20170521

PARALLEL UNIVERSES

In his 1988 book, physicist Fred Alan Wolf argued, "We all exist as conspiracies of parallel universes. All our experiences that we say are occurring here and now are also occurring in other universes. Our knowledge of something real and out there gives us the individual experiences we have. The ability to decide what's what and when's when, and where's where – our sense of experience and our sense of will that moves us through space and time with matter – can only result, according to the parallel universes interpretation of quantum physics, when there is a conspiracy, a merging together of the different choices in different universes." 

The parallel universes referred to the science-fiction concept of 2 worlds exisiting side by side but never intersecting. Nickie McWhirter elaborated, "There are many universes, according to some learned astrophysicists. Each universe is a duplicate of the next, but every decision made by every being has a consequence. Every consequence changes something and influences the next decision." 

Tony Gabriele added, "Parallel universes pop up a lot in science fiction. The idea is, when somebody gets in a time machine and travels backward in time, and then changes something in the past, he creates a divergent parallel universe in which future events may turn out differently from the events in the original universe, as a result of what he altered." Henry Ford coined the phrase time travel.  

Tony Gabriele continued, "But I'm told that you can mess up the future inadvertently, through unintended consequences of your actions. Like, you travel in time back to, say, 1952, and there in the past you stop for breakfast at a diner. Except that while everybody else in that 1952 diner is chowing down on sausages and hash browns, you, being the 1990s health nut that you are, keep asking the waitress how come they don't have any oat bran cereal with skim milk and fat-free muffins.

"And because of that the waitress gets distracted and lets some customer's breakfast get cold, and because of that the customer leaves in a huff, and because of that he doesn't watch his driving and rear-ends somebody's Studebaker, and because of the resulting traffic tie-up the local congressman has to prolong his meeting with the local factory owner and misses his train to Washington, and because of that an important bill is defeated in committee, and so on and so on, and the next thing you know you've gotten Senator Joe McCarthy elected president in this parallel universe. All because you couldn't eat some hash browns like everybody else."

In the parallel universe of television in 1982, 'Knots Landing' tried to mirror the reality of the other world by tackling the energy crisis (fuel shortages and high cost). Written by Sara Ann Friedman, Gary Ewing decided to mortgage his Seaview Circle house in the cul-de-sac to partner with Abby in an investment on new technology - methanol. The methanol refinery was in Mexico.

However there was a law which would not allow methanol from being imported across the border to prevent Mexican bringing moonshine into the U.S. Hence Gary, Abby and Val flew to Sacramento to convince the state senator Riker to get the law repeal or they would go out of business. Senator Riker was also the chairman of the repeal bill committee. The trio were hoping he could get it to the floor to be voted on in the current session of the senate legislature.

The bill was called FC 90-97 repeal of a grain alcohol import restriction. Initially senator Riker refused asking the trio to hang on until the next session. He claimed there were more pressing issues which had to take priority such as 6 crime legislations to deal with plus a nursing home regulation bill. In the end, Abby was able to convince senator Riker to assist.

Abby: There are people who have a lot of money and they use that money to get what they want. There are people who have power and they use that. You use whatever you have, whatever tools you can find, whatever resources are available. Use them to get what you want.

Valene: I think that I better keep my eyes on you all the time.

Abby: How else are you going to learn?

Asking the question "Did the universe come into being by chance or by design?", the astronautical engineer Eugene F. Mallove made the observation in 1985: "Some cosmologists are proposing that the universe has been perfectly 'designed' for life in a way that could not have happened 'by chance'. Cosmologists are far from claiming a 'proof of God'. Yet in the open scientific literature, they are exploring the very meaning of 'chance creation'.

"Scientists believe that life, as we know it on Earth, originated and evolved on a planetary surface only by the grace of many congenial circumstances – not too warm, not too cold, the right chemicals, the right energies, neither too little nor too much stability in the environment. The reason cosmologists are so astonished by the 'coincidences' they find in nature is that our universe is set up to do 3 very unusual things: fester the complexity epitomized by life, permit highly complex objects to stay intact over long periods of time and yet allow for gradual change that can lead to even greater complexity.

"Our universe allows something as intricate as our genetic code to come together chemically from very basic materials. It also allows that code to survive unchanged for eons. If the universe were hostile to complexity, the molecules might break down in short order, or never form at all and, of course, we would no longer exist. Yet it does allow for change, and therefore evolution.

"In some alternate universe a crystal, for example, might develop that was very complex and very long-lived, but if it could not evolve, there is no apparent way that it could ever become self-aware. Why is the universe set up in such a precise, delicate, highly improbable way? These physicists ask. There is an infinity of ways that the universe could have been set up that would have been more 'simple', with fewer improbably coincidences.

"Of course, in almost any of these 'simpler' universes, the odds for the development of anything as complicated as life – no matter how you imagine it – would be nil. In short, the cosmologists are asking why the laws of physics are as they are – with the precise forms and exact numerical constants that repeatedly show up in their calculations. It is extraordinary that science has come so far that it can question the 'why' and not just the 'what and how' of physics.

"Then there is the 'many worlds' interpretation of quantum mechanics. This theory, invented by Hugh Everett III in the 1950s, suggest that the universe continuously bifurcates at each measurement by an 'observer' into a treelike infinity of parallel and disconnected worlds. All possible things happen 'somewhere'. In one universe, a cat dies; in another he continues to live. So we have a set of infinitely expanding parallel universes in this theory, too – more opportunity to get anthropic 'coincidences' by sheer chance."

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