“Science is more amazing than science fiction.”–Brian Greene
As much fun as it is to speculate about alternate or parallel universes, many have said to me, it is silly to even try if there is no way to prove or disprove their existence. You might as well speculate on how many angels can pirouette on the head of a pin. Because there is no empirical means of proof. Or is there? In the last couple of weeks I have seen not one, but two suggestions that physical evidence may have indeed been found for the existence of alternate planes of reality. And they point to two distinctly different types of alternate universes. The ideas behind them are not new…but growing evidence is beginning to support the possibility–if not the absolute proof–that they are real. The first is in the microwave background radiation–the infant footprint of the early universe if you will. Brilliant and controversial physicist Roger Penrose now asserts that circles in the background radiation–anomalies that should not exist by any known cause within our current universe–are proof of a cyclical universe with repeated big bangs. One might call this a serial, rather than parallel, multiverse. It turns out, though, that this also is possible evidence for the “bubble” multiverse theory discussed by Brian Greene in the video linked below. His most recent book, The Hidden Reality, is a discussion of the current state, in theory and possible practice, of the various multiverse concepts.
A second possible proof, of a different type of multiverse (and let’s not forget that Max Tegmark defines four different levels of multiverse) has also been in the news again recently. It suggest an alternate universe described by M-Theory, where another universe may sit in a higher dimensional space infinitesimally close to us, yet unable to interact in any way. Except one, that is. Gravity. And some astrophysicists interpret otherwise unexplained gravitational influences in the cosmos as possible proof of this theory.
Where do I stand on this? As stated in my post on possibilianism, I prefer possibilities to certainties; it makes existence far more interesting. But I must admit: I am secretly wishing to be able to travel to a parallel universe where that library book I forgot to return in 1989 isn’t 24 years overdue.