The Multiverse is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. It is often a major topic in Science Fiction and occasionally in Fantasy.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has, in what we laughingly call the past, had a great deal to say on the subject of parallel universes. Very little of this is, however, at all comprehensible to anyone below the level of Advanced God, and since it is now well established that all known gods came into existence a good three-millionths of a second after the Universe began rather than, as they usually claimed, the previous week, they already have a great deal of explaining to do as it is and are therefore not available for comment on matters of deep physics at this time.
- That what is outside is infinite, leads people to suppose that body also is infinite, and that there is an infinite number of worlds. Why should there be body in one part of the void rather than in another? Grant only that mass is anywhere and it follows that it must be everywhere. Also, if void and place are infinite, there must be infinite body too, for in the case of eternal things what may be must be.
- Aristotle, Physics Bk III.4, Hardie and Gaye.
- For if they imagine infinite spaces of time before the world, during which God could not have been idle, in like manner they may conceive outside the world infinite realms of space, in which, if any one says that the Omnipotent cannot hold His hand from working, will it not follow that they must adopt Epicurus’ dream of innumerable worlds? with this difference only, that he asserts that they are formed and destroyed by the fortuitous movements of atoms, while they will hold that they are made by God’s hand, if they maintain that, throughout the boundless immensity of space, stretching interminably in every direction round the world, God cannot rest, and that the worlds which they suppose Him to make cannot be destroyed. ...neither does it follow that we should suppose that God was guided by chance when He created the world in that and no earlier time, although previous times had been running by during an infinite past, and though there was no difference by which one time could be chosen in preference to another. But if they say that the thoughts of men are idle when they conceive infinite places, since there is no place beside the world, we reply that, by the same showing, it is vain to conceive of the past times of God’s rest, since there is no time before the world.
- Once you take seriously that all possible universes can (or do) exist then a slippery slope opens up before you. It has long been recognised that technical civilisations, only a little more advanced than ourselves, will have the capability to simulate universes in which self-conscious entities can emerge and communicate with one another. ...if we live in a simulated reality we should expect occasional sudden glitches, small drifts in the supposed constants and laws of Nature over time, and a dawning realisation that the flaws of Nature are as important as the laws of Nature for our understanding of true reality.
- John D. Barrow, "Living in a Simulated Universe" (2007) also see "Glitch," New Scientist (June 7, 2003)
- A challenge for string theorists is to determine how many possible low energy worlds might be predicted by the theory. ...some estimates put the total at more than 10500. ...an abstract multidimensional "landscape of possibilities." ...If our universe is part of a multiverse, the balance of probability shifts dramatically in favor of simulation. Its a matter of basic statistics. ...The simulated beings stand in the same relation to the simulating system as human beings stand in relation to the God (or gods) of traditional religion. ...Since the multiverse argument is often invoked as a way to abolish the need for divine providence, it is ironic that it provides the best scientific argument for the existence of god! Clearly, if a multiverse exists, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that at least some universes containing observers are the products of designer-creator gods.
- Paul Davies, Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe is Just Right for Life (2007)
- Perhaps existence isn't something that gets bestowed from the outside, by having "fire breathed" into a potentiality by some unexplained fire-breathing agency (that is, a transcendent existence generator) but is ...something self-activating. I have suggested that only self-consistent loops capable of understanding themselves can create themselves, so that only universes with (at least the potential for) life and mind really exist.
- Paul Davies, Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe Is Just Right for Life (2007)
- Anaximander gave up the idea that water or any other known substance might be the first principle, and held that this is of the nature of the infinite, that is, matter without any determinate property except that of being infinite. All things are developed out of this and return to it again, so that an infinite series of worlds have been generated and have in turn become again resolved into the abstract mass.
