"Good God, woman, I used my thumb!"

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pope-ular Physics

Inspired from a discussion over lunch yesterday about antipopes.


ROME--Researchers have recently discovered a unique particle in the subatomic structure of popes, and they think that this could have a large impact on current metaphysical theories. The new particle discovered, which is tentatively called a "pope-on", or "popon", is thought to be the locus of papal infallibility, from which popes derive their power to wield authority on issues of faith and morality.

"The discovery of the popon blows away current theories popularized by leading scientists," lead researcher Albert von Magnus said. "Some, such as Hans Kung, had once thought that a particle such as this might exist in every human being, but so far, after thousands of tests, only the current Pope, Benedict XVI, exhibits these peculiar little particles." Magnus indicated that they are also testing the body of the late John Paul II for residues of the popon, although they believe that its high instability makes it improbable that anything will be discovered. "The popon fissions into its constitutive quarks very rapidly upon leaving the body of the current Pope. And it may not long reside in the bodies of dead popes as well," Magnus said.

Kung himself has considered its discovery amazing, but remains hopeful that identical or similar particles may be found in other leading religious figures. "I still think it highly possible that the Archbishop of Canterbury has an episcopon in his atoms. And the Dalai Lama must know much about particle physics when he speaks of 'the Buddha within,' ", Kung said in a statement released yesterday afternoon.

Popons were found circling the nucleus of atoms in the pope's body. They do so much closer than any elctron, which has helped keep it hidden from view until now.

Followup studies will now focus on the antipopon, which is thought to reside in the atomic structure of antipopes. However, because the few antipopes currently living refuse to submit themselves for examination, the existence of the antipopon cannot yet be confirmed. It has been thought that should a popon and antipopon collide, they would annihilate each other, but this has not yet happened in history because popons and antipopons, when in the presence of each other, are each thought to issue "anathema rays" which keep the other from approaching. This phenomenon has been noted in history several times.


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