A rocket flies through outer space. Shutterstock image via user Vladi333

QUAY: Stay in your lane, Physicist. The universe is not gay

“[T]universe is actually super queer,” says self-proclaimed “black, Mexican, queer, neurodivergent” physicist Dr. Jessica Esquivel at the start of her Recent TedX discussion. And it only gets worse from there.

She goes on to say that quantum theory describes “a world where homosexuality and chaos reign supreme.” According to blue-haired Esquivel, the wave particle phenomenon proves that “we are literally non-binary” and quantum entanglement explains the “queer love” she shares with his wife.

Now, I’m not a physicist, but I have a master’s degree in English, and this is one of those rare occasions when it really comes in handy. I wrote a whole Master’s thesis about how the metaphors of physics (especially Einstein’s discoveries) have been hijacked by social and artistic movements.

And that’s exactly what Esquivel is peddling here: metaphors. Saying the universe is “queer” is like saying I have butterflies in my stomach. I won’t learn anything about entomology by studying my own nervousness.

In Einstein’s time, the key word was “relativity”. He, of course, only used it to describe time and space. Unfortunately, his theory got its start as World War I was ending and a new generation was beginning to question the previously strong values ​​of religion, patriotism, and traditional morality.

DH Lawrence (the EL James of his time) actually thanked Einstein for “knocking” “the eternal axis out of the universe” and allowing people to pursue “moral (and sexual) relativism “. Newspapers jokingly labeled Einstein’s theories “scientific Bolshevism”, attaching left-wing political overtones to his findings. Modernist writers like James Joyce and TS Eliot structured their own literary works to reflect Einstein’s complex, confusing, and nonlinear universe.

The problem with drawing these parallels is that they are completely arbitrary. Einstein’s theory overthrowing Newton’s might bear some resemblance to communists overthrowing the tsar, but e=mc2 has nothing to do with Leninism. In fact, my thesis was about how CS Lewis used the same Einsteinian ideas to combat modernist disillusionment and promote his Christian faith.

Esquivel describes an “epic battle” at the dawn of time between matter and antimatter in which they should have canceled out entirely. Instead, for reasons that still mystify physicists, “an infinitesimal amount of matter has survived”, and therefore all existence is anomalous or “strange”. (RELATED: BARR: Does our political system now reflect the matter/antimatter principle of mutual destruction?)

His argument, stripped of its scientific jargon, is essentially that we don’t know why there is something rather than nothing, so we should all be waving Pride flags and trans-ing our children. But without the metaphor of homosexuality – which, again, is completely arbitrary – the conclusion does not flow from the premise. The English writer GK Chesterton, a contemporary of Einstein, also viewed existence as a mysterious gift, but instead of using this as an excuse for sexual experimentation, he deducted that he should “pay for extraordinary joy in ordinary morality”.

Same question, opposite answers. If you’re gay, the space should be too. If you are trad, then so is the universe. “Physics is a fascinating field,” said conservative commentator Matt Walsh in answer in Esquivel. “And yet this woman…is not interested in the secrets of the universe. The only universe that interests him is the universe of his own fragile little ego.

Fortunately, there is nothing new under the sun (very heterosexual). “If you take nature as your teacher, it will teach you exactly the lessons you had already decided to learn”, Lewis wrote in his 1960 book The four loves. “[T]it’s just another way of saying that nature doesn’t teach.


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