conservativism, cosmology, Election 2012, Entertainment, evolution, Humor, intellectuals, Johnny Depp, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, morality, NAACP, racism, Recipes, Rick Perry, wacko right wing
And I can prove it. More or less.
It seems that a respectable number of experimental and theoretical physicists believe that there are multiple universes. Not only that, but that there may be an infinite number of them, all of which means, that any thing that can happen, has.
Well, one thing that can happen (I know it might be a stretch but we are talking about statistical probabilities here) is that Mr. Sexy pants could fall in love with me.
Therefore, some where he has. Proved!
That also means that there is an infinite number of me’s. One of me lives in Hawaii in a gorgeous beach house. One of me is President of the US of A, or the United Planetary Association of Andromeda. The options are as they say infinite.
The Contrarian was a bit off-put by this revelation, until I reminded him that somewhere he was married to Halle Berry. That brought a grin.
The Contrarian has some “issues” with the theoretical physicists in the end though. He’s not much in favor of a time “before” time. I myself have no difficult with that concept. However we both noticed that these guys and gals do have a pretty cushy job. I mean they sit in a comfortable office, with a chalk or white board and doodle with numbers and squiggles, and then travel to nice places and sit and “think”. Often at beaches, mountain ranges, and other pleasant places.
It’s not like they ever have to prove anything. As the Rethuglians always say about anything they don’t want to help pay for: “it’s only a theory.”
Best of all, I can theorize about Johnny Depp all I want, cuz who’s to say that he doesn’t figure into some time warpy travel theory? I mean, being a theoretical physicist is so highfalutin’ that nobody can reasonably challenge my claims right? Only others of my kind. And after all, we have a mutual desire not to upset any of our apple carts.
So, I’m applying for my grant money, and hope to set up shop any day now.
Hope you all had a nice labor day. Out of work laborers most assuredly did not I guess. We had a T-Bone, potato salad and some jalapeño poppers. The latter two recipes can be found at What’s on the Stove, which has it’s only little link on the side bar now.
Ricky “Gosh darn this is fun” Perry is what they call “surging” in the polls. Somebody finally tapped the shyster on the shoulder and told him to act “gubernatorial” and high tail it back to TEXAS where people are losing their homes at an astounding rate due to unchecked wildfires. He’s properly “concerned” now.
Meanwhile Mitt “it’s slipping away” Romney is starting to show the wear and tear of being rejected but once again. Mr. Perpetual Runner whom nobody really likes, stares ever wide-eyed at the audience he addresses, and for all it’s worth you can hear under his breath: “can you morons understand these simple sentences?”
Yeah, actually they can Mitt, and well, they really don’t like you. Can you understand that?
Noam Chomsky writes a very interesting and provocative piece in the Boston Review about the role of the intellectual in today’s murky moral world. He is prompted by the questionable action of murdering Osama Bin Laden and dumping his body at sea without trial.
It’s a most serious read, but one that will benefit you. We seldom spend the time we should thinking of the hard issues.
Michele “damn you Ricky” Bachmann is shakin’ up the team. Ed Rollins is out due to “health” reasons as well as the deputy David Polyansky.
This kinda crap is usual in a campaign going down the crapper. But Michele, it ain’t gonna help. You are simply TeaNutz® lite compared to Ricky “I’m more nutz” Perry.
DCMartin gives us a good old slappin’ story about racism reaction gone amuck. And she has designated herself as the “official spokesperson” for Black America, which sure makes it easy on me. 😛
Go give it a read. She’s very funny and actually makes a fine point as well. Don’t ever Pass the Doucheys. . .”
I was prompted to visit a site I’ve only briefly looked at. Conservapedia. It’s the “trustworthy” encyclopedia. Isn’t that just wrong on its face? How can something that purports to be “conservative” by “trustworthy”? It’s clearly not giving truth, but a point of view.
My favorite quote from the front page is from Isaiah Berlin:
“Good government in a free society keeps positive and negative liberty in balance. These two forms of liberty are out-of-balance today.”
Now that is interesting isn’t it? I betcha some wacko TeaNutz® would have some interesting ideas of what “negative liberty” are.
Hey, have you ever seen Wilfred? You should. It’s hysterical at times, frightening occasionally. It’s an import from Australia. It is not for the faint of heart. It is not for mortifiable-prone evangelicals. It’s about a dog named Wilfred, who appears as a human in a dog suit to a neighbor. Wilfred teaches lessons, and humps stuffed animals, and smokes pot by the pail full.
I thought it would be stupid. But it’s shocking, and funny at the same time. Try to find it on your TV dial. Oh crap, that dated me. TV’s don’t have dials any more.
