ExtraDimensions and St Nick
How Science Lays Open the Possibility of the Existence of Santa Claus
Scientists used to have no problem disproving the existence of Santa. Their reasoning went something like this:
If the universe is all there is, then Santa Claus is subject to the laws of nature - such as the laws of gravity, energy, entropy, motion, etc.
Being constrained by these laws, he could not possibly do the things he is given credit for - like checking up on everyone, listening to all our requests, visiting millions of households, and delivering tons of presents all in one night.
He would have to break physical laws by achieving incredible supersonic speeds with instant accelerations and decelerations. He would have to expend so much energy in such a small time at such prodigious rates struggling through our thick atmosphere that he could never survive even the first house.
So went some of the patronizing reasoning made by the unbelievers back when science claimed to know it all. They let the “ignorant masses” believe in Santa because it posed no great harm. Karl Marx’s younger brother, Onjar, summed up the naturalists’ nonSantistic philosophy when he referred to Santa as a “novocain for the people.”
However, the last decades have changed dramatically how we view the universe and it has become far less difficult to believe in the “stories” surrounding this man and the possibility that he really may exist.
But first we need a small discussion on space and time...
For millennia, people have been aware of the fact that we live in a three-dimensional spatial world (often referred to as length, height, and width) with one dimension of time (a “straight line” of time with a past, present, and future). To most scientists, that is all that ever existed.
But in the early part of the 20th century there was a great discovery. Through the works of Edwin Hubble and Albert Einstein, it was determined that the universe is expanding. If it is expanding, it must have had a beginning! - an universe-shattering idea at the time. This was a great milestone in scientific thinking and had far-reaching implications, both philosophically and theologically.
One conclusion was that there is more to space than we see. There must be another dimension of space, incomprehensible and unseen, into which we are expanding.
To add to this, recently Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose took Einstein’s theories a little further, concluding that time itself was created at the Beginning, as well. This implies at least another dimension of time outside our own!
To make this all even more mysterious, the last decade has given us the best theory of the birth and life of the universe - the string theory. This beautiful theory requires at least ten(!) dimensions of space to make it work.
Immediate point: There are at least ten dimensions of space and two dimensions of time in “existence.” And with this the possibility of the existence of Santa is now not so far-fetched. How?
First, I must use an analogy to help you imagine what extra dimensions might be like. It’s thinking cap time!
Suppose there was a flat person (two-dimensional, with height and width only but no depth, like TV news anchors) living on a flat, 2-dimensional surface. An example might be a stick man drawn on the newspaper you’re reading now. Imagine he can travel up or down, to the left or right, but not in front of or behind his newspaper “universe.” In fact, he is not even aware of space in front of or behind the paper. The newspaper is all there is for him.
You, however, living with three dimensions of space - just one more than he has! - can do wondrous things. You can observe this “flatman,” even come right up to him. But he is totally unaware of you - unless you choose to “enter” his newspaper universe.
Imagine that you could do this by putting your finger through the paper (into his realm of sensation). And you could immediately ?disappear? just by taking your finger back, leaving his flat world. You still exist, you just cannot be seen. You are with him, yet invisible to him. You can watch him constantly without ever his being aware of you.
Moreover, if you also had another dimension of time, you could do things “simultaneously.” For example, you could perfectly converse with more than one “flatperson” at a time. You could also spend as long as you wanted observing a single moment of time in this flatland, like examining a single frame of movie film. For that entire time the flat people would be unaware of you observing them.
With just one extra dimension of time and space, you can do things which, to flat people, seem incredible and miraculous.
Well, science tells us that there really are extra dimensions “out there.” Now the “myths” about Santa that seemed so silly are plausible. Here are some examples...
Let’s start with where he lives. Legends have it that he lives at the North Pole. But the naysayers will say that we’ve never seen this House, therefore it doesn’t exist. Maybe, however, to our limited 3D existence, the North Pole is the nearest we can get to it! Maybe the house is just north of the North Pole - off limits for us, but existing in another dimension. Just as the newspaper people were right next to - yet unaware - of you, there may be a Santa House right at the North Pole, just beyond our perception.
A Santa who’s been given access to other dimensions could, throughout our year, entirely at his leisure, and without being seen or heard, check on us to see if we are being naughty or nice. He could even make a List and check it twice with plenty of time to keep those elves in line!
With special access to extra realms of space and time, Santa could simultaneously visit as many malls as he wants, listening to the pleas of thousands of children everywhere, all day.
Chimneys may be our best, albeit naive, explanation of how Mr. Claus enters and leaves homes without being seen. But he doesn’t need any opening at all; he could just enter into our dimensions, leave the presents, then exit back.
This Santa person could visit not only all American and European homes in one single night, but could visit all homes on all the Earth! Although this would be impossible in our spacio-temporal prison, this is a no-sweat effort on his part.
And remember, since his time is not ours, he may be spending an equivalent of “years” of his time doing all this. This would cause him to get hungry and would explain how he could eat hundreds of thousands of cookies and drink oceans of milk in “just one night.”
Although science is unable to prove his existence, new scientific discoveries have made it much more easy to believe in him and his seemingly miraculous nature.
Ironically, thanks in part to science, the leap of faith it once took to believe in Santa has been reduced to a step.