- But were this world ever so perfect a production, it must still remain uncertain, whether all the excellencies of the work can justly be ascribed to the workman. If we survey a ship, what an exalted idea must we form of the ingenuity of the carpenter who framed so complicated, useful, and beautiful a machine? And what surprise must we feel, when we find him a stupid mechanic, who imitated others, and copied an art, which, through a long succession of ages, after multiplied trials, mistakes, corrections, deliberations, and controversies, had been gradually improving? Many worlds might have been botched and bungled, throughout an eternity, ere this system was struck out; much labour lost; many fruitless trials made; and a slow, but continued improvement carried on during infinite ages in the art of world-making. In such subjects, who can determine, where the truth; nay, who can conjecture where the probability, lies; amidst a great number of hypotheses which may be proposed, and a still greater number which may be imagined?
- As regards the objection that possibles are independent of the decrees of God I grant it of actual decrees (although the Cartesians do not at all agree to this), but I maintain that the possible individual concepts involve certain possible free decrees; for example, if this world was only possible, the individual concept of a particular body in this world would involve certain movements as possible, it would also involve the laws of motion, which are the free decrees of God; but these, also, only as possibilities. Because, as there are an infinity of possible worlds, there are also an infinity of laws, certain ones appropriate to one; others, to another, and each possible individual of any world involves in its concept the laws of its world.
- Gottfried Leibniz (May, 1686) as quoted in George R. Montgomery, Tr., "Correspondence between Leibniz and Arnauld," Leibniz: Discourse on metaphysics; correspondence with Arnauld, and Monadology (1916) VIII, p. 108
- The halls rose in a pyramid, becoming even more beautiful as one mounted towards the apex, and representing more beautiful worlds. Finally they reached the highest one which completed the pyramid, and which was the most beautiful of all: for the pyramid had a beginning, but one could not see its end; it had an apex, but no base; it went on increasing to infinity. ...because amongst an endless number of possible worlds there is the best of all, else would God not have determined to create any; but there is not any one which has not also less perfect worlds below it: that is why the pyramid goes on descending to infinity. ...We are in the real true world (said the Goddess) and you are at the source of happiness.
- A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock a leg to allow the sun to go past. Exactly why this should be may never be known. Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.
- The days followed one another patiently. Right back at the beginning of the multiverse they had tried all passing at the same time, and it hadn't worked.
- Those who assumed innumerable worlds, e.g., Anaximander, Leukippos, Demokritos, and, later on, Epicurus, assumed that they came into being and passed away ad infinitum, some always coming into being and others passing away.
- Desperation has led to a "dangerous" idea: perhaps we live in an anthropically selected universe. According to this view, we live in a multiverse ...it is not scientifically verifiable. ...it leads inevitably to a depressing end to science. ...it is far too early to be so desperate. This is a dangerous idea that I am simply unwilling to contemplate.
- Quinn Mallory: (To a government scientist) I've been sliding through an inter-dimensional wormhole seeing how many different ways people like you can screw up civilization!
- Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, Sliders "Fever"
- Quinn Mallory: [season one monologue/opening] What if you could find brand new worlds right here on Earth? Where anything is possible. Same planet, different dimension. I've found the gateway.
- Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, Sliders season 1 opening monologue
- Quinn Mallory: What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions. A world where the Russians rule America... or where your dreams of being superstar came true... or where San Francisco was a maximum-security prison. My friends and I found the gateway. Now the problem is... finding a way back home.
- Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, Sliders season 2 opening monologue
- Do parallel universes exist? We don't know, uhm parallel universes are losing favor to the multiverse we have some cogent theoretical expectations that our universe might be just one of many spawned from this, sort of, this hyper-dimensional medium which we'll call the multiverse there's no data to support it but we have good theoretical premise to think that it's there and we have philosophical precedent we used to think Earth was special and unique. It wasn't, we got 8 .. 9 .. 8 planet we thought the Sun was special it's one of a hundred billion suns, the galaxy's special, no there's a hundred billion galaxies we have one universe or do we? The track record said why should there only be one? be open to the possibility that you don't live in the majority looking? universe that's out there Would a separate universe .. when you say "different universe" slightly different laws of physics which (that's what I'm asking) oh this is the fun part because if you find, if you manage to get a portal to another universe don't be the first one to volunteer to go through because your atoms are working in this universe if a slightly different law of physics.. you could implode, explode come out with three heads who knows?