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Old February 27 2013, 06:14 AM   #57
gturner
Admiral
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Well, my basic problem with the disparity comes down to credibility.

Defense lawyer: So, Doctor Higgs, you are a nuclear physicist?
Higgs: Yes, in a manner of speaking. I don't actually deal with reactors, you understand, but the fundamental forces of physics.
Defense lawyer: So you do the same type of work as Dirac, Heisenberg, Teller, the Oppenheimer brothers, Max Planck, Neils Bohr, Murray Gel-mann, Feinmann, and many other of the brightest minds humanity has ever produced?
Higgs: Yes, I do.
Defense lawyer: And these things you measure, they are confirmed in the most sophisticated and controlled experiments in the most sophisticated and expensive particle accerlators ever built by man?
Higgs: Yes, they are.
Defense Lawyer: And these kind of experiments led to the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, quantum mechanics and semiconductors, which would be the basis of all our fancy iPhones and iPods, and countless other real applications, from the mundane to the sublime?
Higgs: Yes, they did.
Defense Lawyer: No further questions for this witness. I'd like to call one of the stargazers to the stand, you honor.
Judge: Counsel will not refer to astronomers as "stargazers."
Defense Lawyer: Noted, your honor. I'd like to call Doctor Hubble.
*Hubble takes the stand*
Defense Lawyer: So you claim to have witnessed the expansion of the universe.
Hubble: I wouldn't claim I "witnessed" it.
Defense Lawyer: So you didn't witness it?
Hubble: No, I just observed things that supported that interpretation.
Defense Lawyer: "Supported." Interesting word. Now, I've read your deposition, and you claim these "observations" were done late at night.
Hubble: Yes, of course. I'm an astronomer.
Defense Lawyer: And this night, I take it was a moonless night.
Hubble: Moonless nights provide the clearest skies.
Defense Lawyer: Just answer the question.
Hubble: Yes, the observations were mostly on moonless nights.
Defense Lawyer: So they were very dark nights.
Hubble: Yes, I suppose they were.
Defense Lawyer: And how far away were the events you claim you didn't witness, just observed "evidence" for. "Evidence", that's an important word, you know.
Hubble: Very, very far away. In some cases millions of light years, in some cases more.
Defense Lawyer: So more than a few blocks away?
Hubble: Uh, most definitely. Almost infinitely further away.
Defense Lawyer: So you claim you "observed" things on a very dark, moonless night from almost unimaginable distances, in the wee hours?
Hubble: I suppose one could describe it like that.
Defense Lawyer: And exactly why were you up at those "wee hours"? Just couldn't sleep? Maybe out drinking with the boys?
Hubble: No, I was working.
Defense Lawyer: Working? You said earlier that you were looking at the stars.
Hubble: Yes, that's my work.
Defense Lawyer: And this work you claim you do, it's done on top of a mountain, is it not?
Hubble: Yes, of course. That's where there's the best seeing.
Defense Lawyer: The air is mighty thin up there, isn't it.
Hubble: Yes, pretty thin.
Defense Lawyer: Not much oxygen. I imagine a man, on a dark, moonless night, can imagine he sees things that aren't exactly true.
Hubble: Oh, we take photographs.
Defense Lawyer: I imagine you do. There's a photo of Elvis and Bigfoot in the papers most every week, too. So your conclusions, they're based on shifts in the spectrum of these distant stars?
Hubble: Yes, they are, and the shift becomes more pronounced the further away the galaxy is.
Defense Lawyer: So we're talking about subtle changes in spectrum, the "color", or perhaps the exact shade of white or yellow to the members of the jury.
Hubble: Yes, and the shift is most definite.
Defense Lawyer: Doctor Hubble, I assume you are a normal heterosexual male?
Judge: Where are you going with this, defense?
Defense Lawyer: Just trying to ascertain the credibility of the witness, your honor. I assure you it is relevant.
Judge: Very well. Proceed.
Defense Lawyer: So you are a normal heterosexual male, Doctor Hubble?
Hubble: Yes I am. Been married since I was young.
Defense Lawyer: So you're no better at judging colors than I am, just red, green, yellow, brown, and blue, the normal eight Crayolas. You can't tell thiel from burnt sienna from eggshell from salmon mauve.
Hubble: We don't really do it with color chips from the paint store.
Defense Lawyer: Thank you, you may step down.
(Hubble gets off the witness stand and leaves)

(Later, during summation)
Defense Lawyer: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what kind of person goes out in the wee hours, stars up at the stars in an oxygen deprived environment, and thinks he's working? Then claims he's witnessed, or not-witnessed, to be more accurate, something unimaginably far away on a dark moonless night when nobody could see their hand in front of their faces, much less something of cosmic significance? He claims he was working, and well, maybe he was. I know quite a few bartenders who claim they're working that late when they're downing a few.

And he makes these claims based on subtle shades of hue, when a normal guy can barely distinguish, name, and identify six or seven colors, as anyone who's taken a husband to pick new paint will well attest, and he makes these careful distinctions in pitch darkness? It's poppycock. That's what it is.

Against that we have the world's most distinguished minds, men who split the atom and provide almost unimaginable power for peace and war, who developed the computers that run our world, and who even now probe the subatomic scale with the most sophisticated tools ever devised. Would you toss out their genius for the word of a stargazer who spent too much time in the thin air?

As a jury you have to weigh the credibility of the witnesses, and in this case the difference is stark. Both theories can't be true, and it's up to you to decide who you believe. The people who have security clearances that go on for days, or the people who admit to smoking weed and sleeping all day.

The defense rests your honor.
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