An Absurd “Explanation” for Creativity in Humans (a short short story)


[Note: I’m currently taking a class focusing on creativity, and this was first written as an assignment for that class.]

The reason some people are creative, while others are not, is simple: we’re hybrids of pure human DNA, plus that of extraterrestrials of two types, who visited earth and interbred with the natives between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago. The first type of alien came from a planet called Itaumiped, and their hybrid descendants inherited the creative abilities of the Itaumipedeans. The other type, for similar reasons, carries DNA from the inhabitants of the nearby world Almausoped — and those from Almausoped tend be be rather bright, but also very imitatitve. For example, the creation of the comic book character Spider-Man was clearly the work of an Itaumipedean/human hybrid, but the work of grinding out numerous Spider-Man derivatives in comic books (The Scarlet Spider, Spider-Girl, That Spider-Man from an alternate universe with six arms, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Spider-Ham, etc.) was performed by imitative Almausopedean/human hybrids.

Evidence for the creativity of the residents of Itaumiped comes from the name of the planet itself: a rather clever anagram of the letters in the sentence “I made it up.” Evidence that those from Almausoped are imitative, rather than creative, may be found in the fact that their planet’s name is an anagram for “Also made up,” something clearly borrowed, then slightly altered, from Itaumiped and its creative residents. This raises another question, though: how could the names of planets given to them by ancient civilizations come from anagrams of modern English sentences?

The search for evidence is now ongoing for the obvious explanation: what really happened clearly involved not just space travel, but time travel as well.


# # #

[Note: This double planet/polyhedra image of Itaumiped and Almausoped first appeared here, and was created using Stella 4d, software you can try for free at this website.]

Proposed Mechanisms for New and Different Types of Novae

Theoretical New Type of Nova

The picture above shows a proposed model for the production of a sudden increase in the brightness of a star — or rather, what is apparently a single star, optically, but would actually be a suddenly-produced binary stellar system.

The yellow object is a star, the system’s primary, and it has high mass (at least a few solar masses), when its mass is compared to those of the brown dwarfs in the two highly elliptical orbits shown in blue. These brown dwarfs aren’t quite stars, lacking enough mass to fuse hydrogen-1, which requires 75 to 80 Jupiter masses, but one of them (the larger one) is close to that limit. The smaller brown dwarf has perhaps half the mass of the larger brown dwarf. Their high orbital eccentricities give them very long orbital periods, on the order or 100,000 years. In a very small fraction of orbits, both brown dwarfs will be near perihelion (closest point to the primary) at the same time, and, during those rare periods, the two brown dwarfs become much closer to each other than they are to the primary.

When the two brown dwarfs become close enough to each other, matter from the smaller one could be drawn, by gravity, into the larger brown dwarf, increasing its mass, at the expense of its smaller sibling. At some point, in such a system, the larger brown dwarf’s mass could then reach the threshold to begin fusing hydrogen-1, and “turn on” as a true star — a red dwarf. From Earth, this red dwarf would not be distinguishable from the system’s most massive star, shown in yellow, until much later, when the two moved further apart. There would, however, be a sudden increase in luminosity from the system as a whole. Unlike other types of novae, this increase in luminosity would not fade away quickly, for red dwarfs have very long lifespans. This would enable them, upon discovery, to be distinguished from other single-brightening stellar events. Confirmation could then come from resolution of the new red dwarf component, as it recedes from the primary, making detection easier.

For a variation on this mechanism, the primary star could be somewhat more massive, and the two large brown dwarfs could be replaced by two large red dwarf stars. The larger red dwarf could draw matter from the smaller one, until the larger red dwarf became large enough to cross a higher mass threshold, and brighten substantially, with its color suddenly changing to orange or yellow.

A problem for this model:  no such events are known to have happened. If they do happen, a likely explanation for their rarity is the likelihood that such orbits would be unstable, in a large fraction of similar cases, preventing the stellar-brightening event from having time to happen — in all but a few cases, none of which humans have (yet) both seen, and understood. If one of these things goes off nearby, though, we will learn about it quickly, for it will make itself known.

For another possible mechanism, there is another option:  remove the primary altogether, and let the two objects of near-threshold mass orbit their common center of mass directly. They could then create a new star, or brighter star, by the mechanism described, one which might even produce a detectable accretion disk. A actual merger of the two brown dwarfs, or red dwarf stars, would be a variation of this idea, and would presumably be more likely if the two objects had masses very close to each other, so that neither would have an advantage in the gravitational tug-of-war.

“Evolution is just a theory.” Please STOP saying this!



Well, just to get started, these three things are also “just” theories:

1. Germs are the cause of many diseases.
2. Everything you have ever touched is made of atoms.
3. The spinning earth doesn’t fling us into outer space because of gravity.

Would any reasonable person actually think the phrase “just a theory” makes sense for any of these three things? Use of this phrase, for evolution, the Big Bang, or anything else, indicates one thing: the person talking does not understand the meaning of the word “theory.” Theories are the best science has to offer, and science is the foundation of modern civilization. These theories are based on the repeated testing of hypotheses, using experiment, to explain what we observe — so they are evidence-based explanations, not mere guesses, as the annoying phrase “just a theory” implies.

Evolution is every bit as well-established a theory as the three examples cited above. All theories are subject to further testing, which is an important self-correcting mechanism in science. No theory is beyond revision or replacement, if new experimental evidence calls for it. However, that fact doesn’t make any particular theory invalid — it simply helps explain why science works. It also works just as well whether people believe in it, or approve of it, or agree with it — or not.

If you want to disprove the theory of evolution, just find a fossilized rabbit in a one-billion-year-old rock, as J.M.S. Haldane famously observed. It will only take one such finding to accomplish your goal, and you can publish your results, and become famous – if you can find such a fossil. For your own safety, though, please do not hold your breath while looking.