Napping in the Multiverse

There must be other universes containing me,
as there must be intelligent life elsewhere.
Imagining one such universe as I napped
in Earth’s sunlight under the blue dome,
I saw myself waking, rested, happy, smiling.

Straight from the Internet (a kind of multiverse, perhaps) comes this information: The multiverse is a hypothetical group of multiple universes that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, energy, information, and the physical laws and constants that describe them. The different universes within the multiverse are called “parallel universes”, “other universes”, “alternate universes”, or “many worlds”.

This all sounds like cutting-edge theorizing, but Ancient Greek Atomism proposed that infinite parallel worlds arose from the collision of atoms. In the third century BCE, the philosopher Chrysippus suggested that the world eternally expired and regenerated, suggesting the existence of multiple universes across time. William James used the term “multiverse” in 1895 but in a different context. In 1952, Erwin Schrödinger (of popular cat fame) gave a lecture in which he warned his audience that what he was about to say might “seem lunatic.” He said that his equations seemed to describe several different histories and these were “not alternatives, but all really happen simultaneously.” This sort of duality is called “superposition.”

Cosmic Dawn

Early this morning – what most call night –
I looked to the sky and saw
just a few stars against the blackness
that is not empty but still unseen.
It’s out there. I’m searching for signals.

In my poem, I am searching for more than just stars out there in the universe. But, in cosmology, the cosmic dawn is the first light from the most ancient stars in the observable Universe. That light would have to have traveled for nearly 14 billion years to reach Earth. These are numbers so large that they are incomprehensible – at least to me. The light is also too faint to view directly with ordinary telescopes, but radio astronomers have been looking for an indirect effect, using the spectrum of radio waves. It was thought that they had found that first light, but now there is some doubt.

The Index of Forbidden Books

One was written by a believer, 1632 –

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems – 

really an argument between the Catholic Church

and Galileo, convicted of heresy for saying

that Earth is not the Universe’s center.


Galileo's trial

Galileo Galilei  pushes away the Bible at his trial for heresy by the Inquisition in Rome in 1633.  by Roberto Francesco Romolo Bellarmino