The Multiverse is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. It is often a major topic in Science Fiction and occasionally in Fantasy.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has, in what we laughingly call the past , had a great deal to say on the subject of parallel universes. Very little of this is, however, at all comprehensible to anyone below the level of Advanced God, and since it is now well established that all known gods came into existence a good three-millionths of a second after the Universe began rather than, as they usually claimed, the previous week, they already have a great deal of explaining to do as it is and are therefore not available for comment on matters of deep physics at this time.
- For if they imagine infinite spaces of time before the world, during which God could not have been idle, in like manner they may conceive outside the world infinite realms of space, in which, if any one says that the Omnipotent cannot hold His hand from working, will it not follow that they must adopt Epicurus’ dream of innumerable worlds? with this difference only, that he asserts that they are formed and destroyed by the fortuitous movements of atoms, while they will hold that they are made by God’s hand, if they maintain that, throughout the boundless immensity of space, stretching interminably in every direction round the world, God cannot rest, and that the worlds which they suppose Him to make cannot be destroyed. ...neither does it follow that we should suppose that God was guided by chance when He created the world in that and no earlier time, although previous times had been running by during an infinite past, and though there was no difference by which one time could be chosen in preference to another. But if they say that the thoughts of men are idle when they conceive infinite places, since there is no place beside the world, we reply that, by the same showing, it is vain to conceive of the past times of God’s rest, since there is no time before the world.
- Once you take seriously that all possible universes can (or do) exist then a slippery slope opens up before you. It has long been recognised that technical civilisations, only a little more advanced than ourselves, will have the capability to simulate universes in which self-conscious entities can emerge and communicate with one another. ...if we live in a simulated reality we should expect occasional sudden glitches, small drifts in the supposed constants and laws of Nature over time, and a dawning realisation that the flaws of Nature are as important as the laws of Nature for our understanding of true reality.
- John D. Barrow, "Living in a Simulated Universe" (2007) also see "Glitch," New Scientist (June 7, 2003)
- A challenge for string theorists is to determine how many possible low energy worlds might be predicted by the theory. ...some estimates put the total at more than 10500. ...an abstract multidimensional "landscape of possibilities." ...If our universe is part of a multiverse, the balance of probability shifts dramatically in favor of simulation. Its a matter of basic statistics. ...The simulated beings stand in the same relation to the simulating system as human beings stand in relation to the God (or gods) of traditional religion. ...Since the multiverse argument is often invoked as a way to abolish the need for divine providence, it is ironic that it provides the best scientific argument for the existence of god! Clearly, if a multiverse exists, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that at least some universes containing observers are the products of designer-creator gods.
- Paul Davies, Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe is Just Right for Life (2007)
- But were this world ever so perfect a production, it must still remain uncertain, whether all the excellencies of the work can justly be ascribed to the workman. If we survey a ship, what an exalted idea must we form of the ingenuity of the carpenter who framed so complicated, useful, and beautiful a machine? And what surprise must we feel, when we find him a stupid mechanic, who imitated others, and copied an art, which, through a long succession of ages, after multiplied trials, mistakes, corrections, deliberations, and controversies, had been gradually improving? Many worlds might have been botched and bungled, throughout an eternity, ere this system was struck out; much labour lost; many fruitless trials made; and a slow, but continued improvement carried on during infinite ages in the art of world-making. In such subjects, who can determine, where the truth; nay, who can conjecture where the probability, lies; amidst a great number of hypotheses which may be proposed, and a still greater number which may be imagined?
- As regards the objection that possibles are independent of the decrees of God I grant it of actual decrees (although the Cartesians do not at all agree to this), but I maintain that the possible individual concepts involve certain possible free decrees; for example, if this world was only possible, the individual concept of a particular body in this world would involve certain movements as possible, it would also involve the laws of motion, which are the free decrees of God; but these, also, only as possibilities. Because, as there are an infinity of possible worlds, there are also an infinity of laws, certain ones appropriate to one; others, to another, and each possible individual of any world involves in its concept the laws of its world.
- Gottfried Leibniz (May, 1686) as quoted in George R. Montgomery, Tr., "Correspondence between Leibniz and Arnauld," Leibniz: Discourse on metaphysics; correspondence with Arnauld, and Monadology (1916) VIII, p. 108
- A tiny sun and moon spin around them, on a complicated orbit to induce seasons, so probably nowhere else in the multiverse is it sometimes necessary for an elephant to cock a leg to allow the sun to go past. Exactly why this should be may never be known. Possibly the Creator of the universe got bored with all the usual business of axial inclination, albedos and rotational velocities, and decided to have a bit of fun for once.
- The days followed one another patiently. Right back at the beginning of the multiverse they had tried all passing at the same time, and it hadn't worked.
- Desperation has led to a "dangerous" idea: perhaps we live in an anthropically selected universe. According to this view, we live in a multiverse ...it is not scientifically verifiable. ...it leads inevitably to a depressing end to science. ...it is far too early to be so desperate. This is a dangerous idea that I am simply unwilling to contemplate.
- Quinn Mallory: (To a government scientist) I've been sliding through an inter-dimensional wormhole seeing how many different ways people like you can screw up civilization!
- Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, Sliders "Fever"
- Quinn Mallory: [season one monologue/opening] What if you could find brand new worlds right here on Earth? Where anything is possible. Same planet, different dimension. I've found the gateway.
- Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, Sliders season 1 opening monologue
- Quinn Mallory: What if you could travel to parallel worlds? The same year, the same Earth, only different dimensions. A world where the Russians rule America... or where your dreams of being superstar came true... or where San Francisco was a maximum-security prison. My friends and I found the gateway. Now the problem is... finding a way back home.
- Tracy Tormé and Robert K. Weiss, Sliders season 2 opening monologue