Faith and Doubt / Spirituality

The Possibility of Alternate Dimensions

English: Photomicrograph of Streptococcus pyog...

English: Photomicrograph of Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, 900x Mag. A pus specimen, viewed using Pappenheim’s stain. Last century, infections by S. pyogenes claimed many lives especially since the organism was the most important cause of puerperal fever and scarlet fever. Streptococci Español: La bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes raza Pappenheim Pappenheim’s stain of Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria @ 900x magnification. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the mid 1800’s, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss attempted to convince the scientific community that lack of hand washing contributed to the cases of Puerperal Fever, a germ borne illness that caused a high mortality rate in women giving birth in his clinic. Semmelweiss’ claims conflicted with the established scientific and medical methods of the time and since he could offer no scientific explanation for his findings his ideas were rejected, and ridiculed. It would be only after his death that his findings were accepted following Pasteur’s theory of germ disease.

In a time when bloodletting was the standard practice for treating diseases, scientists and medical doctors could not perceive that there could be a microscopic existence of germs and bacteria that could cause disease and death in humans. Yet there it was, a world of living organisms existing under our dimensional blindness. What is now empirical evidence was once just the intuition of a brilliant and compassionate doctor considered inept by his distinguished peers.

It begs the question, what else lies beyond our natural senses?

Isn’t it interesting that some scientists are now following their own intuitions into theories of multiple universes, parallel universes, string theory and alternate dimensions outside of the scope of the physical senses? And still, there are those who contend that such scientists are guilty of fringe science, or pseudoscience. Just like in the example of Semmelweiss, only time will tell. But if anything can be taken away from Semmelweiss’ story, it should be that other dimensions currently unknown and undetected can and probably do exist.

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28 thoughts on “The Possibility of Alternate Dimensions

  1. Life is an illusion, so said Einstein. Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, echoed those sentiments when he said that matter did not exist. I can personally vouch for the idea of alternate realities because I frequently find myself in one.

      • I’ve noticed that you’ve read some of my blogs. Many of them are based, directly or indirectly, on an alternative reality experience. There are many dimensions to Creation and we exist in only one of them.

  2. Isn’t it great that science is an open book and new evidence opens up a new journey :-). The exact same thing happened for Copernicus and Galileo. The established idea of a geocentric solar system was the previous scientific theory (held since the time of Aristotle). Contrary to public belief, it wasn’t a religious idea but a scientific idea. But once new evidence is shown, the book of science begins a whole new chapter. Darwin had the same experience. His idea was not initially accepted until evidence was shown. Even Einstein was confronted with the same scepticism. The thing is that as scientists we must be sceptics (it’s critical thinking) and only bend when evidence overwhelms. And evidence is the key. Scepticism is the hallmark of good science. It’s one of the fundamental aspects of scientific progress. Semmelweis, Darwin, Galileo, and a whole host of other scientists had this scepticism. That’s why they came up with new hypotheses and why they tested them. And it’s how they found evidence that eventually convinced the scientific community. They would not have been surprised that their colleagues would doubt their hypothesis in the absence of evidence. They would have expected it. In fact, if their colleagues believed them in the absence of evidence they would have been greatly dismayed. That is why they persisted to look for evidence. They believed in their hypothesis and were vindicated by the new evidence. But for every success story in science, there are failures. As many hypotheses have been proposed that have been overturned by evidence (or never had evidence at all). The hallmark of science (critical thinking) is what keeps the river of knowledge flowing, and prevents it being choked with rubbish. Evidence is the gate keeper.

    I agree that there is the very real possibility of something beyond the scope of science, and something that may never be shown through scientific methods. But I cannot present them as science because science cannot measure them. It is not surprising at all that the in multiple universe hypotheses are labelled “beyond science” because they actually are beyond science. I would find it more surprising and interesting (disturbing even) if such things were incorporated into science without evidence. Why? Because science is about evidence. It’s not a hard head I have: it’s the basic definition of science.

    We have ways of measuring germs, exploring DNA, observing the distant universe and so on. Currently there are no instruments for exploring multiple universes. And until there is, speak of them is not scientific. It is true that talk of things unobservable is unscientific. There is no error in saying so because science is only designed to speak of and describe the observable. That’s the whole point of science. Perhaps a day will come when another universe is observable, but that day is not now and as such, the hypothesis of multiple universes etc is not scientific and no scientist is obliged to believe in such things. Why? Because as I said, science is about explaining the observable, using observable evidence to do so. Anything that can’t be done this way is not yet science. Some day it may be, but currently it is not. That doesn’t make it false, it just makes it something outside of science.

    Some day there is a possibility we will see God. One day we may see this new universe and new Earth they say is coming: but that day is not now and until it is, the idea is a belief or hypothesis beyond the realm of science.

