5. How Many Dimensions?

The reader will remember that at the beginning of this discussion I argued against the bias we all tend to have of "only three dimensions." Hopefully, most of us at this stage will have gotten over this bias to a certain degree and will concede to the possibility of other dimensions. Worlds of two dimensions, four dimensions, five dimensions or more are as objectively logical as our own 3-D world.

Therefore the question that naturally presents itself at this point is - how many dimensions exist? Is there a limit to the possible number of dimensions? If so, what is this limit?

Intuitively the question answers itself. If there can be three dimensions, why not four? If there can be four dimensions, why not five? If there can be five dimensions, why not six? Why, then, do we put an end to this progression? Who is to say, for instance, that there are six dimensions and no more? Or seven and no more? Or twenty and no more? To say that there are six dimensions and no more is just as absurd as saying there are only three dimensions. What is the limit to the number of possible dimensions in the real universe? As soon as we admit to more than three dimensions, we are intuitively drawn to the conclusion that there is no limit! In other words, there is an infinite number of dimensions!

An infinite number of dimensions! Such a concept is positively staggering. But this is the only acceptable solution that can be found to our question. To say that there is only a certain number of possible dimensions is as illogical as to argue that there is a positive integer higher than all others. As soon as we have a number we consider to be larger than all others, we simply add "1" and our assertion falls apart. In the same manner, as soon as we maintain that there can be x dimensions and no more, we simply construct another perpendicular axis (by the same reasoning as we constructed our fourth axis) and our theory is disproved. Therefore, even though it cannot be proven or tangibly demonstrated in any way, we understand that if we are to concede to the existence of at least one other dimension outside our 3-D world we must also concede to the possibility of an infinite number of dimensions.

Let us ponder this for a moment. Our 3-D universe, which we consider to be infinite and all-encompassing, is merely a very tiny sliver of all possible space. 4-dimensionally, for instance, there could be scores, hundreds, or even millions of similar 3-D universes parallel to our own, like pages in a book. Since they are parallel they never intersect, and yet each one is a unique and infinite world in itself. Or, 5-dimensionally, there could be millions of 3-D words, parallel or non-parallel, scattered every which way like straws in a haystack, all of then endless and yet mutually exclusive. With the addition of more dimensions the possibilities are multiplied - not only separate 3-D worlds, but separate 4-D worlds, 5-D worlds, or even 6-D worlds could be thrown into the "haystack". The possibilities are indeed endless.

In other words, our universe may not be alone. There could very well be another universe right next to ours, perhaps parallel or perhaps non-parallel, perhaps far or perhaps a mere hairbreadth away. Considering that it is a geometrically unique entity, it could be as close as the span of an atom, and yet interfere in no way whatsoever with the entire 3-D universe around us!

Only three dimensions? How infinitely thin we all are! How feeble and how frail! Who knows - maybe in some seven-dimensional world a few inches away people are scoffing at the possibility of a purely 3-dimensional universe, dismissing our existence with the argument that nothing could be so thin as to have no 7-dimensionality. And maybe between us both is a 20-D world whose inhabitants consider 20 dimensions to be the absolute.

Only three dimensions? How arrogant we are to think that our universe is the only possible one! How deceived we are to believe that 3-D space is all-encompassing! How primitive is our concept of reality! How humbling and awe-inspiring it is when we finally awake from this illusion and see the stunning vastness of God’s creation!

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Copyright 1998 by Bill Price

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