Forget about the threat that mankind poses to the Earth: our activities may be shortening the life of the universe too.
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.
Sounds like a job for the UN Intergalactic Panel on Cosmological Change.
The Telegraph: Mankind ‘shortening the universe’s life’
Paul Borg says
Well I have to say this armageddon nonsense is just getting too much.
Its depressing this stuff is coming from science. No wonder so many people get into religion and alternative medicine and such if this is what is churned out from the science community.
Dr. Evil says
I will make sure the universe is safe but only if the people of Earth pay 100 MILLION Dollars US to my off shore bank account.
Sylvia Else says
Quantum Mechanics cannot even tell us what is, or is not, a measurement, so the idea that by observing dark matter we’ve changed the destiny of the Universe should be taken with a considerable pinch of salt.
Number One says
The Dr. meant to say 100 BILLION dollars US.
That’s Billion with a “B”.
Albert Gore says
As you are well aware denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. The most technologically advanced countries have the greatest obligation to use technology wisely and treat the universe responsibly. Yet the country best-known for technological might is the one most responsible for the shrinking of the universe.
The United States.
Yes we Yanks are observing, and therefore shrinking the universe, more then South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia all put together. For example Australia, which is not much smaller that the United States in terms of land, only accounts for 1.1 percent of the Universe shrinking observation activity.
We must seek change.
Caution isn’t an error when the fate of the Universe hangs in the balance.
I urge that we dig deep in our collective pockets and pay the madman his money.
Dr Evil says
Well said Al.
Ian Mott says
“Save the Universe” now there’s a f$%&* ego gone right off the planet, as it were. But who can ever doubt the powerful influence of an appeal to narcissism. Can we expect Angelina to pose for a photo shoot? Will George Clooney (add celebrity wankers name of choice) make a heartfelt appeal to the next academy awards? Will Madonna adopt an asteroid? Or have her fanny officially recognised as a designated black hole?
It is all very well to give a damn about the universe but will the universe give a damn about us?
I just can’t wait for Luke’s downloads, bringing us the latest deliberations from “Real Universe”.
Mottsa, you should get your gear off and splash the photos around. Everyone will burn out their eyes (the less painful option than seeing whats before them) thereby eliminating our ability to observe stuff, thereby saving the universe.
Malcolm Hill says
Given the responses above, Dr Evil could obviously invest his $100bn in Al Gores new venture capital company and carbon trading shonkarama— and double his money.
He could then engage Gore to frighten more of the suckers to pay yet more money, and the gravy train will go on for ever.
Bit like what we alreay have… only better.
Just need way to stop the taxman getting involved.
Ian Mott says
Spike Milligan. “The universe, my part in its downfall”.
I couldn’t understand why Dr Evil didn’t want his money in an off planet bank account, rather than an off shore account.
Malcolm sorted me out. He had to keep the money on planet to be able to be able to participate in the Gore bonanza.
To make Mottsa happy we’d need to replace Schrodinger’s cat with a Mahogany Glider in a custom-fab timber industry death box fashioned from an endangered tree species that only grows on his mate’s farm.
I think we are being led to ruin by beings from another part of the universe–Al Gore, perhaps?
From article: “In a nutshell, the theory suggests that we change things simply by looking at them and theorists have puzzled over the implications for years.’
Everyone stare at Luke and SJT.
Lawrence Krauss says
As Dr. Evil himself, I was asked to make a comment on this blog.. something I usually do not do.. Alas, I hate to say this after you have amassed 100 billion to save the universe, but the reports of the Universe’s demise were premature.. I hold myself responsible for the confusion of the journalist, but in the final lines of the paper (the main thrust of which is not the subject of the journalists’ articles) we allowed for the interpretation of causality.. namely that by measuring dark energy we are causally affecting the future of the universe.. this is not the case.. instead we questioned whether by measuring it we are constraining our quantum state within the wavefunction of the universe in a way which might imply we are not in a late-decaying false vacuum configuration.
What denialism. I’m starting to question my existence and that’s enough proof for me.
James Mayeau says
I never even heard of a late-decaying false vacuum before.
You think it might be the new model from Kirby?
Schiller Thurkettle says
The article says, “…quantum theory, the most successful theory we have…”
Journalists are gullible. But increasingly, physicists are gullible–or trying to start new religions.
Quantum theory is in its current state so vacucous that you could explain everything with it–such as, that Luke is the reincarnation of Richard Nixon.
I note with interest that the article is in the (London, UK) Telegraph.
Having been to London several times recently, I’ve been able to notice a strange phenomenon there–people on street corners *giving newspapers away for free*.
The Brits have obviously figured out the value of their news publications.
You have to find people willing to beg others to take it.
Ian Mott says
The Telegraph eh? Was that before the tits, after the tits, or, huh, huh, huh, between the tits?
And what, exactly, would constitute peer review?
Paul Williams says
Ian, our new leader has been known to peer at them!