The above title is a quote attributed to William Thomson, Lord Kelvin in the year 1900. But it is not what Thomson said. It really was said by Albert A. Michaelson, another great 19th Century physicist.
So what is the meaning of all this stuff? The fact that whenever a great scientist(s) proclaims that in our reality, there already has been all that has been discovered in Nature? That the self-same scientists are usually wrong when making such claims?
Yes to the above. And here in the early 21st Century, the more things change, the more they stay the same.:
Physicist Sean Carroll, speaking at James Randi’s “The Amazing Meeting”, tells how anomalous phenomenon simply can’t happen because the laws of physics are completely understood:
There are actually three points I try to hit here. The first is that the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood. There is an enormous amount that we don’t know about how the world works, but we actually do know the basic rules underlying atoms and their interactions — enough to rule out telekinesis, life after death, and so on. The second point is that those laws are dysteleological — they describe a universe without intrinsic meaning or purpose, just one that moves from moment to moment.
The third point — the important one, and the most subtle — is that the absence of meaning “out there in the universe” does not mean that people can’t live meaningful lives. Far from it. It simply means that whatever meaning our lives might have must be created by us, not given to us by the natural or supernatural world. There is one world that exists, but many ways to talk about; many stories we can imagine telling about that world and our place within it, without succumbing to the temptation to ignore the laws of nature. That’s the hard part of living life in a natural world, and we need to summon the courage to face up to the challenge.
There’s a lot of elements to like about the talk, and Sean Carroll is no doubt a smarter man than me, but the pre-emptive debunking of apparent anomalies in science (such as parapsychology and the evidence for the survival of consciousness) – in effect, saying that we need not even test these anomalies because the laws of physics are already understood and preclude them – left me thinking of another well-known scientist’s thoughts on the apparent completeness of science. Considering the alternative scientific viewpoints from the likes of physicist Henry Stapp, on theoretical explorations of the possibility of an afterlife, and Dean Radin’s recent work on conscious influence in the famous double-slit experiment, the famous (though possibly apocryphal) fin de siècle quote of Lord Kelvin immediately came to mind when contemplating Carroll’s pronouncements:
There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.
Within a few years, science was turned on its head by relativity, and followed by quantum mechanics. One can only wonder if current-day anomalies, such as those explored by parapsychologiests, might one-day lead to some similar revolution, this time involving consciousness or information as primary elements of the cosmos.
Although Greg is understandably mistaken about Lord Kelvin’s quote, he is spot on about Carroll’s proclamations and I am surprised that Carroll actually made such claims.
Well, maybe not. I guess it just shows the inherent uber-conversatism in science.
But in the general population, not so much.
I think we might be ready for a new physics that breaks Mankind out into the Universe and answers some of our questions about Consciousness, UFOs, ghosts and other paranormal activities.
As always, many hat tips to Greg Taylor’s Daily Grail.
As this blog enters its sixth anniversary this month, I have never given much thought of it lasting this long. In fact, it almost ended last year when I took a long hiatus due to health issues; both for myself and my wife.
But as time went on and both my wife and I slowly recovered, I discovered I still had some things to say. And I realized the world never stopped turning in the meanwhile.
As I started to post again, the personal site Facebook became a semi-intelligent force unto itself. I say ‘semi-intelligent’ because it is spreading exponentially due to its posting of its games and constant proliferation of personal info unannounced and unapproved by individuals. And people, especially young folks don’t care this happens.
Distributed networks, mainly Facebook, Google and the World Wide Web in general are forms of distributed Artificial Intelligence. Does that mean we are in the early throes of the Technological Singularity?
I think we are IMO.
And if we are in the early upward curve of the Technological Singularity, how would that affect our theories of ancient intelligence in the Universe?
Well, I think we should seriously rethink our theories and consider how the Fermi Paradox might figure into this. Thinkers such as George Dyvorsky have written a few treatises on the subject and I believe they should be given due consideration by mainstream science. (The Fermi Paradox: Back With a Vengeance).
Speaking of mainstream science, it is slowly, but surely accepting the fact the Universe is filled with ancient stars and worlds. And if there’s a possibility the Universe has ancient worlds, there’s a chance there might be anicent Intelligences inhabiting these worlds:
The announcement of a pair of planets orbiting a 12.5 billion-year old star flies in the face of conventional wisdom that the earliest stars to be born in the Universe shouldn’t possess planets at all.
