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There's an idea in the area of physics known as quantum mechanics that suggests one can't measure a phenomenon without influencing the result.

It turns out that sometimes this same "observer effect" crops up in science journalism.

The story goes that, right now, there is a quiet debate happening that could have implications for how the Universe as we know it came to be - and what came before.

And the debate is being driven in part by the fact that news outlets including BBC News took a small peek into the machine of modern-day astrophysics.

It started in a fairly pedestrian way: I spotted a paper authored by someone with a familiar name, outlining analyses of what is known as the cosmic microwave background, or CMB.

Professor Sir Roger Penrose, along with his colleague Vahe Gurzadyan, had crunched through the publicly-available data on this ever-so-slightly jumbled glow of light that permeates the whole of the cosmos.

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Category: Science