Santa Claus, the Multiverse, and You
Recently, a man was arrested in Canada for attempting to spoil the legend of Santa Claus for a group of children watching a parade. While I couldn’t find a direct quote from the perp in any of the news stories I scanned, he was basically saying that Santa is not real. Well, allow me to retort.
Can the Santa Claus of legend — he who travels the world in one night delivering presents to all good boys and girls — be real? Yes, if you consider the issue in the context of the increasingly popular multiverse theories developed by the scientific community.
Here’s a brief description of the concept from Sean Carroll:
In short, string theory predicts that the laws of physics can take on an enormous variety of forms, and inflation can create an infinite number of pocket universes. So the different laws of physics predicted by string theory might not be just hypothetical. They might really be out there somewhere among the countless parts of the multiverse. This is not a situation that cosmologists dreamed up in a flight of fancy; it is something we were led to by trying to solve problems right here in the universe we observe.
So according to some multiverse theories, there can be universes outside of our own where the laws of physics are different. So there can be universes where an obese man can fit down the narrowest of chimneys, where reindeer can fly — wait, has anyone ever mentioned how unnecessary the reindeer are? He can make the sleigh fly, so it follows that he should be able to steer it himself. Why does Santa feel it is necessary to burden these poor animals? Wouldn’t they be terrified of the heights? Has anyone called PETA and reported the fatman? I would think it would be easier to land just the sled on some of these rooftops. Anyway, the point is that if there are places where the laws of physics are different, it follows that perhaps a universe exist where a very generous man (of girth and character), taking advantage of elf-slave labor trapped at a remote industrial compound at the North Pole, has the ability to observe the behavior of billions of people, judge them as naughty or nice, and deliver presents globally in one night.
So I’ll go out on a limb and say if the “many worlds” flavor of the multiverse theory is true, it is a safe bet that at least one universe has a Santa Claus. Further, if there are an infinite number of universes, just as there would be infininte yet slightly different versions of you, there would be almost infinite Santas.
Imagine some of those different versions of Santa Claus out there in the multiverse: a yellow-suited Santa, a fit Santa, a Jewish Santa, an alien Santa, a robot Santa, and, yes, the Hogfather. You could have an Emu Claus, an Emo Claus, an Elmo Claus, an Obama Claus, a Gaga Claus, Deion Sanders Claus, a Yoda Claus, or even a Hulk Claus. Please feel free to add your own Claus variants below.
Now, get ready for this one … in some universes, YOU are the Santa Claus. Of course, to be the bearer of bad news, in some universes you are Hitler. To further depress you, in some universes Santa is Hitler, and in others Hitler is Santa. I guess it is possible you could have a good Hitler Santa or an evil Hitler Santa (or both!), each bringing completely different holiday experiences to boys and girls around the world. This is supposed to be a joyful time of year, so let’s abandon the Hitler Claus discussion for now (and even not mention Satan Claus … oops, I did).
So, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus … if an infinite multiverse theory is true, but he might not (presently) exist on this planet in this particular universe, but in others you, Virginia, are Santa Claus.
Note: Before the anal science trolls vomit data all over the comments section, I’d like everyone to recall something called satire. Have a happy holiday, and don’t eat the mistletoe.