12.5 billion years ago, the primeval universe was just beginning to make heavier elements beyond hydrogen and helium, in the fusion furnace cores of the first stars. It follows that there was very little if any material for fabricating terrestrial worlds or the rocky seed cores of gas giant planets.
This argument has been used to automatically rule out the ancient and majestic globular star clusters that orbit our galaxy as intriguing homes for extraterrestrials.
The star that was announced to have two planets is not in a globular cluster (it lives inside the Milky Way, although it was most likely a part of a globular cluster that was cannibalized by our galaxy), but it is similarly anemic as the globular cluster stars because it is so old.
This discovery dovetails nicely with last year’s announcement of carbon found in a distant, ancient radio galaxy. These findings both suggest that there were enough heavy elements in the early universe to make planets around stars, and therefore life.
However, a Hubble Space Telescope search for planets in the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae in 1999 came up empty-handed. Hubble astronomers monitored 34,000 stars over a period of eight days. The prediction was that some fraction of these stars should have “hot Jupiters” that whirl around their star over a period of days (pictured here in an artist’s rendition). They would be detected if their orbits were tilted edge-on to Earth so the stars would briefly grow dimmer during each transit of a planet.
A similar survey of the galactic center by Hubble in 2006 came up with 16 hot Jupiter planet candidates. This discovery was proof of concept and helped pave the way for the Kepler space telescope planet-hunting mission.
Why no planets in a globular cluster? For a start, globular clusters are more crowded with stars than our Milky Way — as is evident in the observation of the dwarf galaxy M9 below. “It may be that the environment in a globular was too harsh for planets to form,” said Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia. “Planetary disks are pretty fragile things and could be easily disrupted in such an environment with a high stellar density.”
However, in 2007 Hubble found a 2.7 Jupiter mass planet inside the globular cluster M4. The planet is in a very distant orbit around a pulsar and a white dwarf. This could really be a post-apocalypse planet that formed much later in a disk of debris that followed the collapse of the companion star into a white dwarf, or the supernova explosion itself.
Hubble is now being used to look for the infrared glow of protoplanetary disks in 47 Tucanae. The disks would be so faint that the infrared sensitivity of the planned James Webb Space Telescope would be needed to carry out a more robust survey.
If planets did form in the very early in the universe, life would have made use of carbon and other common elements as it did on Earth billions of years ago. Life around a solar-type star, or better yet a red dwarf, would have a huge jump-start on Earth’s biological evolution. The earliest life forms would have had the opportunity to evolve for billions of years longer than us.
This inevitably leads to speculation that there should be super-aliens who are vastly more evolved than us. So… where are they? My guess is that if they existed, they evolved to the point where they abandoned bodies of flesh and blood and transformed themselves into something else — be it a machine or something wildly unimaginable.
However, it’s clear that despite (or, because of) their super-intelligence, they have not done anything to draw attention to themselves. The absence of evidence may set an upper limit on just how far advanced a technological civilization may progress — even over billions of years.
Keep in mind that most of the universe would be hidden from beings living inside of a globular star cluster. The sky would be ablaze with so many stars that it would take a long time for alien astronomers to simply stumble across the universe of external galaxies — including our Milky Way.
There will be other searches for planets in globular clusters. But our present understanding makes the question of a Methuselah civilization even more perplexing. If the universe made carbon so early, then ancient minds should be out there, somewhere.
Methuselah civilizations eh?
Sure. If there are such civilizations out there, it is because they wish to remain in the physical realm and not cross over to the inner places of shear mental and god-like powers.
As with all things ‘Future’, the answer could come crashing down upon us faster than we are prepared for.
As usual, thanks to the Daily Grail.
As if you didn’t know it, religious figures didn’t like Dr. Stephen Hawking’s last heretical statement against God, and how ‘He’ wasn’t needed to create the Universe.
Namely the chief honchos of the Church of England:
Religious leaders in Britain on Friday hit back at claims by leading physicist Stephen Hawking that God had no role in the creation of the universe.
In his new book “The Grand Design,” Britain’s most famous scientist says that given the existence of gravity, “the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” according to an excerpt published in The Times of London.
“Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he wrote.
“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going.”
But the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, told the Times that “physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.”
