Sunday, July 03, 2005

Time

First of all, happy Canada Day. I know I'm a bit late, but it had to be said.

Let's get philosophical for a moment. I just read an article about time travel (click here to see it), and how physicists have still not ruled it out as a possibility. Accepted theories of how the universe works still allow for time travel to exist. Of course, this brings up questions about paradoxes (e.g. going back in time to kill your grandfather, etc.), which are logically inconsistent. So we're left with theories which predict that impossible things are possible.

There is an unavoidable conclusion which can be drawn: our knowledge about the universe is very incomplete. Physics needs to either figure out why time travel is impossible, or explain how time travel is possible but paradoxes are not.

This is just one demonstration of how the universe works in ways that go totally against our everyday experience of things. Einstein discovered that time and space can warp and bend in ways that we can't even imagine. Sure, we can understand this in an abstract mathematical sense, but I don't think humans will every fully wrap their heads around these concepts. And that's just Einstein. If you start getting into quantum physics, the world is even more fucked up than we thought it was before.

This brings me to one of my major interests, Parapsychology. That is, the study of paranormal stuff such as ESP, telepathy, PK, etc. Many sceptics reject that such things exist, despite real, solid, scholarly, scientific research that clearly shows that they do. Now what I find strange is that people can reject something such as communication between two minds, but fully accept something such as time travel, or even quantum physics. All of these things seem equally counterintuitive and mysterious. If anything, there is more real, down-to-earth, evidence for telepathy than for many concepts in physics. It is well known that physics is incomplete, so I don't see how anybody can reject parapsychology on the grounds that it goes against what we know of physics. As we've seen, physics goes against what we know about physics.

I think one thing holding parapsychology back, though, is that there is no good theory as to how these things happen...only demonstrations that they do happen. Hopefully progress will be made in that area.

Anyway, this rant is long enough. If anyone has read this far, then I suggest reading that time travel article, and looking for some stuff about parapsychology. It will blow your mind to discover just how weird the universe is, and how many incredible things are out there still waiting to be discovered.



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