Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mortality Week: Multilife

Quantum physics has given the idea of the multiverse nonfiction cred. If you want to know exactly how the multiverse seems reasonable, I suggest you do a lot of reading. Quantum physics is hard, counter-intuitive, and can only be put in layman’s terms with thought experiments that are more approximations than accuracies. As I understand it, the most fundamental particles that make up atoms behave probabilistically. We can only assign odds as to where they are and where they are going. In fact, as we become more accurate in locating them we become less accurate in their movement and vice versa. It’s called the Uncertainty Principle. One way of explaining how, say, a single particle can interact with itself to form a wave function, is by saying that the particle takes every possible path to it’s destination. The particle may end up in this spot or that, but given the multiverse, it ends up in every spot. Get it? Neither do I.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the multiverse is true. This makes every possible universe true. This still doesn’t allow for the supernatural because every universe is bound by it’s physical laws, even if those laws are tweaked from our own. So while there may not be an Adam and Eve in any of these universes, there are an infinite number of yous living out every possible life that you could lead. This leads back to what I think is the most comforting afterlife that can realistically exist. Essentially it’s natural reincarnation. If the multiverse is true, there will still be a you after you die.

A you isn’t as good as the you, but only because you’ve grown attached to yourself. This is more a comfort of legacy than a continuation of soul. A multiverse makes us both more insignificant in our redundancy and more significant in our abundance. It’s quite a thing to think about.

If this multiverse stuff interests you, check out The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos by my favorite science writer, Brian Greene.


  1. I can't really get behind the multi-me theory, at least as it is usually stated. Why? Because if there are different me's acting differently, then, for one, it may be difficult to actually call them "me," and for two, they would have inherently different rates of mortality based on their decisions. And if they have different mortality, then so did/does my/their parents. Times all of evolution's ancestors. That means the odds of a parallel universe being in sync enough to have a me simultaneous to the "real" me are pretty slim... :-)

  2. If there are an infinite number of universes, then there are an infinite amount of TWFs current with you and also and infinite amount existing before and after...right? Assuming time as we know it means anything here, which I'm not sure it does.