Snowball Earth: Manufacturing a Narrative
September 2, 2013
The press and TV treat presumed scenarios like a "snowball Earth" as historic facts. A look at how the sausage is made, however, shows little empirical meat and mostly filler in a process characterized by tweaking, picking, and constant debate.
What's a Hairy Wood Ant Good For?
August 31, 2013
A humble, rare ant might help humans learn how to communicate better with networks. It's just one of many ways nature is inspiring technology that approaches perfection.
You Are Not a Martian
August 28, 2013
Every once in awhile, someone "suggests" that life began on Mars, not Earth. Here it comes again from someone who knows better.
Scientists Dodge Youthfulness of Saturn Moon Titan
August 17, 2013
Like Enceladus, Saturn's moon Titan shows multiple signs of being far less than 4.5 billion years old – yet the press releases are strangely silent about the implications.
Do Honeycombs Just Happen, or Do Bees Design Them?
July 19, 2013
The idea that honeycombs in beehives self-assemble is as old as Darwin. A new study claims to reinforce the idea, yet honeybees are not just bystanders in the process.
Mystery Moon (and Meteorites, and Stars)
July 17, 2013
One would think astronomers would not be stumped in 2013 by common objects like the moon, meteors and stars. But they are. It's driving them mad.
Extrasolar Planets: Bigger and More Mortal
June 10, 2013
Many of the stars and planets found by the Kepler spacecraft are not earthlike. Also, astronomers have seen planets destroyed by their stars.
The Evolution of Penguins
May 23, 2013
Science reporters are dancing with happy feet about a news story supposedly explaining how penguins evolved.
Fresh Impacts Viewed on Mars, Moon
May 21, 2013
New impacts observed on the moon and Mars allow space scientists to learn about crater formation in near real time. What conclusions can be drawn?
Moon Water and Magnetism Mystifies Astronomers
May 12, 2013
Two mysteries from the moon are forcing revisions to textbooks. One concerns water in moon minerals. The other concerns the moon's magnetic field.
Trouble for Mars Lifers
May 8, 2013
Evidence disputes Mars water, let alone life. It's looking like a toxic place. Besides, where would the water come from?
Saturn's Rings Impacted by Meteoroids
April 30, 2013
Cassini has observed clouds of dust from meteoroids hitting the rings. The data will "impact" theories of the rings' origin and age.
Major Cosmic Questions Remain Unanswered
April 28, 2013
Some basic ideas about physics and astronomy remain so mysterious, and their explanations so flexible, they may lead some to question whether they should be called "hard sciences."
How to Use Your Brain
April 24, 2013
The fact that you can ponder how to use your brain implies it is a physical tool your soul uses. New findings support the idea that we can improve our brain function through effort, like we can learn to become better computer users.
Latest Attempt to Explain Homochirality Underscores the Problem
April 23, 2013
Finding that some stars emit circularly polarized light will not help explain why life uses only left-handed amino acids.