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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Multiverses and Multiple Earth's

I am currently reading a book by Iain Banks (not his alter ego of 'Iain M Banks'), in which unusually he has chosen to cross seed the story with what many would consider as Sci-Fi elements, in particular the fact that the main characters have the ability to transition between an infinity of parallel universes. As one character describes it to a 'non transitioner'

" ... there are infinitudes of worlds to work with. There are even an infinite number in which we are having exactly the same conversation as this right now [or in which you are reading this blog], worlds differing in only one tiny detail - which might be an atom of uranium in a deposit deep underground in Venezuela decaying a microsecond earlier than it did here, or a photon in the University of Tasmania taking one slit, not the other, in another running to the two slit experiment ....."

Multiverse and Multiple Earth's

Now I happen to think that this theory of a multiverse (or some variant on it), has something to commend it - it certainly explains some events that seem odd. For example, the occasional appearance of people who have claimed to be out of time i.e. from the past, or people who just disappear with no trace, after all the alternative is that millions of people worldwide are murdered, or are able to hide themselves every year.

Its my suspicion that we are all travelling (or transitioning) between multiple versions of Earth all the time, because the barriers between 'worlds differing in only one tiny detail', are no barriers to us. We are considerably more relevant than a photon for example .... but that while we can move between these closely related Earth's, where the difference is just an atom (and we are in fact unique within these closely related multi-verses), we can't cross over into those versions of reality where there exists another version of us, or where the reality differs by too great a margin. E.g The Saxons won the Battle of Hastings in 1066, or the Mongols conquered Japan etc.         

To illustrate what I am talking about, when I was about 15 yrs old, I got up to go to school, I saw no one in the house, and I walked to the bus stop (about a third of a mile away), in a cocoon of near total silence - I saw no cars, and none passed me on the normally very busy main road, and while I could dimly hear 'traffic noises', it was distant, and almost as though muffled through a heavy fog or snow (although it was only September). I got to the bus stop on a major road, no one was there, this despite the fact that this was the standard stop for school children and should have been busy.

I stood at the bus stop for about ten minutes, and became increasingly aware that something was 'wrong, or out of place' .... I felt dislocated. Across the road there was a very large horse chestnut tree (the whole area where I then lived had been part of the parked  garden estate surrounding Manley Hall, which had been occupied by a Lord Egerton until he became a bankrupt, so all the trees were mature), and as I stared, I became aware that it looked odd, as though it had been pruned. As soon as I had this thought, the sound suddenly cranked up, almost in a whoosh, people appeared, and cars poured along the road again.

All this was so vivid an event, that even now, decades later, I can recall it with almost total clarity .... my only explanation, both then and now, was that I had moved to the very boundary of where I could transition naturally, and that the fact that a tree that was over a hundred years old, suddenly looked strange, was an indicator that I had been on the cusp of another version of the Earth. I don't attribute this to any mystical event, but rather the evidence of physics at work ..... and of course there are other explanations available for all of this, but the one detailed above, is the one that I have felt best fitted how it all felt at the time.

Additional:

By one of those strange coincidences that really make you wonder .... the BBC Radio 4 Extra is this week running a serialisation of  'Undone' written by Ben Moor .... which uses a sci-fi theme of parallel universes .

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