The Existence of Parallel Universes

April 5, 2018
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Parallel universes are the mirrored version of our universe but in other dimensions that closely resemble each other. This type of universe is just an example of all the different types of possible existing universes; scientists have always argued over the existence of other worldly dimensions. The scientists that have researched this and do believe in their existence, eventually all route back to the same general conclusion: “Space is infinite. Within any finite volume of space, however, matter and energy can be arranged in only a finite number of ways. So if you carve space into enough same-sized regions, sooner or later they will start repeating themselves”(Seife). This means that in general, infinite space could not possibly exist without the consequence of the repeating dimensions and universes. This is the start of what makes parallel universes a true possibility.

One item of proof for their existence would be that space is infinite and since the idea of something that goes on forever is so “difficult to grasp”, then it is not completely unreasonable to think of the the idea that space can create other extensions of itself. Charles Seife mentions in his article about parallel universes that Albert Einstein created theories that would explain the shape of our universe which would explain if the universe is infinite. His theory proposed that there are three different possible shapes of the universe: curved “like a ball”(“which is "closed" and has a finite volume”), warped in a “sadel” type shape, which would consist of odd deformities, and flat (flat universes are the infinite universes) (Seife). Since most research assumes that the universe has a flat shape, then as far as we know, we can assume that as an infinite universe exists so does the possibility of “other” universes.

Many theories have been proposed to explain the possibility parallel universes and one of those theories is the “string” theory. In Science & Spirit, William Orem discussed the theory, and it is simply explained, the universe is made of strings rather than particles and the theory also predicts the existence of “hidden space-time dimensions” which also leads to the argument of the existence of “other” universes. Orem used the “pancake universe” analogy and described humans that inhabit the universe as “chocolate chips”. We could interact with each other in our own universe, but not in neighboring universes (which would be another “pancake” metaphorically speaking) or even have knowledge of their existence. This brings us back to the “string” theory, which suggests that the universe is made up of strings (instead of pancakes) with the possibility of hidden dimensions and/or universes within those strings (Orem). Although this is still a theory, it is a logical possibility.
Another possibility for parallel universes to be real is to look at it through the religious perspective. Religions often claim that a supernatural being or beings created our universe (and any parallel universe) as well as how and why it works. First, there is no real evidence suggesting supernatural beings created the universe (for this we rely on “faith”) nor is there evidence against it (besides theories including the “big bang”). Some will argue that religion has nothing to do with the creation of other worlds: “Stephen Hawking's latest book explains that the positive energy of matter can be balanced by negative gravitational energy. The result is that universes are capable of creating themselves” (Williams). However, religion still gives evidence for parallel universes to exist within their own reasoning. If someone can believe that a supernatural god can create our world, why not believe he could create others? This shows how humans frequently choose to believe things without the presence of solid proof. This takes us back to our original argument, stating that infinite universes may have the repercussion of other dimensions being created within itself.

The Anthropic Principle is(Define) works alongside religion in that the universe was created with a purpose. In an article by Ronald Larson, he states that both theistic and atheistic researchers have had issues digesting the reasoning behind the Anthropic Principles suggestion that the universe is  “designed ” or “fine tuned” in a way that allows for the existence of life. “Whoever takes anthropic reasoning to be scientific will have difficulty maintaining the claim that design, or at least apparent design, is nonscientific.” This is where religion tends to tie in and raise the questions of design ,which conflict with the concept of parallel universes because it conflicts with the scientific reasoning of the multiverse itself. 

Nature has a tendency to repeat itself whether it be the pattern of scales on a fish or the formation of clouds, they all have the same basic structure and appearance, but still differ in some way. If this applies to all nature, then it is not completely ridiculous to think that our universe could repeat itself, creating parallel universes that mimic other universes with slight differences. Though all “evidence” that suggest the existence of parallel universes remain theory, common sense and the perspective of the natural world allows us to make the inference that our universe is only one of many.

Works Cited
Larson, Ronald. "Design or the Multiverse?" Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, vol. 63, no. 1, 2011, p. 42+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 24 Jan. 2018.
Orem, William. "The World on a String: in the 1970s, a Promising Scientific Model, Promoting Parallel Universes and Extra Dimensions, Seemed Destined to Answer Some of the Most Fundamental Questions Tormenting Theoretical Physicists. But in Thirty Years, it has Failed to Produce a Single New Prediction that can be Tested Experimentally. If the Theory has Illuminated Anything, It May be How Little We Truly Know About the Cosmic Landscape that Surrounds Us." Science & Spirit, vol. 17, no. 6, 2006, p. 28+. Academic OneFile. Accessed 24 Jan. 2018.
Seife, Charles. "Physics Enters the Twilight Zone: Parallel Universes have Launched a Thousand Bad Science-Fiction Plots. Now Mainstream Physicists and Cosmologists are Arguing that They are Both Useful and, in an Infinite Cosmos, Inevitable." Science, vol. 305, no. 5683, 2004, p. 464+. General OneFile. Accessed 22 Jan. 2018.
Williams, Andrew Zak. "The Nature of Great Coincidences." The Humanist, Jan.-Feb. 2011, p. 39+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Accessed 23 Jan. 2018.

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