Loopy Cosmology Goes Abstract
December 17, 2010
A physicist from Warsaw standing by a Picasso painting finds convergence with his thinking about the origin of the universe. The caption on Science Daily reads, “The lines in the painting are fairly similar to graphs showing the evolution of quantum states of the gravitational field in loop quantum gravity.” The cosmologist is Prof. Jerzy […]
Can Astronomers See Behind the Big Bang?
November 28, 2010
An astonishing claim is being reported: “Cosmos may show echoes of events before Big Bang” (BBC News). How can this be, since secular cosmologists claim that the big bang was the beginning of time, space, matter, and everything, and it is impossible even in principle to go beyond it? The character behind the […]
Plasma May Revamp Cosmology
November 15, 2010
A “diverse new field” of astrophysics is poised to revolutionize our understanding of stars, energetic galaxies, and perhaps the entire universe. The properties and interactions of plasma, that hot, electrically-charged gas that makes up the sun and stars, have not been considered as often as matter and light have in astronomy. A set of top […]
A Tale of Two Mavericks
November 12, 2010
Two men who recently died are now being honored for their willingness to have stood up to the majority and advanced views that were unpopular at the time.
Dumbing Down the Science Reading Public
November 5, 2010
In their rush to grab attention-getting headlines, are reporters doing more harm than good? An essential part of science education is critical thinking. Some headlines and articles state ideas that far outstrip the meager data on which they are based. Fingers do the walking: Science Daily blindly reproduced an audacious claim from the University of […]
Living Fossils Found in Space
October 13, 2010
A type of galaxy that should have only existed long ago is alive and well nearby, astronomers from Swinburne University are claiming. “The Swinburne researchers have likened the galaxies to the ‘living dinosaurs’ or Wollemi Pines of space – galaxies you just wouldn’t expect to find in today’s world,” said Science Daily. Very […]
Cosmology Faces More Chaos
October 5, 2010
Most of us have experience with orderly things going to chaos: an unkept room, the garden, our list of things to do. We all work hard to overcome that universal tendency. Clara Moskowitz reported on two cosmologists who think the universe went the other way. She wrote in Space.com, “The universe was in chaos after […]
Universe Is Doomed
August 22, 2010
Astronomers have decided the universe will expand forever, growing colder and darker, till it ends in a heat death. According to the BBC News, a study of gravitational lensing by a huge galactic cluster named Abell 1689 determined that dark energy will push galaxies apart till they burn out. One researcher remarked that the study […]
Conjuring Up Evolutionary Implications from Current Data
August 11, 2010
What does observable reality imply about unobservable reality? Some scientists say, a lot. But is unobservable reality really real? Or is it an oxymoron? A couple of recent articles in the science media show scientists observing things in the present, then saying they have “huge implications” for things no scientist ever observed. In […]
Things in Space that Shouldnt Be
July 29, 2010
A history of astronomy and a history of surprise discoveries in space would track pretty well. Recent stories show that the trend continues even today. Wet moon: The moon was thought to be depleted of volatiles – until now. According to PhysOrg, “Researchers discover water on the moon is widespread, similar to Earth’s.” Shouldn’t all […]
Is Our World Natural?
July 27, 2010
At first glance, the headline sounds absurd: is our world natural? Of course the world is natural. Nature is natural, isn’t it? Often, though, we picture what humans do as unnatural – oil spills, landfills, pollution, nuclear waste, crime, war. But if humans are a part of nature, then whatever they do is natural. Some […]
Dark Energy: Can a Theoretical Entity Be Measured?
July 17, 2010
The redshift of galaxies has been measured for some 90 years, but the existence of “dark energy” was postulated only recently – in the late 1990s. It was needed to explain unexpected dimness of the most distant galaxies, as measured by Type Ia supernovae. Some cosmologists claim they are measuring dark energy – others say […]
How Well Do We Know What Stuff Is Made Of?
June 17, 2010
When we think of the “hard sciences,” physics usually tops the list. A closer look at what physicists think the universe is made of, though, hardly makes the science look hard. Look at this headline on PhysOrg, for instance: “Study finds there may be multiple ‘God particles’”. The title refers, of course, to the famed […]
Could Cosmology Be Based on Flawed Calibrations?
June 11, 2010
This is the era of “precision cosmology,” we have been told (09/20/2004 04/13/2007). Especially since the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), measurements of faint deviations in the cosmic microwave background have reached exceptional detail (02/14/2003, allowing cosmologists to discriminate between cosmological models and, hopefully, provide insight into the nature and origins of the universe. But […]
Science Explains Why the Universe Exists
May 29, 2010
They’ve done it again – those clever scientists have figured out why the universe exists. What would we ever do without them? Michael Bolen at Yahoo News had to share the good news, “Scientists discover explanation for why the Universe exists.” Space.com explained it as a victory in an ancient contest: “Why We Exist: Matter […]