A Parallel universe is a hypothetical universe that exists alongside our own. The ‘multiverse’ is simply the concept of multiple versions of these universes co-existing simultaneously, resulting in multiple planes of existence and different versions of reality.Me, just now
So we’re all familiar with the concept of parallel universes, right?
But the big question is, could parallel universes really exist?
Well – spoiler alert – the answer is yes! Parallel universes could most certainly really exist.
In fact, the concept is now so widely accepted by such a large number of physicists, that New Scientist describes the idea as no longer being controversial.
The idea of a parallel universe is something I’ve touched on (in a very lighthearted way, obvs) in my first children’s picture book, and an idea that I love to think about and ponder on.
And I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of the idea!
The concept of parallel universes (or the ‘multiverse’) is a massive recurring theme in science fiction films and books. And if you care to search for the term on YouTube you’ll find bijillions of vids discussing the idea and putting forward different theories and suggested evidence of their existence.
But the theory of parallel universes really isn’t just reserved for sci-fi enthusiasts and daydreamers!
In fact, there are many credible scientists who not only believe that parallel universes might exist, but who actually believe that it’s really very likely that they do.
Check out this short video for a quick explanation of the main theories of parallel universes, and how scientists are investigating them – it’s well worth a watch:
There is a kind of dividing line between the theory of multiple universes from a serious scientific point of view, and as a subject of science fiction and philosophical discussion.
That line is the fact that the idea of parallel universes is unfalsifiable.
In theory we could prove that parallel universes do exist. But assuming we don’t manage that, we can never prove that they don’t.
Our whole paradigm of scientific investigation rests on the ability to prove or disprove theories through experimentation.
So some scientists argue that the existence/non-existence of parallel universes isn’t a valid topic for scientific investigation, and is basically a big fat waste of time to study, because of the fact that you simply can’t prove that they don’t exist.
Personally though, I don’t really follow that logic.
My simple line of thought is that it’s silly to just stop investigating something because you can’t disprove it IF there are sound theories suggesting that the ‘thing’ in question is likely to exist AND that it could be proved to exist.
Especially if we’re talking about something that could be earth-shatteringly important.
To me that would equate to giving up, and is a bit of a lazy way of looking at the world really!
And the simple fact is that there are sound scientific theories supporting the existence of parallel universes.
Physicist Brian Greene kind of sums up the dilemma of investigating parallel universes…
“There are many of us thinking of one version of parallel universe theory or another. If it’s all a lot of nonsense, then it’s a lot of wasted effort going into this far-out idea. But if this idea is correct, it is a fantastic upheaval in our understanding.”Brian Greene, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos.
Which brings us to the question of why it even matters…
Who cares whether or not there’s a parallel universe, or a multiverse, or multiple worlds… or whatever version of parallel universe theory you care to mention?
Well, I do!
To me at least, it’s important for several reasons.
First of all, it would be the most earth-shattering, mind-blowing, game-changing discovery ever to be made. So, there’s that.
Plus, if we worked out how to discover parallel universes, doing so would surely mean taking huge leaps in scientific theory, methodology and knowledge. Even just the process of trying to make the discovery is going to lead to massive scientific advances – which can themselves branch off in other directions to help make other fascinating discoveries.
And then there’s the fact that we can’t even really begin to imagine what we could discover in parallel worlds and universes.
Maybe massive advances in technology, or new ways of organising society to live more peacefully? (Of course there’s also the possibility that there could be some not-so-great stuff going on in parallel worlds!)
But on a more down-to-earth kind of level, theres the fact that merely thinking about the idea and considering the different ways in which parallel universes could exist, opens our minds to new possibilities and shifts our view of the world ever so slightly.
And why is that a good thing?
Well, my thoughts are that anything that forces us to think in new ways and to be more openminded and imaginative just has to be a good thing!
Not least because when we do that it often opens us up to a broader view on life in general, which can help us to see the world from other peoples’ points of view more easily, and to think of more creative ways of living life.
Plus, if children have more opportunities to think in these ways, I believe it’ll help them to grow into even more creative, intelligent and open minded adults – which must surely be a good thing for all of our futures! (You know, the children are our future and all that…)
Which, as it happens, is one of the reasons I wanted to introduce the idea in my first children’s picture book – plus the fact that it’s just fun to think about.
So just while we’re on that subject, what do you imagine a parallel world, or parallel universes could look like?
Would they have all the same people in them, so every individual has a shared consciousness across all the universes, or could everyone be different? If you could travel to a parallel universe, would you go? If you could meet the ‘you’ there, would you? Or would that just kind of…. I don’t know, break everything?!
And if we did ever manage to work out how to travel to a parallel universe, could we choose which one we went to? Maybe our whole planet could travel to a parallel universe, and set up shop beside the planet Earth over there??!
Or, perhaps not.
Maybe the best we can hope for is for a scientific breakthrough that more or less proves the existence of parallel universes, but brings with it an understanding that we can’t actually go there.
And finally (well, for now anyway), maybe the idea that we might be living different versions of our lives in different worlds, might encourage us to make the best of this moment and this version of reality that we appear, for now, to be stuck in.
Or, maybe thinking about it too much will just drive us all crazy!!!
If you fancy having your mind blown just a little bit more, take a look at this post on Simulation Theory, which ties in very neatly with the idea of parallel universes.
Or check out this YouTube video which explains how, in some way, we could actually be travelling to parallel worlds on a daily basis!