Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘alternate universe

Paranormal Watch

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PIA14934_saturn

I feel almost guilty writing this post. I used to be such a fan of paranormal mysteries. Loch Ness, UFOs, ancient aliens, and other curious little corners of reality. I’m still a fan, but I have grown more skeptical over the years. Sadly this is because I’ve realized that the signal-to-noise ratio is rather low in these areas. Worse,  cashing in on the credulous has grown mainstream, and now things like the History Channel are shamelessly spreading paranormal nonsense to make a buck. Still, just because there’s a lot of fraud, poor scholarship, and pseudo-science doesn’t mean it’s all nonsense. A UFO could crash on the White House lawn tomorrow. Not bloody likely, but not impossible. And in the vein of keeping my toe in the paranormal water so to speak, here’s a brief rundown of recent developments on the fringe.

UFOs: OK, the big recent news is that the Russian PM said that if Obama doesn’t come clean about aliens living among us, Russia will. He made the remark in the context of a joke about the Men In Black movies. Some in UFO circles took it seriously. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Obama’s announcement. Ufology is a very active field, but it mostly concerns itself with blurry  videos of lights in the sky. Or anecdotal reports. Nothing with actual evidence. And the field is always rife with some rumor about how all is going to be revealed soon. A peculiar class of belief not limited to ufology by any means.  I also did some recent research on Roswell, and it’s not looking good. One of the biggest “researchers” on the case was shown to be a fraud, all of his “discoveries” are suspect, and some main stream ufologists no longer think Roswell involved aliens or an alien craft. Well, crap.

Bigfoot: Oh, the usual crop of blobsquatch videos. There was a claim awhile ago that Bigfoot DNA had been obtained. It’s generally considered to be a hoax at this point. There’s a recording of Bigfoot screeches making the rounds. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that this is evidence of nothing. Animals make a vast array of sounds, this will more than likely be eventually explained as normal wildlife noise. At this point, well, it’s hard to understand why a bigfoot hasn’t shown up as roadkill. Maybe they are smart enough not to cross roads? In other words they are smarter than people? Wouldn’t that be wild if Bigfoot was the true intelligent species on the planet, and they were just hiding and biding their time until we destroyed ourselves? Stranger things have happened. Sarah Palin for example.

Loch Ness Monster: Exciting news on this front. None less than Megan Fox believes in the Loch Ness Monster! Who is Megan Fox? Damned if I know. That’s about it on the Loch Ness monster. I’m assuming the whole silly thing is dead since I pointed out that no sightings preceding the 1930s is impossible to explain. You can thank me later for clearing this one up.

Baigong Pipes: Someone brought to my attention the Baigong Pipes, supposed iron pipes that predate human civilization by tens of thousands of years. Well, two problems. The first of which is saying someone laid all these pipes, but left no other evidence? That’s a little hard to swallow. Secondly, scientists believe (backed with actual evidence) that the Baigong pipes are natural formations that are created when buried tree trunks get replaced by iron deposits. Examples are found in a number of locations around the world. Scientists would be thrilled to find evidence of ancient alien technology. Think of the research grants and fame and getting laid by cute ancient aliens chicks that would result in. So when scientists say: “Um, no, these are natural formations.” I think we can believe them.

Infinite Universes: It’s long been a  popular meme that since there may be infinite universes, then there are infinite versions of each of us on said universes. IE if you got up and decided to wear a blue shirt today, there is a universe where someone identical to you chose to wear a red shirt. Ad infinitum. Well, some scientists (yes, that matters) have taken a look at this idea and pointed out that it is “highly speculative.” In other words, science fiction. For one thing, the idea that our universe is infinite is by no means the accepted scientific view. Secondly, they point out that if there are infinite possibilities for life, then each planet with life could and should be unique. Crap. And I was so hoping to exchange places with a richer me in one of these universes.

Quantum Birds: Well, it turns out that quantum physics may play a role in biology. A big role actually. This is a revolutionary idea, but it is gaining credence as experiments suggest it is the case. It almost certainly plays a role in photosynthesis. It’s also suspected to play a role in small and animal navigation. Research continues, but this could be the “new biology” of the 21st century. It would take me a whole post to explain quantum physics, and even then I might get it wrong. OK, probably would get it wrong, quantum physics is hard to grasp.

“Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine – it is stranger than we can imagine.”  — J.B.S. Haldane

(The above image is of Saturn taken from the Cassini Orbiter. The Sun is directly behind it. It’s legal to use this image non-commercially. Credit and copyright: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, Cassini Imaging Team. I chose it because it’s a beautiful spooky image … and an example of the incredible frontiers science is still advancing on. NASA rocks.)

