- Education and Science»
- Astronomy & Space Exploration
The Infinite Universe: Does Life Repeat Itself?
The Oscillating Universe Theory hypothesizes that the universe expands and contracts in an infinite series of cycles. Starting from an infinitesimal point of cosmic everything, the universe explodes and everything takes form. Eventually the outward expansion slows, and then stops, whereupon the contraction begins, culminating in a new infinitesimal point. Some consider this next iteration to actually be a bounce.
Boing, Boing, Boing...
Whether it's a bounce, or a pause followed by a new explosion/expansion, the important aspect of this theory is the infinite nature of the theoretical repeating cycle.
If true, the universe goes through an infinite series of expansions and contractions, and the universe takes shape again and again in the course of these cycles. Assuming that each cycle may form differently, in many life may never even emerge, let alone human life. In others, perhaps life forms develop that bear no resemblance to humans. The duration of one of these cycles is probably in the tens of billions of years, but given the nature of infinity that allows for lots of throws of the dice.
Consider statistical probability. Given a known possibility of something happening, and given an infinite number of tries at that thing, statistics tells us that eventually that thing will happen. Not only that, but given an infinite number of tries it will happen again and again, as long as it is a known possibility. It may take a long, long time, to repeat, but infinity provides endless tries, so time is not a constraint.
What do we know to be a known possibility in this context? Only one thing: the unfolding of the universe as we have experienced it. We know this is a possibility because it has in fact happened. We have seen it, lived it, felt it. We know it can happen, because it did happen. It may only be one of many, but it is one, and because (according to Oscillation Theory) there will be an infinite number of tries, it will at some point, and then another, and then another, happen again, exactly as it has up to this point in time.
A message for humanity?
If the Oscillating Universe Theory is correct, we are doomed or blessed to repeat every moment of our miserable or terrific lives for the foreseeable future. This would seem to argue in favor of minimizing the bad stuff, and maximizing the good. It also means that being happy and helping others to be happy will pay dividends forever, and that the opposite will result in repeated suffering.
Is there any way to prove or disprove this theory? Could déjà-vu represent a residual memory of a previous turn of the oscillator? Are insight and premonition simply knowledge rediscovered?
Who can say. And here's another question: within the envelope of the oscillating universe, is there some aspect of free will that operates outside the confines of known physical law? If so, does this mean that while the universe repeats, the unfolding within is random and variable?
Thus rendering statistics moot?
Sometimes a theory only begets more questions, but in this case why not err on the side of caution: live well, and help others do the same. It may be your only future.