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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Universal Musings

Consider the following:

If the universe is indeed infinite, then there can be no less than an infinite number of planets to fill that infinite space (although the infinite number of planets will be much smaller than the infinity of space; go figure...somehow fractals, Cantor sets, or Fermi paradoxes figure into all this). This would mean that somewhere out there, there is an exact copy of Earth. Actually, there could be many many copies of Earth.

If the universe is infinite, this means that there are infinite possibilities. Somewhere out there is someone who is 75% of your genetic makeup. Someone out there is 100% of your genetic makeup, but looks slightly different. Someone out there, is 100% of your genetic makeup and looks exactly like you. Identical twins need not gloat and flaunt their astronomical improbability of having an exact genetic copy that they gestated with.

Somewhere in the hypothetical infinite universe is a world just like Earth, except people all have 3 legs, politicians honest, and bureaucracies efficient. How improbable though...surely I jest.

Although there are potentially infinite exact copies of you, there would be an almost zero probability of ever finding your clones, because you'd probably travel all your life and never find them. There would be infinite copies of everyone you can't stand, but luckily you probably wouldn't be able to find them either.

For the record, I don't believe the universe is infinite. Just don't ask me what's on the edge of it ;) My total speculation is that if you went on and on in one direction, you'd eventually end up back where you started. Allow me to illustrate. Think about a circle and a being that exists in only one dimension. The only directions he's ever moved are backward and forward (what a boring life). If that being traces the circle, he perceives to just be going on and on, but eventually, due to the 2nd dimension that he can't perceive, he comes back to the starting point.

Now extrapolate to three dimensions. If you put a two dimensional being (nothing but left/right, forward/backward for this guy) on the surface of a ball and had him walk in one direction, he would eventually come back to his starting point. He would have no idea how he got back there, as in his perception, he would've had to turn left or right to get back to his starting position.

Now extrapolate to three dimensional beings like us. We can move left/right, forward/back, and up/down. I speculate that the universe could be a sort of 4 dimensional sphere. This would mean that if you were to get on a spaceship and go on and on in a straight line, the 4th spatial dimension would somehow get you back to start point. Of course, we have no idea what "direction" this dimension would be......"in/out?"

When I was still in college, these sorts of discussions were common, sometimes taking place during idle chatter, and sometimes before/after church in the GT church group that I was in.

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