Cosmology

Now we are told that dark energy …

is not an illusion after all (New Scientist16 March 2011): But new, more precise measurements of supernovae, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, clash with the simplest version of the void model. That model could be made to fit previous supernova measurements and other cosmological data, but only if the local expansion rate is about […]

Cosmology Creationism Darwinism Design inference Education Evolutionary biology Intelligent Design Philosophy Religion Science science education

The Epistemological Deficiencies of Barbara Forrest

Denyse O’Leary writes about Barbara Forrest’s fact-free attack on Frank Beckwith, which recently appeared in Synthese. While Denyse focused more on Beckwith’s response to Forrest’s scholarly article diatribe, it might be worth taking a closer look not only at Forrest’s article, but the entire issue of Synthese in which it is found. First Forrest. In […]

Cosmology

Progress: After 3000 years, we have achieved a mathematical model of how an eternal universe might work

While searching Discover, I ran up against this from Perimeter Institute cosmologist Neil Turok, “Will We Discover That the Universe Had No Beginning and Has No End?” (October 2010): In the conventional picture of the origin of the universe, the Big Bang is the beginning of time. This is one of the greatest mysteries in […]

Cosmology Extraterrestrial life

Nature authors on exoplanets: Earth-sized, not Earth-like

Here’s the abstract of a just-published paper: Nature 470, 438 (24 February 2011) doi:10.1038/470438b NASA’s Kepler mission to find habitable planets orbiting Sun-like stars has turned up its first rocky planet. The project uses the Kepler space telescope to identify extrasolar planets by watching for dips in the intensity of light from up to 170,000 […]

Cosmology

You heard about it here first: Statistically, we just know there is life on other planets

Ian O’Neill tells us, “Milky way stuffed with 50 billion alien worlds” Discover (Feb 19, 2011) Making estimates may sound trivial, but it does put the search for ET into perspective. There’s at least 50 billion worlds, which have fostered the development of basic lifeforms? How many have allowed advanced civilizations to evolve?If there are […]

Cosmology

Philosophy is dead files: And then the corpse sat up, right in the middle of the wake, and demanded a swig, and …

At Philosophy Now, Christopher Norris offers more evidence that Stephen Hawking should either take courses in philosophy or refrain from commenting on its supposed uselessness: Stephen Hawking recently fluttered the academic dovecotes by writing in his new book The Grand Design – and repeating to an eager company of interviewers and journalists – that philosophy […]

Constitution Cosmology

So what will you do when your turn comes?

Nathan Black reports for Christian Post “Intelligent Design Proponent Fired from NASA Lab” (Jan. 26 2011). David Coppedge is an information technology specialist and system administrator on JPL’s international Cassini mission to Saturn, the most ambitious interplanetary exploration ever launched. A division of California Institute of Technology, JPL operates under a contract with the federal […]

Cosmology

To be fine tuned for life, the universe should have been tuned differently?

At Slashdot “News for Nerds.Stuff that Matters” we learn: eldavojohn writes “A common argument one might encounter in intelligent design or the arduous process of resolving science with religion is that the physical constants of our world are fine tuned for life by some creator or designer. A University of Alberta theoretical physicist claims quite […]

Cosmology

Vid: The prequel to the Big Bang?

A friend points to a popular overview of current ideas in theoretical physics on pre-Big Bang cosmology, check out “What Happened Before the Big Bang?” a recent episode of the BBC’s Horizon series. It’s on YouTube in six parts, featuring Michio Kaku, Neil Turok, Lee Smolin, Andre Linde, Roger Penrose, and Laura Mersini-Hougton. What do […]

Cosmology Fine tuning Multiverse

Multiverse: Recent studies suggest that some alternative universes “may not be so inhospitable” – assuming they exist

Well, the supernatural may be “outside the scope of science,” but universes whose existence is not demonstrated, which are imagined principally to get out of a jam with the evidence from this universe, are reasonably doubted, despite thought experiments. The tentative tone here is well justified. It should be used more often.