By kel Joseph
You're definitely used to sensational titles, especially when it comes to bad science. But you may want to breathe deeply because I have
10 Terrifying Scientific Theories and Hypothesis
10. There is a zombie apocalypse waiting to happen
In 1986, British beef was discovered infected with BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) after cattle were fed with powdered cows and sheep. Against an expert opinion, a government spokesman said eating was still safe.
But after a few years it became clear that this was not the case. In the early 1990s, 20 Britons were diagnosed with a deadly human form of the disease, known as the Creutzfeld-Jakob variant (or vCJD).
Like kuru (a type of CJD that affects the brains that eat Papua New Guinea), vCJD effectively changes or folds prion proteins, eventually leading to death. However, the average incubation period (the time needed to manifest symptoms) may be greater than 60 years. In other words, anyone who ate British meat, including baby food and jelly, at the time of the epidemic could be infected without even knowing it.
And in the United States, most cows die years before they are of age to show symptoms, so it could even get infected; only 20,000 of the 40 million killed each year are actually tested. Therefore, a serious outbreak of vCJD could be in our not too distant future.
The symptoms of vCJD include "aggressive personality changes, memory loss and difficulty walking". It almost looks like a zombie apocalypse waiting to happen, except for the fact that it is quite difficult to catch (unless you eat meat).
The researchers don't think it's airborne, for example, they don't even think they'll take it for sex or for a small amount of blood from a courier. In fact, you should probably eat the brain instead of the other way around.
However, at least in the UK, where somewhere in the region of two million mad cows have been cut and eaten by the public, there may be tens of millions of these brains to choose from. And without immediate treatment, the prognosis for all of them will be death.
9. There will be no time to stop an impact event
At Halloween 2015, a huge asteroid of around 1,300 feet (2015 TB145), which apparently looked like a skull, flew over Earth only 1.3 times the distance from the Moon.
Even a slight deviation in its course could have been catastrophic. Assuming an entry speed of 17 km / s and a density of 2,600 kg / m3, it would have hit the Earth with a force of 2,800 megatons.
This is 56 times the force of the most powerful thermonuclear bomb ever detonated, the Tsar's bomb, which was approximately 1,570 times the combined force of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There are several things we could do if we see an asteroid coming. We could shoot him at a nuclear bomb, for example, in an attempt to change course. Or we could try ramming it with a custom rocket.
Astronomers have also suggested "deflecting" it off course with a plasma bombing from a spacecraft flying next to it, or simply painting it white for the Sun's photons to do the job.
But the problem with all these strategies is the time required to implement them. In many cases, we don't even have the right technology. Even if we had a strategy and a spacecraft to make it happen, we would probably need at least a year to get off the ground. Relatively minor space missions, for example, can take more than four years to launch.
Still, we didn't even know that the Halloween asteroid existed until three weeks before it happened. It wouldn't have been enough time to do something safe.
Sure, we've made incredible progress in tracking down around 90% of asteroids that can take the world down, but 60% of 2015 TB145 asteroids (capable of depopulating a continent) are said to be missing.
8. Climate change will cause super eruptions
The last time the Yellowstone "super-erupted" was 640,000 years ago, when it threw 1,000 km³ of lava, pumice and ash into the air. One of the Indonesian supervolcanoes was expelled almost three times more: 2,800 km³ only 74,000 years ago.
In 2012, researchers concluded that Yellowstone is unlikely to explode so catastrophically for at least another century. The U.S. geological survey sets annual probabilities at 1 in 730,000, or 0.00014%, similar to the odds that we will apocalyptically collide with an asteroid.
But, they point out, these probabilities are based simply on the average of the two intervals between the last three major eruptions, making them unreliable. As they point out, "catastrophic geological events are neither regular nor foreseeable".
And one factor that we don't tend to explain is climate change. We know that supervolcanic eruptions certainly have an impact on the climate, but it also seems to be the opposite.
The researchers found that even mild global warming significantly increases the likelihood of eruptions. Theoretically, this has to do with melting glaciers that would otherwise prevent magma from rising.
And although this does not really apply to Yellowstone (although the glaciation in the region has changed dramatically in geological terms), it could have devastating consequences for lesser known volcanoes such as Mount Rainier in the Pacific Northwest.
