Recently, Uncommon Descent’s vjtorley posed seven questions to physicist Sean Carroll, Senior Research Associate in Physics at the California Institute of Technology. Carroll had written an article, “Does the Universe need God?” for The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity. Now Carroll has answered the questions, and given us permission to post his response here: […]
… when he said, “We need to use the effective theory of Darwinian natural selection of those Societies most likely to survive. We assign them a higher value.” Even the interviewer, it turns out, didn’t know what he meant, and has been trying to find out.
In Scientific American (April 2011), Paul J. Steinhardt asks “The Inflation Debate: Is the theory at the heart of modern cosmology deeply flawed? (April 6, 2011) : Summary Cosmic inflation is so widely accepted that it is often taken as established fact. The idea is that the geometry and uniformity of the cosmos were established […]
… and physicist Rob Sheldon will reply on: Could the universe be infinite in space, and how would that affect the design argument? Dr. Sheldon has notified us that he has ordered Dr. Monton’s book, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Broadview Press, 2009), which argues that case. Further details later.
Yup. In other news: “Woman is detained in NASA moon rock sting,”according to MSNBC (5/20/2011): Tried to sell treasure for $1.7 million in Southern California, authorities say It is illegal to sell moon rocks, which are considered national treasures.
In “Dark energy does speed up universe’s expansion” (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, May 19, 2011), we learn: Dark energy is real and it is causing spacetime and the universe to expand at an increasing speed, a new study says.The paper to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, provides the first independent […]
Do doomsday scenarios bore and frustrate you? Here, in “The draw of doomsday: Why apocalypse aficionados look forward to the end, and how they hope to survive”, Stephanie Pappas (MSNBC News (5/17/20) observes, Camping [Rev. Doomsday, tomorrow] has made this prediction before, in 1994 — it didn’t pan out — but the thousands of failed […]
(This contest was judged here.) … tell New Scientist, … what the first person to set foot on Mars should say. If you win, and it doesn’t impress them, you have the wrong friends. Mars rocks. So, come to think of it, we will offer a free copy of The Nature of Nature (which offers Guillermo […]
Last May, the Tevatron particle accelerator in Batavia, Illinois showed a 1 per cent preference for B mesons, 40 times the predicted standard model amount. (Kate McAlpine, “Weird ‘unparticle’ boosted by Tevatron signal” (New Scientist, 19 May 2011) Proposed explanation here. Two separate groups now suggest an explanation for this larger asymmetry lies in the unparticle, […]
According to David Shiga (New Scientist 18 May 2011), they’ve been repurposed after the recent shutdown* when state funds dried up: “Alien-hunters focus in on habitable planets”: Astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley, the SETI Institute of California, and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory are listening for alien signals from dozens of planets […]
Dark matter theorist Rolf-Dieter Heuer, CERN director since 2009, told The European, , that “We Are Crossing the Boundary Between Knowledge and Belief” (17.05.2011), but just what that means is unclear, as is who the “we” are in this case: The European: Can something as vast and as complex as the universe ever be reduced […]
For one thing, “The end is far” is “scienceTM,” not “religionTM.” Here, The Atlantic‘s Graeme Wood reports on “What will happen to us?: Forecasters tackle the extremely deep future” (Boston Globe, May 1, 2011), featuring recent Templeton winner Martin Rees and others on deep and distant futures, the theory being that it is now possible […]
Look, it’s the armchair, okay? It’s got to go. There are real philosophers out there, besides which great scientists have taken the philosophy of science very seriously. Undeterred by that history, Stephen Hawking recently dismissed philosophy in The Grand Design (with Leonard Mlodinow). In his view, philosophy did not contribute to knowledge compared with science. […]
A late 2010 cosmology book features cosmologist Paul Davies as editor. Davies is known for a number of reflections on extraterrestrials. Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics “This is the anthology we have been waiting for … seminal papers deal with matter through the history of Greek thought, seventeenth-century materialism and […]
At MSNBC’s Cosmic Log, Alan Boyle tells us “How tycoons will fuel space flight” (April 22, 2011): With the shuttle program winding down, the future of American spaceflight may well depend on how starry-eyed tycoons spend their money — and some of NASA’s money as well.