Infinity Plus One
I don’t know if you keep up with theoretical physics, but there are some crazy theories about our universe out there. Some have me thinking about infinity. People a lot smarter than I am say the craziest thing about infinity is how big it really is. Even if you don’t enjoy following the science, you’ve probably heard of the infinite monkey theorem that states even a monkey spending an infinite amount of time hitting random keys on a typewriter will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. My basic understanding of the theory is this; it supposes, given a random sequence of letters that continues for infinity, all possible combinations of sequences will exist. Since all possible combinations will exist, the combination that spells out Shakespeare’s complete work will exist in it’s appropriate order. Expanding from there, not only will there be Shakespeare’s work, but every other work of literature ever written and every combination in between.
Now take infinity and add parallel universes and you basically got the Many-worlds interpretation (MWI):
The fundamental idea of the MWI, going back to Everett 1957, is that there are myriad of worlds in the Universe in addition to the world we are aware of. In particular, every time a quantum experiment with different possible outcomes is performed, all outcomes are obtained, each in a different world, even if we are only aware of the world with the outcome we have seen. Vaidman, Lev. “Many-Worlds Interpretation….” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 24 Mar. 2002. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.
How crazy is it to imagine for every decision we’ve ever made, there could be a parallel universe in which we’ve done something different? If we apply that same concept of infinite time from the monkey theorem with the concept of an infinite (or near infinite) number of parallel universes with alternate outcomes, it becomes quite the set of possibilities; however, if we’re really living in a multiverse in which all possible combinations are playing out in parallel space-time, we can all comfortably assume there is at least one place in time in which we are meeting our own mortal demise mid-coitus.