Cosmology

Cosmology: One of cosmic inflation theory’s creators now questions own theory

A theory that attempts to account for the fine tuning of the universe for life may be “deeply flawed,” we learn in Paul J. Steinhardt’s “The Inflation Debate.” Steinhardt is one of the theory’s creators, nevertheless asks, “Abstract: Is the theory at the heart of modern cosmology deeply flawed? Cosmic inflation is so widely accepted […]

Atheism Cosmology Intelligent Design

Proponent of multiverses and “our universe as possible simulation” wins this year’s Templeton Prize

Proponent of the multiverse and the universe as simulation wins this year’s Templeton Prize The Prize has been awarded to Martin Rees. As Daniel Cressey tells it in Nature (6 April 2011), Controversial ‘spirituality’ award goes to a scientist for fourth year in a row. Martin Rees, an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge, UK, […]

Books of interest Cosmology Culture Design inference Fine tuning Intelligent Design Multiverse Physics Religion Science Society

Martin Rees wins Templeton Prize

A fine tuning and multiverse advocate, Martin J. Rees, today won the 2011 Templeton Prize. The astrophysicist with no religion won the Prize originally “for Progress in Religion.” The 2011 Templeton Prize was announced today. LONDON, APRIL 6 – Martin J. Rees, a theoretical astrophysicist whose profound insights on the cosmos have provoked vital questions […]

Cosmology

Why Sean Carroll at the California Institute of Technology thinks that God isn’t needed, and how do you reply?

Here: Big Bang? One sometimes hears the claim that the Big Bang was the beginning of both time and space; that to ask about spacetime “before the Big Bang” is like asking about land “north of the North Pole.” This may turn out to be true, but it is not an established understanding. The singularity […]

Cosmology

Coffee!! One of the few who really care advances a possible law of nature to explain why it looks as though we are alone

In “All alone and no one knows why” former nanotechnology watchdog Mike Treder tells us (Ethical Technology, Mar. 2, 2010) In 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi famously wondered, “Where is everybody?” He was referring to the strange silence in the universe, the apparent lack of any advanced civilizations beyond Earth. Fermi reasoned that the size […]

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 […]