What is outside the Universe revisited: “There is no God” is now a scientific fact

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One of the side effects of trying to write thought provoking blog posts is that often they provoke a lot of thoughts, expressed in the form of comments. And unfortunately I often do not or cannot take the time to address them all properly. Hell, I could write a book on my responses to the comments to the Dyatlov Pass Incident alone, and if someone offers me a pile of money,  maybe I will. Anyhow, I digress.

So, someone left this comment on my “What is Outside the Universe” post:

“Perhaps our existence is only the thinking of another.
Perhaps our dimensions being time, space, sound, gravity, light or energy, mass and speed or rate of expansion are the only ones the Creator chooses to contemplate. On the other hand,
If you go back to the idea that existing is a reality painted on a canvas that could be a variety of shapes including a sphere in or outside a parabola and flat or undulating surface that meets itself but always our existence is someplace. bigger, smaller but where?
I think that we are in the imagination of the Grand thinker and where is He? or She or It. Are we being crapped on a stump, floating in beer or piss or in a soap bubble. Will we ever be able to see or know?”

Well, um, yes. That’s the whole point I am trying to make. 400 years ago the idea that science could explain and explore the fundamental nature of reality was laughable. 50 years ago the idea that science could understand the nature and origin of the Big Bang was science fiction. Today scientists are using scientific instruments to peer outside our universe and see what is actually going on. And amazingly enough, what they are seeing is similar to what some philosophers have been saying all long. Our entire universe is a tiny fleck of foam on a storm tossed sea that extends infinitely in all directions, a sea that has been storming forever and will be storming forever.

And this sea contains energy such that we can’t comprehend it. Our entire universe was but a tiny speck of this underlying reality, that’s how “dense” the energy is in the underlying reality “outside” our universe. And our universe is one of an infinite number of universes, in the past and it the future. (Although “past” and “future” have very little meaning outside our universe.) I’m having trouble grasping the idea of infinite myself, but it means that for every decision point in my life, there is a universe where I made a different decision. Doesn’t it? And when one looks about at all the decision points in people’s lives, that’s a lot of universes. Infinite is more than a lot though, right?

The point I am making is that our universe doesn’t appear to have been created by God, it appears to have been a natural consequence of events in the underlying reality. A reality so vast and energetic it has created and will create an infinite number of universes. And science is on the verge of proving this. And no God or other supernatural being is needed to explain any of this. I mean, if God exists, he created a reality that has infinite energy and will create all possible universes and has always been here and always will be here. Clever trick, but there’s no longer anything to explain. “Reality contains infinite energy, exists forever, and creates all possibilities” pretty much covers all possible contingencies.

It may sound mean, but claiming a God is required to explain reality and/or the Big Bang is now logically akin to saying God is required to explain the sunrise. Scientists are probing the nature of reality itself and the origin of our universe, the very same way they learned about the Earth orbiting the Sun and everything since, by logical application of the scientific method and using increasingly sophisticated scientific instruments. Some evidence for this and the existence of other universes is illustrated above. Some cosmologists have detected patterns in the CMB radiation that they claim may be “bruises” caused when our universe impacted other “nearby” universes before the Big Bang. This particular line of inquiry may may not pan out, but it’s only one of many ways scientists are now exploring the very fabric of reality.

We are at a historical junction akin to when Galileo showed the Pope that Jupiter has moons. Some people started to understand it then, that’s one of the reasons they called the Renaissance the “Age of Reason.” And we are coming to the inevitable end of the journey Galileo started with his little telescope. Humans invented God to explain things we couldn’t understand. Well, scientists have now shown that there isn’t anything left that requires a supernatural being to explain. I can’t prove there’s no God, but when someone like the esteemed commenter above says “We can never ultimately know whether we are foam in an infinite  stormy sea or bubbles in an infinite glass of beer,” no disrespect intended, but they are talking metaphysics, not cosmology or science.

As far as reality goes, the reality we live in, there is no God. That appears to be a scientific fact now, whether people like it or not.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. Credit and Copyright: Feeny et. al.  And then of course there’s the whole situation where as soon as people came up with a hypothetical supernatural being to explain why the sun shines and the grass grows, some people realized this was a great avenue to manipulate other people, but that’s a topic for another day.)

 

 

Written by unitedcats

January 26, 2011 at 7:57 am