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universe as we don't know it

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  • universe as we don't know it

    Once upon a time, on a planet completely covered by water, there lived a race of big-brained fish. These fish could only survive at a certain depth, and none had ever seen either the surface above or the bottom below. But their big brains made them very smart and also very curious. In time their questions about the nature of water and other things became very sophisticated. The most brilliant among them were called fyshicists.

    The fyshicists were wonderfully clever, and in a few generations they understood a great deal about natural phenomena, including fluid dynamics, chemistry, atomic physics and even the nuclei of atoms. Eventually some of the fyshicists began to question why the laws of nature are what they are. Their sophisticated technology allowed them to study water in all its forms, especially ice, steam and, of course, the liquid state. But with all their efforts there was one thing that stumped them. With all the possible values from zero to infinity, how could they account for the fact that the background temperature, T, was fine-tuned to be in the very narrow range that allowed H2O to exist in its liquid form? They tried many things: all of their sophisticated mathematical tricks and theoretical constructs. But nothing could explain it.

    Now, closely allied with the fyshicists there was another group, the cod-mologists, who were also studying their watery world. The cod-mologists were less interested in the ordinary depths where the fish lived than they were in discovering if there was an upper boundary to their water-world. The cod-mologists were well aware that much of the water-world was not habitable, the pressure being wrong for their big brains. Journeying by fin to the upper reaches was impossible. The fishes' brains would explode if they were exposed to the very low water pressure in these regions. So instead, they speculated.

    It happened that there was one school of thought among the cod-mologists that held a very radical (some said ridiculous) idea about the fine-tuning of T. And they had a name for the idea - the "ickthropic principle". The IP maintained that the reason that the temperature was in the liquid water range was because only in this case could fish exist to observe it.

    Garbage! said the fyshicists, that is not science. It's religion. It's just giving up. And besides, if we agree with you, everyone will laugh at us and take away our funding.

    Now not all of the cod-mologists meant the same thing by the ickthropic principle. In fact it was hard to find any two who agreed. One thought that it meant that the Head Angel Fish had made the world just for the purpose of accommodating big-brained fish. Another thought that it was one of those incomprehensible quantum mechanical illusions.

    A small number of cod-mologists, led by Andrei-The-Very-Big-Brained and Alexander-Who-Swims-Deep, held a most extraordinary idea. They believed that a stupendously big space existed beyond the upper water boundary. In this very big space there might be many other bodies similar in some ways to their water-world but different in other ways. Some worlds would be unimaginably hot. So hot that the hydrogen nuclei might even fuse to form helium and then perhaps grow even hotter. Other worlds would be so cold that frozen methane would exist. Only a tiny fraction of the bodies would be at temperatures conducive to the formation of fish. Then it would be no mystery why T was fined-tuned. As every angler knows, most places are fishless but here and there conditions are just right. And that's where the fish are.

    But the fyshicists sighed: "Oh Lord, there they go again with their fishy ideas. Just ignore them."
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  • #2
    Kool little story ;)

    I like the analogy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Talking fish are a fishical impossibility.


      HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA I M FUNNY
      [volun]

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by H-Hour
        Talking fish are a fishical impossibility.


        HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA I M FUNNY
        Sadly, I would have to agree. :D
        I do what I can.

        cpgf: (n.) Acronym describing a significant other who has not yet acheived full spousal status and is in possession of a cable modem; of note because at YOUR house, you still have dial-up -- and crappy dialup at that.

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        • #5
          The story was too fishy for me...
          Become a supporting member!
          Buy a Tactical Duck!
          Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
          TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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          • #6
            Something smells weird.... :P
            "Sympathy means a lot, coming from Kulmar. I didn't think it was possible.
            Good luck getting rid of your disease. If you're infected, though, stay away--I can't afford to be a zombie right now.
            " Ednos


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            • #7
              I am glad to see this type of the response. Considering this do you think that destroying the environment is beneficial to anyone? If not do something about it. One person can make all the diference.

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              • #8
                Humans can blow the crap out of the world and themselves and in 1 million years the world will flourish with life again (without us if it's lucky).
                [volun]

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by H-Hour
                  Humans can blow the crap out of the world and themselves and in 1 million years the world will flourish with life again (without us if it's lucky).
                  Indeed. I read an article somewhere (and I'm too lazy to look for it right now) that said that the number of species going extinct is believed to be lower now than ever before. The impact of human conservation, saving species from extinction, may be more negative than positive when it comes to balancing the ecosystem that has been so successfull for the past few thousand years...
                  Become a supporting member!
                  Buy a Tactical Duck!
                  Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                  TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                  • #10
                    If a million people believed that 1 man can make the difference, then you would have 1 million people making the difference, but if you have million people thinking that 1 man cannot make the difference then you end up having 1 million people fornicating and reading newspapers.

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                    • #11
                      I believe in you Brian!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Revan
                        1 million people fornicating and reading newspapers.
                        Now what is wrong with fornicating and reading newspapers? Unless you try doing both at same time.
                        WARNING: DO NOT LET DR. MARIO TOUCH YOUR GENITALS. HE IS NOT A REAL DOCTOR.

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                        • #13
                          face down ass up...

                          god bless 2 live crew

                          :P

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by _Ender_
                            face down ass up...

                            god bless 2 live crew

                            :P
                            :P :D
                            WARNING: DO NOT LET DR. MARIO TOUCH YOUR GENITALS. HE IS NOT A REAL DOCTOR.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CingularDuality
                              Originally posted by H-Hour
                              Humans can blow the crap out of the world and themselves and in 1 million years the world will flourish with life again (without us if it's lucky).
                              Indeed. I read an article somewhere (and I'm too lazy to look for it right now) that said that the number of species going extinct is believed to be lower now than ever before. The impact of human conservation, saving species from extinction, may be more negative than positive when it comes to balancing the ecosystem that has been so successfull for the past few thousand years...
                              An excerpt from the beginning of The Lost World. Yes, the book is fiction, but the estimates provided concur with some quick research:

                              "Consider the numbers," Malcolm said, leaning on the podium, staring forward at his audience. "On our planet there are currently fifty million species of plants and animals. We think that is a remarkable diversity, yet it is nothing compared to what has existed before. We estimate that there have been fifty billion species on this planet since life began. That means that for every thousand species that ever existed on the planet, only one remains today. Thus 99.9 percent of all species that ever lived are extinct. And mass killings account for only five percent of that total. The overwhelming majority of species died one at a time."

                              The truth, Malcolm said, was that life on earth was marked by a continuous, steady rate of extinction. By and large, the average lifespan of a species was four million years. For mammals, it was a million years. Then the species vanished. So the real pattern was one of species rising, flourishing, and dying out in a few million years. On average, one species a day had become extinct throughout the history of life on the earth.
                              "It has been estimated that 5 million species of plants and animals inhabit the Earth. I believe there may be 10 times more species than previously thought. We may be sharing the planet with fifty-million other species." (Terry Erwin.- Smithsonian Biologist)

                              "Extinction by David M. Raup. The book begins by estimating there may be as many as 40 million species on earth today. He further estimates between 5 billion and 50 billion species have existed on earth. Overwhelmingly, the norm for any species is eventual extinction."

                              "As many as 50 billion species may have lived on Earth" (Webb, If the Universe is Teeming with Aliens... Where is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life)
                              "Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.

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