NASA 'Flying Saucer' Launch Set for Today --"A Soft Mars Landing for Manned Exploration"
The Obscure Quantum Origins of the Universe (Weekend Feature)

Today's 'Galaxy' Insight --"Our Weird Universe"

 

 

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“Evolution endowed us with intuition only for those aspects of physics that had survival value for our distant ancestors, such as the parabolic orbits of flying rocks (explaining our penchant for baseball). A cave woman thinking too hard about what matter is ultimately made of might fail to notice the tiger sneaking up behind and get cleaned right out of the gene pool. Darwin’s theory thus makes the testable prediction that whenever we use technology to glimpse reality beyond the human scale, our evolved intuition should break down. We’ve repeatedly tested this prediction, and the results overwhelmingly support Darwin.

"At high speeds, Einstein realized that time slows down, and curmudgeons on the Swedish Nobel committee found this so weird that they refused to give him the Nobel Prize for his relativity theory. At low temperatures, liquid helium can flow upward. At high temperatures, colliding particles change identity; to me, an electron colliding with a positron and turning into a Z-boson feels about as intuitive as two colliding cars turning into a cruise ship. On microscopic scales, particles schizophrenically appear in two places at once, leading to the quantum conundrums mentioned above. On astronomically large scales… weirdness strikes again: if you intuitively understand all aspects of black holes [then you] should immediately put down this book and publish your findings before someone scoops you on the Nobel Prize for quantum gravity… [also,] the leading theory for what happened [in the early universe] suggests that space isn’t merely really really big, but actually infinite, containing infinitely many exact copies of you, and even more near-copies living out every possible variant of your life in two different types of parallel universes.” 

Max Tegmark, MIT, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

 

Max-Tegmark

 

Image credit top of page: With thanks to imgkid.com

 

Comments

Like the chimpanzees on the Nobel Committee who refused to expand their minds for a brief instant (familiar theme from “Q” on STNG), after reading this I think I will go get a beer and see if reruns of Laugh In are there. If they are then that would prove Mr. Tegmark’s post. Right?

The Hubble Telescope and every other astronomical observatory built and used disproves this: we have peered beyond the Earth in all directions at various wavelengths, and the data has only helped to increase our understanding and appreciation of the cosmos. Our intelligence and intuition are just fine. Darwin is not the be all and end all of science. Same with Einstein and Hawking and all the other scientific celebrities too highly lauded for their substantial yet respectively and necessarily limited views and contributions to cosmology. Other minds - greater minds - will continue expand our understanding even as new questions come to light and new theories emerge. Human and AI comprehension will also continue to evolve.

The only thing weird about our universe is us...........................the rest is normal.

No we are not weird. The fact that we think we are weird is the issue. It comes from human exceptionalism - which I think is the root of all our ignorance. It is far more likely that genes evolve around a multitude of stars and eventually evolve to take on memes. Just like us - other beings existentially struggle with their own memes like we do. It's just a passing phase we are going through, where we think we are somehow separate from what the Universe does, that we are somehow an exceptional anomaly outside the laws of the evolving universe. This is what the universe does folks - get over it already!

very interesting. So who or what are we really?hmmm

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