He added: “Belief in God is not about plugging a gap in explaining how one thing relates to another within the Universe. It is the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything ultimately depends for its existence.”
Williams’ comments were supported by leaders from across the religious spectrum in Britain. Writing in the Times, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said: “Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation … The Bible simply isn’t interested in how the Universe came into being.”
The Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, added: “I would totally endorse what the Chief Rabbi said so eloquently about the relationship between religion and science.”
Ibrahim Mogra, an imam and committee chairman at the Muslim Council of Britain, was also quoted by the Times as saying: “If we look at the Universe and all that has been created, it indicates that somebody has been here to bring it into existence. That somebody is the almighty conqueror.”
Hawking was also accused of “missing the point” by colleagues at the University of Cambridge in England.
“The ‘god’ that Stephen Hawking is trying to debunk is not the creator God of the Abrahamic faiths who really is the ultimate explanation for why there is something rather than nothing,” said Denis Alexander, director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
“Hawking’s god is a god-of-the-gaps used to plug present gaps in our scientific knowledge.
“Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative,” he added.
Fraser Watts, an Anglican priest and Cambridge expert in the history of science, said that it’s not the existence of the universe that proves the existence of God.
“A creator God provides a reasonable and credible explanation of why there is a universe, and … it is somewhat more likely that there is a God than that there is not. That view is not undermined by what Hawking has said.”
Hawking’s book — as the title suggests — is an attempt to answer “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything,” he wrote, quoting Douglas Adams’ cult science fiction romp, “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
His answer is “M-theory,” which, he says, posits 11 space-time dimensions, “vibrating strings, … point particles, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs and other objects that are more difficult to picture and occupy even more dimensions of space.”
He doesn’t explain much of that in the excerpt, which is the introduction to the book.
But he says he understands the feeling of the great English scientist Isaac Newton that God did “create” and “conserve” order in the universe.
It was the discovery of other solar systems outside our own in 1992 that undercut a key idea of Newton’s — that our world was so uniquely designed to be comfortable for human life that some divine creator must have been responsible.
But, Hawking argues, if there are untold numbers of planets in the galaxy, it’s less remarkable that there’s one with conditions for human life. And, indeed, he argues, any form of intelligent life that evolves anywhere will automatically find that it lives somewhere suitable for it.
Hawking seems unfazed by this, as I have indicated earlier to commenters on this blog that he isn’t worried about his opinion because no only does he feel he’s right, he feels he’s paid his dues and then some.
But if there’s a God, Hawking would be the one to find it.
The present Big Bang Theory of the formation of the Universe has been in trouble since the 1990s, since it was discovered that the Universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate.
Since then, the terms ‘dark energy’ and ‘dark matter’ have entered the scientific lexicon, although there’s no evidence that either of these things exist. They are are just ‘fillers’ that satisfy mathematical equations*.
*There have been some observed spaces in the Universe by the space probe GLAST that measures WIMPS (weakly interacting massive particles) showing the possibility of dark matter (link).
Now, Wun-Yi Shu, a physicist at Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University, has come up with a variation of the old ‘Steady State’ theory of the Universe in which the Universe goes through cycles of expansion and contraction:
A new theory explains the accelerating universe without invoking mysterious, unseen dark energy to account for the expansion. But it also gets rid of singularities, an unchanging speed of light…and the most famous astrophysical phenomenon of all, the Big Bang.
The observation of certain supernovas in the late 1990s led astronomers to the very unexpected discovery that the universe is expanding, and that the expansion is speeding up. There was nothing in the existing laws of physics to account for this, and so the only solution was dark energy – a mysterious force so named because we’ve never detected it, and yet it has to make up 75% of all the energy and mass in the universe for it to account for this cosmic acceleration. Also, the existence of dark energy weakens the supposedly inviolate law of conservation of energy, if not negates it completely. Cosmologically speaking, that’s a problem.
And yet, clumsy and unlikely as that all sounds, it’s the best explanation we’ve got for our observations of the universe…until now. Wun-Yi Shu, a physicist at Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University, has come up with a bold new cosmological framework that solves the dark energy problem. At its most basic, the theory states that the universe has three basic dimensions – mass, time, and length – and these three properties can be converted between each other. He then proposes two new constants, κ and τ, as the conversion factors between time and length and mass and length respectively.
