Some Cosmology and Gaian History.

Maybe time to take a break from Earth 2309. How did the current cultures of Gaia evolve?

I will start with the underpinnings. First I suppose I should mention the underlying mechanisms of an Alternate Earth that guided my conception. The Many Worlds theory is a part of Quantum Mechanics that attempts to account for the randomness of quantum events.

Erwin Schrodinger was a physicist who contributed one of the most important bricks in the edifice of the developing quantum theories in the early 1930s – his … “derivation” of the wave equation for time independent systems, and showed that it gave the correct energy eigenvalues for the hydrogen-like atom. This paper has been universally celebrated as one of the most important achievements of the twentieth century, and created a revolution in quantum mechanics, and indeed of all physics and chemistry. (Wikipedia)

He was a friend of Albert Einstein and entered into personal correspondence over Einstein’s reluctance to accept quantum theory as ‘complete’. The issue of the actuality of the collapse of the wave function in quantum theory creating paradoxical events in the macroscopic world was their source of dissension. The Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment was one of the outcomes of the correspondence.

Consider a closed box, containing a cat, a vial of poison gas, and a radiation counter. The radiation counter is set to capture a quantum event – the random event of the decay of a radioactive atom – which will either release the poison or not. Quantum mechanics says that until the outcome of the experiment is observed and the wave function collapses, both events take place – inside the closed box the cat is both poisoned and not poisoned. It was difficult to accept the idea of the cat being both alive and dead simultaneously.

One of the concepts devised to account for this was the Many Worlds Theory. Whenever an event such as this occurs in the universe a bifurcation occurs – the path of reality splits into two so that one of the events satisfies logic in each of the resulting alternative worlds. Each event that could have more than one outcome upon the collapse of a wave function results in more separate and non-communicating worlds being split off.

As a novelist, I followed the popular version of this. I presented the cause of the existence of an alternate Earth to a different outcome to the Punic Wars – Carthage was not destroyed by the Romans under Scipio, because the Carthaginians under Hannibal had defeated Rome’s armies and sacked the city some 40 years before. On Gaia, the ancient Greek name for Earth, there had never been a powerful Roman Empire. In fact all trace of Rome’s history was lost, and Greek and Carthaginian accounts and civilization prevailed. From approximately 200 BCE, the history of Gaia diverged from ours.

In fact there was nothing labeled a BCE – before Christian era – on Gaia. The events in the Holy Land of the Roman Empire that gave rise to the creation of the Christian religion never took place. The most powerful religion in the West of Gaia is that of the Holy Flame – a syncretism between the Zoroastrian and Greek philosophies. The Gaian dates are counted from the birth of Zoroastrianism. In the Far East, these Mediterranean events had no effect upon the local religions, except for the contacts carried by pilgrims and travelling scholars, and Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism and others are substantially the same as in our world. I have to qualify this in one significant way – with no Christian religion to act as a stimulus, the philosophy of Medina – Islam – never became a powerful force and thus the Buddhist culture of India was never put to the fire and the sword.

A small side track is needed to cover Judaism. With the prevailing empire around the Mediterranean being Semitic instead of Caucasian, the Jews never suffered the same persecutions, conquest, and diaspora. They and their religion never disappeared, but became a philosophical thread within the paganism of Carthage – in much the same way as surviving fragments of Buddhism merged into some of the lines of thought in Hinduism. The other philosophical threads of the Holy Flame religion were pagan Greek, which had the same enormous influence on the resulting theology as they did on early Christianity.

But back to the physics – how did the Iskander drift from one unconnected alternate world to another? Doesn’t that imply connection? I am a skeptic of the current mathematical fantasies that produce String Theory and its related cosmology. Karl Popper pointed out that to be truly science a theory had to be able to be disproveable – it had to state the outcome of an experiment that could be tested. Since String Theory is still looking for the required indisputable experiment that fails to find fault with it, it exists as much as fantasy as science. While some of the younger physicists imagine all kinds of connections between their mathematical games and science fiction none of their musings have more credibility than the stories of fantasy. They suggest that some feature within the equations they call worm-holes could be mechanically manipulated to act as the hyperspace jumps of their boyhood readings.

With their strict anthropocentric viewpoints they suggest that only the first four of the dimensions within the 11 (or 12 in some versions) dimension mathematics of String Theory are developed into reality to form our four-dimensional environment, while the other dimensions are curled upon themselves and thus have no real substance. This is not verifiable. Taking the proposals of physicist David Bohm about the implicate and explicate order of the universe as a guide – there is just as much logic in accepting all the dimensions as real, if not normally accessible. The seven ‘unextended’ dimensions could even be the real framework of the universe while our four are merely a ‘special case’ – drifting like a scrap of paper on a cosmic wind.

The Iskander could have diverged into one of these superluminal dimensions and emerged into the Gaia universe just as readily as accomplishing its intention to bypass a thousand or so light-years of ours and arrive at N-3. More about Gaia next time.

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