We have no problem thinking mathematically about four-dimensional space.
Where a 3-d cube has 8 vertices, a 4-d hypercube has 16
Where a cube has 6 faces, like a dice, a 4-d hypercube has
The problem is imagining what that actually looks like. We live in a three-dimensional world where we can’t see a fourth dimension. We simply can’t imagine what a 4-D world would look like.
However, that doesn’t mean that lots and lots of people haven’t tried to, in a huge variety of ways:
mathematicians and physicists, philosophers and theologians, occultists and
mystics, artists, architects, designers, authors.
The fourth dimension, when you start to look for it, is
Four-Dimensional Space and Other Worlds
On this week’s episode I’m joined by Professor Christopher White who has just written a book, Other Worlds, with a fascinating central premise: in the U.S, and in many parts of the Western world, the number of people identifying as Christian has been consistently falling, for about 30 years now. Yet the number of people who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, people who still believe in a god of some sort, has remained very high.
So, if people believe in spirits or angels, in God or life after death, in heaven or another world of some sort, but not in traditional religious institutions, how are they constructing these supernatural worlds?
Well, in many ways, as Professor White explains, they are relying on science and maths. On four-dimensional space, multiverses, quantum entanglement, string theory, parallel universes.
There is, and has been for well over a century now, a type of scientific supernatural.
Professor Christopher White is Professor and Chair of Religion at Vassar College in New York. You can read his full bio here
Other Worlds is available here
List of Works Mentioned
Edwin Abbott Flatland:
A Romance of Many Dimensions
Charles Howard Hinton
Claude Bragdon (architect)
Max Weber (artist)
John W. Dunne An Experiment
H.G. Wells The Time
Madeleine L’Engle A
Wrinkle in Time
C.S. Lewis The Chronicles
W.E.B. Du Bois
Stranger Things (TV
Spirits, spirit worlds, spritualism. Check out this episode on Arthur Conan Doyle and spritualism
How about some common myths about perception and the brain. Head over to this episode
If you enjoy the episode and want to find out how to support the show then click here for more information.
Looking for more four-dimensional space? Let me know in the comments below or check out the Words To That Effect Facebook Page
The show is on Instagram too!
Words To That Effect is a member of the Headstuff Podcast Network.
Coming later today