The Speculist: Is It Time to Ban Astronomy?


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Is It Time to Ban Astronomy?

Before it, you know, wipes out the universe?

Could humanity's observation of dark energy have shortened the life span of the universe? The answer is "yes" according to the author of a new scientific paper that has recently come to light. Featured in the latest edition of New Scientist magazine, the subscriber-only story, "Has observing the universe hastened its end?", discusses the paper and its claims.

It's the old principle that you can't observe a phenomenon without affecting it. But can it really be dangerous, existentially dangerous, for us to observe some the building blocks of the universe in action?


Once again, this is territory ably covered by Greg Egan in his novel Quarantine, wherein aliens essentially wall off the solar system so that we can't make any more universe-limiting observations of quantum phenomena.

Anyhow, if we really are at risk, this might be a job for the Lifeboat Foundation.

Also, I wonder if MDarling will consider this proof that there really is a God? And an angry, vengeful one at that...



You say potato, I say shy. Not necessarily angry & vengeful.

It's the natural extension of telling Adam & Eve to stay away from the the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Don't look at this part of the universe or it (the universe) will end. How could we not look- said the scorpion to the frog.

I discount this danger for one reason: if observation could disrupt the universe, some other civilization would have done it long ago.

Intelligent life may not be common. We might be the only intelligent life in this galaxy.

But the universe? There have to be other intelligent beings out there that detected dark matter long before us.


It is the height of universal conceit to imagine that 1 billion sentients around the universe, or God Himself, may have NOT have been viewing (and thus affecting) dark energy for 100,000,000 years before the first human took his first breath.

Don’t be dummies!


Consuming all available fossil fuels has driven innovation to alternate energies. I'm pretty sure that by the time we've nearly exhausted all of the potential energy in the universe we'll have some alternate form of potential to use up. Maybe we'll sail over the edge of the "rubber sheet" theory and find that craters are mountains and that we have a nearly limitless supply of history to undo.

Isaiah 34:4

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