Universe To Hominids: Quit Looking At Me?

Quit looking at me

First, quantum physics ruined our week by demonstrating that things as they are depend to some degree on observation of those things. From Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (“you can only know how fast something is going or where it is, not both”) to Schroedinger’s Cat (“that cat in the box is both/neither alive and/nor dead until you open up the box and take a look”) quantum physics does its best to screw up the idea of an objective universe.

While discovery of this highly subjective condition is decades old, recent research seems to push things further down the path of subjectivity by suggesting what might be thought of as an understandable extension of a universe that behaves this way. New research suggests the universe not only is or is not a certain way depending on whether it is under observation, it also has undergone significant changes in its volume and mass due to the very quantum effects of observation. Just looking at stuff is wiping out stuff and shortening the life of the universe. From the Telegraph’s coverage of a New Scientist story:

New Scientist reports a worrying new variant as the cosmologists claim that astronomers may have provided evidence that the universe may ultimately decay by observing dark energy, a mysterious anti gravity force which is thought to be speeding up the expansion of the cosmos.

The damaging allegations are made by Profs Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and James Dent of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, who suggest that by making this observation in 1998 we may have determined that the cosmos is in a state when it was more likely to end. “Incredible as it seems, our detection of the dark energy may provide evidence that the universe will ultimately decay,” says Prof Krauss.

What must be done is clear: in order to save the universe from our pernicious attempts to understand it, we must burn every observatory and library to the ground and remove the destructive force of science from our lives forever. Start by voting Republican.

1 Response to “Universe To Hominids: Quit Looking At Me?”

  1. 1 Dan
    March 10, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    This is just comical. I don’t know how else to respond to this. I think that in terms of our silly and self-important conceptions of the universe, uncertainty has done for the modern era what Cartesian dualism did for the enlightenment; that is to say that when handled in the wrong way it makes us out to be a good deal more consequential than we are.

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November 2007

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