What’s In a Number: Unravelling a Multiversal Paradox
“Since there is an infinite number of alternative universes, there must be one in which there isn’t an infinite number of alternative universes. Perhaps this is the one.”
This seemingly paradoxical observation comes from a reader of New Scientist, via Sally Adee — an editor at the magazine and regular contributor at Last Word on Nothing. She forwarded it to Richard Panek (a science writer and fellow LWON-blogger) because, she said, “it kind of made [her] head asplode.”
After receiving reassurances from Adee that her head hadn’t actually spontaneously detonated, Panek sat and thought and tried to find the flaw in the statement’s logic. Here’s what he came up with.