Roger Ebert: The Quantum Theory of Reincarnation

Very good essay by Roger Ebert. Contains a clip of Robert Anton Wilson in Maybe Logic.

If you want to see fear in the eyes of a quantum physicist, mention the word “measurement.” — Folk saying

Is reincarnation possible from a scientific, rationalist point of view? For my purposes today I’m going to argue that it is. We will never, however, be aware of it, and indeed “we,” as we like to think of ourselves, will be completely out of the picture. I’m going to approach the problem from the point of view of quantum mechanics — a field about which I understand almost nothing, although discussing it permits others to assume I have gone mad.

Let’s begin, for the sake of argument, by saying that when you get right down to the bottom — under the turtles — everything, and I mean Everything, consists of quantum particles. These particles can as well be in one place as another, even at the same time. As Wikipedia informs us: The Everett many-worlds interpretation, formulated in 1956, holds that all the possibilities described by quantum theory simultaneously occur in a “multiverse” composed of mostly independent parallel universes.