I just finished listening to a podcast with Dr. Michio Kaku as the guest. He has a new book out, and this podcast was part of his book tour. A lot of things struck me during this podcast, almost a spiritual experience.
First off, he mentioned that we are all scientists when we are young. That is when we are striving our hardest to learn about the world, and also the time of our most vivid imagination. High School attempts, and usually succeeds, in killing that. Well, no surprise, childhood was when I was most into science and had the craziest of ideas. Adulthood has been slowly squeezing that sense of wonderment out of me.
Another part of the podcast, Dr. Kaku did a Flatland analogy. He used fish swimming in a shallow pond, instead of the Flatlanders. A fish in this pond only knows backward/forward and left/right. Up/down is something he doesn’t comprehend. This fish only tries to explain the world using his two dimensional world. Then some human comes along and scoops him up, and shows this science-minded fish the world with the added up/down dimension. Solutions to mysteries he was trying to understand in his 2-dimensional world, are all of a sudden revealed to him as he looks back at his old two-dimensional world.
So the analogy being, we humans are in the same boat. Stuck in a 3-dimensional world, we are having a tough time understanding stuff, that could be made quite trivial, if we could become extra-dimensional beings.
Here is the spiritual part, at least for me. When I was entering teenager land, it was beginning to hit home that religion was just a mythology, attempting to explain our world. Since I still have this big question of where I go when I die, I wanted to come up with a scientific explanation of where I would go, when my body is worm food.
According to string theory, there are 11 spatial dimensions. When I was a kid, I was just messing with 4 or 5 dimensions. Carl Sagan was trying to explain them to me in the Cosmos series, and he used the Flatlanders to help explain it. I went with that premise and came up with the hypothesis, that when our 3-dimensional body dies, we are scooped up, like that fish a couple of paragraphs ago, into an extra-dimensional world.
All right, could very well be a crackpot idea from a child’s brain. Someone pretty much called me crazy when I brought this idea up in another livejournal forum. I refuse to let go of it though. I need my inner child to stay alive, for sanity’s sake.