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Writing a Drama - Searching for God

  1. Sep 13, 2007 #1
    Writing a Drama -- Searching for God

    I'm currently writing a drama revolving around an autistic guy and his prodigious 8 year old nephew looking for God/Heaven by building a machine - trained to the skies and capable of receiving signals.

    The whole thing is an analogy on the more tangible subject of the human condition.
    But I wanted to at least ground the film in (pseudo) believable Science...

    Any ideas on what this machine could be using/doing to realistically search the skies? Fantastical theories welcome too!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2007 #2

    marcus

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    this thread will probably need to be moved to Philosophy forum (since it deals with the human condition---the human aspiration and quest to know)

    however you came here for practical suggestions

    Look up Hsu and Zee on arxiv.
    Steve Hsu is a straight legitimate theoretical physicist in good standing who has never AFAIK given any indication of being interested in religion or philosophy.
    He has a blog where you can talk to him.

    He and Zee wrote a paper where they speculated that somebody might have written their signature in the all-sky map of the Cosmic Microwave Background, CMB.

    You have seen this map it is a blue and red oval mapping the slight temperature fluctuations of the CMB

    =================
    for future reference (teach a man to fish) here
    http://arxiv.org/multi?group=grp_physics&/find=Search
    is the arxiv search tool

    you can put in keywords, to the abstract summary blank, or the title blank, to see what articles come up with those keywords in the abstract summary or in the title

    I put in S Hsu, in the author box, and I get a list of papers by S. Hsu, and number 16 on the list is
    MESSAGE IN THE SKY

    obviously that should be the title of your play, maybe Steve Hsu would like that or be amused and he might help you. Or he might hate it. I don't know.

    So I click on #16 of the list and I get the abstract summary

    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0510102
    Message in the Sky
    Authors: S. Hsu, A. Zee
    3 pages, published in Modern Physics Letters A21 (2006) 1495-1500
    (Submitted on 11 Oct 2005 (v1), last revised 3 Jun 2006 (this version, v3))

    "Abstract: We argue that the cosmic microwave background (CMB) provides a stupendous opportunity for the Creator of our universe (assuming one exists) to have sent a message to its occupants, using known physics. Our work does not support the Intelligent Design movement in any way whatsoever, but asks, and attempts to answer, the entirely scientific question of what the medium and message might be IF there was actually a message. The medium for the message is unique. We elaborate on this observation, noting that it requires only careful adjustment of the fundamental Lagrangian, but no direct intervention in the subsequent evolution of the universe."

    I for one would be perfectly happy to discuss this as a purely scientific possibility. Could a cosmological big bang be triggered by formation of a black hole in a prior spacetime region? (Steve Hsu also has a paper about this particular issue.) And could some agency in prior spactime, while arranging for the collapse of some matter to form a black hole, put an IMPRINT of information on the distribution of infalling matter in such a way that, after a bounce and the formation of a new spacetime region, the "message" imprint would be reflected in the largescale structure and could be detected in CMB temperature fluctuations.

    I would say that this has a SILLY character to it. However Modern Physics Letters is a PEER-REVIEW journal and both Tony Zee and Steve Hsu are highly respected (if perhaps playful and jocular) physicists. So there you are. Have a look.

    BTW arxiv has a TRACKBACK feature where you can find all the blog comment on a particular paper and in this case there are 9 blogs that comment
    http://arxiv.org/tb/physics/0510102

    and one of the 9 that arxiv lists is, of course, Steve Hsu himself on his own blog discussing his own paper
    http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2005/10/message-in-sky.html
    So now you have a blog URL if you want to go and discuss this with Steve.

    Have fun,
    Marcus
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  4. Sep 13, 2007 #3
    Many thanks Marcus - this is just the sort of lead I was after! Will check Steve Hsu's work... Thanks again
     
  5. Sep 14, 2007 #4
    Searching for G.. at all the wrong frequencies?

    Ancient cultures would suggest a more inward approach.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2007 #5

    Wallace

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    You may be interested in the so called Fingers of God. These occur when we look at a large number of galaxies in the sky and they appear to lie on lines all pointing towards us. It is entirely understood to be an 'apparent' rather than a real effect as explained in the link, but may be of some use to you. Marcus's idea was better if you just want to focus on one thing though.
     
  7. Sep 14, 2007 #6

    wolram

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    If you look for god do not be surprised if you find the devil.
     
  8. Sep 14, 2007 #7

    berkeman

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    I moved this thread from Cosmology to General Discussion, and changed the title to make it clear that this thread is about suggestions for writing a drama. Religious discussions are not permitted, per the PF guidelines, but so far I think that this thread is going well. Any additional constructive contributions are welcome. Oh, and this thread is already being actively monitored in the Mentor forums (that's where the move to GD was suggested).
     
  9. Sep 14, 2007 #8
    I believe this is the same technique used to write the scripts for "Armageddon" and "The Core".
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  10. Sep 14, 2007 #9
    Ok, thanks for the help there... much appreciated. Sorry for the blunders.

    I guess another thing to say here is that the two main characters in this story are much maligned by society for what they are attempting to do, which is exactly the point.

    We don't need to agree with them.

    Their plan is a homemade, half cooked plan... and one that ultimately gets them into some hot water.

    But THEY think they're doing the right thing, and THEY think they're on the right path.

    So the crux of this is for the science community to look at this and go 'I think they're (totally) wrong, but I can see why they might attempt to go there, or be seduced/tempted to believe in that idea or route... '

    it a fine balance for sure... but what I guess I'm looking for is great suggestions that the science community knows would ultimately be doomed to failure, but seems like interesting/seductive lines of inquiries to two people who become obsessed....

    You know?

    I know that sounds flippant, but I'm sure you understand what I mean!
     
  11. Sep 14, 2007 #10
    I hear ya - and you've managed to outline my plot in just two lines there :wink:

    My characters might well be looking in the wrong place to begin with, but they have to at the start (how ever misguided).
     
  12. Sep 14, 2007 #11
    Absolutely - This question is certainly a case of the science community suspending disbelief - for the benefits of some characters in a story - and suggesting some interesting/novel/bizarre ways of attempting this through practical scientific routes...
     
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