Science Corner: They Did the Multiverse Mash

Illustration of multiverse bubbles interacting

An artist imagines the multiverse

The seemingly limitless possibilities promised by the idea of a multiverse are so captivating to the imagination that I doubt the idea will go away any time soon.  It’s only grown in popularity in spite of constant criticism that it is completely theoretical and untestable.  Most definitions of the multiverse would seem to explicitly rule out any human being ever interacting with another universe besides our own.  But now some scientists have proposed an observational test based on our universe interacting with other universes.

The basic idea is that if there are multiple universes, they would bump into each other eventually.  An event of such cosmic magnitude is likely to leave a mark; in this case, the mark is predicted to appear as specific circular patterns in the cosmic background radiation.  We’ve gotten pretty good at detecting that background radiation, and we continue to get better images of it, so it is plausible that if those circles are there, we could see them.

So — if the predicted circular patterns are found, would that convince you that we live in a multiverse?  If an exhaustive search for them is negative, would that cool your enthusiasm for the multiverse idea?  Do you think God’s infinite glory deserves worship in every possible variation, making the diversity of the multiverse seem necessary?  Does the idea of alternative universes imply to you that every Christian in this universe has an unbelieving doppelgänger elsewhere, clouding the hope of salvation?

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Andy Walsh

Andy has worn many hats in his life. He knows this is a dreadfully clichéd notion, but since it is also literally true he uses it anyway. Among his current metaphorical hats: husband of one wife, father of two elementary school students, reader of science fiction and science fact, enthusiast of contemporary symphonic music, and chief science officer. Previous metaphorical hats include: comp bio postdoc, molecular biology grad student, InterVarsity chapter president (that one came with a literal hat), music store clerk, house painter, and mosquito trapper. Among his more unique literal hats: British bobby, captain's hats (of varying levels of authenticity) of several specific vessels, a deerstalker from 221B Baker St, and a railroad engineer's cap. His monthly Science in Review is drawn from his weekly Science Corner posts -- Wednesdays, 8am (Eastern) on the Emerging Scholars Network Blog.

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