Orbuttal Mechanicson July 2, 2017 at 10:25 am
For the record, there is nothing better than ending a DT rant with a butt joke. It’s one of those ideas that seem painfully obvious on its conception, like heliocentrism or the spheroid Earth.
Segueing from asstronomy, there was a headline in the news a while back that a new study had somehow proven that dark matter doesn’t exist. Popular media is pretty terrible at reporting science news, so of course that wasn’t at all the case. But when I read that sort of thing I use it as a jumping off point to see what’s actually going on. Now I won’t get into what that particular study was nifty and didn’t disprove dark matter’s existence, because while looking into that I came across something even more rad.
Oversimplifying, accounting for dark energy and dark matter along with all the regular stuff we can estimate the net energy of the universe. If this energy is positive or negative, we’d expect to see a universe that is curved in such a way that if you set off from any position and go in a straight line you’d end up back where you started. But an awful lot of observations seem to imply that the universe is actually flat, and when we estimate the net energy of the universe we also get a big fat zero. Now, as a liberal arts major this doesn’t interest me because the math is really neat and there are sometimes really simple answers sets to universe-sized questions. Well, okay, it does, but more interesting is the textual consequence of a net zero energy universe.
It means that a universe requires no input energy to exist. It could, and is even likely to have, spontaneously formed from nothing. No hand was necessary to start universal inflation.