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Parallel Universes

copticorthodoxboy

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Hello All,

About a month ago I was watching an episode of the History channel's series "the Universe."  This particular episode focused on the possibility of there being parallel universes.  Here are links to the episode on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD1LhIm5ncI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WoXJ3IS1w8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7io2C41teNI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OfFEEOLDYk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxDgyeIe5zs&feature=related

If parallel universes do exist, how would this affect Orthodoxy (or any denomination of Christianity) and its teaching of one being judged by God after one dies.  Allow me to better explain myself.  One of the scientists puts forward the idea that within this universe of ours, George Bush is the president of the United States; but in another universe (if they do exist) it is possible that George Bush is commissioner of the NBL.  Going further, it could be suggested that in a parrallel universe Bush is an agnostic, in another a Muslim, another an atheist, etc.  Which Bush would be judged by God on Judgement Day?
 

Bogoliubtsy

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Watching this now. Fascinating stuff! I'm wary of these types of groundbreaking exposes though. Whenever I watch one on something I actually know about, it seems evidence is weirdly interpreted or just plain wrong. Perhaps if I knew more about this type of science I would consider the whole program bunk.

Anyway, if it does turn out to be true I'd say it blows a hole in Christian cosmology, the idea of a distinct soul separate from God, and salvation as we know it. As it stands, the vastness (or infinite nature) of the universe seems enough to turn away from an anthropocentric view of things, and thus a specifically Christian view. Who knows though, maybe the same thoughts went through the minds of the prelates who condemned Galileo.
 

Keble

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It's just science fiction. One could just as well say that it doesn't make sense to state that a person could be one thing in one dimension and a different thing in a different dimension, as they are really two different people.

The cosmologists have really gone out on a limb these days, and are throwing out all sorts of ideas for which they have no particular evidence. As a rule, it's pure speculation. Yeah, God could create multiple universes (whatever that means-- when you say that universe means "everything there is", it really doesn't make sense to talk about there being multiple universes), but seeing as how we don't know anything about them, much less whether they exist, we're clearly not anywhere near anything that has a religious significance.
 

stanley123

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coptic orthodox boy said:
Hello All,

About a month ago I was watching an episode of the History channel's series "the Universe."  This particular episode focused on the possibility of there being parallel universes.  Here are links to the episode on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD1LhIm5ncI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WoXJ3IS1w8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7io2C41teNI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OfFEEOLDYk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxDgyeIe5zs&feature=related

If parallel universes do exist, how would this affect Orthodoxy (or any denomination of Christianity) and its teaching of one being judged by God after one dies.  Allow me to better explain myself.  One of the scientists puts forward the idea that within this universe of ours, George Bush is the president of the United States; but in another universe (if they do exist) it is possible that George Bush is commissioner of the NBL.  Going further, it could be suggested that in a parrallel universe Bush is an agnostic, in another a Muslim, another an atheist, etc.  Which Bush would be judged by God on Judgement Day?
Some physicists do not accept Hawking's ideas on black holes and others see problems with the theory of dark matter, and as well many do not accept the theory of parallel universes.  Science is based on experimental evidence and I don't see the experimental evidence that  George Bush is commissioner of the NBL or is a Muslim? Overblown speculation, without the experimental evidence to support the theory, might be an indication that both the quantum theory and the general theory of relativity are not the last word and that both are in need of a general overhaul.
 

PeterTheAleut

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To my knowledge, the idea of parallel universes is nothing more than speculation--great stuff for Doctor Who, but it can hardly be considered anything truly scientific.  I mean, how will we ever be able to verify such a hypothesis that parallel universes exist?
 

Anastasios

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Person A: If science shows X, then that means Orthodoxy will be disproved.

Person B: Since Orthodoxy is true, it can't be disproved.

We may continue to grow in our understanding of God's creation, but the ultimate Truth is eternal and unchanging. I have no doubt that scientific discoveries will continue to deepen our appreciation and respect for God's creation and his wondrous works.
 