Snoring Dog Studio said:
Yeah, well, Johnny Depp is cheating on you with ME!!
In my dreams.
Bachmann’s looney juice is bursting out of her little bubble. The tidal wave of it is washing her peeps right out the door. She’s history. Now, ordinarily, I’d get all pissy about a woman not making it in a man’s world, but she helped herself to her own downfall. People just don’t want a religious nutball.
Perry, who likes to talk about the big success his state is, is dealing with the results of unrelenting and unregulated sprawl in that state. Houses built upon houses in a land where water is scarce and becoming scarcer – but, hey, pray and perhaps the fires will go out.
Anthony Kalnoky said:
(1) Michelle Bachman’s key Team are shakin’ Her up: Resignwed today. Even Republican big majority dislike her. (2) Multiple Univeses is a Far fetched Theory without Any Proof. I won’t call it a crazy idea……………..But can’t disprove an impossible crazy idea. Media needs copy to sell ads………..
Erm, I’m afraid not. Just because you have an infinity of something does not mean that everything will happen. You could just as easily have an infinite number of the same thing over and over again. In which case, not only would you not be married to Johnny Depp in this universe, you would not be married to Johnny Depp an infinite number of times.
But MadPriest, in an infinity of universes Sherry is married to Johnny Depp an infinite number of times *and* not-married to Johnny Depp an infinite number of times… and, I have to say, she is also married to George W. Bush… and Elmo… and Big Bird… and me! Although not until I have divorced Milla Jovovich…
Hey I refuse to play this game if it means I am married to Dubya. Now how do I get that image out of my head?
Don’t worry, Sherry. Pepsoid is ignoring the impeccable logic of my original comment. An infinite universe does not mean that everything will occur an infinite number of times. You could have the same thing happening an infinite number of times. Or you could have one thing happening just the once and then an infinite amount of absolutely nothing.
Well, I don’t care how you guys all work it out as long as somewhere, I’m Mrs. Depp. Oh, and Mrs. George Clooney wouldn’t be bad either. The Contrarian says that there is a contractual clause that disallows those two men from appearing in the same movie together, lest every woman’s heart explode and wipe out all reproductive hope for the future. It could be true.
But MadPriest, there are levels of infinity! Infinity-squared… infinity-cubed… infinity-to-the-power-of-infinity… etc (I know of such things, because my dad, an ex-Head of Maths Department, once tried to explain them to me!). Where there is at least one random element in a universe, i.e. if the universe is not completely uniform and unchanging throughout its length and breadth, and where there is an infinite number of said universes, it is inevitable that all physical possibilities will occur – an infinite number of times! Infinity is, by definition, without limit, therefore its central paradox is that where some possibility can occur, in an identical form, an infinite number of times, another possibility can also occur an infinite number of times… and so on… with an infinite number of possibilities! The fact that possibility A can occur an infinite number of times does not preclude possibility B also occurring an infinite number of times… up to possibility Z, then A2 up to Z2… all the way to Z-infinity… and beyond! (to sort of paraphrase Buzz Lightyear)
So yes, Sherry, in not one but an *infinite* number of universes, you *are* married to Dubya… but you are also married to Johnny Depp, George Clooney and whoever else you can imagine an infinite number of times!
I can stand the pain of Dubya for the ecstasy of….phew, I need a cold shower.
Possibilities are only possibilities. You are assuming that matter is present throughout infinity and that everything there is is infinitely repeated. But what we see may be all there is and the rest of infinity may be full of nothing or the same thing over and over again or too little to be ale to make your suggestion possible.
Okay let’s roll with this…
Yes, possibilities *are* only possibilities. Possibility X (which may be Sherry being married to Dubya or anything else that is possible within the laws of physics) may, in a particular universe, have a 1-in-1 trillion chance of occurring. One may assume that in a trillion universes, Possibility X becomes inevitable, which isn’t technically true, but it’s so pretty damned close to inevitable that it’s *virtually* inevitable. But with infinity, we’re not just dealing with a really big number, we’re dealing with… well, infinity! I reckon that makes all possibilities inevitable. But maybe it doesn’t. I suppose I’d conclude that it’s impossible for a finite brain to grasp the implications of infinity. So shall we just agree to not be sure?
Of course, it doesn’t make all possibilities inevitable. The chances of something existing or not existing have nothing to do with the size of a space and everything to do with the properties of the space. Furthermore the chances of anything happening in an infinite space if the properties of that space are uniform throughout are always equal. So, it’s just as likely that something won’t happen as will happen. Infinity is just a very big space. If you can understand the space inside a cardboard box you can understand an infinite space because exactly the same rules apply with both. In fact, do imagine a cardboard box with nothing in it. Now imagine that box expanded to infinity. It would still have nothing in it. or imagine the box with a matchbox in one bottom corner. Now expand the box but not the matchbox. You get an infinitely large cardboard box with one small matchbox within it. It could be exactly the same with our universe within infinity. Or it may not be.
