Parallel Universes   Leave a comment

I was recently reading a web fiction blog/novel called Mehpi. If you are a fan of HP Lovecraft, horror, Slenderman/ The Fear Mythos, Doctor Who, or just a good story in general, it is worth checking out. The author is currently editing it, and then they will take it down when they get a publishing deal. So there’s a time limit too. Check it out and come back here when you are done.

There was a part of the story that sparked a thought in my head, and so I wrote about it below. Spoiler free of course.

In the story, the main character is asked about parallel universes. For those who don’t know, the idea behind parallel universes is that for every decision a human makes, there are two or more possibilities. Lets use a fork in the road as an example. There is a left path and a right path, or two possibilities. At that moment, two universes are created. One where you decided to go left, and one where you went right instead.

According to the theory, that happens for every single decision made for every single person, in every part of the world, through all parts of time. Effectively there would be infinite universes, some only varying slightly from our universe here. Others completely different in every way. As any sci-fi nerd knows, it creates some fun thoughts.

So the main character is asked about them, and she starts to use a coin flip as an example. (One universe for heads, and one for tails.) She is interrupted, and the thing she is talking to tells her this (paraphrasing of course):

A coin flip is not an example of a breaking point in universes. A single coin flip is irrelevant. It is predetermined by the force applied to it, the spin imparted on it, the strength of the person flipping it, the wind in the room, etc. Nothing the coin has or does changes anything, and neither does the person. People are much more irrelevant to time than they’d like to pretend.

That got me thinking about free will again. As in, do we really have any? Removing the idea of a higher power, a soul ,or anything else like that, could things just be predetermined?

Our thoughts are electrical impulses. When those impulses fire, they stimulate different parts of our brains, and make us think and feel certain ways. We make decisions based on those thoughts and feelings, which affect others, and cause their electrical impulses to fire in specific ways. This chain goes on throughout human experience, until the end of time.

With that in mind, everything I did I was supposed to do, because my brain was shaped in the right way to make my impulses travel in the exact way they needed to in order to make me react that way. Hitler would have always been Hitler. Lincoln would have always been president, and was destined to always die by John Wilkes Booth. Our descendent’s lives are predetermined before they are even conceived.

The really creepy thing is that parallel universe theory still works, but in a much darker way. Electrons still follow the uncertainty principle, and as the character in the story points out, an electron could take a different path, and then the sun would never come to existence. In a more personal sense, the electrons causing my impulses could spark along a different path, causing me to act in a different way. Same amount of universes, but without any control on my part, or any real way to stop it. We are all predestined to choose the left path, yell at that person, steal that gum, etc. But at the same time, we are just one electron away from not existing, or becoming an axe murder.

Really makes you think, doesn’t it?

-Shaman

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