Scientists reversed time! Scientists built a time machine! Scientists assembled a real-life Infinity Gauntlet!
All right, I made up that last one. But news writers made up the first two phrases, for at least two news sites.
Here are the actual headlines, in relative order of absolute silliness in proportion to the publication’s seriousness:
- The Sun: Scientists have built world’s first ‘time machine’ in experiment which defies the laws of physics
- The Mirror: Scientists create ‘time machine’ that rivals Doctor Who’s TARDIS
- NY Daily News: Scientists say they reversed time using quantum computer
This is the kind of stuff that keeps me (1) skeptical of clickbait media, (2) skeptical of scientists. Though to be fair, in this case, the scientists may not have ever thought to claim their experiment “rivals Doctor Who’s TARDIS.”
All this is plain clickbait. I’m not some great genius to have determined these were clickbait, before I guffawed and clicked the first headline.
The Sun, third paragraph: “artificially created a state.” Next ‘graph: “rudimentary quantum computer.” Later: “evolution program.”
It’s a computer simulation. That’s all.
Sure, it’s complex. And it’s surely to the tribute of God’s image reflected in these brilliant researchers.
But journalists jumping to “IT’S LIKE THE TARDIS IN DOCTOR WHO” is just plain silly. So I think we can react to it in like fashion. Such as: