You are a member of a world of super-beings. Not everyone wants to be a god but those who do typically enroll at a Godiversity. They take classes in all sorts of things such as Ethics, Multi-dimensional Thinking, Alternative Physics and Creatorship.

You have decided to set up a business to help aspiring god-students pass their courses.

A desperate student, YeeHaw!, has just landed in your office. His term-assignment for "Creation 101" is due to be handed in in a mere 10,000 years. He has already been running his creation for 90,000 years so it is well under way. You glance over his write-up so far and have a peek at his creation in action.

Here's one problem you noticed.

Student Y! neglected to specify all the laws of physics in advance. This omission led to one scientist discovering that light is made up of particles and another finding that light consists of waves. Sorting that out so that they were both right was a bit of a headache. You had to come up with a solution and implement it in the World's physics. You had to make it plausible enough that the World's future scientists would be able discover it and make a feasible theory about it. Problem solved.


What other mistakes would a typical student make and how can you fix them?

Each answer should have the following sections:

  1. A brief description of the nature of the student's oversight.
  2. A brief explanation of why this poses a problem
  3. Bare bones of the proposed solution.
  4. A short discussion of why it works and of any issues that might need to be addressed.
  • $\begingroup$ I love the exposition, and the idea is fantastic, but I am a little unclear on what you are precisely asking. Are you asking only about the implications of replacing stars with spots of light in the sky? $\endgroup$ – James Jul 22 '15 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ I know you like the name.. but I still felt I should comment that "Holy-Ghost Busters" sounds like "God-Exterminators" to me, which doesn't quite seem to fit what the company actually does. Is that intentional or did you have a different reasoning for the name? $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Jul 22 '15 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ @James No, those two example were just that, examples. You can assume that they have already been corrected. The task is to discover as many other flaws as you can. Make them up if necessary! $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 22 '15 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DoubleDouble - Okay, that's an important point. The business comes first so, if absolutely necessary the name can be changed. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 22 '15 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ "Apart from the two already given, what other mistakes did YeeHaw! make and how can you fix them?" Is this supposed to be based off our current world? Couldn't just about every piece of physics be a "boo-boo"? It seems like idea-generation and too-broad, with that question =( $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Jul 22 '15 at 15:38

Student Oversight

YeeHaw! neglected to work out what the universe is made of beyond crude visible properties.

Why this is a problem

This worked okay for a while until the inhabitants discovered that everything wasn't made up of fire, water, air, earth and life as they first thought. The scientists are now finding inconsistencies and it's starting to freak them out. (As it should.)


Since the scientists are confused already, invent and implement a system of statistical physics from which everything is made. Skip any intermediate systems like atomic elements and treat such atomic systems as emergent properties from the statistical physics. Have this physics system cover only what happens at impossibly small scales and not apply in the least to the laws of physics that the scientists are used to at their scale of being. They will muddle over how the two physics system interact with each other and try to explain one with the other. These will always be wrong and people will start to laugh when they the hear the scientist's latest announcement of "We've found the one Grand Unified Theory to rule them all!"

Studying this statistical physics system is impossible without incredibly complicated instruments. Building these kinds of instruments takes a long time, so Yeehaw! will get some breathing room to work on the other problems. Tweak the constants in this statistical system till the same kind of macro-behavior as seen in the Earth, Fire, Water, Air system, but only just enough.


Depending on the complexity of the statistical physics system, scientists may master it too fast. In their search for the bottom they may induce a bug in the simulation that grants them StudentGod powers.


The easiest way to deal with this is with a sort of cosmic double-whammy that won't actually solve the problem, but it will grind those mud-dwellers to a halt long enough for them to kill each other off.

  • Make a minimum resolution

At a certain point of magnification, no one can tell the difference between yes and no. Your inhabitants will probably call it "quantum state paradox" or something silly. Basically once you get too fine a measure, particles are both there and not-there. Once they reach "the bottom", physics will just sort of peter out, since there's nothing new reliably to find.

  • Slowly jack up the speed of light over time

This will completely destroy their ability to do any long-term analysis of the Universe, as well as give everything in the Universe a red-shift on the doppler spectrum.

These two simple techniques will throw the science community into a torpor, as no one will be able to wrap their heads around why anything is happening. Those fuzzy dots can stay fuzzy, or you can fill them with another students concept art, since your inhabitants will never get around to actually visiting those places anyway. Since you set these folks up for failure in the scientific progress department, they will eventually start to praise thoughtlessness & anti-intellectualism and go into a series of world wars to prove who hates thinking and reason the most. If you set the minimum resolution low enough, your inhabitants may still discover nuclear fission, fusion, or anti-matter, making the "BOOM" that much more assured.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting stuff but the actual question is. "Describes Yeehaw's other mistakes and how you can fix them. 2. I think you could lose marks if the entire population died out. That doesn't seem like a successful world. Remember, these student are studying ethics as well so they mustn't be too nasty. 3. I like the 'minimum resolutiion idea! It saves a heck of a lot of groundwork and implementation. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jul 22 '15 at 15:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The beauty of it is, the inhabitant do the killing and you can feign student-ignorance. If you're a really good actor, you can even turn it into a learning experience and gain favor. Perhaps I should have specified though, these two changes mask or 'correct' the other errors in the Universe, rendering them unimportant enough to discuss. $\endgroup$ – vulpineblazeyt Jul 23 '15 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, as @chaslyfromUK noted, you made a nice answer, but not to the question. $\endgroup$ – Caleb Woodman Jan 29 '16 at 17:42

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