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Multi Universe

Updated on August 26, 2012

The idea of a multi universe system is interesting and complex. The problem is that it is not falsifiable so all hypothesis or claims along these lines are purely speculative in nature.

There are many ideas on how a multi universe works and it is not restricted to cosmology or physics. The concept of parallel universes is as old as religion. Hinduism mentions them from its very inception and even Islam claims that god created many worlds.

The philosopher and psychologist William James coined the phrase parallel universes in 1895. Since then science fiction writers have been having a field day with the idea. Currently there is even a TV show called Fringe which is based on the idea that there is a parallel universe where all of us have doubles leading similar lives. The Star Trek series envisioned a mirror universe where the good guys from the “regular” universe were evil in the mirror world. Then there is the anti matter world. Again a mirror image but made of antimatter.

Other suggestions have included the idea that black holes are the gateway to other universes or that they are themselves other universes.

James’s idea of parallel universes was later given more credence by Hugh Everett's Many World’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. Many other scientists since have had their own interpretations including Stephan Hawking. Richard Feynman gave Hawking the impetus for his interpretations through Feynman's multiple histories hypothesis. M theory suggests multiple universes through its concept that we live in but 4 dimensions when in fact (it suggests) there are at least 11 and perhaps as many as, if not more than, 26.

Each interpretation is different. Though each postulates many worlds, none of them see those worlds in exactly the same way. Some tell us that our universe is but one in a multi universe. Others like Bell told us we live in a bifurcating universe. That means that each choice we make splits our universe into many. One for each choice we did not make. This theory would quickly see billions upon billions of universe made each day, and I assume that the other universe would split each time anything made a choice there as well. We can see how that idea is not without problems.

Feynman’s idea was based on his hypothesis that there is no wave particle duality and that in a double split experiment the particle takes every possible rout to get to the target. Hence making an interference pattern that looks like a wave. But both he and Hawking envision universes that do not have our physics. Unlike the parallel, mirror, or bifurcating universe, Feynman and Hawking’s interpretation is not so much about people as it is about all the possible types of properties, and therefore the different types of physics all these worlds must have. In fact, in this theory all possible worlds exist; even those which have physics that can’t produce or sustain life of any kind.

As you can see this is a complex idea with many possible variations. But what most of the more culturally accepted ones have in common is that all possibilities are played out. World War 2 happened here, but somewhere else it did not. Somewhere Germany won. Somewhere Hitler was killed before the end of the war. In some he would have never existed and in some he would have never risen to power.

These are theories of anything. Anything is not only possible but everything that can be thought of exists in its own world. Somewhere there are unicorns. Somewhere there are invisible pink squirrels and divine spaghetti monsters with meatball eyes.

Yes, it soon all starts to get absurd. But that can’t be helped if all possibilities must play out and all possible physics must exist. All your wildest fantasies are true. But just…. not here. What a shame.

The thing that strikes me most about all these ideas is the fact that is they are correct then the idea of free will or indeterminism is out the window. All choices are going to played out anyway regardless of how we feel about it or what we do about it. You may have saved your daughter/s life on this world but then in another you will have killed her yourself.

Of course the fact is you are not these other people any more than a clone of you is you. You are not consciously connected to these others. You don't think through their minds or they through yours. They are completely separate people in a separate universe. Not you.

While many of these ideas are meant to show a super-symmetry in the universe and infinite possibilities, if every possibility must become actual, then our choices are completely predetermined.

Of course there are other possibilities as well. There may be many universes with the same physics as ours where we all are doing exactly the same thing at the same time. In fact a super-symmetry would suggest that is the case as well. Again, all the interpretations of a multi universe must be correct and live side by side all others if all possibilities are going to be played out.

Even if we say that not everything is possible and try to get out of it that way, the concept of a super-symmetry suggests that everything is possible in a universe that makes it possible even if not in ours.

This has led new age mystics to think that everything we can think of is real and all things are possible. Our imagination creates reality, or our perception creates reality.

The trouble is, it doesn’t, and that is a demonstrable fact. I wrote my first essay for Hub Pages on topic so I won’t go into observer driven reality here.

The fact remains that there is no proof of a multi universe system. Feynman’s all possible histories theory is still a hypothesis, not a theory at all. Even though all the interpretations of the many world’s theory would explain certain observable quantum phenomenon, that’s the problem: they all explain it and they almost all contradict each other.

An interpretation is just a model. The model may filled with facts, but how the model puts those facts together and in particularly the conclusions it comes to about those facts are not in and of themselves factual. In other words, they are guesses based on certain facts.

None of these hypotheses are falsifiable yet, and may never be. The universe may be infinite. How in the world could we then send a probe outside it to find other universes and more importantly, is that even a reasonable question? It isn’t, of course.

But even then M theory and some other interpretations like those surrounding black holes will tell us that isn’t a problem because all universes are in different dimensions and exist in the same space we do simultaneously. The imagination is endless, and that’s all any of this is.

I’m not saying there are no other dimensions or universes. I don’t know and neither does anyone else. That’s the point. Our culture runs amok with these kinds of ideas. People believe all manner of things that are not to be believed because they are baseless speculation.

That’s not science. No scientist worth their salt would tell us anything else. All interpretations are models. They are not to be taken as facts until they are proven. It is really the media and culture and the imagination that tries to make models into fact or have people debating in cafes sure that many worlds is the just the way it is.

To me it is important that we remember that models are speculative. They are a “what if” and not the latest facts from science.


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    • Slarty O'Brian profile imageAUTHOR

      Ron Hooft 

      6 years ago from Ottawa

      Thank you, D. I couldn't agree more.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile imageAUTHOR

      Ron Hooft 

      6 years ago from Ottawa

      Big Bang theory starts with all the energy now in the universe compressed to a small point. The size of the singularity changes depending on which version we are looking at; from a baseball to a pin head and smaller. The actual size doesn’t matter. The point is that time is related to space. No space, no time. So the idea is that in a singularity there could be no time because there is no space.

      The singularity expanded. Still is, in fact. So we live in the expanded singularity. When it expanded it created space and consequently time. So there was no time before the expansion. Now you have to also understand that the BB is a model and not to be accepted as fact. It’s just the best explanation we have come to so far and it is being revised as we speak. We have recently discovered some problems with it that need to be sorted.

      In a sense the energy you are is eternal. It can’t be destroyed or created, for that matter, so it always has been in one form or other. Right now the form it is in is you. But it constantly transforms. Energy leaves your “system“ and new is always brought in to replace it. How much it retains from being part of you is anyone’s guess at the moment. But that’s not the kind of immortality many people hope for.

    • d.william profile image


      6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Voted up, awesome and interesting.

      When we look back in history and view the world of those who believed that the world was flat, and the sun revolved around the earth, etc.., we have to ascertain that in today's times our speculations about time and space, are just as primitive as those past beliefs were.

      But speculating, theorizing, and imagining is what makes us look forward to the future when these current myths will also be demystified.

      I sometimes dream of returning in the future when there will be space exploration, and hope to hell (or heaven), that there will be another opportunity for us as separate sentient entities to be part of that wonder, and experience the unexplorable, or inexplicable, of today. Otherwise, our brevity in this lifetime will all have been for naught.

      Fascinating stuff, and a wonderful hub.

    • Frannie Dee profile image

      Frannie Dee 

      6 years ago from Chicago Northwest Suburb

      Slarty, thanks for this explanation. So many take models as facts and you have made a great distinction between the two. I'm currently interested in the concept of time beginning at the big bang and not existing prior to this, and that all time exists and we are immortal because we always exist in some time. Does that make any sense to you?


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