Call me old-fashioned. I believe there is one universe. In fact I find the phrase “one universe” redundant. Mind you, this isn’t just a categorization of all the parallel universe and alternate time-lines as science fiction, but a rejection of certain interpretations of “[[M-theory]]” (an [[ekpyrotic universe]] in particular) as real science.
But let’s start with what we “know” from [[Star Trek]], [[Dr. Who]], et alia. For the writers of such works, it is not enough to simply contemplate how the world would be if some other choice had been made, as found in [[Sliding Doors]] or even change it and reboot as found in [[The Butterfly Effect]] (the movie), or a series of [[Groundhog Day (film)|Goundhog-Day]]-like outcomes as in [[Run Lola Run]]. No, their fictions are multiple universes of different events that co-exist and even cross over between each other, even an infinite number of separate “time-space continuum” (of which I am tellingly uncertain as to what a plural of such would be).
Such utter contrived chaos aside, one recurring concept that seems to be widely accepted as a real possibility: every possible result of an action or cause occurs and creates separate universes to represent each possibility, be it a choice or random effect. In other words, there’s one universe where I wrote this article and another one in which, for whatever reason, I didn’t. Or taking it to a more turgid conclusion, there are millions and millions of universes, each with a slightly different series of keyboard strokes and edits, where all other events and objects may be the same. And that’s just from this one article. Every action throughout the universe is said to spin off two or more diverse universes, what a friend of mine used to describe in saying “time is fluid”.
But the magnitude isn’t what I find rediculous. The universe is far larger than any conceptualization could reach for, and it is possible there is another version of me in a million million galaxies writing similar articles in their respective languages … and no multiplicity of universes is required.
What I find ridiculous, apart from having to completely transcend the rules of thermodynamics, is the possibility that we just happen to be living — and continue to live in each moment — in a rare universe where cause and effect seem to be in place and most of our existence does not seem random at all. The is a dominating, cohesive consistency in everything we observe and even the choices we make, as chaotic they may seem from time to time. With a million possibilities for any object or being to find its demise on any given day, who do so many suc hthings exist for so long?
In terms of consciousness, what does this mean? There are infinite Kens who each experience a different path in the stream of possibilities. But without a [[Tardis]] or other extreme means, how would we ever know this to be true? Is our being diluted or simply multiplied and what does that mean? And if we cannot KNOW such a process to exist, what good is that to us, or for any theory that cannot be tested? In other words, there’s no reason to belive such a thing and never could be. And what of ethics, then? Since I am going to make both the good and bad choice in any situation, why should I bother myself with which “I” experiences the consequences of either choice? Doesn’t that also negate any meaningful concept of free will?
But the realm of [[Quantum Physics]] isn’t much better, and even the theoreticians themselves suspect many of their long-developed theories will be swept into the dustbin of pseudoscience. The mathematics involved have become exponential abstractions, where dimentions are created on paper to accommodate observations that otherwise do not make sense by existing rules of logic. And then there’s the fateful train ride where two scientists decide that unexplained force phenomena could be the result of the collision of two universes. Weak forces might that ought to be stronger are weak because they are pulling from some ‘beyond’. That would be great as metaphor, and such things can inspire science, but by itself is NOT science.
In other words, the influence of external universes have replaced the influence of deity as the preferred way to explain away or even fudge the numbers into some sense. This cosmological [[Deus ex machina]] is a hopeful means to balance all equations toward a [[theory of everything]], but in the end is by its nature unknowable except as an untestable explanation for a measurable effect. It may as well be [[faeries]], but ‘F-theory’ doesn’t seem an epithet becoming of seriously funded physicists.
However, part of me wants to believe all possible things did, do, or will occur. But I say the ‘one-verse’ is wide and long enough to accommodate virtually infinite permutations within the finities of a single continuum of space and time. We don’t need to invent more.