The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Warp Drives - Hollywood Hillbilly and Swedish Chef Style!

Courtesy of the

In case you'd rather the the Warp Drive Argument in psuedo-hillbilly style:

ah's hankerin' warp drive ingines t'be real, ah reckon.

Yo' know, like in Star Trek, warp drive ingines thet will aller a star ship t'move significantly faster than th' speed of light, allerin' us t'travel t'distant stars in a matter of days, o' mebbe even hours. ah's hankerin' t'be able t'git on board a star ship an' travel vast distances, seein' whut is out thar, an' eff'n alien life exists, meet it.

This hyar will not happen in mah life time. In truth, it will probably nevah happen at all, ah reckon. Th' laws of physics bein' whut they are, th' odds of ennyone alive today evah venturin' out past our solar system is purdy much nil, ah reckon. Even eff'n hoominity does travel t'distant stars, it'll likely hafta be through sumpin like junerashun ships - whar a populashun thet reprodooces on over th' course of centuries travels, rather than indivijools of a particular junerashun beginnin' an' indin' th' trip. An' this hyar is assumin' thet we kin figger out how t'have a populashun live fo' extended periods of time on a space ship an' not be killed off by enny one of th' millions of thin's in th' unyverse thet thrett up us once we leave th' safety of Earth's atmosphar.

When ah consider this, it depresses me a bit. Th' Earth, vast as it us on th' hoomin scale, is nothin' in comparison wif th' size of our galaxy, an' t'knows thet ah will be fo'evah limited by th' atmosphar of this hyar watery rock makes me feel mo'e than a bit claestrophobic when ah stop an' cornsider. ah's hankerin' mah warp drive, dammit! Fry mah hide!

But, of course, ah cain't haf mah warp drive (o', better yet, a TARDIS). Wantin' it, reckonin' about how great it'd be, an' cornsiderin' how much less interestin' life is wifout it does not in enny way cuz th' laws of physics t'change an' make th' warp drive (o' TARDIS - mine'd be disguised as a filin' cabinet) postible.

Okay, Mr. Armstrong, whut does this hyar have t'do wif ennythin'?

Wal, I'll tell yo'.

One of th' mo'e frequent argoomnts thet ah hear in favo' of debatable proposishuns is a variashun on mah argoomnt in favo' of warp drives an' TARDISes. Varmints may phrase it diffruntly, they may say sumpin like "wifout X" whar X may mean ennythin' fum ghosts t'gods t'magic, "th' wo'ld/unyverse'd seem so cold/bo'in'/uninterestin'/lonely thet ah cain't accepp thet X ain't real, ah reckon."

Wal, as stated, wifout warp drives, th' wo'ld seems too isolated an' cornstrainin' fo' me, but thet don't make warp drives real, no' does some one's tendency t'be cold/bo'ed/uninterested/lonesome make whutevah their pet noshun is true. Likewise, th' fack thet someone has dedicated their life t'a false premise, whutevah thet premise may be, don't in enny way make th' premise true an' mo'e than th' fack thet varmints haf dedicated their lives t'dreamin' up methods of faster-than-light travel has made this hyar a physical postibility.

Fo' an example of this hyar principle in ackshun, cornsider sumpin thet happened t'me back in 2000. An acquaintance at wawk axed eff'n ah was a Jedtian, as enny fool kin plainly see. ah responded thet ah was not. They axed me whuffo', an' ah replied thet ah had nevah see enny persuasive evidence fo' th' exissence of a god of enny so't, much less th' Jedtian God, cuss it all t' tarnation. They then stated thet they had a quesshun thet, eff'n ah answered it honestly,'d brin' me t'Jedtianity. ah was curious, ah requested thet they reveal this hyar quesshun t'me. It was this:

"Don't yer hankerin' t'spend an eternity in th' bliss of Hevvin?"

Classic Warp Drive Argoomnt.

Do ah find th' idea of an eternally blissful af'erlife appealin'? Yessuh. Do ah wish thet thar was sech a place an' thet ah w'd git t'go thar? Absolutely. Is this hyar desuhe evidence of it's exissence? Unfo'tunately, no.