Mount Rainier, by the way, has been described as "one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world" because it is located in such a populated region.
In any case, it is clear that geological changes are taking place in Yellowstone hundreds or even thousands of years earlier than expected. In 2011, for example, the soil above the magma tank had swelled 10 inches in just seven years.
We don't know when to expect the next super eruption, but there will inevitably be one, perhaps sooner rather than later as temperatures continue to rise. And contrary to what you may have heard, there won't be many warnings.
7. The sun could destroy us tomorrow
On September 1, 1859, astronomer Richard Carrington observed from his observatory as a group of unusual sunspots began to emit a blinding white light. Before dawn the following day, the skies of the whole world, even in the tropics, came alive with pulsing auroras of purple, red and green.
In the meantime, telegraph systems (the only widely used electronics) went crazy, caused electric shocks for operators and even set the card on fire.
In fact, the atmospheric electricity was so large that the telegrams could also be sent with the systems disconnected. Earth was trapped by a geomagnetic storm, a "gigantic cloud of charged particles and detached magnetic rings".
The Carrington glow is unprecedented. Of course, some have mistaken it for the end of the world. But what they actually witnessed was an enormous solar glow, a magnetic explosion on the Sun, followed by an expulsion of coronal mass (plasma and magnetic field).
Today we record these events in space using X-rays and radio waves. And while there has been no such thing since then, astronomers think we owe another. In fact, they are more interested in this than in asteroids or supervolcanoes; the latter are 90,000 times less likely to explode.
The damage caused by a super solar flame would cost us billions of dollars today, says astrophysicist Avi Loeb, which means we have even survived.
Not only do we have to worry about orbiting spacecraft and astronauts, but we also rely heavily on electricity. Everything from financial systems to nuclear reactor coolant controls could be affected. Nuclear weapons too: On May 23, 1967, when a solar flare disabled the United States' early warning system in the Arctic, the nuclear attack protocol against the Soviets was launched.
If it weren't for a last-minute explanation from NORAD (which had just been set up by the Solar Forecast Center), nuclear-armed bombers would have taken off for Russia. And, due to magnetic interference, there would have been no way to recover them.
A superflare could also be an extinction event in other ways, damaging the ozone layer, altering ecosystems and changing our DNA.
6. Strangers could make Earth a "strange star"
A stranger is a theoretical set of what physicists call foreign matter. Consisting of equally balanced upper, lower and strange quarks, strangers would be heavier and more stable than ordinary matter, and therefore preferably thermodynamically. As a result, foreign matter could transform ordinary matter within a billionth of a second, replacing, say, our planet with itself on contact.
However, strangers have yet to be found and some think they never will be. At the beginning it was feared, for example, that particle collectors could free them, and this obviously did not happen.
But that doesn't mean they don't exist somewhere. Researchers are currently looking for strange matter in space, such as strange stars, trying to find waves in space-time.
In theory, strangers could form inside neutron stars, they say, despite their small diameters (for example, 12 miles) having the same mass as our Sun. It seems that this type of pressure can make strange things matter and neutron stars could potentially expel outsiders into space.
5. Either we are alone or the end is near
The so-called Great Filter is a response to the famous paradox of Enrico Fermi, that is, in such a vast and ancient universe, why have we not found evidence of aliens? According to the Great Filter hypothesis, it is because all life in the universe has at least one thing in common: in the course of our evolutionary development, we all face a practically insurmountable obstacle that prevents us from traveling interstellar: a Great Filter that prevents 99,999 ...% of all species anywhere in the universe to travel to the stars.
This would explain why we have never been (apparently or presumably?) Visited by aliens. But what could this great filter be?
The most optimistic supporters of this concept suggest that the Great Filter is already behind. They say the Earthlings were more numerous billions of years ago when prokaryotes (the first living organisms) evolved into more complex eukaryotes, or perhaps even earlier at the time of abiogenesis (the first spark of life that emerged spontaneously from the Lifeless ).
After all, evolutionary biologists have not found abiogenesis inevitable, even under "ideal" conditions. Indeed, evidence suggests that Earth existed for hundreds of millions of years before abiogenesis occurred as an incredibly unlikely coincidence of the random interaction of molecules.
So maybe that was the big filter. In this case, the odds of other technologically advanced civilizations, or even any kind of life, spatial or otherwise, in the observable universe are, to put it mildly. And that would mean that we are probably alone.
