I Stand Corrected…

Forget Planet X, a rogue comet, geomagnetic reversal and killer solar flares… this could be what the Mayans were talking about:

Oh no... (PunditKitchen.com)
Oh no... (PunditKitchen.com)

OK, I’ll stop with the humour now. Time to get on with some serious science stuff…

Update: Isn’t that a bit disrespectful of Palin to be signing her name against McCain’s head? Lol.

I really am getting back to the science now…

Source: Bad Astronomy

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11 thoughts on “I Stand Corrected…”

  1. Clinton/Palin in 2012
    Building Bridges like Only Women Can!
    Come on guys, might as well give it to them. The world’s gonna end anyways.

  2. I really despise seeing dumbass politics in such a nicely-done science blog. But it’s your thing…something to which I won’t be subscribing, however.

  3. Hi darkcoffee. Thank you for your kind complements for the site. Actually, the dumbass politics stuff is very short-lived on this site, and the only reason why I included this was because of my history of writing about the 2012 Mayan doomsday “prophecy” (more on that here: http://www.astroengine.com/?cat=52) – it was nice to see some humour on the subject after a prolonged campaign on the 2012 trail and the recency of the elections. Just thought it was funny 8)

    Don’t worry, the science:politics ratio will sky-rocket from here on in 😉

    Cheers, Ian

  4. As a hardcore, anti-religion, pro-science person, I am still wise enough to know that there is a lot out there that we don't know. The whole area of quantum science is a testatment to the complexity of the universe we live in. Of course, the IHC is a hoax. However, does that mean a complete dismissal of ancient prophecy is warranted? Even the most astute scientist will admit to having some questions with regard to this whole area. When 2012 comes about, aside from the complete nutbars screaming the end is nigh, I will be contemplating my place in a universe that can be capricious and completely out of the realm of my understanding. I will quietly assess my role as a participant in world events and how I can change the attitudes of ignorance and intolerance that plague us. If 2012 is a harbinger of change, at least I want to be a supporter of positive change. If I survive, that is…

    1. Fair points. However, if you are pro-science, you should be able to see through the illogical arguments for any prophesy, ancient or otherwise. (Although it's worth noting at this point the 2012 prediction of doom isn't based on any prophesy at all, the Mayans never said the world was going to end on Dec. 21st 2012.)You mention that quantum physics shows how complex our universe is. I'd argue that it is even more complex than that — possibly more complex than our brains can even hope to deal with. But that isn't an argument for the “you never know” sentiment. Predictions of future events are usually made with superstitious or pseudo-scientific arguments (or, indeed, false scientific claims), it is a physical impossibility to have knowledge of an event before it happens.It is similar to saying, “I know what's inside the event horizon of a black hole.” Actually, we have no way of knowing what is beyond the event horizon. It is a one-way street, the ultimate information vault; the interior of an event horizon is irrelevant, it doesn't abide by the physics this side of the horizon. The only way you can see what is beyond an event horizon is by going in there. However, you can't get out to convey the information you learned on the other side. You, and that information, is lost forever.Time, again, is a one-way street (at least in our Universe it is). We cannot influence the past and we cannot “see” the future. How can anything or anyone glean information about a future cataclysmic event if time only flows one way? Causality is almost like a temporal event horizon, you can't fight with that. I see time as a fast-flowing river, you can only ride on it, and you cannot swim against it.As a scientist myself, I do entertain the thought that in the future, perhaps we'll be able to predict an event in the future to a high degree of accuracy, simply by measuring the initial conditions of time and space. Perhaps, if we become an advanced race, able to measure the energies of every particle in our local volume of space that we may be able to “predict” an event in the future. However, this would require no knowledge of the future, it would just be a super-advanced forecasting method.So, even if we undergo a revolution in the understanding of our Universe, the majority of the laws of space and time will remain the same. Actually, for the Universe to work at all, the fundamental constants must remain the same. Future discoveries will simply add more detail to our scientific understanding, and time will continue to be a one-way street.Hmm, that was a bit of a ramble, so I hope it made sense! Cheers, Ian