So what does that all have to do with cosmic expansion? Shu’s theory holds that, as the universe expands, mass and time get converted to length and space, and then this conversion happens in reverse when the universe enters a period of contraction. The universe then becomes a neverending cycle of expansion and contraction, an eternal cosmos without beginning or end. So bye-bye dark energy…but bye-bye Big Bang as well. On the plus side, we do get the conservation of energy back.
Still, the Big Bang isn’t the only singularity removed from existence in this scenario – all the singularities thought to be at the centers of black holes have to go as well. And maybe the craziest part is that his two new constants, κ and τ, mean that Einstein’s old constants, c and G, are now free to change over time. Considering c is the speed of light and G is the gravitational constant, the fact that they might vary – even if it’s only in minute amounts over billions of years – is a very big deal, and maybe the most exciting part of this new theory.
Shu points out that his theory has already produced good results, as it explains better than any other cosmological framework the supernova data that started this whole mess over a decade ago. That said, he does face one major stumbling block – his theory can’t yet explain the cosmic microwave background, the faint radiation that permeates the universe and is thought to be left over from the Big Bang. As such the race is on – either Shu can account for the background radiation, the cosmology community can find hard evidence of dark energy, or a third, perhaps even weirder theory is just waiting to be formulated that will knit all the mysteries together.
Hmm…can’t account for the cosmic background radiation, eh?
Maybe our Universe is a microCosm in someone’s Large Hadron Collider?
When one thinks of quantum physics or mechanics, a picture of myriad billions of particles go dancing in my head and visions of parallel universes impinge on my consciousness.
Whatever. Anyway, the point is people don’t equate quantum physics with plants and photosynthesis.
The future of clean green solar power may well hinge on scientists being able to unravel the mysteries of photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight into electrochemical energy. To this end, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC), Berkeley have recorded the first observation and characterization of a critical physical phenomenon behind photosynthesis known as quantum entanglement.
Previous experiments led by Graham Fleming, a physical chemist holding joint appointments with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, pointed to quantum mechanical effects as the key to the ability of green plants, through photosynthesis, to almost instantaneously transfer solar energy from molecules in light harvesting complexes to molecules in electrochemical reaction centers. Now a new collaborative team that includes Fleming have identified entanglement as a natural feature of these quantum effects. When two quantum-sized particles, for example a pair of electrons, are “entangled,” any change to one will be instantly reflected in the other, no matter how far apart they might be. Though physically separated, the two particles act as a single entity.
“This is the first study to show that entanglement, perhaps the most distinctive property of quantum mechanical systems, is present across an entire light harvesting complex,” says Mohan Sarovar, a post-doctoral researcher under UC Berkeley chemistry professor Birgitta Whaley at the Berkeley Center for Quantum Information and Computation. “While there have been prior investigations of entanglement in toy systems that were motivated by biology, this is the first instance in which entanglement has been examined and quantified in a real biological system.”
Amazing isn’t it?
An example of quantum physics in a biological system.
If this doesn’t show that all things in the Universe are linked, I don’t know what would!
Speaking of the multiverse, there is a physicist who theorizes that using metamaterials in a certain way simulates the Big Bang, parallel universes and altered realities that exhibit different laws of physics:
Man-made metamaterials could theoretically bend light to create invisibility cloaks, or alter electromagnetic waves in ways nature never intended. Now, a researcher at the University of Maryland in College Park thinks they could do much more than that, becoming man-made analogies to various cosmological theories of how the Universe works and helping researchers explain certain aspects of those universes.
The theories Igor Smolyaninov has in mind are those that have to do with parallel universes or dimensions of space and time that we don’t experience in this world. In these lines of thought, different dimensions become “compactified” early in the Universe’s life, leaving the three dimensions of space and one of time that we understand today.
These other dimensions are quite different, and the laws of physics there could be completely different as well, dictated by the particular way they are compactified, etc.Now Smolyaninov thinks we can take the idea to new heights. In the same way gravity bends light, metamaterials can bend electrical and magnetic fields to create a metamaterial version of relativity. We can, he says, create metamaterials with electromagnetic spaces that possess compactified dimensions.
