Cosmology Religion

“No God Needed” CalTech physicist responds to Uncommon Descent’s questions

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: […]

Cosmology

Has cosmic inflation collapsed?

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 […]

Cosmology Physics

Cosmology: And now, the minimalist … the unparticle!

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, […]

Cosmology Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

What’s SETI doing these days?

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 […]

Cosmology Culture Intelligent Design

“The end is far” bumps “the end is near”

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 […]

Cosmology Intelligent Design Philosophy

Coffee!!: Why cosmologists should avoid being armchair philosophers

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. […]