Sorry if we seemed to be ignoring you, Sherry – I’ve only just noticed your comments amidst mine and MadPriest’s existential/metaphysical wranglings! Speaking of which, you will tell us off if you feel we are hijacking your blog, won’t you?
MadPriest… I don’t want you to feel that I’m someone who stands firm by his viewpoint, with no willingness to be swayed to the slightest degree by a barrage of contrary logic. Part of me agrees with you! There’s part of my brain which intuitively does not believe in the idea that the universe even *is* infinite, let alone the possible implication that “all possibilities have occurred somewhere.” On the other hand, the universe (multiverse?) is weird and unknowable… and the concept of infinity is weirder! I cannot imagine a cardboard box containing infinity, because surely by definition infinity cannot be contained? As I say, infinity is not just really big, it is *without end*. How does the finite brain deal with *without end*-ness? Since I feel that it is impossible for the finite brain to grasp infinity, I refer you to my previous comment re agreeing to not be sure…
Don’t feel the least ignored or slighted here. The point of this blog always has been to hopefully engender discussion among the commenters. I have found your discussion most interesting and by all means continue as long as you desire.
Thank you, Sherry! 😉
I was in an alternate universe once. Walked into a bar and the owner said all drinks were 10 cents. So as I was having a double Manhattan I noticed two guys at the end of the bar not drinking… and I said to the owner, “What’s up with those guys?” He said, ” Those are cheap suckers from Iowa…. waiting for half price Happy Hour!”
Sherry… all this talk of infinity and “without end” and the unknowability of it all, brings to mind the question of the nature of God. If scientists/cosmologists believe in the infinity of the universe, and the myriad (or infinity) of possibilities it contains (if “contain” is a word which can be used in relation to an infinite universe/multiverse)… then surely, in a sense, they have proved the existence of God? If one considers all possible forms of life, if one can imagine such, then can one not imagine a life form which is, in a sense, “superior” (or “supreme”) to all other life forms; that is, in fact, all the things which God is believed, by Christians, to be? Omnipresent, omniscient, omni-everything else? Just a thought…
Speaking of thoughts! Here’s another strange one… I posted one of my responses to MadPriest yesterday, on the same evening of which I watched the film, “Source Code” – which is, in essence, about an infinity of possible universes. The possibility is even mentioned, at one point in the film, about us being married to other people! Make of this what you will…
It’s an argument to me, but I suspect it will fall short when offered to the non-believer. One is arguing not from fact, but from reasonable inference, and frankly most non-believers marry themselves to “scientific” proofs which becomes their “god” in a sense. I think there are other ways to look at the universe, and certainly I think theoretical physicists often do engage in more metaphysical type possibilities, all of course emanating from some scientifically identifiable possibility.
I must say, I’m a big fan of science and the scientific method, but I do get peeved when, as often seems to happen, some so-called scientists refuse to look beyond their particular field – or beyond what they think they “know.” Scientifically speaking, there are possibilities which we can’t even conceive of – the idea of an omnipresent, omniscient being is quite conceivable, compared to what might be out there!
So much scientific “fact” is indeed “merely” inference – granted, it is statistically likely inference – I refer in particular to the weird and numerous possibilities of quantum theory. But being “merely” inference and not directly observed does not make such “facts” any less scientific. It seems, in fact (no pun intended), that so much of science these days is inferential, statistical, probabilistic and impossible (presently) to directly observe – as well as quantum mechanics, I am thinking of such as cosmology, quantum cosmology, chaos theory… and anything which considers the very large or the very small. It seems to me, therefore, that we are more and more closely approaching the “observation” (by some means) of a God-like entity or force.
I do so agree with you.
Half the science I learnt at school in the early 70s has been superseded by new discoveries. Yet I was taught it as fact back then. Heck, after 80 years of telling school kids that nothing can go faster than the speed of light it now appears that Einstein was probably wrong. This is what worries me about teaching evolution as a fact. Although I think we have more than enough evidence to say that we evolved over billions of years I don’t think (for the reasons pepsoid puts forward above) that we can say that the mechanics of evolution are fully known. What if we’ve been missing something all along. And I’m not referring just to God here. We could be missing any sort of thing.
