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 Read More…

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. Read More…

Books of interest Cosmology

“Twentieth century dematerialism”?

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 Read More…

Cosmology

Space, time, and quantum teleportation of light

From Rebecca Boyle at PopSci.com, we learn, “Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves: Like Schrödinger’s cat, teleported light is both dead and alive” (04.15.2011) In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in Read More…

Cosmology

Last call for real coffee!! “God particle” supposedly found

From Fox News LiveScience, we learn: World’s Largest Atom Smasher May Have Detected ‘God Particle’ (April 22, 2011): A rumor is floating around the physics community that the world’s largest atom smasher may have detected a long-sought subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle.” The controversial rumor is based on Read More…

Cosmology

Galaxy started forming stars only 200 million years after the Big Bang?

From the “earlier than thought” files, galaxies From ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011): Using the amplifying power of a cosmic gravitational lens, astronomers have discovered a distant galaxy whose stars were born unexpectedly early in cosmic history. This result sheds new light on the formation of the first galaxies, as well as on the early evolution Read More…

Books of interest Cosmology

Uncommon Descent Saturday contest: What would be acceptable evidence for other universes?

(Contest is now judged. Results are here.) First, here’s Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg: … There is also a less creditable reason for hostility to the idea of a multiverse, based on the fact that we will never be able to observe any subuniverses except our own. Livio and Rees, and Tegmark have given thorough Read More…

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 Read More…

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, Read More…

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 Read More…

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 Read More…

Cosmology

Coffee!! : The Yeesh files – dark matter as key to habitable planets in outer space

“Dark matter could make planets habitable” (New Scientist, 30 March 2011), Maggie McKee tells us: No one knows what dark matter is – astronomers merely detect its gravitational pull on normal matter, which it seems to outweigh by a factor of five to one. But many researchers believe it is made of particles called WIMPs, Read More…