24 March 2009

After All

Long ago I discovered that my decision not to major in molecular biophysics after all was important for two basic reasons. The reason I gave (that I wanted to date chemistry and physics majors and they wouldn't ask out the competition) had some validity back then in the late '60s. But the real reasons were these:

1. I would have flunked out.
2. My penchant for engaging in pseudo-scientific speculative theology would have been thwarted.

For example, back when we first heard about neutrinos, we couldn't get many of the real physicists to get too deep into the "these are the particles of spirit" discussions. True, true, real scientists have subsequently called the Higgs boson the "God Particle," but they don't mean God in the sense that I do. They're just joking. People make jokes about what they don't understand. Leon Lederman (see his 1993 book, The God Particle) wins Nobel Prizes in physics and jokes about God. I pray, study scripture, go to Church every week, hold a temple recommend, and make jokes about physics.

Here's one: It could just be that the universe is not homogeneous after all. It could be that we don't need dark energy to explain an apparently expanding universe. It could just be that we are special after all, privileged observers living in special universe surrounded by a cosmic void. In other words, we live in a place, a particular topos. And not at its center. That would be ... oh, let's just call it something funky like ... Kolob.

Actually, that wasn't really a joke. If you want to read jokes, bad puns, and other signs of nervous self-consciousness, take a look at the April 2009 Scientific American article "Does Dark Energy Really Exist." And then for something really useful skip back to the article about saving honeybees which will lead you to plant flowers and let your dandelions grow. And then you can whip forward to page 70 where you encounter the amazing possibility of green lasers, the actual color, not the socially correct state of being. (I hadn't known there was a problem with this, but now that I do, I'm glad to know it will soon be solved.)

Or go outside and breathe in the Happy Spring! That's what I think I'll do right now!

Wait! I just thought of a joke after all. How does an environmentalist (not naming any names here) respond when you point out that his big car, luxury home, penchant for airplane travel, and other contributions to his substantial carbon footprint might seem hypocritical? (Drum roll .....) "It's not easy being green."

Okay. Not funny. I'd better give it up for this morning and just go prune the roses.

No comments:

Post a Comment