Episode 137: The Sci-Fi Christian in Parallel…Universes?

March 28, 2013

Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

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4 comments on “Episode 137: The Sci-Fi Christian in Parallel…Universes?

  1. Palindrome Apr 1, 2013

    About the time thing, we are present through all of time after we come into existence, but time is a four dimensional object and we are three dimensional beings, so we can only maneuver through time and understand time in a three dimensional way. just like a being who could only perceive two dimensions would be able to interact with a three dimensional space but would only understand it as a two dimensional space.

  2. I see what you’re saying, Palindrome, but I disagree that we are not four dimensional beings. We are /limited/ four dimensional beings – able to travel through that fourth dimension, but in a direction and at a pace we are unable to control.

  3. Rhoetus Apr 21, 2014

    So much to say, must be as concise as possible… First, there is no possible way to travel between parallel universes. If the two universes could interact, they would, in fact, be a single universe, no matter how separated they are. Likewise, you couldn’t observe a parallel universe, for the same ontological reason. Second, the Ultimate Observer is a mental exercise whereby we imagine a being that could observe all things at all times simultaneously. So, this Ultimate Observer would be able to see each parallel universe and tell the differences between them. Likewise, the Ultimate Observer comes into time theory, whereby its time would be the real time, and our time would flow faster or slower dependent upon our movement through space. The Ultimate Observer’s space and/or time is the privileged space/time . Although, again, if there were an Ultimate Observer, that privileged space/time would be the universe, with these multiple parts that we mistakenly call “universes”. Now, the UO could be God, and at least as time is concerned, we would do well to think of God’s UO time to be the real time when we travel at different velocities, and thus experience time differently. If there were an actualized UO, that is: an Ultimate Observer that existed in reality, rather than just as a mental exercise, then we would be thrown, unambiguously onto Plantiga’s Ontological Argument for God’s existence, in that in any possible world, this being would exist, and would have to exist by necessity. Speaking of Possible Worlds, people often get parallel universes and possible worlds conflated. A possible world is a set of propositions that hold together logically. Thus, there could be a possible world wherein Matt and Ben were mortal enemies (there is no logical contradiction there) but in the actualized world (the real world) they are not (to my knowledge). In a possible world the cosmological constant is different, and molecules never formed. However, in the actualized universe they did, and we are fortunate enough to exist. So, parallel universes have the limit of the nearly infinite set of possible worlds, but it is not necessary that all possible worlds actualize into a parallel universe. It could be that there are parallel universes, and there are just two of them. …the difference between them might be as mundane as Ben smoking cigars instead of pipes…or as world shattering as the cosmological constant was different and the universe collapsed in the first moments of Planck time and is a singularity.
    Now…time travel and alternate timelines. I am of the opinion that if you could go back in time…you already did and the timeline is how it is because you did that. Maybe the Tunguska event was a person going back in time and their mass trying to coexist with the mass of the air that was there already. Maybe you going back and killing your “grandfather” is the catalyst that caused your grandmother to sleep with the guy who actually was your grandfather. Maybe by killing a young Adolph Hitler you allowed a con man to commit identity fraud and set up the Third Reich. A much bigger problem, for me, would be the space/velocity problem with time travel. Let us say that you traveled back in time a single hour. That would seem relatively painless, right? However, the ground under you has moved approximately 1000 miles in that hour…and that is only based on the earth’s rotation. Okay, so an hour is too great, let us go back a single milisecond. That should be fine, however, what if the movement through space is based off of the speed of the galaxy moving through the universe? Then you have just missed your mark by 3/4 of a mile. Which is not too bad as long as you land on the surface of the earth, but if you end up going too high or too low instead, you either fall to your death or bury yourself. …however, what about your momentum? Presumably you would stop moving as you leave the time stream… so then you smash into the earth at a couple million miles an hour…. or disintegrate as the atmosphere flies by you at significant deltaV…or watch the earth disappear into the void without you. Time travel without guided and precise space travel at the same time would appear to be an enormously risky venture.

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