Are We Special?


Or, rather, is our location in space and time special?

For a couple of centuries, there’s been a move in science to disavow any notion that the Earth is in any way situated in a favoured position in the Universe.

As soon as we managed to get over ourselves, and the Biblical notion that we were at the centre of creation, we began believing that there was nothing preferred about our corner of the All.

Now a South African cosmologist has put forward what may turn out to be a spanner in the works of the Relativistic View.

The problem seems to be the extraordinary behaviour of space in our direct vicinity. To cut a long story short: According to the Seffrican scientist (note to Cat: he appears to be a Quaker!) ,space appears to be expanding faster closer to us than further away.

We can tell this, you see, by looking at supernovae and becoming really surprised when some of them appear to be at inexplicably large distances from us.

It’s an effect which we’ve tried hard to explain by invoking Dark Matter – although said Matter is proving really elusive. This idea that we’re situated in the middle of a relatively low-density area of space is another way we could explain what it is we are seeing – the supernovae were actually racing away from us a lot faster than the rest of the universe, only a little while ago.

Note: in astronomy, a little while amounts to a couple of billion years.

If our home-grown cosmologist’s intuition is correct, it would mean that Einstein’s assumption (and everybody else since him) that one area of space time is indistinguishable from another-one of the foundations of the Special Theory of Relativity-is blown out of the water.

There would, in other words, be something special about our location in creation.

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4 responses to “Are We Special?

  1. Or, rather, is our location in space and time special?Only if we make it so. But the rest of the monkeys won’t go along with it, they believe in a stupid god out in the sky instead of looking in a mirror.Fuck astronomy, it’s just another religion, a way for other monkeys to make money off of you. Another way for them to play with their brains, those monkeys love to play with their brains. And other monkeys love to pay them for playing with their brains. Rolls eyes. Evolution can not predict the future, just go along with it’s ways. Spirit (I) have been here in human form for thousands of years now, evolving into god. And will continue to do so, so just what is your problem? Worried about this one little stupid life and body you are currently in? Geez, just get over it, it’s not like you really made any difference in the world this time. You are a computer tech, spreading the next evil after TV. But I’ll forgive you because some of it is pretty cool.

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  2. Sorry, but we are an extremely lucky accident, although I also believe there are quite a few, in the greater scheme of things, other lucky accidents spread throughout the universe, all wondering if THEY are special.I honestly don’t believe we need to be “special” to be downright wonderful regardless. I know plenty of wonderful people who aren’t Jewish.

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  3. SunTiger,I agree that time is not linear – but that’s the way many of us see it,and the way scientists use it, as a convenience. it’s not true, but they proceed as if it were!Steve,Uh-yes, I guess. But if we were sitting in the middle of a void area, as Ellis seems to be suggesting, this would make this one area different from all the other areas, and bang goes the Special Theory of Relativity.Billy,I may be just a computer tech, but I’m still God, and I’ll thank you to remember it, Young Man.THE Michael,I actually agree with you. I think I’d blow some circuits if Ellis’ theory turns out to be true. I would prefer Dark Matter anyday to being in a priviliged position in the universe.Love,Terri in Joburg

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