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Cosmology Could Be Way Off

The “lumpiness problem” in cosmology refuses to go away. This old conundrum about why the universe is lumpy with stars and galaxies has been around for decades. The big bang predicts no such lumps. Since the late 1990s, tiny differences in temperature measured in the cosmic background radiation held hope of being the seeds of lump formation, provided theories added copious fudge factors like dark matter, dark energy and inflation. A new survey finds more clumps than expected, casting doubt on whether the fudge factors are wrong, the hot big bang is wrong, or relativity is wrong. Words can hardly express the gravity of the situation when gravity itself – an icon of scientific verity – is called into question.

Cosmic Insanity Is Back in Vogue

There is perhaps no theory in science more weird than the “Many-Worlds” interpretation of quantum mechanics (see 07/27/2004 and 07/07/2007).  One would think that Hugh Everett’s conjecture that each event splits the universe into two parallel universes with opposite outcomes would have had its 15 minutes of fame only to be laughed off the stage, […]

Earth Still Privileged Planet

Astronomers have found over a thousand extrasolar planets now. How does our solar system compare? Thanks to the Kepler spacecraft, we now have a catalog of 1,235 alien planet candidates after just four months of operation. Of the 408 that have been found in multiple-planet systems, 170 of these containing two to six planets have been pictured in a “Kepler Orrery” posted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The press release says, “most of those look very different than our solar system”.

Hummingbird Tongue More Clever Than Thought

Humans sip their nectar by tipping a glass and slurping, but how can a hummingbird pull liquid out of flowers with a tongue alone?  Up until now, scientists thought that hummingbird tongues acted like capillary tubes.  New research with high-speed cameras show that the action is much more clever – so clever it might lead […]

Animal Tricks Inspire

Here we are in the millennium of science, and we are still trying to figure out how animals do such nifty things.  Some of their nifty tricks we didn’t even know about till researchers took a look.  With high-tech monitoring tools, we might even learn the tricks for our own good. Owl fowl:  The flapping […]

Was Einstein Wrong?

Relativity and quantum mechanics are among the weirdest ideas that educated people have taken seriously.  They required suspending belief in the most intuitive concepts we have of time, space, and matter.  But just because they appear to work does not necessarily mean they are true.  In fact, physicists continue to beat on one or the […]

Assuming Reality: Can Crater Dating Be Tested?

Two astronomers in Paris have come up with a new crater chronology for the moon and offered it as a way to date other objects in the inner solar system.  Their paper in Icarus,1 however, assumes so many unobservable things, the reader may wonder if it talks about the true history of the moon or […]

Plants Spring into Action

We shouldn’t take plants for granted.  They seem so slow and stationary, but actually they move and breath and carry on their lives in truly amazing ways.  Plants really show off their glory in the spring.  But how do they know, without eyes, what time it is?     In “The science of spring,” PhysOrg […]

Better Life Origin Through Chemistry

Jeffrey Bada went digging through Stanley Miller’s old 1958 spark-discharge vials and found more amino acids.  When Miller added rotten-egg gas (hydrogen sulfide, H2S) to the mix, more amino acids were produced: “A total of 23 amino acids and 4 amines, including 7 organosulfur compounds, were detected in these samples,” his team reported in PNAS.1  […]

Follow the Insects

Science has good reason to study insects – not just because they are the most numerous and diverse animals on the planet.  They know some tricks we would do well to emulate.  Robot designers are taking the lead on following insects. Print a fly:  New printers are allowing inventors to print the paper-thin wings they […]

Feather Color Is a Costly “Complex System Design”

The brilliant, shimmering colors in the breast feathers of the Bird of Paradise have long fascinated ornithologists.  Alfred Russell Wallace was perhaps the first Englishman to see the magnificent birds in their native Malaysian habitats and wrote, “the richness of their glossy orange colouring, and the exquisite delicacy of the loosely waving feathers, were unsurpassable.”1 […]

Enceladus Geyser Heat Much Higher Than Thought Possible

The Enceladus problem – accounting for the heat source of a tiny moon of Saturn – just jumped by more than an order of magnitude.  “Cassini Finds Enceladus Is a Powerhouse,” reported Jet Propulsion Laboratory today.  “Heat output from the south polar region of Saturn’s moon Enceladus is much greater than was previously thought possible,” […]

You Have Electronic Skin

Your skin has resistance with memory.  That makes it like a memristor, researchers at the University of Oslo are saying.  A memristor is a device that remembers the last current it experienced, and varies its resistance accordingly.     New Scientist explained what they found: They found that when a negative electrical potential is applied […]

Go to the Cell, Thou Sluggard

Solomon ordered the lazy man, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise (Proverbs 6:6).  Today, he would probably tell lazy materialists needing wisdom to consider the cell.  Several recent scientific papers and news stories illustrate why materialism faces a stiff challenge from design features found in the fundamental units of […]

Busted!  Planet-Making Theories Don’t Fit Extrasolar Planets

Famed planet-hunter Geoff Marcy is giving theorists headaches.  The leading theories of planet formation won’t stand up to observations of hundreds of planets we know.  In National Geographic News reporter Richard Lovett lamented, “The more new planets we find, the less we seem to know about how planetary systems are born, according to a leading […]
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