Jetavan

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coptic orthodox boy said:
Going further, it could be suggested that in a parallel universe Bush is an agnostic, in another a Muslim, another an atheist, etc.  Which Bush would be judged by God on Judgement Day?
Couldn't God exist in all parallel universes at all times? Each "Bush" would have to answer for his own sins.

 

copticorthodoxboy

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Jetavan

Yes, I suppose if there is a God it would be possible for this being to exist in all universes.  I suppose when I was watching the show, I somehow thought of all the various types of "Bush" (or you and me) were somehow connected; i.e. the same person in different dimensions. 
An entirely different scenerio concerns the Orthodox teaching on salvation.  If what the scientists were saying is true, that every possible outcome conceivable happens somewhere in a parrallel universe then hypothetically there is a universe that is void of salvation.  Allow me to explain.  In a particular universe Adam and Eve have fallen away from God's grace, and some 4000 years later when the angel Gabriel invites Mary to give birth to the Nazarene she declines.
However, as the other posters have stated, perhaps this is all just science fiction.  My intentions weren't to create doubt (which I don't think I've done), I just decided to post this question after about a month thinking about the possibilities of there being parrallel universes. 

Shawn 
 

Jetavan

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coptic orthodox boy said:
If what the scientists were saying is true, that every possible outcome conceivable happens somewhere in a parrallel universe then hypothetically there is a universe that is void of salvation. 
By "every possible outcome conceivable", do you mean there would be a universe where God could make a rock too heavy for him to lift?
 

stanley123

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Jetavan said:
By "every possible outcome conceivable", do you mean there would be a universe where God could make a rock too heavy for him to lift?
This is not a possible outcome, since it involves a contradiction, something like a square circle, or a barber who shaves everyone who does not shave himself.
 

Aristocles

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Keble said:
It's just science fiction. One could just as well say that it doesn't make sense to state that a person could be one thing in one dimension and a different thing in a different dimension, as they are really two different people.

The cosmologists have really gone out on a limb these days, and are throwing out all sorts of ideas for which they have no particular evidence. As a rule, it's pure speculation. Yeah, God could create multiple universes (whatever that means-- when you say that universe means "everything there is", it really doesn't make sense to talk about there being multiple universes), but seeing as how we don't know anything about them, much less whether they exist, we're clearly not anywhere near anything that has a religious significance.
Given your credentials, I appreciate this insight.
 

Fr. George

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Keble said:
It's just science fiction. One could just as well say that it doesn't make sense to state that a person could be one thing in one dimension and a different thing in a different dimension, as they are really two different people.

The cosmologists have really gone out on a limb these days, and are throwing out all sorts of ideas for which they have no particular evidence. As a rule, it's pure speculation. Yeah, God could create multiple universes (whatever that means-- when you say that universe means "everything there is", it really doesn't make sense to talk about there being multiple universes), but seeing as how we don't know anything about them, much less whether they exist, we're clearly not anywhere near anything that has a religious significance.
I'll ditto Αριστοκλή, thanks for the insight.

It seems inherently egomaniacal to postulate that there are exact (or nearly exact) replicas of ourselves in a (or more) parallel universe(s).
 

Keble

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Fr. Anastasios said:
Person A: If science shows X, then that means Orthodoxy will be disproved.

Person B: Since Orthodoxy is true, it can't be disproved.
Person B has not, however, refuted A; he has merely said that he will not listen. It's a loyal response, and it is perhaps the best tactic for those not equipped to argue back at soi-disant claims of science. But it isn't a persuasive response, not an evangelistic response.

I am confident that science cannot and does not disprove Christian religion. And I'm uninterested in pseudo-scientific speculations about what science might disprove. The scientific response to "If science shows X" is invariably "science hasn't shown X, so you are just speculating." But refusal to engage is concession of the field; one may be able to save onesself that way, but one cannot save others.
 

