Sunday, June 8, 2008

Humanity killing the universe?

You mean, we are responsible not only for the death of the passenger pigeon, but the whole shebang?

And here we thought global warming was a problem. Who would have realized that humanity is shortening" the universe's life? That's American physicists Lawrence Krauss and James Dent's theory, anyway, as explained by Roger Highfield, Britain's Telegraph's science editor (21/11/2007),
The damaging allegations are made by Profs Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and James Dent of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, who suggest that by making this observation [of dark energy] in 1998 we may have determined that the cosmos is in a state when it was more likely to end. "Incredible as it seems, our detection of the dark energy may provide evidence that the universe will ultimately decay," says Prof Krauss.

"The intriguing question is this," Prof Krauss told the Telegraph. "If we attempt to apply quantum mechanics to the universe as a whole, and if our present state is unstable, then what sets the clock that governs decay?

"Once we determine our current state by observations, have we effectively determined that the clock is not running at late times? If so, as incredible as it may seem, our detection of dark energy may imply both an unstable universe and a short life expectancy."

And here I thought the universe was way older and more immense and more steady than us.

Actually, I get the distinct feeling from Roger Highfield's account that he does not take the Krauss-Dent theory with the seriousness that its authors might hope. Read it and see if you agree with me.