Alternatively, the Great Filter (or another Great Filter) is still ahead of us, and therefore it must be a kind of apocalypse. Only the total annihilation of all life on Earth would guarantee that none of the species on our planet migrated into space. And, of course, humanity seems willing to do just that, either through nuclear warfare, environmental disasters or collisions of high-energy particles that have gone wrong.
4. We live in an array of many
We have seen it before, the theory that we are in a simulation. However, if it's scary, it's up to you. For a long time, it was only an experiment in philosophical thought, perhaps a kind of unverifiable. But what could make it more frightening, for those who find it frightening, is that scientists are looking for evidence.
More specifically, they are looking for pixels. After all, if this is a simulation run by aliens or machines or a kind of video game played by children in the 10,021 century, then it should be made of pixels, right? Very small pixels, of course, and more than anyone can count, but still pixels.
Well, it turns out that the universe seems to be quantified in fundamental units of matter (that is, it is not continuous as previously hypothesized).
However, to find the pixels, we should look beyond the smallest particles (quarks and leptons) with the smallest possible size, the Planck length or 1.6 x 10-35 meters. To put this scale into perspective, you could adapt more Planck lengths along the diameter of a grain of sand than grains of sand along the diameter of the observable universe.
However, despite these tiny, almost dimensionless dimensions, these pixels can only give a low resolution representation of reality.
Like the difference in resolution between our reality and the video games that play inside it, this simulated reality could only be a blurred hologram: a universe made up of three-dimensional pixels, each projected by the corresponding two-dimensional bit of information, a non-counted number of which he plastered the outer surface of our sphere.
Since the pixels inside would be larger than those on the surface, any universe simulated in this way would be a relatively poor representation of reality.
If the universe is really a simulation or a video game, then it raises some interesting, perhaps frightening, questions. But what could be even more terrifying is the possibility that we are not in a simulation. This is related to the Great Filter hypothesis.
Because, given the current rate of advancement of technology (moving from Pong to immersive virtual reality in four decades), it seems inevitable that one day we will simulate the universe, even if it will take a million years.
And it seems equally inevitable that the simulations of the universe become as omnipresent as today's computer games. It is likely that many billions of people will be able to run them from their living rooms (or whatever), not to mention the simulations performed by aliens and AI.
What about simulations within simulations? Potentially, or inevitably, there will be many trillions of simulated realities and one real reality. Needless to say, our chances of living there are the same billions for one.
So if we are not experiencing a simulation right now, this suggests that humanity is not living long enough to create one (as paradoxical as it sounds). And this could soon mean an apocalypse.
3. Nanobots will eat our planet
Together with artificial intelligence, virtual reality, space travel, the extension of life, blockchain, etc., nanotechnology is one of the pillars of our future focused on technology. According to nanotechnology engineer K. Eric Drexler, it could usher in a new era of "radical abundance" (the title of his book on the subject), in which tiny robots of about fifteen centimeters in diameter of a single hair combine molecules. to create products on demand, just like the Star Trek replicator.
This would revolutionize civilization. On the one hand, it would eliminate resource wars. Whatever we need, we would only get nanobots to make. And since these products would be manufactured to our exact specifications, they may even be superior to those that occur naturally.
We will also likely see nanotechnology in medicine, including "nanoscale functional particles" that affect cancer cells. Indeed, the applications are endless, because what nanotechnology essentially represents is an atomically precise control over the structure of matter itself.
What can go wrong?
Well, self-replicating autonomous nanobots could invade our natural environment, including us, transforming terrestrial biomass into more and more nanobots until they cover and therefore devour the whole planet like a swarm of gray matter in continuous expansion. That's what.
The nanotechnologist Robert Freitas refers to this hypothetical scenario as "global ecophagy", the food (fagein in Greek) of our home (oeco). And it could happen so quickly, even in a few days, that we would have little chance of stopping them, unless, of course, we had another swarm to protect us.
2. Vacuum decomposition will eliminate the universe
There are conflicting theories on how the universe will end. Some think it will be a Big Rip or Big Crunch, while others say that Heat Death is inevitable. Each of these scenarios is at least billions of years old; in fact, Heat Death won't happen for another year of googol (ten duotrigintillions).
