Galaxy-Spangled Banner Unfurled
December 8, 2009
The Hubble team has unveiled a new deep field image of distant galaxies, the “Hubble Ultra Deep Field Infrared WFC3/IR.” The image, available at the HubbleSite, was taken with the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) installed during the latest servicing mission. It’s been 5 years since the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (03/09/2004; […]
Is the Universe Evolving Upward?
November 13, 2009
It’s intuitively obvious that to get from a big bang to intelligent astronomers looking for evidence of the bang through telescopes, the amount of organization in the universe must increase over time dramatically. Lately, astronomy has uncovered much more dynamism in space than previously recognized – but much of it seems destructive, not creative. Orion […]
Materialists: What Do You Know?
October 28, 2009
For people who brag about their work, scientists are an odd lot. At one moment they are touting science as the surest path to knowledge and understanding. The next moment it seems like they are at square one. This is particularly true of materialist cosmologies and Darwinian theories for the origin and development of life. […]
Science News or Tabloid Journalism?
October 19, 2009
Science news outlets have put out some bizarre headlines recently. Readers can judge whether they should be blessed with the label “science” or belong instead at supermarket checkouts. Women are evolving fatter: New Scientist and PhysOrg said that natural selection is making women shorter, plumper and more fertile. “The take-home message is that humans are […]
Cosmology: Truth or Style?
October 8, 2009
If you follow cosmology, you’re familiar with WMAP, Type-1a supernovae, gravitational lensing, inflation and a host of technical terms. They seem authoritative because they rely on respectable laws like gravity and general relativity. In an article in Nature today, however, Richard Massey pictured the whole enterprise as a matter of fashion, not fact. […]
Cosmology: Crossroads or Crosswinds?
September 28, 2009
Earlier this month in Science, Charles L. Bennett (Johns Hopkins) wrote a status report called “Cosmology at a Crossroads.”1 It included a brief survey of how cosmology got to its current paradigm and how future instruments should narrow down the unknowns. The “standard model” as it has become known hangs together if one allows for […]
Cosmic Accounting Is Wildly Inaccurate
August 26, 2009
Counting faint celestial objects is admittedly hard, but the task should be within the capabilities of expert astronomers. It is, after all, as simple as counting. So much theoretical work relies on accurate counts of what’s out there, they need to get at least in the ballpark. Recent indications hint that their counts have been […]
Are We at the Center of the Universe?
August 23, 2009
An alternative cosmology that doesn’t require dark energy may have the effect of putting the Milky Way near the center of the universe. That’s not the only interpretation, but it is being considered. Space.com reported on work by mathematicians at UC Davis who solved Einstein’s field equations without dark energy. If the big […]
Cosmologist Has a Sobering Thought: We Are Forever in the Dark About Dark Energy
August 3, 2009
An evangelist for the standard model of cosmology is having a moment of penitence. He is admitting to himself, and to the world, that “we will remain resolutely in the dark about dark energy.” In a piece in New Scientist, Pedro Ferreira [Oxford] has revealed the vicious circle of assumptions that undermine confidence […]
Dark Matter: Where Is It?
July 30, 2009
If physicists and astronomers are going to continue to tell us that 95% of the mass in the universe is hidden in some unobservable dark matter, they had better find it soon. Two articles on PhysOrg (#1, #2) reported on continuing efforts to find the elusive stuff – if it exists at all. The first […]
We Know Less Than We Think
June 23, 2009
Strange reports come from science news outlets on occasion that call into question facts we thought we understood. These raise a question: do we really know what we think we know? Cutting dinosaurs down to size: Dinosaurs may have been half as heavy as thought, said Science Daily. Some paleontologists are claiming that widely-used methods […]
Gravity: A Theory in Crisis
May 5, 2009
Note: This is **not** a joke. How could gravity be a theory in crisis? Isn’t gravity one of the best-understood facts of nature? Don’t we all avoid jumping off cliffs because of the law of gravity? Gravity is doing just fine, thank you. It’s our theory of gravity, and the cosmology built on it, that […]
A Darwinist Religious Experience Described
April 11, 2009
As millions of Jews celebrate Passover, and as millions of Christians gather to celebrate Easter, a Darwinist reporter was experiencing “existential vertigo” – a sweeping sense of dizziness as her imagination zoomed in and out of the implications of her faith. It may be the closest thing that a secular materialist can call a religious […]
Early Large Galaxies Stun Cosmologists
April 2, 2009
Cosmology has a kind of Cambrian Explosion of its own to grapple with. Contrary to expectations, some of the earliest galaxies appear as large as current ones, if not larger. Astronomers, using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii, examined five galaxy clusters with ages estimated at 5 billion years after the Big Bang. Statements in a […]
Kepler On the Way to Search for Earth-Size Planets
March 7, 2009
The long-awaited launch of the planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft was successful Friday night, announced the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Named for the 17th-century German astronomer-mathematician Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft will stare at 100,000 stars for over three years, looking for variations in their light that indicate the presence of planets. Follow-up studies may determine if some of […]