Discussion Board

Topic: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: Ethan Bradford
Location: Seattle
Date: 05/12/2007

Also inspired by your talk at Google, I wanted to point you to an interesting article by cosmologist Max Tegmark on parallel universes: http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/multiverse.pdf.

His most salient point was that any internally consistent set of mathematical equations effectively defines a "Universe", and if we can think them up, they exist, so in a sense any Universe with a consistent set of internal laws exists.

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/14/2007

Hmm! Sounds like a mathematical variation of L. Sprague de Camp's classic Harold Shay stories, found in THE INCOMPLETE ENCHANTER and THE CASTLE OF IRON. De Camp imagined that all of literature posits alternate real universes--which can be visited, under the right circumstances!

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 05/14/2007

Well, that's assuming cognition or consciousness is some measure of the universe.

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/14/2007

Of course. As far as I know, only conscious beings measure things... The most tangled problem in epistemology!

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: Howard E. Miller
Location: Augusta, GA
Date: 05/23/2007

Thinking about this has led me to think of several questions:

1. Why does our universe only have 3 or 5 or 11 dimensions? Why not an infinite number?

2. What's more likely: a finite number of universes or an infinite number?

3. If there are an infinite number of universes, and an infinite amount of time, won't we appear at some other time and some other place, remembering this lifetime? It doesn't seem likely, but in an infinite amount of time, everything that can possibly happen, will. Over and over.

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/28/2007

This is the sort of stuff that has intrigued SF writers for generations now. Often, physicists will stand back from the more overt implications of their theories--multiple universes, sum-over-history, observer-based reality, etc.--and say that while the math seems to work just fine, some of the most spectacular of the implications should be discarded... I'm not so sure that's necessary, or even helpful.

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 05/28/2007

I think it's contextual. That all things are possible doesn't mean they're all possible in this frame of reference our species, at least at large, are familiar with. And this could be the case for our universe. The again, it could be as the new-agists portend, that such things are a matter of perception, informed by level of consciousness.

Following Greg's last, I think it's healthy for scientists to think beyond their boundary conditions, while at the same time keeping perspective, not for any social reasons (and the science community has its own vanity fair aspect), but relative to what they're involved in at any given time. This is an old proverb.

Re: Great article on parallel universes, and universes from description.

From: Creel
Location: South Carolina
Date: 06/16/2007

You should read "Physics of Immortality", by Frank Tipler. As far as it relates to Epistemology and eternal life it is a great read from a Quantum physics perspective.

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