Podcast of Mystery

Last Thursdayism

April 5, 2020

Last Thursdayism

The entire universe was created last Thursday. You were created last Thursday. Before last Thursday, you did not exit. Nothing did. All your memories are fake. Everything you know is a lie. Those events never happened. There was no Moon landing. World War II did not happen. And Frank Sinatra never existed. All of history is a lie. Every movie, book, and song was also created last Thursday. Every human and every animal was created last Thursday. Evolution is a lie. All the fossils where created last Thursday. They were created to trick you into thinking the Earth is older than last Thursday. All the geology that you see, the rocks and mountains, have all been created last Thursday. They only appear to be ancient because whoever created them wanted us to believe they were ancient. Everything is a lie. Even the rocks. All the planets and galaxies were created last Thursday. When you look up into the sky and see stars light years away, the photons you are receiving were also created last Thursday.

Or at least this is what is proposed by Last Thursdayism, a delightfully unfalsifiable theory of the origin of the universe. And a theory that shares many aspects with young earth creationism. It is what we call a, " Omphalos hypothesis" This type of hypothesis tries to reconcile creationism with all the evidence that the universe is billions of years old. The idea behind this hypothesis is that all of this evidence was made by a creator just to make it look like the universe was much older than it really is. Why would the creator of the universe want us to think it is older than it is? Why would the creator of the universe want to trick us? Unfortunately, proponents of this type theory and its many individual forms differ on the motivation of the creator. They also differ on the true age of the universe. Some say it is thousands of years old, some say it was created last Thursday, and some other claim it was created only five minutes ago.

What is truly interesting about this type of theory that is unfalsifiable. Any evidence that can disprove this type of theory can be simply discounted as more false evidence. If we accept that there is an omnipotent being, then by definition that being is capable of anything. We can't trust our minds or our memories because they could be manipulated. We can't trust physical or scientific evidence for the same reason. We can't event trust mathematics. An omnipotent being can manipulate the fundamental nature of the cosmos. If such a being exists, we can't really be sure of anything, ever, in any way. The very existence of an omnipotent being of any kind, fundamentally changes the nature of reality itself. The really scary thing proposed by this type of theory is that the creator either is deceive us directly or is allowing us to be deceived by others. It isn't a question of if an omnipotent being would deceive us, the fundamental issue of this type of theory is that it has deceived us.

Maybe the fundamentalist Christians are correct, and the universe is only 10,0000 years old. Maybe our reality really is just a computer simulation that started 5 minutes ago. Maybe we are just a brain in a jar somewhere enjoying virtual reality. Maybe we are just the momentary musings of an omnipotent being. A dream that only exists for a flash. Or maybe the nature of our reality is something much stranger. Something we can't even imagine. Maybe something we have be designed to be incapable of conceiving.

To quote William Shakespeare's King Lear, "That way lies madness." Whether or not this universe is 10,000 years old or 5 minutes old, I' m pretty sure I've been Jason Rigden and you've been listening to The Podcast of Mystery.

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