A Philosopher's Blog

Researchers Discover Backwards Causation Particles

Posted in Humor, Science by Michael LaBossiere on December 13, 2013
English: Matt Smith at the 2011 Comic Con in S...

Dr. Smith answers questions about F-ons and D-ons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While time travel has long been the stuff of science fiction, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found proof of backwards causation. In the normal course of events, a cause must occur before the effect. In backwards causation, the reverse happens: the cause occurs after the effect.

The head researcher, Dr. Juanita Ocheloco said that hearing anecdotes from fellow faculty members put her on the track that led to the discovery. “At the end of every semester, I would hear stories about students who earned F and D grades experiencing retroactive problems. For example, one student who failed a statistics course lost his grandmother to backwards causation caused by his F grade. Another student who earned a D, was retroactively injured in a car accident. Although he had seemed fine all semester, his D caused him to have an accident two months before the end of the semester.”

At first the researchers considered the obvious hypothesis: students were just making up stories to play on professors’ sympathy and to try to avoid the F and D grades. However, Dr. Albert Ninestein’s research revealed that D and F grades shed D-on (pronounced “Deon”, as in “Deon Sanders”) and F-ons (pronounced “ef-ons”, not to be confused with FU-ons) respectively.

Dr. Ninestein said, ‘it was really a matter of luck—I happened to be testing out my theoretical particle detector at the end of the semester and caught all these particle flows. I traced them back to the university’s servers and got the IT folks involved. We pinpointed the emissions to the servers used for grades. A deeper analysis showed that the D and F grades were shedding these particles like mad.”

Additional investigation revealed that D-ons and F-ons, like tachyons, travel backwards in time. Unlike tachyons, D-ons and F-ons exhibit considerable malicious intent: they have been shown to kill the relatives of students, cause mysterious and unprovable illnesses and injuries, and do other bad things. Said researcher Dr. Matt Smith, “Those particles are right bastards.”

Dr. Smith added that the particles seem to travel via the internet and that they attack through smartphones, tablets and laptops. “At our request, the university has issued a warning to all students and relatives about the danger to their health and well-being posed by these particles. We are working round the clock to develop shielding to stop the particles from travelling back in time to do their damage. Until then, the university has adopted a policy of not issuing any D or F grades. This has proven to be a success: the number of retroactive cases of illness and injury has dropped to zero.”

When asked about her next project, Dr. Ocheloco said that she was working on finding the particle that “makes journalists write about whatever damn thing passes as research these days” and also a doomsday weapon made from squirrels.


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6 Responses

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  1. Anonymous said, on December 13, 2013 at 9:09 am

    OMG, look @thepic! it’s the Doctor!

  2. magus71 said, on December 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

    The modern edifice of modern scientific dogma expounded by the ignorant masses is being chipped away. HP Lovecraft tried to warn us that arrogance in the area of knowledge and science can end in our doom.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Science will certainly doom us-after all, science gives us engineering, which gives us the tools to end the world. End of world=win for philosophy. After all, philosophy gave us science.

      • WTP said, on December 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        Philosophy gave us science in the sense that Hitler gave us the interstate highway system. Goodnight, Mr. Godwin, wherever you are.

  3. WTP said, on December 17, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I don’t know about backwards causation, but Obamacare apparently relies on some sort of wormhole physics…

    The Government’s belated “realization” that the challenged regulations may not actually
    result in the provision of contraceptive coverage to plaintiffs’ employees is difficult to fathom.
    Not only did the Archdiocese and Diocese state, in declarations filed in August with their initial
    moving papers, that they (and therefore the plaintiff high schools also covered by the
    Archdiocese’s health plan) participate in church plans, but in both the Interim Final Rules and
    ANPRM, defendants noted proposals to define both “religious employer” and “eligible
    organization” as organizations that have health plans qualifying as church plans under ERISA.
    See 77 Fed. Reg. at 8,727 (“[C]ommenters referenced alternative standards, such as tying the
    [religious employer] exemption to the definition of ‘church plan’”); 77 Fed. Reg. at 16,504
    (“[T]he intended regulations could base their definition [of an eligible organization] on another
    Federal law, such as section 414(e) the Code and section 3(33) of ERISA, which set forth
    definitions for purposes of ‘church plans.’”). It is unclear how citizens like plaintiffs and their
    TPAs are supposed to know what the law requires of them if the Government itself is unsure.
    After almost 18 months of litigation, defendants now effectively concede that the regulatory tale
    told by the Government was a non-sequitur.


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