As a person dependent on bus transportation, you quickly tire of many of the usual ways to pass the time when being ferried back and forth. To shake things up, I’ve been listening to NPR on my iPod, since it’s not only a surefire way to show my instant alignment with the political Left, but it also sends a clear signal to the masturbating homeless man sitting next to me that it’s not okay to engage me in conversation. (Might I add: mission accomplished.)
Recently I listened to this Radiolab episode, in which Robert Krulwich and Brian Greene get down to brass tacks about the nature of the universe. It’s pretty compelling stuff, and Robert’s incredulous questioning not only acts as a proxy for the usual kind of scepticism new ideas like this tend to become associated with, but Brian’s cool demeanor in what must be a pretty uncomfortable position creates a perfect science narrative for us to take home: even in the face of absolute hostility from skeptics, the bigger truths that science is uncovering are, without a doubt, compelling and fascinating, even for Christians.
Even more interesting than the encoded religious discourse is the fact that, according to Brian’s understanding of the universe, Comic Books had it right all along: we live in a universe where every imaginable variant universe – and, in fact, exact, to-the-molecule duplicates – exists somewhere, “out there.” Not only that, but there are exact duplicates of me in other duplicate universes posting this exact same blog entry… along with all the other versions of me that are posting entirely other things (or, similar things worded differently). I’m sure the duplicates of you, reading this, are having the same reactions to reading this sentence as you are, too.
Metatextual jokes aside, the hilarious part to me, listening to this, was how easily I believed Brian’s “crazy” ideas. The whole time I was thinking, “this is like the multiverse concept in DC Comics… a concept propagated by every other version of DC Comics in all the other universes, too.” It led to some pretty funny moments throughout the podcast, which I’m sure was amusing to the other people riding the bus, as they inched further away from the giggling kid with the iPod at 8:30 in the morning.