I decided on a new sort of resolution for 2018. I took it upon myself to learn more about cosmology; the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. Sounds lofty, doesn’t it? But really I’m just a major geeky fan of stars, planets, the cosmos in general and Neil deGrasse Tyson in particular. The director of the Hayden Planetarium and famed science communicator, Tyson is a superstar in my book.
As I eased in to my new hobby, I began to feel insignificant. Our little corner of the universe, our solar system, which lies at the edge of one arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, has about 200 billion stars. Our galaxy is one of 7 or 8 in a group of galaxies known as The Local Group which in turn is part of the more massive Virgo Supercluster of galaxies. Our Local Group is located on a small strand on the outskirts of the Supercluster.
Neil deGrasse Tyson tells me not to fret because the bigness of it all can come closer as I learn more. He says that much of the matter that makes up stars is what makes up humans…like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and silicon. These are connections. And as the song says, we are stardust.
Size and distance are tricky enough to comprehend, adding in the measurement of time nearly sinks me. Here goes:
If the big bang happened at midnight on January 1st, we humans arrived on the scene with one second left on the clock to midnight on December 31st. We’re on a precipice. The dinosaurs, by the way, came and went between 3am on December 27th and 10am on the 30th… pretty much the same time frame for someone to get hired, then fired from a Denny’s.
All of this brings me to the Many Worlds Theory. Currently, this theory is the most plausible and agreed upon explanation for, well, everything. To break it down simply, Many Worlds says that there are many copies of all of us, all of everything. Many Worlds states that the universe, our earth included, repeats itself over and over. That the universe, our earth included, repeats itself over and over. That the universe, our earth included, repeats itself over and over.
More importantly, these copies of everything? They’re very similar, not exact. That means there are different versions of us. Let that sink in while you’re having a Twinkie here on earth. Maybe your Twinkie is chocolate on mirror earth 6 bazillion light years away.
More importantly still: This is great news! Stop dieting; the perfect you already exists! Your novel has been published and well-received by critics! You are a Nobel-Laureate and an Olympian wearing Gold Medals for the luge and bobsled!
See? New Years resolutions can work out. You just have to sort through the cosmos to find the right one.
What’s the alternative you doing right now?