Says here a team of scientists in Germany have created a new form of matter from aluminum. They’ve dubbed it “transparent aluminum,” which we can all agree is a stupid choice when “transluminum” is just hanging out there unused.
Now, you know Evil loves science. But this kind of story always chafes his inquisitive soul. It’s not the scientists’ crazy scifi claims about how transluminum might, just might, lead to nuclear fusion on earth that will power us forever. Know what? Let’s hand the floor over to said scientists:
“The physical properties of the matter we are creating are relevant to the conditions inside large planets, and we also hope that by studying it we can gain a greater understanding of what is going on during the creation of ‘miniature stars’ created by high-power laser implosions, which may one day allow the power of nuclear fusion to be harnessed here on Earth.”
This naturally falls under the “justifying our grants” portion of any scientastic press release. Can’t blame them for that; baby needs a new pair of braces.
Nay—what bothers the Evil is this claim that they have “created” something that they admit only existed for 40 femtoseconds. (A femtosecond is 10-15 of a second. In the time it takes you to read this parenthetical note, you will have decided you really don’t care how many femtoseconds it took you to do so. Science!)
Scientists do this all the time with exotic elements—claim to have “created” something that existed in our reality for a measure of time that is essentially meaningless. And Evil says: no!
To say they have observed a new form of matter or element—OK. To say they witnessed it, sure. But creation involves producing something that exists for some meaningful length of time. For example: you create a turd. There it floats, a sodden bobbing testament to your body’s excretory function. Left to its own devices—say, out in the yard—it will gradually dissolve into the soil or be eaten by a dog, but in the meantime, your turd exists, dammit. You can see it, smell, and god forbid, feel it.
Now consider the fart . . . sure, it manifests itself in an invisible cloud of fetid funk. But it disperses into the air almost instantly (unless you’re stuck in a car with the windows rolled up in the middle of the summer). No rational person would claim to have created a fart. You let a fart. You release it. You squeeze one out. But you do not claim to have “created” that foulness.
Same goes for these scientists. As thrilled as the Evil is with their discovery of transluminum, he demands they admit they did not create, but merely squeezed it, grunting, from the intestinal tract of the universe.