So, in th' end, th' co-wawker who wished t'convaht me went away disappointed, cuss it all t' tarnation. Mah desuhe fo' thar t'be a benevolent God an' a Hevvin does not provide evidence fo' th' exissence of Kin'dom Come o' God, cuss it all t' tarnation. An' unnerstan' thet ah's not bein' sarcastic hyar, ah pow'ful does wish thet thar was a benevolent God an' a Hevvin (hey, thar haf been times when ah jest wished thet ah believed wifout wishin' fo' mah beliefs t'be true), but mah wishin' fo' it is simply not evidence thet it is true.

Th' same is true of ghosts, psychic powers (which'd be mighty bost...if they existed, thet is), Reiki, Trimenjusfoot, an' all manner of other thin's. Th' basic problem is thet menny varmints doesn't reckanize thet they is usin' a Warp Drive Argoomnt even when they are. But, perhaps, eff'n yo' point it out, yo'll haf less friend, cuss it all t' tarnation....ah mean, yo'll improve varmints's ability t'reckon critically about their beliefs.

...or, perhaps you prefer the Muppet's Swedish Chef:

I vunt verp dreefe-a ingeenes tu be-a reel.

Yuoo knoo, leeke-a in Ster Trek, verp dreefe-a ingeenes thet veell elloo a ster sheep tu mufe-a seegnifficuntly fester thun zee speed ooff leeght, ellooeeng us tu trefel tu deestunt sters in a metter ooff deys, oor meybe-a ifee huoors. Um gesh dee bork, bork! I vunt tu be-a eble-a tu get oon buerd a ster sheep und trefel fest deestunces, seeeeng vhet is oooot zeere-a, und iff eleeee leeffe-a ixeests, meet it. Um de hur de hur de hur.

Thees veell nut heppee in my leeffe-a teeme-a. In troot, it veell prubebly nefer heppee et ell. Zee levs ooff physeecs beeeng vhet zeey ere-a, zee oodds ooff unyune-a eleefe-a tudey ifer fentooreeng oooot pest oooor suler system ere-a pretty mooch neel. Ifee iff hoomuneety dues trefel tu deestunt sters, it'll leekely hefe-a tu be-a thruoogh sumetheeng leeke-a genereshun sheeps - vhere-a a pupooleshun thet reprudooces oofer zee cuoorse-a ooff centooreees trefels, rezeer thun indeefidooels ooff a perteecooler genereshun begeenning und indeeng zee treep. Und thees is essoomeeng thet ve-a cun feegoore-a oooot hoo tu hefe-a a pupooleshun leefe-a fur ixtended pereeuds ooff teeme-a oon a spece-a sheep und nut be-a keelled ooffff by uny oone-a ooff zee meelliuns ooff theengs in zee uneeferse-a thet threetee us oonce-a ve-a leefe-a zee seffety ooff Ierth's etmusphere-a.

Vhee I cunseeder thees, it depresses me-a a beet. Um de hur de hur de hur. Zee Iert, fest es it us oon zee hoomun scele-a, is nutheeng in cumpereesun veet zee seeze-a ooff oooor gelexy, und tu knoo thet I veell be-a furefer leemited by zee etmusphere-a ooff thees vetery ruck mekes me-a feel mure-a thun a beet cloostruphubeec vhee I stup und cunseeder. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! I vunt my verp dreefe-a, demmeet!

Boot, ooff cuoorse-a, I cun't hefe-a my verp dreefe-a (oor, better yet, a TERDIS). Vunteeng it, theenking ebuoot hoo greet it vuoold be-a, und cunseedering hoo mooch less interesteeng leeffe-a is veethuoot it dues nut in uny vey coose-a zee levs ooff physeecs tu chunge-a und meke-a zee verp dreefe-a (oor TERDIS - meene-a vuoold be-a deesgooised es a feeling cebeenet) pusseeble-a.

Ookey, Mr. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! Ermstrung, vhet dues thees hefe-a tu du veet unytheeng?

Vell, I'll tell yuu. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp!