    Scientists are not being silly or arrogant to reject things as unscientific when they can’t be observed. They are being true to what science is. They are only silly when they reject observable evidence. The difference between your two stories above is evidence. Once evidence for germs came to light, the scientific world had to embrace it because it became observable. Multiple universes etc are not observable. The idea is therefore not scientific until it is, and there is a real possibility it may never be.

    It doesn’t mean we can’t think about them as a matter of philosophy or hypothesising. But without evidence they do not fall into the science basket and can’t ever do so until evidence emerges. It’s not unbelief for the sake of it. Remember it’s all about what science is designed to do. And if it can’t be observed, it can’t be tested, taught, and held as science.

    Being unscientific though is not the same as being wrong, just the same as being blind does not make one inept at getting around. There is likely much in the world beyond our senses that we cannot ever put into science, and that to me is greatly exciting. Science is only the measur of the observable. It is not the measure of all possible truths.

    • Your last statement sums it up perfectly. Science should be based on facts and evidence and scientists should be cautious about what they claim as scientific fact. However, I can’t help but consider how science fiction writers and everyday intuitive thinkers have motivated the human race to search out and reach beyond what is believed to be possible.

      I think the point that I wish to make is that fringe science and pseudoscience have their role in advancing scientific knowledge and should not be so wantonly discounted as folly by skeptics. Semmelweiss is a perfect example. He was thought to be dead wrong and his claims were insulting to the intellect of his peers, yet he was right, and in time scientists like Pasteur proved him right when human ability caught up with his intuitive reasoning. So, all I am saying here is that skeptics should not close their minds against the possibilities of expanding thoughts on reality.

      • Indeed… Just as I propose that sceptics should not be so harsh about matters of God and faith. Everything has its place. At the end of the day truth reigns no matter what we mortals choose to believe or mock.

        I think it was Buddha or the Dalai who said, “truth is still truth even if you are in the majority of one.”

        Keep mining for it 🙂

  3. I agree. Much as I would like to give a more detailed reply, beyond that is pretty much everything I try to cover on my own blog, and I’d hardly know where to begin, or end, and could easily ramble perpetually on the subject, which might be a little beyond the scope of a comment.

  4. but discussion, long and short comments, and the interchange of thoughts are fun. 🙂 keep well. keep strong.

    • Ok, more detailed reply coming up. This is one of the reasons that I prefer “philosophy” to “science”. In philosophy, we use the skills of objective analysis that we learn in science, critical thinking, the Socratic method, and turn them to contemplating the unknowns, to reduce the distance between the known and unknown. The distance can never be fully eradicated. By definition, it cannot be defined. But through these methods, such concepts as infinity, unity, first cause, unmoved mover, can be made more understandable, so that we can make some sense of what that means to us, our role in unity, our place in infinity. First Cause is the name given by scientific dogma to the Creator, that which has been called Raven by Native Americans, Ptah by Egyptions, and described very poetically in the first chapter of Genesis. The Unmoved Mover and Laplace’s Demon are in my opinion very good models for what I have called Unity Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, and the True Reality, where all time is Now, all space is Here, and all consciousness is Self. The only real flaw in Laplace’s Demon is that it fails to account for Multiverse Theory, which is to say (drumroll) CHOICE! Multiverse Theory takes the concept of choice, free will, something that has been the bane of existence to the Determinists and the idea of Causality, and explains it in an understandable manner, according to our ideas of critical thinking, objective analysis, and the Socratic Method.

      • I agree. I also have a degree in Philosophy as well as one in science, one in psychology, one in English communication, one in theology, and one in anthropology. I therefore tend to tackle things in depth from these many perspectives and am well aware of the limits of each perspective (which is why I studied multiple degrees). I love philosophy because it does make up for science’s limitations. However, some philosophers are just limited in their understanding of science. 🙂

      • Observing from multiple Perspectives is something I also strongly believe in, trying to account for as many possibilities as I can fit into my field of awareness. And trying to expand my field of awareness as much as possible. I think I could probably learn a lot from you, in pursuit of that goal.

      • Perhaps. But I have learnt along these way two things:

        1. The more I learn, the less I understand. My “thought table” is a little overcrowded with all the variabilities. It is therefore increasingly difficult to be black and white, even about philosophy, or in my judgement of other perspectives. In some sense they all have an element of ‘right’ and an element of ‘wrong’. Philosophy has very real limitations like all the others.

        2. The more I learn, the more I realise how little so many people care about knowledge, and it becomes a burden. It becomes a burden because I sometimes want to share a thought to help others or interact with others only to find they are too limited in perspective, or couldn’t care less. I often feel lonely in my thinking.

