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Q & A: Why we exist

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Why do we exist????????
- Anonymous (age 13)
Gilwood Jr. High
A:
Obviously physics can't say anything about that with much confidence. About the only thought I've heard from physics that might help with your question comes from quantum mechanics. The only known type of equation which works in describing how quantum mechanical systems (which, so far as we know, include everything) change with time is linear. That means that of all the many possibilities included in the initial state, ALL of the possible outcomes occur, although they would lose track of each other. The idea that this result should be taken seriously is called the Many Worlds interpetation of quantum mechanics. If it's right, then ANY possibility, including our existence, is bound to happen in some world. As for worlds where nobody exists, nobody is around there to ask why they don't exist.
Of course we can't be sure about any such ideas. Even if they turn out to be right, they don't explain why there's anything at all, just why if there were anything it would include us.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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