Oone-a ooff zee mure-a freqooent ergooments thet I heer in fefur ooff debeteble-a prupuseeshuns is a fereeeshun oon my ergooment in fefur ooff verp dreefes und TERDISes. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Peuple-a mey phrese-a it deefffferently, zeey mey sey sumetheeng leeke-a "veethuoot X" vhere-a X mey meun unytheeng frum ghusts tu guds tu megeec, "zee vurld/uneeferse-a vuoold seem su culd/bureeng/uneenteresting/lunely thet I cun't eccept thet X isn't reel."

Vell, es steted, veethuoot verp dreefes, zee vurld seems tuu isuleted und cunstreeening fur me-a, boot thet duesn't meke-a verp dreefes reel, nur dues sume-a oone's tendency tu be-a culd/bured/uneenterested/lunesume-a meke-a vhetefer zeeur pet nushun is trooe-a. Leekooise-a, zee fect thet sumeune-a hes dedeeceted zeeur leeffe-a tu a felse-a premeese-a, vhetefer thet premeese-a mey be-a, duesn't in uny vey meke-a zee premeese-a trooe-a und mure-a thun zee fect thet peuple-a hefe-a dedeeceted zeeur leefes tu dreemeeng up methuds ooff fester-thun-leeght trefel hes mede-a thees a physeecel pusseebility. Bork bork bork!

Fur un ixemple-a ooff thees preenciple-a in ecshun, cunseeder sumetheeng thet heppened tu me-a beck in 2000. Un ecqooeeentunce-a et vurk esked iff I ves a Chreestiun. I respunded thet I ves nut. Um de hur de hur de hur. Zeey esked me-a vhy, und I repleeed thet I hed nefer seee uny persooeseefe-a ifeedence-a fur zee ixeestence-a ooff a gud ooff uny surt, mooch less zee Chreestiun Gud. Bork bork bork! Zeey zeen steted thet zeey hed a qooesshun thet, iff I unsvered it hunestly, vuoold breeng me-a tu Chreestiunity. Bork bork bork! I ves cooreeuoos, I reqooested thet zeey refeel thees qooesshun tu me-a. It ves thees:

"Dun't yuoo vunt tu spend un iterneety in zee bleess ooff Heefee?"

Clesseec Verp Dreefe-a Ergooment. Um de hur de hur de hur.

Du I feend zee idea ooff un iternelly bleessffool effterleeffe-a eppeeleeng? Yes. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Du I veesh thet zeere-a ves sooch a plece-a und thet I vuoold get tu gu zeere-a? Ebsulootely. Bork bork bork! Is thees desure-a ifeedence-a ooff it's ixeestence-a? Unffurtoonetely, nu.

Su, in zee ind, zee cu-vurker vhu veeshed tu cunfert me-a vent evey deeseppuinted. Bork bork bork! My desure-a fur zeere-a tu be-a a benefulent Gud und a Heefee dues nut prufeede-a ifeedence-a fur zee ixeestence-a ooff Keengdum Cume-a oor Gud. Bork bork bork! Und understund thet I em nut beeeng sercesteec here-a, I reelly du veesh thet zeere-a ves a benefulent Gud und a Heefee (hey, zeere-a hefe-a beee teemes vhee I joost veeshed thet I beleeefed veethuoot veeshing fur my beleeeffs tu be-a trooe-a), boot my veeshing fur it is seemply nut ifeedence-a thet it is trooe-a.

Zee seme-a is trooe-a ooff ghusts, psycheec pooers (vheech vuoold be-a tutelly buss...iff zeey ixeested, thet is), Reeeki, Beegffuut, und ell munner ooff oozeer theengs. Um gesh dee bork, bork! Zee beseec prublem is thet muny peuple-a dun't recugneeze-a thet zeey ere-a useeng a Verp Dreefe-a Ergooment ifee vhee zeey ere-a. Boot, perheps, iff yuoo pueent it oooot, yuoo'll hefe-a less freeend. Bork bork bork!...I meun, yuoo'll imprufe-a peuple's ebeelity tu theenk creeticelly ebuoot zeeur beleeeffs. Um gesh dee bork, bork!

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