Quorum of One is intended for adult readers

  Issue number: 79     October 16, 2008
Dow tops 15,000 . . . on another planet








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        For many decades, a small group of astronomers rejecting Einstein's "curved space" theory have been positing that the universe is in fact literally infinite. Now recent findings from the Allen Telescope Array in Palo Alto, California, a battery of radio telescopes that monitors electromagnetic emissions from outer space in the hope of finding evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life, is lending credence to their previously discredited point of view.

        As a corollary of the infinite space hypothesis, adherents believe that the universe contains an infinite number of galaxies, an infinite number of solar systems, and therefore an infinite number of planets hospitable to life.

        Taking the concept to the extreme, it is theoretically possible that there are an infinite number of planets somewhere in the universe that are not only inhabited by intelligent beings, but that by sheer coincidence have undergone geological and biological evolution identical to Earth's in every way, down to the slightest detail. And others have experienced evolution identical to Earth's except for one, or two, or three, etc., major or exceedingly minor differences.

        For example, according to the infinite universe, or IU, theory, there are an infinite number of planets on which human beings identical to you are leading lives identical to yours except that instead of reading a bogus news story right now all your doppelgangers out there in space are getting laid.

        On a more concrete level, broadcasts were received at the Allen Array on Thursday from a small blue planet orbiting V838 Monocerotis, a star in the Crab Nebula. The emissions, mostly the audio portions of television news programs, indicate that this planet is perfectly identical to our home planet Earth in every aspect except one: many millions of years ago a time traveler from the distant future on our planet (Allen researchers have code-named him "Ray") visited the Jurassic Era and, despite taking extreme precautions not to disturb the environment and thus inadvertently influence evolution, accidentally stepped on and killed a butterfly.

        This minute change in biological history had no effect on the development of life and the human race except for changing the outcome of a future election in the world's most powerful country.

        On Earth's twin planet, which did not experience this disruption of normal evolution, the Electoral College system was abandoned in 1928. Al Gore was elected president of the US in 2000 and instituted policies that ushered in a new era of unprecedented peace and prosperity, halving greenhouse gas emissions and raising the Dow Jones Industrials Average to well over 15,000 by the end of his second term in late 2008.


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About the translation / traduction of Air France Madame Magazine and Nancy Li