All the Myriad Fermis

September 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

I don’t believe in a multiverse. And yes, that’s a pretty strong statement. So consider this an ad hoc thought experiment to see if one part of that belief is justified. As the name of this post implies, the idea is a product of joining some of the concepts from Larry Niven’s “All the Myriad Ways” (specifically, the company called Crosstime) and Fermi’s Paradox.

My assumptions are the following:

-An infinite multiverse exists that is the product of the continuous and infinite branching, the forks of which are formed when a decision/observation presents itself to a cognizant inhabitant of that universe, and the branching of which occurs when a decision is made. The resultant multiverse reflects at least one universe for all possible outcomes.

-There was a time, however brief, when this quantum multiverse was a single universe. Necessarily, that time would end with the creation/evolution of intelligent life (the appearance of the highest level of observer which we know to be possible). Therefore all branches of the multiverse are connected.

In our universe, we’re blissfully unaware of any other universes. After all, we don’t have the technology to leap from branch to branch. But suppose there is a sister-universe which has much more advanced technology—suppose, say, that in this particular sister-universe the computer was invented 1,000 years earlier or something of equal import happened that did not happen here. We can imagine this because, in a quantum multiverse, these sister-universes actually exist.

One of these sister-universes therefore has technology vastly superior to our own. This means that, in all likelihood, they would have a deeper understanding of the connections between the universes and may even be able to contact their siblings. Here’s the kicker—if such a thing is possible in just one universe, then the choice to utilize that technology for that purpose has been made in the affirmative for an infinite number of other universes. Not only that, but our universe must be the target of at least one of those universes even if it could choose just one universe to contact. Why? All of the choices have been made. We are a choice; we have been chosen. And at least one of those choices put the whatever-it-was close enough to earth to be detected/found.

So where is our sibling? Or, to put it in terms of Fermi’s paradox, why is the multiverse silent?

Yet it may be impossible to contact one branch from another, which of course does not disprove the multiverse theory. Those sister-universes may also be more technologically advanced than we are, but not yet capable of jumping from branch to branch in such a way that we could perceive them. (Not that these are the only possible explanations.) There is no answer to the first exception. To the second, we will only know with time.



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§ 2 Responses to All the Myriad Fermis

  • erdos0 says:

    This is a really neat post. I like the idea of adapting Fermi’s Paradox to the multiverse. While reading the post, I was thinking of the objections that you addressed at the end and, upon reaching the end, was glad to see your acknowledgement of these possible problems.


  • bombastic191 says:

    I have to agree with Jeremy.
    The idea of a multiverse implies the existence of infinite universes untouched by Jeremy’s chocolatey voice, and that’s infinity too many for me to fathom.


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