June 7th, 2008 | shivering sands
Today we learned that our universe may well have "bubbled off" from a previous one. That, in fact, our universe may well be nothing but one of a chain of entire serial realities. Or, perhaps, universes cluster like frogspawn in the pondwater of some unimaginable hyperreal superfluid:
Their model suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously from apparently empty space. From inside the parent universe, the event would be surprisingly unspectacular…"a universe could form inside this room and we’d never know".
This apparently has a further implication: that the Big Bang (from our end — obviously an inaudible farting sound on the other end) of bubbling off from a previous universe meant that our universe emerged in ordered condition, rather than accidental chaos. This preserves the Second Law Of Thermodynamics, which says that systems progress from order to disorder, which explains why time runs in one direction. Serial universes explain the arrow of time.
In my slightly whiskied state tonight, this also suggests to me that time never ends. There was time before the very beginnings of the universe, and there will be time after the end of our universe. All the time in the world. Also, check this out:
Detailed measurements made by the satellite have shown that the fluctuations in the microwave background are about 10% stronger on one side of the sky than those on the other. Sean Carroll conceded that this might just be a coincidence, but pointed out that a natural explanation for this discrepancy would be if it represented a structure inherited from our universe’s parent.
Let me repeat that bit. The universe may have an inherited structure. Like a RepRap machine, a self-replicating object. Turn this one around in your head tonight: what if a universe is a thing that builds more universes? Or a postbiological animal that reproduces more universes in n-dimensional space?
We learn stuff like this every single day. Every single goddamned day a new idea just falls out of the sky.
Who’d want to live anywhere else?