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Author Topic: Parallel Universes  (Read 360 times)

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Offline vtboyTopic starter

Parallel Universes
« on: September 15, 2011, 10:40:22 PM »
Ever since my days of experimentation with hallucinogens (this was quite a few years ago), I've been highly skeptical of the notion that ours is the only universe. Whether all about us was born of the mind of God or of nothing, it always struck me as rather improbable that there aren't other variations on the theme somewhere. In fact, I've despaired at the thought that our universe, large as it may appear from our little cinder, may only be a tiny and unique piece of flotsam amidst an endless sea of timeless nothingness.

It was thus with considerable enthusiasm that I recently read Brian Greene's, "The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos", a heroic attempt to explain in terms comprehensible to minds as blunt as my own some of the most profound thinking of physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists on the subject of multiple universes.  According to Greene, the existence of multiple or parallel universes, perhaps an infinity of them, is at least consistent with current and respected thinking in quantum physics, string theory, artificial intelligence, and other fields of science. This stuff ain't the monopoly of sci-fi writers anymore.

One of the many mind-bending ideas offered by the book is that, with the exponential growth of computing power, a trend which shows no signs of abating, we may in the foreseeable future be able to simulate universes on our computers. Further, if conscious intelligence is not inextricably dependent on our biological goo, simulated universes could be inhabited by intelligent, conscious creatures whose experience of reality is indistinguishable from our own. This is "Sim City" writ very large indeed. Any pimply faced adolescent gamer with a MacBook could step into the shoes of God.

Lest this wine get too heady, though, there is no guarantee we are not ourselves simulated creatures in a Sim Universe.

Not that it really makes all that much of a difference.

Offline LeeshaLynn

Re: Parallel Universes
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 11:04:17 PM »
I agree that we aren't the only universe out there.  I heavily believe in parallel universes.  What do you think you are in your other universe?

Offline Remiel

Re: Parallel Universes
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 11:29:03 PM »
As the Introduction forum is for new applicant introductions only, I'm moving this to the Off Topic forum.

Offline vtboyTopic starter

Re: Parallel Universes
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 05:19:58 AM »
I agree that we aren't the only universe out there.  I heavily believe in parallel universes.  What do you think you are in your other universe?

I'm not sure that "I" am in other universes, though there could well be beings very similar to me (and to each of us) in them.

For example, under one hypothesis from quantum physics (and please bear with the clumsiness of my lay explanation here, since I'm not a physicist), a separate universe exists for each possible outcome of an event. So, to pick a rather trite example, if the traffic light at the corner might be red or green or yellow at any moment, there is a universe in which it is red, one in which it is green, and one in which it is yellow. Similarly, there is this universe in which Vtboy clicked on the URL for Elliquiy when it popped up in his search engine, and one in which he did not. Each alternative universe, and of course each being in it, continues to follow a separate "trajectory" which, at each event, branches into further alternative universes for each possible outcome. So, under this "all possible worlds" hypothesis, each of "us" exists in each possible universe which emanates from each event in our lives. If you've seen the play or movie, "The Rabbit Hole", it is this hypothesis which comforts the mother of the dead child by allowing her to believe there are other universes in which he did not run out into the street in front of the car which took his life. 

So, it's a bit difficult to say what "I" am in these other universes, other than that there are many "I"s doing many different things in them. I am, however, cheered by the notion that there is at least one other universe in which I wasn't fool enough to become a lawyer.