NorthernPines

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coptic orthodox boy said:
Hello All,

About a month ago I was watching an episode of the History channel's series "the Universe."  This particular episode focused on the possibility of there being parallel universes. 

If parallel universes do exist, how would this affect Orthodoxy (or any denomination of Christianity) and its teaching of one being judged by God after one dies.  Allow me to better explain myself.  One of the scientists puts forward the idea that within this universe of ours, George Bush is the president of the United States; but in another universe (if they do exist) it is possible that George Bush is commissioner of the NBL.  Going further, it could be suggested that in a parrallel universe Bush is an agnostic, in another a Muslim, another an atheist, etc.  Which Bush would be judged by God on Judgement Day?
There is also the "Farscape" theory (the theory given in the 4th season of Farscape, won't give it away for those who may want to watch the show in reruns etc) which I believe is more in line with what science presently knows about the universe that there are not 1000 different you or me's living a 1000 different lives, but rather we have the potential to have 1000 different lives by our choices or actions if time travel were possible....basically any parallel dimension isn't really in the sense of 'Sliders', but rather has to due to altering events in time that changes our present. ie: what would seem like an alternate universe, really comes about because we messed something up comsologically....like throwing a pebble in a pond, the further from the stone, the greater the ripples. (the 'back to the future' idea as it were)

Of course The 4th season of Farscape is way more complicated than that, and actually according to the writers they researched Einstein's theory of wormholes so it's at least plausible, but of course that has to do with wormholes and not alternate universes.... but in the end it's science fiction! :)

If the "Sliders" scenerio were true however, remember, even with all the different worlds they went to, thing's weren't always that different. Besides God would make a way for all the universes to be saved. I'd think there would however be "constants" just like in Sliders, where no matter how different things got, there were ALWAYS similiarities. If we did have twins in different universes (as in Sliders) then Judgement would be different for each of us......that's how I see it. I don't really see a problem.

Frankly I think a Narnia version of alternate universes is more likely than the Sliders version, all based on what "Einstein" explains in the 4th season of Farscape, which is actually loosely based on the real Einstein theory of relativity! :)

Fun topic....and yes, I'm a scifi geek! :)




 

chrevbel

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If what the scientists were saying is true, that every possible outcome conceivable happens somewhere in a parrallel universe then hypothetically there is...
This property has more to do with popular media than with scientific ideas of multiple universes.  Even when encountering the infinite, it doesn't logically follow that everything conceivable actually exists.  For example, consider the real numbers.  There are infinitely many of them.  And it's quite conceivable to imagine that some power of 3 (and there are infinitely many of those) is also a power of 2 (of which there are also infinitely many).  But no such number actually exists.

Likewise, it's perfectly conceivable that in some universe there is a Chrevbel who can ride a unicycle.  But even if an infinite number of universes did exist, it would say little about the actual existence of this other Chrevbel.

A similar thing occurred in the popular literature concerning quantum physics.  You have likely heard the example of a cat inside of a box, and the notion that quantum physics says that the cat is neither dead nor alive until you open the box.  The problem is that quantum physics says no such thing.  It's a neat idea and kind of illustrates a point, but it's a metaphor, not reality.
 

greekischristian

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This is nothing new, it's simply Hugh Everett's relative state (or as it's more commonly known many-worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics presented back in the 50's. If it is true, any possible quantum variation that can occur would occur. As for evidence, it's a mainstream intepretation, at least as good as the Copenhagen interpretation, but both are just models, neither proven. As for Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, they're not consistent, physicists have realized this since at least the 30's. What we do know is that they are an improvement on Classical Mechanics and more work needs to be done to unify the theories, probably work with QM since GR is fairly sound and based on extremly fundamental and basic observable assumptions.

However, I believe the best advice for this subject was given by Richard Feynman: 'shut up and calculate.'
 
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