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."
SETI, Said He, Isn't Ready, Said She
April 22, 2013
The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence is like a detective story without a body. All those new planets, but no signal—at least not one that most scientists will accept.
Using Finagle's Rules in Cosmology
April 10, 2013
Fudging and finagling often underlie the confident-sounding claims of cosmologists.
Scientific Findings Can Be Counterintuitive
March 28, 2013
Here are examples of recent claims in science that seem to contradict what some would consider intuitively obvious. They should be kept in mind when evaluating other scientific truisms, like evolution.
You Are Not a Clone
January 25, 2013
The notion that there are multiple copies of you in parallel universes is mythological, two physicists argue.
Was Charlemagne Protected from a Cosmic Disaster? A Carbon-14 Mystery
January 22, 2013
Tree ring data from the 8th century hint that a cosmic catastrophe was averted on the "privileged planet."
The Rapture and Bosh of Glittering Generalities
January 16, 2013
Grand scenarios of cosmic evolution sound angelic, but the devil is in the details. Neil Shubin needs to get real.
Cosmology's Lumpiness Problem "Defies Theory"
January 12, 2013
A record-breaking structure in the universe "defies theory," the news said, ignoring that theory has been defied for decades since smaller large structures were found (the lumpiness problem).
Astronomy Grab Bag
December 29, 2012
For year's end, here's a clean-out of astronomy articles—from planetary science to cosmology—to motivate further inquiry.
Globular Clusters Look Young and Old: Is This Scientific Explanation?
December 19, 2012
Globular clusters supposedly all formed at the same time long ago, but some look young. How do astronomers rescue the belief that they are ancient groupings of stars?
Flaky Cosmic Notion Gets Good Press
November 26, 2012
Does the universe grow like a giant brain? If anyone but a scientist said that, it would be in the cartoons.
Darwin for Congress
November 9, 2012
Over four thousand citizens of a Georgia district voted for Charles Darwin for Congress.
Shining Light on Dark Energy
October 21, 2012
Fifteen years after cosmologists proposed the existence of dark energy, they have learned nothing about it. In “Cosmology: Out of the Darkness,” Matthew Chalmers discussed the current thinking of Brian Schmidt, who shared the Nobel prize in 2011 for discovering cosmic acceleration (actually, an inference based on light from supernovae; see 9/30/2012). “Fifteen years after […]
Weekend Grab Bag
October 14, 2012
Here are links to recent science findings and claims sure to stimulate thinking and further research.
Supernova Dating and Classification Is Not Simple
September 30, 2012
Bang! goes a star. Watch how fast its contents move, and you know the date, right? Watch its light curve, and you know the type, right?