|Family Guy is owned by FOX. Also, the |
episode this is from was pretty good.
Except that last part is illogical.
Before I continue, I want to make a few things clear. This hypothesis is based on cause and effect, probability, and biology. For all I know, fate is a real thing, and if some all powerful being wants The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to be a constant in the multiverse, then yes, Jon Stewart will exist in all continuities regardless of anything I'm about to say.
Given that we can neither prove nor disprove things such as fate and destiny, however, that is not being considered here and is a different debate altogether.
For the purpose of this argument, the definition of a dimensional alternate is "someone born with identical DNA". It doesn't matter if they mutate later or whatever; so long as they're born with DNA identical to someone in another universe, they're someone's alternate. This ignore's any spiritual or other technical ways one could arguably be an alternate.
Odds of Someone's Parents Meeting
There are so many factors involved here that I honestly don't know how to calculate it. I don't think anyone could. The odds of two specific people getting together in one universe are low enough, but in more than one universe with different histories?
Consider one of my examples where something is crazily different, and the Star Wars prequels KICKED ASS! But what if two people met and fell in love over the internet as a result of their mutual hatred for the prequels? In a universe where there was nothing to complain about, would they still get together, let alone know that the other person even exists?
It's a silly example, but consider any "how did you meet" story, and you can find points where you could have prevented them from meeting by changing just one little thing. Now consider a universe where America lost the Revolutionary war. Imagine how many "little things" that would change.
Again, this argument doesn't factor in fate, the force, cupid, etc, so don't comment with "true wuv" or, well.... I guess I'd just sit at the computer and look annoyed. Not much else I could do, really.
Odds of a Specific Person Being Born
Let's say that in spite of President Lincoln being a space dingo democrat in this other universe, one's parents still meet and have children. The odds of one's dimensional alternate being born remains low all the same.
Remember, for the sake of this discussion, one is not a dimensional alternate unless they have identicial DNA. I don't want to get too graphic here, but if you think about it, it's much more likely that the equivalent of a fraternal twin or a sibling would be born than a dimensional alternate with identical DNA. Whether the first X chromosome is identical would depend on when the baby was conceived, and the second X or Y chromosome would have a low probability of being identical regardless of when conception took place.
This is a problem with time travel as well. I know the universe was pretty easy going in Back To The Future, but I still think Marty should've shapeshifted some as he messed with continuity. Heck, he could've even wound up changing genders!
To the fan art machine!
When you consider the various reasons two people might not meet and the odds against a specific person being born, the odds of one person existing in multiple universes is pretty low. Thing is, that's just one generation. This applies to every single previous generation.
As such, not only are the odds of one specific person being born astronomically low, but the odds of their parents, grandparents, etc. were low, too. The odds of the family tree being multiversally constant becomes exponentially lower with each successive generation.
Actually, I shouldn't say every previous generation. It's really just up to the point where the universes were last identical. For another universe to be recognizable at all as parallel, it seems like it would have to identical up to a point in history.
Let's say Marty's reckless time travel resulted in the universe diverging into two separate universes, meaning the universes are identical up to sometime in the 1950's. Eventually, the ripple effect of the changes to Hill Valley would be far-reaching, but initially, that town would be the only place with significant changes. By the 1980s, the odds of the latest generation of Hill Valleyans being identical in both universes would be pretty low.
My conclusion is thus: Short of some outside force manipulating who is and isn't born in each universe, the odds of a single person existing in multiple universes where events were different prior to their birth are low to the point of essentially being non-existent.
As such, in a hypothetical universe where things are left to chance and, for example, America lost the revolutionary war, none of us would logically exist.
In spite of all this, the concept is fun enough that I am willing to ignore it, work around it, whatever I've gotta do to be able to write and enjoy parallel universe stories. Yes, there are logical flaws, but science doesn't run the show when it comes to fiction.