Not only that, but we could create metamaterials in which the number of dimensions and compactified dimensions changes from region to region, with wormholes transiting from space to space. We might even be able to witness the birth of photons in these metamaterials, the transition of which would in some ways represent the spawning of a new universe within the metamaterial itself. We could even create a metamaterial multiverse in which different universes have different properties, or wherein different physical laws apply. Bizarro World, here we come.
Bizarro World indeed.
When it comes to using metamaterials however, I think DARPA will come up with a practical use for them.
After all, an invisibility cloak based on the movie ‘Predator’ has extensive military applications.
Maybe travel to a parallel universe is a good side effect?
Depends who, or what, is on the receiving side of it!
When it comes to the discussion of quantum entanglement, you might as well be speaking Mandarin Chinese to myself and most folks (not a bad language to learn right now IMHO). The concept is alien and is far from the classical Newtonian physics we understand on a daily basis as the distance from Earth to the edge of the known Universe.
And as far as quantum teleportation is concerned, well, this is considered fringe sci-fi sh*t that almost nobody outside of academia understands.
Now scientists are considering useful work for the concept of ‘quantum teleportation.’ And that idea is for the transmission of energy across great distances.
First, they teleported photons, then atoms and ions. Now one physicist has worked out how to do it with energy, a technique that has profound implications for the future of physics.
In 1993, Charlie Bennett at IBM’s Watson Research Center in New York State and a few pals showed how to transmit quantum information from one point in space to another without traversing the intervening space.
The technique relies on the strange quantum phenomenon called entanglement, in which two particles share the same existence. This deep connection means that a measurement on one particle immediately influences the other, even though they are light-years apart. Bennett and company worked out how to exploit this to send information. (The influence between the particles may be immediate, but the process does not violate relativity because some informatiom has to be sent classically at the speed of light.) They called the technique teleportation.
That’s not really an overstatement of its potential. Since quantum particles are indistinguishable but for the information they carry, there is no need to transmit them themselves. A much simpler idea is to send the information they contain instead and ensure that there is a ready supply of particles at the other end to take on their identity. Since then, physicists have used these ideas to actually teleport photons, atoms, and ions. And it’s not too hard to imagine that molecules and perhaps even viruses could be teleported in the not-too-distant future.
But Masahiro Hotta at Tohoku University in Japan has come up with a much more exotic idea. Why not use the same quantum principles to teleport energy?
Today, building on a number of papers published in the last year, Hotta outlines his idea and its implications. The process of teleportation involves making a measurement on each one an entangled pair of particles. He points out that the measurement on the first particle injects quantum energy into the system. He then shows that by carefully choosing the measurement to do on the second particle, it is possible to extract the original energy.
All this is possible because there are always quantum fluctuations in the energy of any particle. The teleportation process allows you to inject quantum energy at one point in the universe and then exploit quantum energy fluctuations to extract it from another point. Of course, the energy of the system as whole is unchanged.
He gives the example of a string of entangled ions oscillating back and forth in an electric field trap, a bit like Newton’s balls. Measuring the state of the first ion injects energy into the system in the form of a phonon, a quantum of oscillation. Hotta says that performing the right kind of measurement on the last ion extracts this energy. Since this can be done at the speed of light (in principle), the phonon doesn’t travel across the intermediate ions so there is no heating of these ions. The energy has been transmitted without traveling across the intervening space. That’s teleportation.
Just how we might exploit the ability to teleport energy isn’t clear yet. Post your suggestions in the comments section if you have any.
But the really exciting stuff is the implications this has for the foundations of physics. Hotta says that his approach gives physicists a way of exploring the relationship between quantum information and quantum energy for the first time.
There is a growing sense that the properties of the universe are best described not by the laws that govern matter but by the laws that govern information. This appears to be true for the quantum world, is certainly true for special relativity, and is currently being explored for general relativity. Having a way to handle energy on the same footing may help to draw these diverse strands together.
Interesting stuff. There’s no telling where this kind of thinking might lead.
Hmm..sounds good in theory.
In fact, it might be easier to suck the energy out of the entangled energy state than the transmission of matter.
Believe it or not, that’s fast becoming a fact, not a mere hypothesis anymore.
In 100 years, the transportation of people and goods across this planet, and others, will be as common as cars and trucks on the interstate highways.
I am not a scientist of any kind, in any sense of the definition.
Theories in science, especially nowadays, have taken on an aura that feels like stepping onto a speeding subway train without it stopping to let you on.
