Fellow Swamp Stomper, McGehee:

Forget about the threat that mankind poses to the Earth: our activities may be shortening the life of the universe too.

Damned SUVs.

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. Over the past few years, cosmologists have taken this powerful theory of what happens at the level of subatomic particles and tried to extend it to understand the universe, since it began in the subatomic realm during the Big Bang.

But there is an odd feature of the theory that philosophers and scientists still argue about. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that we change things simply by looking at them and theorists have puzzled over the implications for years.

They often illustrate their concerns about what the theory means with mind-boggling experiments, notably Schrödinger’s cat in which, thanks to a fancy experimental set up, the moggy is both alive and dead until someone decides to look, when it either carries on living, or dies. That is, by one interpretation (by another, the universe splits into two, one with a live cat and one with a dead one.)

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

» Mankind ‘shortening the universe’s life’

I’ve always considered these notions to be artifacts of the very uncertainty that quantum theory supposedly reveals. There’s a point where math as presently constructed simply begins to lose its ability to describe what’s going on, but rather than simply admit they can’t look any deeper into the looking glass, our theorists keep trying to make the numbers work.

M101True, my friend…. very true But let’s make this a little bit simpler, shall we?

In poker, when your bluff is about to get called, the response for some players, is to raise the bet, on the idea that the rest of the table, will think you’re not bluffing, after all.  And what, after all, can you raise the bet to, beyond the known universe?

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