By Terry Poulos, Scientiquity founder (originally published April 14, 2020)
A species-wide existential threat is corrupting human bio-coherence, breaking down human cells. Said to be “on the edge of life,” the Covid-19 Coronavirus mutated to the point that this “giant virus” is now homing in on autonomous information capacity. Unlike bacteria, viruses are aerosol and can travel via air particulate directly into our respiratory system.
At what stage is the human species at in terms of collective cooperation to fight this invisible enemy? Trapped in a quagmire of fake news oblivion! Naturally, it came to a head right around April Fool’s Day.
Fake news has been around forever but recently went supernova. We have politicians who make fake news centerpieces of their campaign strategies. Now Coronavirus has taken it to a whole new level of grandiose conspiracy theories, many alleging the virus is an epic false flag. Or that it’s a lab-engineered bioweapon, despite almost all scientific evidence to the contrary. In this “post-truth era,” Coronavirus – while itself very real – has nonetheless become the gold standard of conspiracy theories, the Shangri la of grassy knolls.
Humans have practiced deceit since our origin. The arbiters of “truthiness” swore that Galileo and Copernicus were fake news. Shamans, alchemists, soothsayers, and fake medicine men have all plied their shady wares, and many a religious huckster has wormed their way into our confidence. Indeed, fake news is by no means privy to politicians and authority.
In modern times we’ve encountered countless snake-oil salesmen and slithery corporations. Technology has wrought “spoofed” social media profiles, emails and websites. We’ve witnessed forged signatures, counterfeit money, and cheap knockoffs among myriad hoaxes, frauds, and fictions. Photoshop and “deep fake” videos are so authentic as to be nearly indistinguishable from the genuine articles. The phonies are legion!
It begs the question: Are chaos and veiled reality encoded in the substrate of all things? A theory that has steadily been gaining evidence is that the universe is one giant virtual-reality simulation. Perhaps culture merely reflects this veiled nested reality within ever-more veiled nested realities. Fake news may be embedded in the universal DNA/RNA. Is fake news embedded in the universal DNA?
You counter, “I can see and feel the universe. Stop your fake news!” Be gentile, gentile reader, for the following might just yet have you “seeing” reality in a whole new way – real and fake.
What we see with our eyes is a final rendering of a process that scales up through a trillion-trillion neuronal interactions. Stimulus enters the optical and tactile senses and is routed through the spinal chord near simultaneous with the brain. A “snapshot” is forged and spit out into our mind’s eye, an “end-state” product that lags the event. Study after study confirm that when we do take action to, for example, move an arm, the decision to do so was initiated fractions of a second prior to the physical motion of the arm moving. Consciousness is late to our own party. It’s reactionary.
Everything is filtered and veiled by sensory organs. We see via light. Light is an electromagnetic interaction. When an electron is jostled, it emits a photon, the particle part of the particle-wave known as light. This particle is often detected in two places at once and its position and velocity cannot both be measured simultaneously due to quantum uncertainty.
Special Relativity, for its part, says you’ve got your version and I’ve got mine. But even within you there are trillions of potential action potentials. Your mind’s eye captures but one in an instant. The lone survivor, or quantum “collapse of the wave function.”
On large scales, the universe is estimated to have a visible horizon of 92 billion light years across, the distance light traveled in the 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang. That’s just the space our instruments are powerful and sensitive enough to detect. Space might be potentially infinite.
Within space is a small amount of “stuff” including known matter such as stars and planets, which comprise five-percent. Another 25-percent is dark matter and 70-percent dark energy. The dark components are not directly visible to our instruments, but scientists know they exist based upon gravitational influence. They do have sway. It’s not fake but it’s not “all there” either.
Compared with the vast gap between Earth and the Sun, not to mention far larger gaps between galaxies, the mass we do see is a minuscule blip. Science also says the universe has an aggregate of zero energy. By the law of conservation, what is “lent” to matter must be returned to the vacuum. Everything is temporary!
Condensed matter, in this perspective, is a group of temporary atoms, in sync, which combine to form molecules. Hydrogen is the simplest, lightest and most abundant element in the universe, comprising 90-percent of that five-percent. Hydrogen atoms have one proton and one electron. A proton is primarily three quarks, although other atoms have neutrons but since neutrons have zero charge, they’re nearly insignificant. Bosons and neutrinos are virtual particles that interact with quarks, but they’re believed to have zero or near-zero mass and barely interact.
These constituent particles have fleetingly fast life-cycles, often measured in Planck units, the smallest theorized quantum bit of time and space. Meanwhile, hydrogen has charges that cancel exactly to zero. Think about it: The stuff that props up 90-percent of all known matter has zero charge, must return its energy, and can barely be said to have existed time-wise. Dare say, fake? Hydrogen is 90-percent of all standard matter, has zero charge, must return its energy, and can barely be said to exist time-wise. Dare say, fake?
Furthermore, no quark has ever been isolated. The only time a quark is “seen” is when it has two companion quarks. Adding to the fakiness, the human body reconstitutes 98-percent of its atoms every single year. By the time you turn two years old, you will have not a single atom in your body from the time you exited the womb.
Granted, a body’s geometry, the quote “physical” volume, continues regardless. But 99.999…-percent is energy potential only. Religion has a name for this: spirit. The creator or creation force works in ethereal ways indeed.
Lastly and strikingly on-point, the distance from a proton to an electron is so vast a ratio that if measured in cosmological terms, it would be on the order of that between Earth and the next galaxy, or farther. So not only is the large scale universe virtually empty, the small scale universe also is vastly separated. That’s a whole lotta nothin’!
In summation, the overwhelming majority of “stuff” exists on scales so far apart in space and for so small a duration in time that it’s plausible the universe is the ultimate virtual reality machine – both fake and only temporarily real. This logic is derived from Standard Model physics. Let me guess, fake news.
The hurdle we face is to distinguish real from fake. With far too many anti-science attitudes and adherents of fake news, how can we ever combat Coronavirus, let alone solve the mysteries of the universe?
Terry Poulos is a Chicago-area writer, archaeological historian, artist and geometer whose investigations focus primarily on physics, fractal topology, and Number Theory
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