Friday, November 23, 2007

Whatever you do, don't look 

I admit, I'm never going to understand quantum mechanics.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 23, 09:42:00 AM:

This is truly a shame. Personally, I blame universal climate change due to excessive CO2 at the sub-atomic level.

I'm intrigued by this sentence in the article:

"The startling claim is made by a pair of American cosmologists investigating the consequences for the cosmos of quantum theory, the most successful theory we have."

I love the concept of a "most successful theory". It invites a number of questions:

1. If a theory is "successful", then why is it still a "theory"?

2. But if it's only a "most" successful theory, then doesn't that indicate that they know what a "fully" successful theory would be, and, if so, who don't they just use that theory, instead?

3. How about another example of a "most successful theory"?

A. 2 + 2 = 7
B. 2 + 2 = 6
C. 2 + 2 = 5

Obviously, Answer C is the "most successful theory" of the three, so that's what I'm going to start using from now on.

It's the power of quantum mechanics!

There were also a couple of other lines in the article that merit attention:

"may have accidentally nudged the universe closer to its death"

Uh, pardon me, but "death"? First off, as I understand it, matter cannot be destroyed. But, more to the point, isn't the current understanding that the universe contracts and expands unendingly?

"has evolved since the big bang of creation 13.7 billion years ago."

I love the ".7". In the excellent DVD "Hyperspace", narrated by Sam Neill, it states that using our most sophisticated long-range capibilities, we are able to see no more than 10% of the universe. But they've got the age down to ".7". Uh-huh.

And while the article started off by calling the charlatans promoting this stuff "philosophers and scientists", by the middle of the article they become...

"This is not the only damage to the heavens that astronomers may have caused."

But you have to admit that some writers do a great job of slant. Allow me to finish up this sentence for him:

"In all, the new analysis suggests that the universe has lost about one fifth of its overall mass" compared to the old, flawed analysis.

As far as your comment about never understanding quantum mechanics, Hawk, I'd suggest that, if this is "quantum mechanics", you'll never understand it. This isn't quantum mechanics, it's an attempt to apply quantum mechanics to the field of astronomy, and, given that, probably did a pretty good job of it.

By the same token, I could probably do a pretty good job of convincing you that 2 + 2 = 5.

Using quantum mechanics. :)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 23, 11:17:00 AM:

Harvard physicist Lubos Motl has a good write-up of the Telegraph article:


"I wonder whether experimental cosmologists start to be executed as a threat for life in this Universe. Will the U.N. boss Ban Ki-moonbat propose this step to save our Universe? As Steve correctly says, this alarm looks much worse than global warming! You can see where the tolerance towards crackpots leads. Because writers such as Mr Highfield haven't faced the appropriate consequences, he - and others - will be writing increasingly more outrageous BS into his newspaper and other sources."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 23, 06:27:00 PM:

It's OK not to understand quantum mechanics. I was required to study the subject in order to obtain a degree from that quaint institution in central New Jersey. Although I received an "A" I do not think I earned it. I was able to get through the exams by brute force application of mathematics, which I do understand and did quite well at.

I had a similar experience with a politics course. Math did not help.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Nov 23, 06:55:00 PM:

We'd better vaporize the earth quick so those galactic photons cruising through the neighborhood don't impact here and get "observed" by some snail darter or "greedy" tree leaf looking to cop some rays.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 24, 12:44:00 AM:

And even as they are going out to warn us about this global warming pooppycock bull kaka AL GORE is putting plenty of CO2 into the atmophear and the whole global warming is a fruad and the biggist lie of the century  

By Blogger Ray, at Sat Nov 24, 01:45:00 AM:

The guy who wrote the article was on crack. The universe does not work that way. Quantum mechanically, what constitutes an observation is a touch unclear, but significant interaction counts as observation.

Your book and your teddy bear are not going to become quantum mechanically entangled when your back is turned, or when you're not there at all. If the universe isn't interacting with itself, that's not anything they ever taught me in quantum mechanics.  

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