Wipe The Slate Clean With

The Mother of all Bombs!

Are you familiar with the concept of Modal realism? It is the philosophical approach to the physics idea of the multiverse theory which states that there are an infinite number of parallel dimensions or universes existing side by side, yet just out of reach from our own. While the concept of Modal realism has been around in philosophical circles for centuries, it did not obtain a large, respected following until physics theoreticians began seriously promoting the concept of a potential multiverse in recent years. New research has taken such speculation a step further. It is now believed that such parallel universes may not merely exist in some far off realm, but that it may be possible to map them, and perhaps someday access them from our location. Is this an example of science going too far, an arena of investigation that could one day lead to a disaster of unimagined proportions?

Over the past seven years physicists in London have explored multiverse theory by examining the nature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation present everywhere in space. This is the same radiation effect that contributes to the image of “snow” on a television set turned on, but not tuned to any broadcast channel. Their results have given increasing credence to the multiverse theory. The CMB has been shown to manifest patterns that suggest “bubble” universes outside of our own may have left evidence of contact with our universe as they formed.

One of the biggest assumed limitations of both Modal realism philosophy and multiverse theory physics has been the idea that, if such parallel worlds do indeed exist, they would be forever out of reach from our point of view. While science fiction writers and film makers love to use the concept to consider the potential ramifications of “leaping from universe to universe” (as an original Star Trek television series theme illustrated) scientists and philosophers have long held the view that this is patently impossible. Despite such practical scientific views for the foundation of reality, for decades popular entertainment from TV series like Sliders to Fringe and movies like 2011’s Another Earth, have suggested such an eventual capability will one day become possible by artificial or natural means. It appears real science is now catching up to such fictional potentialities.

The London researchers looking for the effects of contact between our universe and others as they form have so far found evidence of four disc shaped patterns at distinct locations in space that may be early evidence of the presence of bubble universes interacting with our own. How far of a step is this away from actually theorizing the means to travel from one universe to another, and eventually developing the means to do so? Science still thinks such travel is completely beyond reach. While this may hold true for a long time to come, such an assumption is strikingly similar to the now defunct belief that actually detecting the existence of such universes itself was impossible.

In the original Star Trek episode that dealt with this issue, “The Alternative Factor,” the alternate universe that Kirk and crew discovered was theorized to be composed entirely of antimatter. Any unrestricted contact between it and our universe was seen as so potentially catastrophic that existence itself (not just matter and energy on both sides of such a connection) would be destroyed. All life would not only come to an end under such contact, but so would the very nature of time itself, negating a past existence for both universes as well.

Developing the means to make such contact between diametrically opposite universes would be the ultimate doomsday weapon. If such a weapon were ever used, we would have no awareness of it, as we would cease to exist before such awareness could take place. It would be a form of mass suicide on an unprecedented scale.

Is such a technological possibility even remotely likely, even in the far future? Arthur C. Clarke, the famous science fiction writer, stated that all advances conform to three predictable laws that define how they take place. Clarke’s progression was that: First, any experienced researcher or scientist who stated that something is possible was most likely correct, but if he stated that something were impossible he or she would eventually be proved wrong. Second, Clarke believed that establishing true limits for what was indeed real required that experimentation be conducted on what was currently deemed to be an “impossible” goal. This would result in the achievement of his third law, that all such discoveries by such a dedicated process would advance society to the point that its technology would become indistinguishable from magic to more primitive generations.

The German philosopher Schopenhauer said the same essential thing more succinctly in the 18th century. His take on the idea of impossibilities was that: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

The early evidence for the existence of “bubble” universes that have made contact with our own is due to be more thoroughly verified soon by further analysis of data from the Planck telescope. Launched by the European Space Agency in 2009, the Planck telescope was specifically designed to observe the CMB. It’s current build up of data is due to be more fully released to the public in 2013. Regardless of the results it reveals, scientists looking into such newly discovered patterns in the CMB have stated that a whole new foundation for physics will need to be built to understand such evidence of the presence of other universes. Nevertheless, the same researchers involved suggest this early evidence offers profound implications for our understanding of what the actual limits to the cosmos are.

Humanity has long held parochial views about the impenetrable boundaries to nature. In the Middle Ages most human beings never traveled far beyond the confines of the villages they were born in. The Earth was believed to be flat, and unexplored sea regions on maps were illustrated with monsters and the warning that “here lie dragons.”  Such beliefs today seem laughably primitive, while experienced scientific authorities still hold to the view that our vast and complex physical universe is the one and only reality there is.

Other concepts of a greater foundation to existence are seen as mere speculation, or the fantasies of religion and mystical New Age thinkers. Yet science has continually proved Clarke and Schopenhauer’s principles to be right in every arena it has touched. If we prove that other universes exist, how long will it be before someone takes such a discovery and weaponizes it?

Setting off such a device would itself create a logical paradox with no logical solution. By eliminating its own past in the process of destroying time, how could such a weapon ever be built in the first place? Even Spock knew however that logic had its limits, and such an explosion between universes would result in the “end of everything, civilization, existence, all gone.” 

Such a doomsday weapon would truly be the “Mother of all Bombs” as men like Saddam Hussein might have described it. And such a device would give a whole new meaning to the concept of having “a finger on the button.” Keeping this ultimate doomsday weapon and the knowledge of how to build such weaponry out of the hands of the insane would prove to be the single most important task of all intelligent life. It would become an all consuming passion for future generations, a task that would have to eventually prove futile by imperfect human beings, resulting in an end to all that ever was, or could be. So, should we be researcing the existence of parallel universes at all? Every weapon humanity has ever invented has been used...