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…

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 Read More…

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 Read More…

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 Read More…

Cosmology

If we could just get rid of those pesky constants, we could …

While rummaging through Discover Magazines Top 2010 stories relevant to our blog’s interests, I sailed into #46: Do Physical Laws Vary From Place to Place? by Tim Folger (January-February special/December 16, 2010) by These tentative findings raise the possibility that the physical laws that allow life to exist may hold true only in our particular Read More…

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 Read More…

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 Read More…

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 Read More…

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 Read More…