        In the end, I have studied for two reasons: to fulfil my own identity as a person who loves and hungers for knowledge, without any worry about if others are into it or not. I love it for its intrinsic value, and would pursue it without any other perceived benefit; and because I am a seeker of the elusive big questions and answers. I don’t think I have any more idea now than when I began. In fact I think I have less. But at least I know the real reasons I choose some beliefs over others, and I have sound reason, and rationality, to buoy those choices. 🙂

        enjoy your day. It is an icy winter morning where I am.

      • I’ve experienced these things as well. I also don’t see anything wrong with it. As you pretty much said, do it for yourself, for your own love of knowledge and learning. And if you can share it for others to benefit from, others with a love of knowledge and learning, then all the better I think. But I also do not require that the information I share be accepted by others in order to validate my life’s quest, because ultimately I’m doing it because I choose to, because it brings me joy to increase my understanding and perspective, and I will continue to do so, for myself even if for no one else, as you apparently are on your blog. And I feel it is those of us who pursue our desires so relentlessly, that end up setting examples for others.

      • One of my philosophy lecturers said “Some scientists do not make very good philosophers.” I had the counter thought that, “Some philosophers don’t make very good scientists.”

        This is because science and philosophy each in their place are very valuable in our pursuit of knowledge. However they both approach knowledge from different perspectives and use completely different methods to do so. Secondly, they are often pursuing completely different kinds of knowledge. Philosophy tends to pursue things that can only be “nutted out” through reason and thought using the socratic method, and even then can come to multiple valid conclusions. Science on the other hand is only concerned with what it can verify by empirical means, seeking to accept only the simplest explanation, and one that any reasonable person would accept if using the same method (so usually only have one valid explanation at a time).

        Often philosophers make the mistake of using an example from science (like in the blog above) and then blur the line with philosophy. Semmelweis was rejected at first because his ideas couldn’t be determined empirically. Once they were supported empirically they were accepted with enthusiasm. A scientist would never accept something as science just because someone talked about it, not because they’re narrow or arrogant, but because that’s not what science does. It is not a philosophy where every rational alternative should be accepted or considered regardless of empiricism. It does not operate on the socratic method in exactly the same way as philosophy. Science is asking different questions about different things for different reasons using different measures. And it can only discuss the things that can be determined using the measures that science is designed to use. It is limited, but so are all disciplines limited in that they are hemmed in by their perspective and methodology.

        In philosophy we can sit around in the areopogus all day long enjoying discussion using the socratic method but never actually conclude empirically. We can only accept things on the basis of the good rationality involved in the thinking. And that is good and fun and helpful in its own way. If Semmelweis went to the philosophers, his rational thinking would have found a good audience but they wouldn’t have been able to implement it scientifically because, though rational, there was no hard evidence to build upon (until later).

        Science isn’t about sitting around and giving the nod to any idea that seems rational and satisfies the socratic method. It’s about testing things with our senses and progressing from there. Limited yes, but that’s what its purpose is: not to discuss things outside of our senses or things untestable, no matter how rational they may seem.

        So my point is that while I understand what the blog was getting at (there are other realties and dimensions to consider), we cannot mock, or devalue science if science doesn’t open its door to all those possibilities. Science just isn’t designed for that purpose. It has its good and excellent place doing what it is designed to do, and philosophising about things untestable is not one of science’s areas. And philosophers ought to be aware of this before blurring the lines and trying to mix cats with dogs. 🙂

        Scientists too (like the Dawkins’ lot and their diatribe) should stop trying to blur the lines in reverse. Science is no basis for atheism, and never can be).

      • Yes I just write my blog because I am expressing my journey out aloud. It’s not directed at anyone or for anyone. If people want to join in I am happy for that to happen but i am not concerned if no one does.

        Thanks for your intersection. It’s nice to find fellow travellers on this path. 🙂

      • “Science is no basis for atheism, and never can be”

        Because by their own admission, you can’t prove a negative. To do so you would have to eliminate every other possible explanation. And in an Infinite Universe, that’s a lot of possibilities to eliminate. Thank you. It’s been nice for me too, meeting a “fellow traveler”.

      • Agreed. 🙂

        I am currently working in an environmental science role. I value science for the knowledge I can use to benefit nature (and therefore society). Science is immensely valuable and superior in its knowledge of the natural world. It is not so much about the meaning of things on the spiritual dimension, but about the how and why on the physical dimension. However, if I want to consider meaning, spiritual wellbeing, other dimensions of reality, and so forth (which I ponder often), I lean on my philosophy and theological training for that, because that’s what those disciplines are for. Each in its own realm is a brilliant thing.

        cheers.

      • I think for the bait and switch used in the example above, we could use a reverse.

