Tag Archives: science

Lawrence Krauss on the Recent Direct Evidence for Cosmic Inflation–and What It Might Mean for God Belief

At The New Yorker, physicist Lawrence Krauss gives his take on the recent direct evidence that cosmic inflation is real. Money quote: At rare moments in scientific history, a new window on the universe opens up that changes everything. Today … Continue reading

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God or the Multiverse: Who or What Banged the Big Bang?

Physicists Andrei Linde and Alan Guth “distorted by gravitational waves.” (HuffPost image.) __________ Cosmic background radiation has long been considered by physicists to be the smoking gun evidence for the big bang, but what about the recent discovery of bent … Continue reading

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Creationists Win Another Pyrrhic Victory Over Evolution

When I learned that, in South Carolina, two Republican young earth creationists recently blocked the adoption of the woolly mammoth as the state’s official fossil (all but seven states have one) because they don’t want people reminded of evolution, I thought … Continue reading

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Peter Ward Can’t Sleep at Night

The short reason: __________ The longer explanation (at YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPRUggIb-NI __________ In Ward’s view, the two most urgent problems surrounding human caused climate change are the following: Mass extinction. When the poles heat up (as has happened in other periods … Continue reading

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What is Information? A Three Word Definition

The three word definition. The physicist Brian Greene, in his book The Hidden Reality (Knopf 2011), gives the best definition of information I’ve ever encountered: So, you start to ponder. What actually is information, and what does it do? Your … Continue reading

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Wikipedia Won’t Let People Post Woo On Wikipedia, And That Makes Woo Promoters Upset

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, responds to alternative medicine woo pushers seeking easier criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia articles:

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Cosmic Inflation? John Horgan Taps the Brakes

Science writer John Horgan (who is not a physicist) is intrigued by the recent evidence for the theory of cosmic inflation, but is also holding out for some additional confirmation, support, and explanation before he buys what some prominent physicists, … Continue reading

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The Cosmic Gun Smokes

Imagine positing a theory about the origin of the cosmos, then predicting something odd and otherwise implausible that one would find if the theory were true. Then imagine finding it. That’s what happened. This is via USA TODAY and The … Continue reading

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13.7 Billion Years Divided By 365: 40 Million Years Is A Day; A Day, 40 Million Years

In the debut episode of the new Cosmos series, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hand Stuever of The Washington Post describes the football field sized cosmological calendar that Tyson uses to put our 13.7 billion-year-old big bang universe into time … Continue reading

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Adam and Eve Did Not Exist. What Now?

Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, at The New Republic, states the problem succinctly: The most recent scientific finding that’s causing Christian ferment is the calculation by evolutionary geneticists that the smallest size the population of humans could have experienced when it … Continue reading

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Psychopathic Trolls and The Dark Tetrad

Chris Mooney at Slate reports on some actual psychological research that has been done on Internet trolls: [R]esearch, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling … Continue reading

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A Question for James Lovelock on His Predictions of Global Depopulation and the Desertification of Europe: What is Your Evidence That This is Coming?

James Lovelock is 88 and turning into an apocalyptic crank. In a recent interview with Decca Aitkenhead of The Guardian, he makes some rather extreme predictions supported by no evidence whatsoever: His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, predicts that by … Continue reading

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Image of Earth from Mars (100 Million Miles Away): What Would Augustine Say?

Image source: NASA (of course). The rover? Curiosity. __________ The fact that this image was taken by Curiosity raises a question: Given that Augustine included curiosity among the vices in his Confessions (Book 10, section 35), would he have approved … Continue reading

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Why Are There No Molecule/Water Dualists?

The question. I had a question pop into my head yesterday morning: Why are there no molecule/water dualists in the same way that there are brain/mind dualists? The obvious answer: Because there is nothing at stake religiously. We all presume … Continue reading

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Earth-like Planets Abundant in the Cosmos

Geoff Marcy, a professor of astronomy at Berkeley, talks to The PBS News Hour about earth-like planets. __________ “Earth-like,” as used by Marcy, means a rocky planet orbiting in the Goldilocks zone (neither too close nor too far from its … Continue reading

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Stunning Video Reconstruction: The Evolution of Ape to Human in Less Than Three Minutes

Based on real ancestral (and human cousin) skull findings, the evolution of ape to human here is thoroughly mesmerizing. Created by the renowned paleoartist John Gurche, the recreation is notable for its meticulous anatomical and forensic accuracy. __________ Gurche’s book on … Continue reading

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Did Saint Francis Discover Evolution Before Darwin? Did Jesus (in the Parable of the Sower)?

__________ The following saying has been attributed to Saint Francis: Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. I’m reasonably confident it’s not remotely close to anything that Francis actually said–it’s obviously … Continue reading

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Sea Level Rise and Global Warming

Over the next century the most immediate and significant disruption to human life from global warming will be sea level rise, and this National Geographic documentary on the subject is exceptional. Among its many excellencies are poignant observations from one … Continue reading

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America’s Largest Cult: 64% of Evangelicals Hold to the Young Earth Creationist Belief That “God created humans pretty much in their present form at one time in the last 10,000 years or so.”

Physicist Karl Giberson, a former evangelical who now identifies as a mainline Protestant, has written an admirably clear-headed essay for The Daily Beast on contemporary evangelicalism’s fraught relationship with the theory of evolution. Here he is summarizing scientific illiteracy in … Continue reading

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Glasses, Not Mirrors: Richard Rorty’s Whole Philosophy In 900 Words

I’m going to try to sum up the whole of Richard Rorty’s philosophy in just 900 words. Do you suppose I can do it? Here goes. The religionist, the scientist, and the ironist. There are three types of people in … Continue reading

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