I've recently come across two intriguing stories in my online wanderings that I felt deserved a mention here.
First from the Daily Mail in the UK comes word that Oxford researchers are conducting studies that could literally create a close approximation to Hell on Earth (click here for a glimpse of what this might look like). This could be achieved in three ways. First, we could extend convicts’ lives so that they could serve out incredibly long sentences for particularly vile crimes. Alternately, we could alter their perception of the passage of time to make a short time span feel like decades or centuries. This process would be achieved either chemically, via pharmaceuticals, or by uploading the convict’s mind in to a digital simulation and running it a million times faster than normal, “thus enabling a criminal to serve a 1000 year sentence in eight and a half hours”. Of course, this brings up the possibility of sentencing some criminals to an virtual ETERNITY of infinite suffering. The article suggests:
If these technologies are developed, one crime that could ever justify eternal imprisonment was something that would endanger mankind. ‘Suppose there was some physics experiment that stood a decent chance of generating a black hole that could destroy the planet and all future generations,’ said Dr Roache. 'If someone deliberately set up an experiment like that, I could see that being the kind of supercrime that would justify an eternal sentence.’Frankly, the fact that there are scientists who are even thinking of going down this particular avenue of research is a sign of the End Times.
Our next example of Woo in the News is somewhat less troubling... if you're not too sensitive about the issue of human origins, that is. Because, according to Eugene M. McCarthy, PhD, it is apparently possible that the human race is actually a hybrid race that resulted from the cross-breeding of chimpanzees and… something else.
At his comprehensive and fascinating website, Macroevolution.net, McCarthy presents a shockingly bizarre hypothesis in astonishingly convincing fashion. He writes:
One fact, however, suggests the need for an open mind: as it turns out, many features that distinguish humans from chimpanzees also distinguish them from all other primates. Features found in human beings, but not in other primates, cannot be accounted for by hybridization of a primate with some other primate. If hybridization is to explain such features, the cross will have to be between a chimpanzee and a nonprimate — an unusual, distant cross to create an unusual creature. Looking at a subset of the listed traits, however, it's clear that the other parent in this hypothetical cross that produced the first human would be an intelligent animal with a protrusive, cartilaginous nose, a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, short digits, and a naked skin. It would be terrestrial, not arboreal, and adaptable to a wide range of foods and environments.So, apparently, the other half of the equation is...PIGS!!! Hell, I dunno folks… I’m just the messenger. I should note, however, that this ingenious theory does have its critics. But I'll leave it for you to decide.