        Take religion for example: a philosophy in some ways because much of it is based on faith, intuition, and things untestable by science. Religion believed (and some people still do) that the universe is young, and that the Solar System and Earth were created in 6 days, about 10,000 years ago.

        Without contrary scientific evidence at the time, everyone, including many scientists, accepted this rational explanation of origins. It was rational then because there was no contrary evidence. That belief could have gone on indefinitely, with all its variations, if empiricism hadn’t interrupted the illusion.

        Darwin was not the only one to throw a spanner in the works. Lots of other scientists did and were laughed at and mocked by philosophers and religious people. Galileo is an example, as the church imprisoned him for his ideas even though he had empirical evidence for them. The church rathered the philosophical position than the scientific, and this thwarted the progress of knowledge for a time. The Enlightenment was a counter to this.

        A geologist (Wegener) one day came up with the idea of plate tectonics and continental drift, and as he gathered evidence (good, convincing and solid evidence), the scientific community increasingly embraced his ideas. But the church didn’t, and in some cases still doesn’t (and I know some philosophers who don’t even though the evidence is there).

        Now, isn’t it interesting that, in the face of evidence, some philosophers and some religious people are not open to progress in knowledge and new perspectives? In psychology this is characterised as a delusion: a persistent belief despite contrary evidence.

        Philosophy (and faith) is good for science in that it adds to and picks up where empiricism ends; but science is also good for philosophy and faith because it brings us back to earth (excuse the pun), knowing that intuition, in terms of probability, is more often mistaken than correct. The two disciplines work well as partners adding to and keeping reason in check. But as opponents they misunderstand and undermine themselves as well as each other.

      • I have no real problem with science in and of itself. As I’ve said, I make use of scientific methods and turn them to philosophy and spirituality, to better define the “undefinable”. My only real problem is when they become so locked in the known, the empirical evidence, that they fail to account for unknown variables, things like choice, and the fact that there is always more unknown than known, and probably always will be. Something that’s been a frequent stumbling block for the “Atheism Movement” in my experience. Also, your current path of using science for the betterment of the natural world and society living in harmony with nature is something I believe in strongly as well, and great props for that.

      • yeah I agree. 🙂 I have a problem with when they get locked in too. I mean, in science, when we’re doing science, it is just science which is just about empiricism. That’s to be expected. But when it comes to thinking of things beyond the scope of science, it bothers me when they won’t make that step (in reverse too when people get locked into the intuition and dreaming of possibilities so much so that they never come down to earth to see consider things empirically). I think the both can and should merge together when appropriate. My brother is also a scientist (an ecologist) but he is an atheist because he has never done philosophy and just can’t think philosophically. I don’t see that as more rational or more intelligent. If anything I see it as ” playing safe” and less intelligent because it is an inability (or unwillingness) to think outside a certain box. But again, I think the same for people who have a box at the other end of the spectrum, where they’re always “off with the fairies” and lose touch with empirical reality. Both extremes are unhelpful. I think we as a human race have been given the ability to both imagine, and to observe and analyse, and we should develop and celebrate all aspects of these together, not segregate and draw lines as if one is more superior than the another. I really dislike superiority stuff. I just wish we could all see the benefits in each other’s perspectives, the different benefits of different disciplines and work in unity in seeking knowledge, rather than focussing on where we think each other is wrong. Circling around each other’s wrongs and limitations is like hovering and going no where. If we could embrace, encourage and celebrate the strengths of each perspective, and use all perspectives to shine a light on different facets of an idea/truth/belief/observation, we’d be so much better off. There’s often more than one aspect of any particular problem or question, as you know. I know I can say this to you because I have a hunch it’s the way you’re thinking too. 🙂

      • Ah yes, being “off with the faeries” has been a problem for me. But I realize that it’s a problem, and that’s what they always say is the first step. I often spend so much time tending to my internal world, ensuring that I’m thinking clearly, that my thoughts are in line with my Highest Truth, that I sometimes neglect the world around me. Ironically, several of my spirit guides (there I go again, off with the faeries) are working with me on this, helping me get more rooted and grounded in physicality.

      • Ah my friend! I wasn’t actually referring to you! I think you’ve been a great discussion partner, helping me refine my own reflections on the above post. I appreciate your input. 🙂

        Kind Regards

      • I didn’t really think you were specifically targeting me. But I figured that I’d own up to it nonetheless. Glad you appreciated my input. And kind regards returned.

    • Exactly. Intuition, imagination and curiosity are building blocks in advancing human knowledge. Just think about how Roddenberry’s Star Trek through tickling the curiosity of young scientists has advanced technology!

  5. Oddly enough, “other universes” in some form or fashion is beginning to become pretty darn staple in cosmogony today. Heck, it’s nigh getting to the point where it’s difficult to describe existence without them!

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