Bird with a Beat
July 11, 2019
Viewers will get a kick out of Snowball the cockatoo bobbing to the beat of music. Humans can go nuts responding to music, we all know: from foot-tapping to wild whole-body movements and hair shakes, the more energy in the beat, the crazier it can get. But birds? Meet Snowflake, a sulfur-crested white cockatoo, that […]
Materialism Destroys Beauty
November 11, 2018
Materialism brought forth modernism, which glorified bland utility. Some want to bring back the Christian virtue of beauty.
Indonesian Cave Paintings Shake Up Art History
October 14, 2014
Asians were not supposed to be so culturally talented 40,000 years ago, but their cave art shows the same finesse seen in contemporary European caves.
When Spirituality Intersects Science
September 7, 2014
Who saved the Ebola-stricken doctor, God or science? What is science's take on whether to flee or fight terrorism? Why should a scientist be honest?
December 25, 2011
Could any “useless” natural object composed of simple materials exceed the beauty of a snow crystal? As you wish for a white Christmas, think about two snowflake designers: one who makes them in a lab, and one who makes them in clouds.
Objectivity of Science Undermined
October 24, 2011
Science has no boast if not objective. It is objectivity that supposedly sets science apart from all other modes of inquiry: following a “scientific method” that guarantees objective truth about the natural world. Results are reported in peer-reviewed journals that weed out mistaken ideas. After publication, other scientists can replicate any published results, making science a self-correcting process that refines its objectivity over time. Most insiders and philosophers know that the picture is highly flawed, but the vision persists that science is objective. Recent articles raise awareness of some of the problems with the portrayal of scientific objectivity.
Plant Patterns Prolong Perplexity
July 11, 2011
Plants perform a wonder that has attracted the admiration of scholars from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to modern times: the ability to reproduce mathematically perfect patterns. This ability, called phyllotaxis, can be described mathematically with the Fibonacci Series and the Golden Angle. The beautiful spirals in sunflowers, artichokes, cacti, dandelion heads and other plants continue to fascinate children and adults today, but those are not the only examples. Leaves on a stem can emerge in phyllotactic patterns like a spiral staircase, and depending on the environment, plants can switch patterns at different stages in development. Scientists have learned a lot about the players in the phyllotaxis game, but still do not understand the script. The details of how genes and proteins produce the patterns remain elusive.