The consequence for us of course is that as with the ‘infinite’ universe above we shall be in the identical universe that emerges in billions of years time (but apparently instantly for us) so that we shall be reborn as ourselves just as we would be in an ‘infinite’ universe. (Quantum theory kicks in here because the Big Bang/Crunch is a quantum state from which according to quantum theory a whole bunch of different universes – multi-universes - can appear, including ‘ours’ with us in it exactly as we are in this universe. But since we are not in any of these other possible universes and they are effectively in other inaccessible ‘dimensions’, they are merely of theoretical significance and can therefore, for our purposes, be ignored.)

Although the ‘collapsing universe’ appears to have been ruled out by research showing the universe to have accelerating expansion, some researchers argue that this acceleration may be an illusion. This would make redundant the proposal of mysterious ‘dark energy’ as the cause of the observed accelerating expansion.

 So which scenario should we choose? Well, science has consistently shown that nature’s rules tend towards simplicity and elegance and a collapsing universe is the simplest and most elegant theory. Since both possibilities have the same outcome for the dimension of time (and for us!), the more complex ‘infinite’ explanation, with its mysterious ‘dark energy’ and obscure journey to its inevitable repeat, is the most likely to fall victim to ‘Occam’s razor’, first wielded by influential medieval philosopher William of Occam (or Okham) who insisted that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

But although the ‘best buy’ may well be that the universe passes endlessly from big bang to big crunch to big bang, for us it doesn’t really matter. Whatever the fate of the universe, the fate of the dimension of time appears to be circular, and our lives, destined to follow it, will be repeated precisely as they have unfolded so far, so that when we die, we really do awake ‘in our mothers’ arms’.



My book has now been published.

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