Milky Way over Bioluminscent Border. Pay attention, people, because this is a sight that you will not find anywhere else in the Universe. Well, the Milky Way will look very much the same from any nearby exoplanet - hey, Proxima Centauri b and d
- But the Bioluminescent Border? Forget it.
Unless, of course, Swedish-American physicist Max Tegmark is right that the Universe is "so infinite" that it is bound to repeat itself, and that there is, therefore, a perfect copy not only of the Solar System and the Earth and the bioluminescence but also of every one of us. If so, the likely distance to this perfect copy of you, me and bioluminescence would be 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 28 meters:
Illustration: Alfred T. Kamajian
Max Tegmark of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on.
The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if we will just have to live with it, because it is supported by astronomical observations. The simplest and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a twin in a galaxy about 10 to the 1028
meters from here. This distance is so large that it is beyond astronomical, but that does not make your doppelgänger any less real. The estimate is derived from elementary probability and does not even assume speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite (or at least sufficiently large) in size and almost uniformly filled with matter, as observations indicate. In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere. There are infinitely many other inhabited planets, including not just one but infinitely many that have people with the same appearance, name and memories as you, who play out every possible permutation of your life choices.
Well, that's a nifty idea, Max. I'm not so sure I believe you.
So let's enjoy the bioluminiscence here on Earth, when and if we can!
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