What are the Ramifications of a Universe where Zayn Malik Still Sings with One Direction?

In what was obviously intended to be a light hearted interview, Physicist Stephen Hawking was interviewed last night at the Sydney Opera House where he was asked the gripping question, “What do you think is the cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world?" In a move obviously designed to keep the hopes of these millions of heart-broken girls intact, Hawking responded, “My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe—and in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction."

Ah, my heart is still aflutter. Zayn may still be with One Direction in another universe.

This is, of course, standard fare for the Multiverse crowd in an effort to respond to the obvious fact that this universe seems carefully designed to support life, aka, the Anthropic Principle. To get around the appearances of fine-tuning of so many of the basic facts of our universe which have to be what they are to support life, Multiverse theorists have maintained that somewhere outside of this universe is a sort of cosmic pool which is bubbling up billions upon billions of universes. It just so happened that one of them is the universe that we inhabit, and the reason that this universe appears so finely-tuned for life is that we have had billions of universes and with so many universes the odds were in favor of one having just the right balance to support life. So, what appears as fine-tuning or design is simply the result of random chance.

But, of course, in these billions upon billions of universes, Hawking is suggesting that there is one that is identical to ours except that Zayn stays in One Direction. In fact, this is consistent with the theory that there are multiple universes which are wholly identical with our own except that one decision was made differently. So, in one universe, Zayn leaves One Direction. In another, Zayn stays with One Direction. In a third, Zayn never joined One Direction. In a fourth, Zayne left One Direction two years ago but returned after spending two years as a driving instructor at Cheap Thrills Driving School in Sacramento. In a fifth, Zayn died in a horrible car accident three years ago, but in a sixth, Zayn survived the accident but lost both of his legs and One Direction turns into a group dedicated to supporting the rights of the disabled. The list goes on and on.

Now, think about your own situation. If the version of the Multiverse being referenced (perhaps even promoted) by Hawking is correct, there are millions of you in existence. In one version of you, you went to a different college. In another version, you went to prison. In another version, you married your high school sweetheart, but in a fourth, you had a shotgun marriage with someone you didn’t care about. In still another, you are working as part of the crew of a travelling carnival. And despite their myriad of differences, all of these people are you existing in various alternatives of your life simultaneously.

Is this really sensible? Not really. But that doesn’t stop the theorists. Never mind that there is no real evidence that such a Multiverse Pool bubbling up universes exists. That’s irrelevant. The question to the Multiverse theorists is whether it could exist, and since we can create computer models that show how it would work if it did exist then it is obviously the explanation for the appearance of design that we see in the universe. At least, that’s the theory. And if these multiple universes exist, then the multiple billions of you exist as well.

I’m sorry that I am going to break the heart of so many One Direction fans, but while it is theoretically possible that there may be such a Multiverse and in billions of those alternative universes Zayn is still singing in One Direction, we have no real evidence to believe it to be true. And even if it were true there is no way to ever get to those different universes (or even if we could get to them, it would take an eternity to find any of the right universes where Zayn stayed in One Direction). But don’t worry, if there is that alternative universe, there would also be an alternative you already listening to One Direction and cheering on Zayn in that universe (unless, of course, it is one of the other alternative universes where you never became a fan of One Direction in the first place).

So, you can take comfort that even as Zayn leaves One Direction in our universe, you possibly remain a fan in billions of other universes (at least in the billions of universes where you became a Zayn or One Direction fan at all). In this universe, you’ll just have to listen to their old music and live in the good ol’ days.

Rather than conjecture about other multiple universes that we can’t know or prove exist, isn’t it better to accept what we actually do know? Isn’t it better to acknowledge that this universe does support life and it is the only universe you know or ever will know? Isn’t it better to accept that while there may be multiple billions of you in other universes, that this is the one life you have any true knowledge about and in which you can make life decisions?


Jason Pratt said…
My favorite article this year so far. {ggg!}

Paul Rinzler said…
Except some scientists think that they have found the first piece of evidence (it's not conclusive) for the multiverse:


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