Vacuum decomposition, on the other hand, could happen while you are reading this list.
Everything in the universe, including the universe itself, tends to balance, lower energy or more stable state (the vacuum state in quantum mechanics). It is easy to imagine if you imagine a large flat rock lying on the ground (and, for this analogy, pretend that we are not throwing ourselves around the galaxy on a ball of earth in constant movement).
The rock is in its most stable state; There is no place to drop it. It won't move. This rock is how we like to think of the universe. But now imagine that there is another smaller rock on top. It is still fairly stable, but it is not in its most stable state. Something could bring it down.
A hurricane with sufficient force, for example, could bring it from this metastable state to a state of decomposition, in which potential energy is consumed when it falls to the ground. What if our universe was not the rock below but the rock above? What if our universe was also metastable?
It is possible that one of the fundamental quantum fields, the Higgs field, is an exception to this universal principle of stability, which contains potential energy that simply cannot be spent. This is known as a false vacuum, which by its nature would be dangerously unstable. Over time, it can absorb energy from particles in a low-energy state, effectively removing them from existence.
The decomposition of the void can be viewed as a true "bubble" of the void that expands at the speed of light and eradicates the universe as it progresses or transforms it into a solid hydrogen sphere. It will erase reality and its laws, including time and everything else, as if it never existed (which will not exist).
And this could happen right now. In fact, there may be multiple true voids that expand from different points across the universe.
They may be so far away that even at the speed of light it will take billions of years to swallow us. Or perhaps its expansion is compensated by the expansion of the universe itself, in which case they will never reach us.
However, it is conceivable that particle accelerators (such as the LHC) can destabilize things here on Earth, creating a true bubble of emptiness that annihilates us in an instant.
Currently, the energy released in these experiments is obscured by the most energetic processes in the universe, so they are not considered a threat to the Higgs field. But only a few generations can pass before this changes.
And ironically, one of the reasons to build larger and more powerful particle accelerators in the first place is to answer the question of the false vacuum.
1. The technological singularity will end us
In case you haven't paid attention, we now have bipedal-recoil and AI robots that can trick us and hide us. They can even predict our future with surprising precision by simply reading the news. And that's all a pretty old hat.
The development of general artificial intelligence (AGI), that is, an AI equal to human intelligence, is full of existential concerns. Often, those who work or invest in the field fear most of its completion. Elon Musk, for example, publicly worries about "summoning the devil" or creating "an immortal dictator from which we can never escape".
Even Alan Turing, in 1951, said that one day the AI "will overcome our weak powers" and "take control". His colleague Irving Good agreed, suggesting that "the first ultra-intelligent machine" would also be the end of the invention, as AI would take things from there.
What happens with AI and technology in general is that progress is exponential; The spaces between them become shorter and shorter. Therefore, in 2001 Ray Kurzweil reasonably predicted that in the 21st century alone we will see progress of no more than 100 but 20,000 years.
When non-biological intelligence trillions of times better than ours becomes the predominant type on the planet, we may even see a century's progress manifest in an hour or less, assuming we have the computer updates to understand it.
Technological uniqueness is a theoretical point where discoveries occur so quickly that they appear practically instantaneous to human intelligence without restrictions.
Just as the singularity within a black hole is a rupture in the fabric of space-time, says Kurzweil, the technological singularity will constitute "a rupture in the fabric of human history". And he believes this will happen by 2045.
This, of course, is an optimistic scenario: a world in which AI does not annihilate us all, but merges with or assimilates the human race. Others in technology are equally optimistic (though they have vested interests), anticipating a world of foolproof healthcare, automated workplaces, universal basic incomes and AI solutions to climate change.
But what if things go differently?
It will be impossible for us to foresee this technological progress on the run, let alone control it. We could see that AI requires human (or superhuman) rights, emancipates itself from the start and pursues its goals. Or AI-assisted governments could overcome and liquidate humanity.
Even if they remain faithful, there is a threat of "misaligned" goals: an artificial intelligence created to make us happy, for example, but not impregnated enough with human empathy, could simply hijack our brain with orgasm-inducing electrodes.
Whatever happens, one thing is clear: technological uniqueness is coming. At least if nothing else happens on this list first.
What do you all think about this ?
If this things were to happen, what would you do??
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