Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Aliens’ Calculation Error Has Doomed Humanity, Scientist Says

Because of sloppy equations or inattentive graduate students, our solar system and everything in it will be sucked into a black hole at the end of this year, said a prominent Quantum Physicist at the Los Alamos National Lab. Dr. Larry Dent, of Western Vanderbilt University in New Mexico, said in a press conference today that recent studies into strange fluctuations of the solar core have led him to believe that it will soon turn into a black hole and eradicate everything within several light-years.

“I’ve been studying this phenomenon for the last three years, and finally using advanced computation models I’ve eliminated everything else. Aliens, possibly hostile and definitely sloppy, have miscalculated the age and dimensions of our sun and, because of this error, at the end of this year the quantum state of our sun will change and it will turn into a black hole and destroy us all.”

The aliens’ error is similar to the famous Schroedinger’s Cat experiment, where a cat in a box is either killed or spared by the investigation of curious graduate students. The experiment is often used to weed out first-year physics majors at universities by allowing only the most intellectually shallow sophists to move on to graduate studies, and forcing those who argue to become philosophy majors.

Dr. Dent explained that the end of the solar system would come quickly. “At about 2:38 AM Pacific time on January 1 the sun will change states, and a few seconds later we’ll be sucked into the abyss. Of course, time slows as velocity approaches the speed of light, so we’ll probably teeter on the brink of infinite nothingness for several million years. But to outside observers it will happen really fast. Plus, everybody except Hawaii will get to have one last New Year’s kiss.”

Asked about the source of the error, Dent responded that it was “likely either a lazy graduate physics student or some variation on the Y2K bug that has afflicted them. Although may seem that their methods are haphazard to outsiders, I know well that human graduate students are sloppy and unkempt and smell bad, so why should alien graduate students be any different?”

Al Gore, not asked for comment but hoping to win something else to fill up his trophy case, said that the fault lay squarely with the Bush administration. Speaking from outside the White House, where he’d been hectoring Bush about global warming, Gore warned that “this calculational error will surely cause us infinite sorrow if we do not begin an immediate wealth transfer to a small but select group of people focused on building a ship with FTL capability which can escape the inexorable pull of the black hole and allow us, particularly myself as expedition head, to warn the aliens of their mistake. Or at the very least fill a ship up with buxom beauties and allow me to father a race of superhumans in the far off solar system of Alpha Babe-tauri.”

Dr. Dent said the next month should be spent reflecting on life and preparing for the inevitability of being compressed into an infinitely small space with the rest of the solar system. “We should also get the TV writers back to work,” he said. “Because at least then we’d have something worth watching to take our minds off impending doom.”