Thursday, July 12, 2007

Many lives in many worlds

From the bird perspective, Everett's multiverse is simple. There is only one wavefunction, and it evolves smoothly and deterministically over time without any kind of splitting or parallelism. The abstract quantum world described by this evolving wavefunction contains within it a vast number of classical parallel storylines (worlds), continuously splitting and merging, as well as a number of quantum phenomena that lack a classical description. From their frog perspective, observers perceive only a tiny fraction of this full reality, and they perceive the splitting of classical storylines as quantum randomness.

(Via Reality Carnival.)

I suspect the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) will prevail -- assuming our universe is predicated on quantum physics. Some thinkers (such as Rudy Rucker) hold that quantum phenomena might not be "deep" enough and could mask a more primal mathematical underpinning.

Let's have an informal vote. What do you think? Are other versions of you reading different blogs at this very moment? Is the MWI a valid assumption or somehow flawed? Feel welcome to leave a comment.


BoyintheMachine said...

Parallel universes most likely exist, but they probably are not staffed by an infinite number of replicas of ourselves. Our Universe is 15 billion years old. A lot of choices were possible in that 15 billion years, the smallest changes in the beginning could not only produce a universe devoid of human life, but devoid of any life, let alone matter.

Chris said...

I'm definitely in favor of the many worlds hypothesis because it allows us to completely do away with the strong anthropic principle, which I will never be able to feel comfortable with. With many worlds, we don't need to wonder why conditions in this universe "Just happen" to be ideal for life, because there are an infinity of other universes in which life is just as possible, or more so, while there are also an infinite number of universes that aren't suited for structure to emerge.

brett said...

I don't know how many people here watched Stargate SG-1, but the many-worlds universe the show takes place in is highly appealing to me.

To some, an infinite number of universes seems to violate Occam's Razor. I tend to think it actually makes things simpler.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe in the "many worlds" hypothesis. I think it is a way of rationalizing the existence of free will. If someone makes a different choice the whole universe will evolve differently, and thus different choices create different realities. I do not believe in this type of free will. All choices are a product of our original DNA and any external force that exerted its influence on the being formed from the DNA. I see no other force at work that would enable the kind of choice to create alternate universes.


Anonymous said...

I love playing with prisms and mirrors and seeing the images split a thousand duplicates, sometimes thinking which is the origina? can they see me? It doesnt really matter, as if we were assholes in this world ,we most likely are duplicate assholes in the other..a very comforting thought I might add..