonishing as it may seem, this may actually be the case. There may be millions, billions, and in fact, an infinite number of "alternate" universes stacked like so much Tupperware within our own universe. In each of these other universes lives another you leading a full and very real life, just like your own life.Some of these other universes are very close to our own, and are almost identical, except for minor differences. Others are further removed and the differences increase as the distance from our own increases.The concept is not a new one. In fact, the idea that other invisible worlds exist in proximity to our own are nearly as old as human beings. “Other worlds” is one of the oldest and most frequently used ideas in speculative literature and legend.
Examples might be “Fairyland” and the “astral plane.”While spiritualists, shamans and mystics have been happily dealing with the subject of alternate universes for centuries, modern science, notably the field of physics, has embraced the idea of alternate worlds in recent years.In the field of quantum mechanics, alternate universe theory is generally referred to as the “Many Worlds Interpretation,” and it holds up mathematically.The theory was first proposed 40 years ago in 1957 by the brilliant physicist Hugh Everett III. He came up with the Many Worlds scenario to deal with some of the more perplexing aspects of quantum mechanics.Everett suggested that whenever numerous viable possibilities exist, the world splits into many worlds or universes, one universe for each different possibility.For example, if you get up this morning and can’t decide if you want to have coffee or tea for breakfast, the Many Worlds Interpretation says that for each choice that is made, an entire universe is created to accommodate each choice.In one universe you choose coffee. In another universe you choose tea. In a third universe, you decide to have neither. In still another, you go with orange juice.
Each universe is as real and valid as the other. It’s just that each goes its separate way from the point of decision.According to the astounding Many Worlds Interpretation, every single choice that is made by every single human being at every instant of time creates an entire universe which goes on forever into infinity.Obviously, this means that millions and billions and trillions of universes are being created on an ongoing basis!In each universe created, everything is identical, except for that one different choice; from that point on, they develop independently, and no communication is possible between them, so the people living in those worlds have no idea that this is going on.According to the Many Worlds Interpretation, there are not only an infinite number of universes, but an infinite number of versions of each person—including you!Your alternate selves have all split off at some time in the past from the path you are now following. There may be versions of you that split off one or five years ago, or perhaps five minutes after you were born.
In some universes, you may have died at birth.But in a very real sense, those people are still "you." What if you could travel to one of these alternate universes and meet yourself and have a conversation with yourself? What would you say? What would it feel like? It’s intriguing to think about.Polls have been taken among theorists who study such things, and have revealed that most of them believe that the Many Worlds Interpretation represents an accurate description of reality. (Interestingly, the polls also show that many of them would rather not discuss the subject!)Political researcher L. David Raub conducted a poll of 72 of the "leading cosmologists and other quantum field theorists" about the Many Worlds Interpretation and found the following:
1) 58% think it is true.
2) 18% do not think it is true.
3) 13% think it could be true but are not convinced.
4) 11% had no opinion.
Among the the “Yes” thinkers is the famous Stephen Hawking, author of the best selling A Brief History of Time. Also in agreement are Nobel Laureates Murray Gell-Mann and the great and brilliant Richard Feynman.One of the most interesting fall-outs of the Many World's Interpretation is the possibility that it provides a platform for the the existence of free will, one of the issues that has tormented theologians and philosophers for centuries. In a universe in which you get to have all your choices and eat them too, so to speak, the totality an infinite potential of free will becomes obvious.From religion and folklore to the rigorous disciplines of science and mathematics, the case for a universe that is actually many universes is better than good, and, in fact, may prove to be reality.
Ken Korczak is the author of Minnesota Paranormala:http://www.amazon.com/Minnesota-Paranormala-Volume-1-ebook/dp/B004Y5G114/