Hitting The "Cosmic Jackpot"
by: Dan Shanefield
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In Meditation 447 ("Another Alternative To Intelligent Design"), I claimed to be proposing a "new and rarely-mentioned" explanation of the existence of our amazingly improbable form of life. I said maybe there are so many co-existing universes that one of them just happens to contain the strange combination of circumstances necessary for life. I'm sorry to have claimed it was a new idea, because it's actually pretty old. In wikipedia.org, you'll find by searching for "Multiverse" that the idea has been kicking around for quite a while, in science fiction and also among well-established professors of theoretical physics, as well as among deep thinkers of various religious persuasions.
When I happened to think of this myself, I considered it to be maybe just too "spooky" for anyone who is really serious about these ideas. But establishment physics has become pretty spooky also (as I discussed in my Meditation 461, and in fact, Einstein even used the word "spooky"), so what else is new? (Sorry to be so "recursive" [i. e., repetitious], but I've only recently found all these connections.)
It's almost as spooky as the miracles in the Bible, but at least it's partly supported by experiments. I happen to have repeated a few of those experiments myself ("tunneling" and "entanglement") before retiring from laboratory science. (Quantum physics "yes," but multiverses "no.") Do I believe? Well, regarding multiverses, I'm still an agnostic. But it's worth considering, as an explanation of improbable DNA, and life here on earth.
At any rate, readers who are not repulsed by this crazy-sounding stuff might be interested in a serious new book about the subject of multiverses, and how the fantastically-improbable structure of DNA might have occurred by chance alone (discussed to some extent in my Meditations 626 and 627). The book, by conventional physicist Paul Davies, is "Cosmic Jackpot," Houghton Mifflin, year 2007. It contains lots of easy-to-read explanations of modern physics concepts, in addition to its main discussions.