Monday, 18 June 2012

Scientists say the darnest things...

You've probably read it by now: a group of scientists from Spain is predicting that time will come to a halt in the future (billions of years from now, I am afraid).

Why exactly this is making headlines now, I am not sure, as it is not a novel concept. Maybe it's the identification of the purported cause or underlying process what makes it novel. In a nutshell:

Observations of supernovae, or exploding stars, found the movement of light indicated they were moving faster than those nearer to the centre of the universe.
But the scientists claimed the accepted theory of an opposite force to gravity, known as dark energy, was wrong, and said the reality was that the growth of the universe was slowing.
Professor Jose Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raul Vera from the University of the Basque Country and the University of Salamanca said the deceleration of time was so gradual, it was imperceptible to humans.
Their proposal, published in the journal Physical Review D, claimed dark energy does not exist and that time was winding down to the point when it would finally grind to a halt long after the planet ceased to exist.

But what caught my eye was this snippet of their statement:

Professor Senovilla told the New Scientist: "Then everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, for ever." 

It appears to be a quote, therefore it is safe to assume those are his exact words.

Either prof. Senovilla has a very good sense of humour - perfectly possible, for all I know - or... Well, I am not sure about the alternative.

Duration is time.
Time is the name we give to duration.

It is clear that either prof. Senovilla cannot speak outside the framework of time-defined language (and language is a time-defined framework for thought), or he thinks the readers cannot.

Both is true.
But it does have some bearing on the theory itself, wouldn't you say?
Think about it.

(In fact, it would be a good idea to visit it even if you did not like this.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Given long enough everything has an end.