I think there is a difference from saying that everything we think we know about evolution is a fact, and saying that everything so far seems to agree that evolution is the driving mechanism in the changing nature of life on this planet. Einstein wasn’t wrong, just not perhaps completely right about everything. He has been right enough that for quite a number of decades, every experiment that has been conducted has backed up his theory. The jury is far from out on this new idea about some faster than light particles. If it turns out to be true, perhaps it will lead to a “refinement” of Einstein’s theory of special and general relativity, and perhaps with that refinement, theoretical physicists will finally get the key that allows them to finally do what they believe is true–realize the unified theory of the 4 forces. I see the same thing in evolution being the case. We will refine the theory as we learn more. But the basic theory that life changes over time due to genetic mutation I suspect will still always be the case. Evolution never set out to explain how life was created, only what happened to it once it did. And as the record continues to be collected, that will surely bring about refinements as I call them, but not a major overhaul I suspect.
I think that’s what I said.
Well if you agree with each other, then I agree with both of you! 🙂
The flip side of the coin on which I would write my above comment (if I could write extremely small or it was a really big coin) is my peevedness (!) at people who say things like, we can’t directly observe the facts of evolution, therefore it is just as valid to believe in, say, creationism. At first I was concerned that you were saying something along these lines, MadPriest, in which case I would have to have words, but as it seems you were not, I will forgive you… not that it seems there is anything to forgive! 😉
Evolution by natural selection makes a lot of sense, and there is a lot of evidence to back it up, but any sensible evolutionary scientist should be fully aware of the gaps and potential for refinement… similarly re relativity etc.
Creationism has been disproved by scientific evidence. Intelligent Design has not been disproved, although the theory of evolution provides an explanation that may well mean it is not necessary. Personally, I believe that God is still involved in the continuing creation of the universe. For me, the study of evolution is the study of God at work. I can still believe this because it has not been disproved as a possibility. Just because something is not a necessity doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. I’m not a necessity but the last time I looked I was still here.
Evolution is a fact but the Theory of Evolution may not be complete and calling it a fact makes its completion less likely. And I don’t believe future discoveries must be restricted to just tinkering around the edges. We could still discover something so huge that we have to alter our view of existence substantially. Newton’s theory of gravity was a brilliant theory that was understood as fact for hundreds of years. But it was by no means a completed theory and Einstein’s tinkering around the edges resulted in our conception of the universe being completely changed. If it is proven that some particles travel faster than the speed of light then there is a strong possibility that we are still unaware of something really important, the discovery of which would completely change our understanding of the universe once again.
Basically, I’m saying that we should never allow anybody (especially those with a vested interest in the promotion of the status quo) to shut the door to continued exploration.
No we shouldn’t! Absolutely! We should, of course, always be open to the possibility of having our view on all manner of topics drastically altered… but that’s not to say that science does not tend to be, in the main, about “tinkering around the edges” – it’s just the way it is.
I think we are in agreeance, MadPriest, that one can “believe in” evolution by natural selection, while also believing that God (whatever we believe God to be) is behind it all. God is what it all boils down to. There will always, I think, be an indefinable source of all knowledge and all scientific “proof.” The perceived location of that source may change, but I can’t see that it will ever fail to exist. The source is God.
Although, my guess is that God is the missing part of the equation, as a philosopher interested in science I am only prepared to say that there appears to be something intelligent or that appears intelligent working within the mechanics of the universe and, specifically within evolution. I’ve been considering the mathematics involved in evolution for a long time and I have concluded that natural selection is not enough to explain evolution as we observe it. It is in some cases of localised evolution but not for the big stuff. the fact that in three and a half billion years only one single cell found itself in the right situation to become a multi-cellular organism blows my mind and makes me realise the almost impossibility of everything.
It’s that word “almost” that is the key, though! Combined with time scales involved and the vastness of the universe, the “almost impossible” becomes likely. I’m no evolutionary scientist, but having read a few books on the topic, mind boggling though some of its facts are, I am able to believe in the unconscious, non-designed process of it. Whatever gaps there are, I think probably can, on the whole, and will be scientifically explained, in time. This may seem to contradict what I previously said, but my “indefinable source” does not necessarily relate to evolution in particular, but rather knowledge in general. There will always be stuff we don’t know. This will change, but in an infinite universe it won’t necessarily decrease. We may even find that, the more we discover, the less we realise we actually “know” or are able (at any particular point in the evolution (no pun intended) of science) to know.
I think we have to be careful about attempting to pin down what God is or what “He” is responsible for. God is a mystery, God is the greatest Mystery, this is how it should be. I think my personal “definition” of and perception God is as that of Zen. This website describes it well…
God… or Zen… is the wind blowing through the grass.
All this from Johnny Depp! Perhaps there is meaning there… somewhere…
😉 😉 😉