Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Eric Shook (Panopticon@oubliette.COM)
Wed, 10 May 95 22:27:54 CST

In article <3okjgh$g69@helotrix.defcen.GOV.AU> david@defcen.GOV.AU (David Wilson) writes:

> I repeat, it is not possible to observe a zero quantity.

So, I take it that you believe an afterlife, of sorts.

Or, perhaps you would argue that the act of observing
requires human awareness, and that after you cease to exist,
then you are unable to observe anything......
Which makes me wonder if not being able to observe anything,
including nothing is much the same as observing nothing?

Zero is not a quanitity, is it? Or, is it a small quantity?

I'll tell you what, you inhale a whole lot of nitrous oxide
and then, after you pass out, as you fade back into reality,
you tell me again that you cannot observe a zero quantity.

My final argument. I was asked to witness my Mother's corpse
to identify that it was she. Probably to prevent that type of
pre-cremation misidentification mistake that all funeral directors
loath, where they cremated the open casket body for the Smith's, only
to discover that it was really the Joneses who required the cremation.

She was 51 upon her death, and many had thought her 35. She was a
Fine Artist.....She was simply young by motion, and character. When I
went in to see the was the first religious experience
of my life. I didn't "get" religion right then and there, but it was
the first time that I knew by observation what illusion the human soul
somehow is capable of pulling off for those of us who have one.

My mother was gone. When I looked upon the corpse I knew only that it was
my mother's body because she looked like my 87 year old grandmother.
The absolute lack of presence. The person behind the body no longer
was there. I was observing a zero quantity.

It is the same quantity that we observe when we rediscover silence in a
city during a power outage. Zero. No noise. Oh! Sure, you can argue that
there is noise as perceived unconsciously by the ear, but any urbanite
would be deaf to it at that moment.

It is the same effect that we experience when we step out on deck at night
in the midst of the ocean and look up. Between those stars there is a zero
quantity. We have no idea what might come of it. We don't even know why
we cannot observe most of the mass behind all of those stars. It is a zero
quantity. We don't know much. And, being human's, what we don't know is
a zero quantity.

As a student of anthropology I try to remain aware of this. I try to
remember these moments of zero quantity. It defines my senses.

-- Eric Nelson --
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: