Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A brief history of bullshit



I am obliged to my friends at BBC science for this exciting article:


It quotes Dr Joseph “Chykken” Lykken, who claims that the sky is falling. Or in more complex terms, suggests that because of the latest data derived from the ‘discovery’ of the Higgs Boson, it may be that the creation of the universe is not a one-off big bang, but a cyclical process, whereby a bubble is created in a vacuum, this bubble expands at the speed of light, somehow destroying the current universe and creating a new one. He, and his fellow hell-bound scientific friends, call this a quantum fluctuation. Those of a religious disposition (i.e. the ones who think that they are the only ones not going to hell) call this a God Fart.

All of this is no news to my dear old friends the Hindus, who have been touting this theory for years. They reckon that every 100 years of Brahma (that is quite a long time – enough time, say, for a member of the Tory party to show symptoms of compassion, or for the composition of an entertaining musical by Lloyd Webfoot),  Shiva does his dance, and the whole universe contracts to nothing and expands again.

Joe tells us not to worry about it, as the earth and the sun will be long gone by then. I wonder, what exactly, constitutes a cause for concern Chez Lykken,  if the end of the entire universe can be so lightly dismissed. Perhaps he has run out of marmalade.

13 comments:

Dave said...

I sometimes feel that I may be of a religious disposition, but I have never used the phrase you suggest to describe the theory of vacuum instability.

I hope this helps.

Vicus Scurra said...

Perhaps you should consider expanding your vocabulary, it may have a similar effect on the size of your congregation.
I am hoping, from a purely selfish point of view, that your disposition is not overly religious (you are only a Methodist, after all), as I was looking forward to your company in stoking the fires in the hereafter.

Pearl said...

Odd. I am currently working on a very similar theory only in regard to whether or not, any given week, I should dry my trousers in the clothes dryer or hang them over a chair in the living room.

Yours in expansion,

Pearl

Indigo Roth said...

Is Doctor Lykken related to the Hen Who Made The Bread in the particle accelerator, but whom nobody wanted to help?

Z said...

Indigo, that was the Little Red Hen. Chicken Licken, however he spells it, had an acorn fall on his head and thought the sky was falling in - as it evidently is. Foxy Loxy ate him in the end, or it might have been Shiva,

I accepted the splendid reassurance of "we are all fucked" years ago. It's all that keeps me going in what my Catholic school used to refer to as this 'vale of tears'. See also 'life's a bitch and then you die' as a message of hope.

Joanne Noragon said...

We nee all the people who know everything and spew bullshit put in a room to duke it out. The rest of us have things to do.

Vicus Scurra said...

Pearl. Where is the chair? Please do not tantalise with partial data.
Indigo. We are all related to everything else, man, it's all too much.
Z. You are magnificent.
Joanne. That was heavy. Now I need to find something to do in case I am put in the room with those who know everything.

Tim Footman said...

This is distinct from God's Haemmorrhoids, which took the earthly form of Coldplay?

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you, young Tim, I liked that. Alas I am too aged to keep up with what it is cool to like and dislike in the world of popular music, so I have to keep quiet if I hear something that I like in case it attracts the opprobrium of those more knowledgeable.

bill lisleman said...

You must thank or curse Pearl for my visit here. From the linked BBC story, "The boson was spotted in the wreckage resulting from proton particle collisions...". Of course we need a good vacuum (hoover is your slang right?) to clean up the messes and masses left by these particle boys' toys. I like to study the standard model but when Sports Illustrated issues a new updates it hard not to look at the latest models.

Vicus Scurra said...

Bill! Welcome to this rare enclave of buffoonery in the desert of the mundane. Don't worry about the mess, we set up the LHC in Geneva because we knew the Swiss would clean up all of the detritus and black holes afterwards.

The Geezers said...

My, you are a strange fellow. Obviously, I'll be returning....

Vicus Scurra said...

I look forward to that.