Saturday, January 3, 2009

Polls Archive 27- Only One Electron?

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll 27 - "Feynman was right - there is really only one electron in the universe, whizzing backwards and forwards within timelessness, and the trillions of identical electrons we see at any "now" are just that single electron over and over again."(Poll ended November 16 08. As you can see, the jury was so close on this one that we should probably declare it a tie.)

This poll question was connected to a number of blog entries created around the same time, some of which I will link to at the end of this entry.

When Michio Kaku's book Physics of the Impossible introduced me to Feynman's fascinating idea I felt a strong resonance, because it fits so nicely into the general thrust of this project. What I've been trying to get people to imagine is that there is a way of viewing and understanding reality which is outside of time and space, where everything happens simultaneously and all possible outcomes exist as potential. As mystical as that concept may appear to be, there are sound scientific reasons for supporting such an idea, and if ancient mysticism and modern cosmology happen to agree on something doesn't that only strengthen the argument for this being the truth?

There have also been some news stories lately that ask this question: do you believe in God, or do you believe in the multiverse? Here's a link to one of those stories:

Let's look at the opening paragraphs of the above article, which was written by Mark Vernon:

Is there a God or a multiverse? Does modern cosmology force us to choose? Is it the case that the apparent fine-tuning of constants and forces to make the universe just right for life means there is either a need for a "tuner" or else a cosmos in which every possible variation of these constants and forces exists somewhere?

This choice has provoked anxious comment in the pages of this week's New Scientist. It follows an article in Discover magazine, in which science writer Tim Folger quoted cosmologist Bernard Carr: "If you don't want God, you'd better have a multiverse."

Even strongly atheistic physicists seem to believe the choice is unavoidable. Steven Weinberg, the closest physics comes to a Richard Dawkins, told the eminent biologist: "If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning ... I think you'd really be left with only two explanations: a benevolent designer or a multiverse."

Imagining the Tenth Dimension, of course, fondly embraces the idea of a multiverse, the Many Worlds Interpretation as first proposed by physicist Hugh Everett III, and ultimately a concept known as the "omniverse" which blends together the many varying ways that the term "multiverse" can be used. It also places this quixotic goal for itself - is it really necessary to choose between God and the multiverse? Is there not a way where both can be shown to be different ways of describing the same thing?

Here are some of my past blog entries which explore the idea of everything being connected together, in the same way that Feynman fancifully imagined there being only one electron zooming back and forth within timelessness.

Elvis and the Electrons

A direct link to the above video is at

A Point Within the Omniverse

A direct link to the above video is at

You are Me and We are All Together

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Polls Archive 28 - Have You Ever Seen an Aura?

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