Are There Other Dimensions?

Mathematically a dimension is a vector of measurement. In the “real world” a dimension is a vector of existence. Mathematically any measurement you can take, plug into a formula and plot on a graph, can exist in it’s own dimension. Mathematically you can have an infinite number of dimensions.

In the “real world” dimensions must have “real” properties, and their numbers are limited to what we can measure. At this time scientists are only able to take measurements in four recognized “dimensions”, height, width, depth and time. But what if there are more? Science and mathematics are hinting that there are.

Scientists recently created a mathematical model of the way the brain creates and accesses memories, and discovered that the mathematics involved requires as many as 11 dimensions to do so. The mathematics of string theory also requires as many as 11 dimensions. Scientists will trip over themselves to assure everyone that this doesn’t meant that there are 11 actual vectors of existence, that’s just the current state of the mathematics involved.

Science fiction has long speculated about the existence of other dimensions, dimensions that function almost as separate universes where anything is possible. But one must understand that other dimensions, if they exist, are all variables in the same equation, or set of equations. All the variables are connected, and while some may be 0’s or negative numbers, they can’t be isolated, one from another. Other dimensions, if they exist, don’t represent discreet universes, they are an indivisible vector of our current existence.

There are theories which suggest that there are 12 dimensions, and that the 12th dimension is unknowable, or undefined. There is even a mathematical symbol for this.

In this humble layperson’s opinion, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…” If the mathematics and the science are pointing to the existence of eleven dimensions, then perhaps they actually do exist, and are more than just an arbitrary tool for solving equations. And perhaps, just perhaps, inserting a twelfth, undefined dimension might be the key to a final proof for string theory and who knows what else.

All Hail Our Microbial Overlords

Keystone species theories identify certain species that are keystones to a particular ecosystem. Typically the function of a keystone species is to limit the numbers of a species that will degrade the ecosystem if allowed to increase it’s population unchecked. It is clear that homo sapiens are one such destructive species. There is no question that homo sapiens downgrade ecosystems wherever they become numerous.

But homo sapiens are a complex species, and factors that have limited human population growth historically are numerous. However, if one were to identify a single group of organisms that have typically performed that function, that role would primarily fall to microorganisms, namely viruses and bacteria. These are the predators that have most commonly kept human populations in check, historically.

Human population has increased exponentially since the advent of vaccines and antibiotics, and this explosion in human population has been accompanied by what is now, very clearly, a mass extinction event, loss of biodiversity and a downgrading of ecosystem that is planet wide and rivals any of the mass extinctions in the history of Planet Earth.

Before anyone starts yelling and screaming, I am not pining for the days when the average human life span was between 30 and 40 years and childhood mortality was 46%, as was the case before the advent of effective vaccines and antibiotics. Humans have gifts that no other species on the planet have: the ability to store and pass on knowledge and the ability to create, use tools and create tools to make still more powerful tools. We have the ability to become our own keystone species, and it is something we need to do, if we are going to restore our own planetary ecosystem.

No I am not advocating genocide and mass murder. But I am advocating population limits and control. If we are truly going to restore our planetary ecosystem and make it an ecosystem that can sustain life for the long term, we need to come to terms with our sheer numbers. We need to understand that population control is our responsibility, not the responsibility of God or gods. Either that or we need to learn to live with a permanently downgraded ecosystem.