In cosmic archery news, scientists are once again asking questions they can’t answer about things that don’t matter instead of trying to make a difference.
They seem like obvious questions: “Why does time only go in one direction?” and “How do I turn this obvious question into grant money?” Giant space brains (below) worked the answers out eons ago and moved on. But they have troubled scientists for over a century.
A new theory has proposed an answer — time used to run in both directions, but somebody from the Mirror Universe took the other “arrow of time”.
Most scientists believe that the universe is some sort of giant star-spangled bell (above) with the open end on the right. And usually, when scientists model the beginning of the universe, they point the bell in the right direction.
An experiment to recreate the beginning of our universe suggests that as the Big Bang happened, someone held up a mirror, creating a mirror universe that took the other arrow and ran backwards to get away. This Big Bang theory gained widespread acceptance on Thursday night at 8.
The experiment solves a key problem in theoretical physics: why can’t you just turn the bell around and point it in the other direction?
The current theory suggests that entropy — the force of the universe that converts lost socks into keys that you don’t remember what they go to — also drives time forward. Since the universe began with two million billion zillion socks and only one lock and key, as it gets more disorganized, it takes longer to find the right key to unlock the door to the laundry, allowing socks more time to disappear into a parallel universe.*
While that is many scientists’ working theory, it is impossible to prove. Scientists love when theories are impossible to prove, so when this theory meant they could just say that time doesn’t have to flow in just one direction, theoretical physicists got all excited.
This other, or “mirror”, or “wrong” universe has the bell pointing to the left (below). As a result, all the printing in that universe is backward and hard to read**, making the denizens of this Mirror Universe particularly cranky and evil.
Early negotiations between Spocks from both universes (see picture at top) to share the arrows broke down after our universe started allowing every Rom, Dax, and Harry (below) with a transporter to access their universe and interfere with their Empire.
Eventually, the other Arrow of Time decided it was not inspirational enough for the cranky and evil Mirror Universe, so it faked its own death. It had to become something else: it had to become the Green Arrow of Time (below).
Attempts to re-open negotiations with the Mirror Universe (Motto: “Building a Better Yesterday”) began earlier this year, but have been stalled amid allegations that due to differences in the flow of time, Ambassador Spock (below left) has become his own mirror grandfather.†
When the universe began, it could have created another one flowing in the other direction when no one was looking, wrote Julian Barbour, Tim Koslowski, and Flavio Mercati. “Any internal observer will only be aware of the records of one branch because they’re observing internally,” they write. “Would it kill them to try observing externally every once in a while? It’s a nice day!” Their ideas have not gained wide acceptance, however, because they were written down in backward script, causing those who read them to become cranky and evil.
* Some scientists have postulated the existence of a perpendicular universe where the arrow of time points up, but to date nobody cares.
** Interestingly, this mirror time flow allows for the correct sequence of events for the development of the first stars, galaxies, planets, and giant space brains (billions of years ago), the Dark Ages (500-1000 A.D), and the period of high inflation (1974-82).
† The other major point of contention is why we keep sending them all those unmatched socks.