5The Theory: Quantum Entanglement
5The Theory: Quantum Entanglement
The Crazy Part:The part where you jiggle an electron on one side of the universe and an invisible force traverses millions of light years and smacks another electron into wiggling instantaneously, which is about a million years faster than is technically possible without time travel. What It Says: That if two electrons are created together, they are forever “entangled,” much like you and your high school sweetheart according to some shitty poems you wrote in tenth grade. And, also like you and your ex-love, regardless of the distance between the two electrons, a change in quantum spin in one electron will immediately cause the other electron to change spin as well. So like, when she has sex with Bob Feeney, the team’s QB after the first date, even though you’re home alone playing Tetris, your heart will ache with a sudden and unmistakable pain. That’s the pain of entanglement, my friend. So What Does This Do For Me? Teleportation, holmes. Only really tiny. In theory, you could separate two electrons by as much space as you wanted (say, the breadth of the universe), and they’d still be linked in such a way that actions taken on one would affect the other instantaneously. Meaning information is being transmitted at speeds faster than light. Meaning, if you want to really go nuts, time travel. And though the party pooping scientists have been busy coming up with limitations on the kind of information that could be transmitted (it seems super-fast computers that allow you to play Gears of War against people in parallel dimensions may be a ways off), no one has yet been able to disprove the theory that there is an invisible force in the universe capable of affecting matter millions of light-years away…instantly. Wait, It Gets Worse: If you subscribe to the whole “Big Bang” thing, then there was a point in the past in which every atom in the universe was condensed into a singularity. Which means everything, even you and that bastard Bob Feeney, are quantumly entangled. Some scientists have even gone so far as to claim that quantum entanglement shows that there is no such thing as space, and that everything in the universe is still touching. Space is just an illusion created by our flawed perceptions, and we’re all one. The hippies were right after all. Level Of Mind Blowing-ness: A fistful of acid tabs followed by the flume ride at Disneyworld.
The Crazy Part: The part where the family tree of every living creature on Earth collides at a single point on a single day in the past, making you related to Hitler as well as every insect you've ever killed.. What It Says: We’re all familiar with the basics of evolution: that a munificent monkey-goddess birthed us all from Her banana-scented womb. But there are some lesser-discussed implications of natural selection that are just plain weird. For one, scientists have concluded that around 140,000 years ago in Kenya, there lived a woman called Mitochondrial Eve (cavemen had weird names), so named because today, every living human on Earth has her mitochondrial DNA in their body (cavemen were also prescient). And only 3,000 years ago lived a person known as the Most Recent Common Ancestor, who, through exponential growth of the family tree, is the ancestor of every single person on Earth. And did you know that, based on the same principles (and a lot of rape), Genghis Kahn has over 16 million descendants? Who’s your Daddy now?! So What Does This Do For Me? Well, for one, you can rest assured than anyone you ever have sex with in your entire life is at least your distant, distant cousin. So that’s nice. And if you’re really a nut for genealogy, why not trace your heritage back to the Last Universal Ancestor, the single-celled organism who, about 4 billion years ago, decided to go ahead and give rise to every living creature that will ever exist on the face of the Earth? Talk about a pimp. In essence, the whole of life on the planet can be considered one long, unbroken chemical reaction that is still resolving itself, like the foam flowing out of a science fair volcano. Wait, It Gets Worse: The genetic chaos continues. The Endosymbiotic Theory says that the mitochondria in our bodies, without which we couldn’t live, let alone write snide humor articles, was at one point a separate organism that invaded our cells and set up camp. They formed a symbiotic relationship so beneficial that we’ve never booted them out. Furthermore, large chunks of the human genome are thought to be ancient retroviruses that managed to transcribe themselves into our DNA and have spent the remainder of their days happily clambering up and down our nucleotides like the McDuck children on a mansion banister. Basically your cells are millions of individual organisms, all huddled together in a you-shaped beehive. Now see how long you can go before wanting to shower. And lastly, a thought for the right-wingers out there: At some point half of you was an egg in your Mother’s womb. That egg existed in her body from the day she was born. And a long, long time ago, she too was an egg in her Mother’s womb, who had that egg ready for use from the moment she squirmed out of your Great Grandma’s nethers. The point being, technically speaking, there’s no break in the chain of existence, no time when you are not a life form of at least the most rudimentary sort. Your family, at least on your Mother’s side, could theoretically be considered an immortal, constantly-regenerating organism. Of course that would make men, whose sperm has to be created years after the moment of birth, just disposable donors here to fuel the everlasting fire of womanhood. You go girls! Level Of Mind Blowing-ness: Four Hemmingway suicides.
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