Now, I know that I have posted about various theories of quantum physics and its relationship to the mainstream world in the past and have been roundly flamed for it, especially since I really don’t know what I’m talking about.
But how does one learn, if one doesn’t take the occasional plunge into the deep end of the pool?
This next supremely interesting theory is named biocentrism and it’s proponent is Dr. Robert Lanza, a medical doctor.
Biocentrism, in a word, is all about what our brain perceives in the outside world, how it interprets it and a possible relationship with quantum physics:
Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think.
One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the “many-worlds” interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the ‘multiverse’). A new scientific theory – called biocentrism – refines these ideas. There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling – the ‘Who am I?’- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn’t go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?
Consider an experiment that was recently published in the journal Science showing that scientists could retroactively change something that had happened in the past. Particles had to decide how to behave when they hit a beam splitter. Later on, the experimenter could turn a second switch on or off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it is you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen. Whether you turn the second beam splitter on or off, it’s still the same battery or agent responsible for the projection.
According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air – if you take everything away, what’s left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can’t see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, “Now Besso” (an old friend) “has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us…know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.
Dr. Lanza isn’t the first person to propose a theory like this.
I read a story 11 years ago that had a component like this that the protagonist experienced. And how death is, or isn’t perceived.
Is this a credible hypothesis, since we all know for a fact that Death exists?
Or is it something from the Land of Woo?
David Naveed of Naveed’s Realm is a little “de-focused” these days:
[...]Last year I’m blogging about UFOs and other bizarre subjects on here and now I seem to slowly be going towards a more philosophical/theological subjects. Don’t get me wrong I’ve still been blogging about UFOs and what not and probably still will. Actually looking back over the last year and a half or so I think the UFO thing is what got me heading where I’m going with my posts. I blame that Zecharia Sitchin guy and his blasted writings. Opening my mind up to how interconnected religions and myths from the mid east seem to be.
Adding to the madness my beliefs on the UFO/alien subject has gone towards a more ultra-dimensional angle as many events seem to fit better within that frame of reference. That of course got me pondering more heavily on how many beings from myths and religion are perhaps ultra-dimensional beings (divine or not) trying to influence our world for good or bad.
Of course now that I’ve added to the whole mess with pondering all the multidimensional stuff and the religions and what not, I find myself wondering about the true nature of reality. Then one thing leads to another and I’m reading religious texts (primarily the Bible, but recently the Tao Teh Ching as well, and I’m also looking to snag a copy of the Quran) and anything I can find on the web or books pertaining to interdimensional and quantum physical stuff (especially if it involves UFOs or the paranormal) .
Sadly I really have no clue where I’m going with this post or any of my potentially religious beliefs either. I’ve come to the conclusion however that somehow UFOs, multidimensionality, religion, the myths of old, and God are all somehow interconnected. I’ve also concluded that I exist in my own little world, but that is up for argument…unless of course you believe that reality is just a reflection of consciousness…in which case whose consciousness? Oh and if it turns out to be somehow a mass conscious reflection then most of you out there are sick, sick individuals and Cthulhu needs to eat your souls…however if it’s just my consciousness…well the same thing goes…
David better be careful, studying Fortean subjects tends to take you from this Universe.
If one could, just ask Rik Clay, Ken Daniel Bentkowski, Mac Tonnies…
Should journalists teach people about the strange and anomalous?
Just ask George Knapp, award winning journalist who wrote about the Bob Lazar Case 20 years ago:
How should journalists, the news media and informed citizens handle certain unusual and unconventional topics?
To try to find the answers, internationally-known and award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp will be teaching a journalism course at the College of Southern Nevada beginning in January.
The course, “Reporting from the Twilight Zone, “will explore many elements involved in subjects that may be sensitive or secret, complex, strange, and at times, frightening.
Journalism students and professionals as well as the general public are welcome to take the course.
Knapp plans to include examinations of the roles of reporters, editors, news organizations, other media professionals as well as media consumers when it comes to topics such as alleged conspiracies, cover-ups and other unusual areas such as UFOs.
Is there peer pressure in the newsroom? Do elements of government shape coverage of certain topics, conspiracies and cover-ups? Do media owners and advertisers affect reporting on sensitive, unconventional or special topics? Are these kinds of subjects also exploited at times by and in the media? What are the current trends on this kind of journalism?
