One night when I was 18 years old I was at a lake with some friends taking a night-time dip. We were there for the phosphorescence: little particles that light up at night from friction.
While the phosphorescence wasn’t nearly as visually striking as the movies made it out to be, a friend of mine looked up to the stars and told me about a little theory. He said:
“If the universe is infinite, then there are infinite variations of our world throughout the galaxy. What this means is: anything you can imagine: it already exists in the universe”.
It was a really cool idea. I already knew from Stephen Hawking’s theories that the Universe, while so vast that we can barely comprehend it, isn’t infinite. That’s an older theory from the days of Einstein.
But it did make me think: even without the infinity factor, are there other worlds where we evolved in exactly the same manner, and in these worlds, are there different versions of us? Perhaps there’s a version of you that asked one girl out on a date instead of another, and ended up married to a different person. Or you took a different job, studied a different degree?
In the incalculable vastness of space, we can’t truly rule anything out yet. Discovering these kinds of secrets of the universe will take vast amounts of time.
Here’s my take on the whole issue, using my very limited brain and limited knowledge:
I think that life, evolutionary processes and more actually have bottleneck moments, where life can evolve in one particular way. When we look for lifeforms that aren’t carbon-based, for example, we run into a problem: our body is an assortment of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (stay with me, here,), and those elements stick together in ways that allow for life to form because of how they chemically bond with each other.
Now, the periodic table only has so many elements in it. Can there be a lead-based lifeform? The elements that combine with lead are limited.
Although, this is my first-year university Biology-educated mind speaking, and I truly am completely open to my mind being changed.
Going back to another galaxy with a version of me that asked another girl out and had a completely different life as a result, well, he could exist. And if I visited this world, I would find the genetic clone of myself, sitting with another girl, perfectly content and not realizing the vast galaxies I had traveled to witness this. He wouldn’t know me. Would you recognize yourself if he or she walked by?
Maybe I would tip my hat to him. Maybe I would tell him he should’ve asked out the other girl. And in the vastness of space maybe, just maybe, there’s room for both destinies to play themselves out.