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At Mind Matters News: Panpsychism: If computers can have minds, why can’t the Sun?

If the Hard AI people are right, animism — the belief that inanimate objects (whether the Sun or a computer) can have minds — has been unjustly dismissed. Read More ›

Claim: Solar system might once have had two companion stars

But wait! Who’s claiming this? The second author of this paper is Abraham (Avi) Loeb. That rings a bell. Wasn’t he the one who suggested that the obvious space junk Oumuamua was an extraterrestrial light sail? Look, why does the name “Harvard” put all doubts about credibility to rest? Especially in these times? Read More ›

Michael Denton on why the Sun is remarkably fit for life

Michael Denton, author of Children of Light: The astonishing properties of sunlight that made us possible, explains, We should feel very lucky. The sun is a giant fusion bomb, converting hydrogen to helium in an ongoing chain reaction in its dense, ultra-hot core. But fortunately for us, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by this runaway fusion bomb (and that of most other stars) is almost entirely light and heat (or infrared). These have precisely the characteristics needed for advanced life to thrive on the Earth’s surface. No matter how unfashionable the notion may be in some intellectual circles, the evidence is unequivocal: Ours is a cosmos whose laws appear finely tuned for our type of life. The crucial visual band, which Read More ›

Early sun’s rotation rate was just right for us, it turns out

A science writer explains, Our early Sun’s rate of rotation may be one reason we’re here to talk about it, astrobiologists now say. The key likely lies in the fact that between the first hundred million to the first billion years of its life, our G-dwarf star likely had a ‘Goldilocks’ rotation rate; neither too slow nor too fast. Instead, its hypothetical ‘intermediate’ few days rate of rotation guaranteed our Sun was active enough to rid our newly-formed Earth of its inhospitable, hydrogen-rich primary atmosphere. This would have enabled a more habitable, secondary atmosphere composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and oxygen to eventually form. Bruce Dorminey, “Early Sun’s ‘Goldilocks’ Rotation Rate May Be Why We’re Here” at Forbes It’s Read More ›

New study: Yes, our sun IS peculiar

Only 7-20% of the "solar twins were like the sun in composition and no exoplanets were found orbiting them. Although the report does not dwell on this, it implies that the number of truly Earth-like planets in our galaxy may be limited by the absence of sun-like stars. Read More ›