The class will tackle these and other important questions.
MODERN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM
According to the course description, Knapp, students and guests “will examine the techniques and standards of modern investigative journalism as applied to ‘fringe’ topics and will identify key approaches taken by various media to the exploration and/or exploitation of controversial subjects.”
The course description also notes, “Another objective will be to question whether journalism standards for covering ‘fringe’ subjects are (or should be) different from other types of reporting. The course will explore these issues from many different perspectives, and will receive input from professional journalists, academic researchers, scientists, and skeptics.”
“The course will encourage critical thinking skills for both journalists and news consumers in evaluating the quality and accuracy of the news and information we see, and don’t see.”
We might also ask: How do journalists cover topics on which there may be a lack of solid facts, yet persuasive sources, indicators or circumstantial evidence? How do citizens draw reasonable conclusions and understanding from a wide range of journalistic reports and other sources and media platforms?
In a Dec. 3 column he wrote for “Las Vegas City Life,” Knapp also noted that the course is being sponsored by Bigelow Aerospace, based in Las Vegas. Knapp pointed out that the company’s founder, Robert “Bob” Bigelow, has “a lifelong interest” in subjects related to unconventional topics such as UFOs. In addition, Bigelow will provide funding for guest speakers and lecturers to contribute to the course, Knapp wrote.
Are these kinds of topics worthy of news coverage or even a college class? Knapp raises this issue in his “Las Vegas City Life” column. Some people may not think so. Knapp says students, media professionals and the public should make up their own minds and maintain a critical and careful perspective.
Knapp never paid a huge price for writing about Bob Lazar, but he knew that he blew any chance of working for any of the mainstream networks like NBC, CBS and ABC, so he never tried to leave the local Nevada area.
Bigelow’s involvement with UFOs might be unusual, but he does have a business interest in it.
He hopes to discover how the UFO’s drive system operates so his company can build spacecraft utilizing it, if there’s one to be had.
In mainstream science, especially rocket science, building a rocket that is capable of attaining the speed of light is akin to fantasy, like using a mirror to enter Wonderland.
Now however, there are two physicists who insist that using black-holes (or singularities) to power spaceships is not only possible, but it’s the very reason black-holes are in the Universe to begin with:
In August, physicist Jia Liu at New York University outlined his design for a spacecraft powered by dark matter (arxiv.org/abs/0908.1429v1). Soon afterwards, mathematicians Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland at Kansas State University in Manhattan proposed plans for a craft powered by an artificial black hole (arxiv.org/abs/0908.1803).
No one disputes that building a ship powered by black holes or dark matter would be a formidable task. Yet remarkably there seems to be nothing in our present understanding of physics to prevent us from making either of them. What’s more, Crane believes that feasibility studies like his touch on questions in cosmology that other research hasn’t considered.
Aside from the technological challenges, Crane thinks black hole starships may also have remarkable philosophical implications. Crane first started thinking about artificial black holes 12 years ago when physicist Lee Smolin, now at Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, asked Crane to read the manuscript of his book The Life of the Cosmos.
Nobody knows what happens at the singularity of a black hole, the point where space and time become so warped that the laws of relativity break down. In his book, Smolin suggested that a new universe could be created and bud off. So universes in which black holes are likely to arise will give birth to more and more such universes. This means that our universe could be a baby universe, and is more likely to have come from one that is good at making black holes than one that isn’t.
Crane then wondered what would happen if intelligent civilisations could make black holes. This would mean that life in these universes played a key role in the proliferation of baby universes. Smolin felt the idea was too outlandish and left it out of his book. But Crane has been thinking about it on and off for the last decade.
He believes we are seeing Darwinian selection operating on the largest possible scale: only universes that contain life can make black holes and then go on to give birth to other universes, while the lifeless universes are an evolutionary dead end.
His latest calculations made him realise how uncanny it was that there could be a black hole at just the right size for powering a starship. “Why is there such a sweet spot?” he asks. The only reason for an intelligent civilisation to make a black hole, he sees, is so it can travel the universe.
“If this hypothesis is right,” he says, “we live in a universe that is optimised for building starships!” (italics mine)
That’s quite a hypothesis to pronounce and one that will no doubt be tested to the maximum in the near future.