The universe is big, but if you’re feeling crowded for space luckily there are probably many universes scattered through time and space.
I have read that it might be that every time I make a choice a new universe opens. In one of these worlds, I am writing this; in another, I am climbing Mt. Fuji.
This certainly is the stuff of science-fiction, but physicists think the multiverse could be real.
We do love those“what if” questions. What if I had made the other choice? Better, worse, or just different? What if the road not taken was taken? What if you actually took both roads, but one was in another universe?
Before you leave this post and head into one of those multiple universes, let me alert you to some of the theories. Try searching on “the quilted multiverse,” “the inflationary universe” and “the ultimate multiverse.”
This is not such a new idea.
“The idea of multiple universes is about 2,500 years old,” says Mary-Jane Rubenstein, a professor of religion and philosophy at Wesleyan University. Before people with advanced degrees were theorizing, the Atomist philosophers, of ancient Greece were considering it 2500 years ago. “The Atomists believed that it was not the case that some anthropomorphic god or gods made the universe so it was perfect, but that our world was one of an infinite number of other worlds. Worlds were the product of accident, of particles colliding with one another, and an infinite amount of space to play in.”
Leucippus and his pupil Democritus proposed that all matter was composed of small indivisible particles called atoms. That was their way of reconciling two conflicting schools of thought on the nature of reality. On one side was Heraclitus, who believed that the nature of all existence is change. On the other side was Parmenides, who believed instead that all change is illusion.
If you think multiverses are confusing, then consider good old Parmenides. He rejected sensory experience as the path to an understanding of the universe in favor of purely abstract reasoning. He believed there is no such thing as “void” and therefore “if the void is, then it is not nothing; therefore it is not the void.”
In an interview, Rubenstein reminds us that even when Copernicus knocked us out of the center of the solar system, and Darwin knocked us out of Eden, we were still sure we were running the show on Time and other big things in this universe.
Oh, and this definitely leads to theological problems. Not that scientists care. Rubenstein brings up that in a Christian framework, you would have to wonder about those inhabitants of those other universes. Did they also Fall? Did Christ redeem them? Is He moving from universe to universe to get incarnated, teach for 30 years, and then die?
I’m just wondering what I’ll be doing in this universe this year. It hurts my brain to wonder what I will be up to in parallel Paradelles.