      1. Excellent, Hi Ian.I love a good argument and I have a couple of questions for you,1) Science has been deeply involved in understanding the human brain. We all concede that we know only a portion of what it is capable of. Therefore, how is it possible to flatly claim that there is no way for the human mind to “foretell” the future? Please note the term mind versus the term brain. I want to get away from the idea of biological cellular structure to more of something akin to the conscious or the subconscious. I certainly wouldn't want to give credence to those who put together easily predictable probabilities and then go about claiming clairvoyance but there are legitimate occurrences where future events have been “dreamt” or visualized or predicted in some manner that defies plausible explanation. I have no trouble being a skeptic for 99% of the time but there are 1% of predictions that are quite interesting and should be afforded some degree of consideration.This leads me to question #2 which includes a flat out condemnation of the idea that time is “like a river” when in fact time is fluid in a very non-linear fashion. As time is not a river or one way street but a “relative” movement in many directions, could our mind not pick up information, subconsciously, that may give us insight or thought regarding a possible occurrence of a so-called future event?Very BestSandra

      2. Hi Sandra,Yes, I see your point that we might not fully understand how the mind works yet, but everything has a foundation in physics. The mind, or brain, is still restricted by fundamental constants such as the speed of light, and the conservation of energy. Just because the mind is still mysterious, it doesn't mean it can break the laws of physics. Time is a physical constraint on the mind too, therefore we cannot “see” into the future. There are a lot of New Age reasons why this may not be the case, but that isn't science, that's belief.So, in short, it is a physical impossibility to gain any knowledge of a future event. The Universe, quite simply, doesn't work that way.Cheers, Ian 🙂

      3. Hi again Ian,I'm sure that we could go on ad infinitum on this topic.I'm afraid I would have to disagree again. Science is on the cusp of new information constantly and some of this information flys in the face of earlier hypotheses. Again, quantum physics is charting territory that may certainly give us new universal physical behaviours not thought of in the past. The observation of particles being influenced by other sister particles at a distance, seemingly unconnected except by what is now called “dark matter”… again, Einsteins relativity theories, etc. all point in the direction of how still limited our current knowledge is. We assume certain physical principles of universal law hold true but there are slips in the continuum whether we are comfortable with this thought or not.Ultimately, as a scientist, I do not and never will rely on New Age ideas as legitimate. However, as all ideas are good ideas, they may stimulate, at least, conversation and new ways of thinking. That is a positive thing. Far from the old ways of church and state regulated information, at least we are free to express our thoughts in numerous, if sometimes fanciful,ways. It is not science, but science is a product of free thought and carefull exploration. I have enjoyed our discussion. It is proof that we are intelligent creatures capable of using our brains to further our development and understanding of the universe we are part of.Bon ChanceSandra

  5. Hi again Ian,I'm sure that we could go on ad infinitum on this topic.I'm afraid I would have to disagree again. Science is on the cusp of new information constantly and some of this information flys in the face of earlier hypotheses. Again, quantum physics is charting territory that may certainly give us new universal physical behaviours not thought of in the past. The observation of particles being influenced by other sister particles at a distance, seemingly unconnected except by what is now called “dark matter”… again, Einsteins relativity theories, etc. all point in the direction of how still limited our current knowledge is. We assume certain physical principles of universal law hold true but there are slips in the continuum whether we are comfortable with this thought or not.Ultimately, as a scientist, I do not and never will rely on New Age ideas as legitimate. However, as all ideas are good ideas, they may stimulate, at least, conversation and new ways of thinking. That is a positive thing. Far from the old ways of church and state regulated information, at least we are free to express our thoughts in numerous, if sometimes fanciful,ways. It is not science, but science is a product of free thought and carefull exploration. I have enjoyed our discussion. It is proof that we are intelligent creatures capable of using our brains to further our development and understanding of the universe we are part of.Bon ChanceSandra

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