"What if you reject this quantum physics?" asks Adam.
"Then I guess your CD player and credit cards stop working."
"I don't have a CD player or a credit card."
I grin at him. "Yes, but you know what I mean. Real technology is built on quantum physics. Engineers have to learn it. I mean, it is nuts, but it works out there in the real world."
"God or the multiverse," says Heather. "Which one would you choose?"
"I'm not happy with either of them," I say. "But probably God--whatever that actually means. Call it the Thomas Hardy interpretation: I'd rather have something out there that means something than feel like I exist in a vast ocean of pure meaninglessness."
"What about you, Adam?"
"God," he says. "Even though I thought I'd given up all that." He smiles without showing his teeth, as if doing more with his mouth would break his face. "No, it does make sense: the idea of an external consciousness. I prefer that anyway, given this choice."
"Oh well, I'm on my own then with the multiverse," says Heather.
"You're never alone in the multiverse," I say.
"Ha, ha," she says. "Seriously, I can't believe that God made life, not with the research I'm doing. I mean the evidence just isn't there. And I get so many threatening letters from creationists that I just can't align myself to them in any way."
"I don't think this means aligning yourself with creationists," I say. "Surely some external being could have sparked the very beginning of the universe and then everything else just evolved as scientists think it did."
Although as I say this I think: via Newtonian cause and effect, and I realize that this is at odds with the idea of a quantum universe, and I suddenly don't know what to say.
--Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr. Y
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