Sean Carroll has posted a passionate defense of the Many-world interpretation to quantum mechanics. I have often talked about the Many-Worlds or Everett approach to quantum mechanics — here’s an explanatory video, an excerpt from From Eternity to Here, and slides from a talk. But I don’t think I’ve ever explained as persuasively as possible why I think it’s the right approach. So that’s what … Continue reading Sean Carroll makes the case for the Many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics
This weekend, I spent a lot of time in my car, and discovered a cool podcast: Philosophize This!. A free podcast dedicated to sharing the ideas that shaped our world. Beginner friendly if listened to in order! For anyone interested in an educational podcast about philosophy where you don't need to be a graduate-level philosopher to … Continue reading Philosophize This!
This excellent TED talk by Naomi Oreskes covers many of the same topics we've discussed before, concerning the limitations of scientific expertise, why scientists trust experts in other fields, and why lay people should trust scientific consensuses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxyQNEVOElU via Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists | Talk Video | TED.com. Of course, trusting science is … Continue reading Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq-mRNaV-sc I found this to be an interesting primer on quantum computing. One take away for me is that quantum processors will be useful for specific purposes, not necessarily as general purpose devices. This implies to me that we might someday have computers with separate quantum processors with specific jobs delegated to it by the classic … Continue reading Quantum computing 101with D-Wave’s Vern Brownell
As something of a balance against the environmental issues we've been discussing, here is an encouraging sign of progress: New NASA images highlight U.S. air quality improvement -- ScienceDaily. Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images … Continue reading New NASA images highlight U.S. air quality improvement
A new paper using data from NASA’s Kepler telescope came out recently, estimating that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor Earth-sized planets. This is a big increase over previous estimates. It’s very cool work. Love it. But the news spin was predictable:
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There's been speculation that advanced telescopes may be able to find hallmarks of alien life by looking for oxygen in the spectrum of light reflected off of exoplanets, but this article suggests using the James Web Space Telescope to look for pollution: Pollution on other worlds may show advanced alien life - space - 27 June … Continue reading Find alien civilizations by their pollution?
We know this because: Found: Oldest Known Poop From a Human Ancestor | RealClearScience. Archaeologists in Spain have dug up the oldest known feces from a human ancestor. Their find is detailed inPLoS ONE. Retrieved from El Salt, an open-air site near Alicante, Spain, the samples date back around 50,000 years, firmly trouncing the previous record of … Continue reading Neanderthals ate their veggies
When pondering how likely life is to develop on other worlds, or what types of life might develop, we always have to always bear in mind that we currently only have one example to work with. And that example has one extremely unusual attribute, a large moon, at least large in relation to the size … Continue reading Did a cosmic fluke make life on land possible?
Stan Hummel called my attention to, and asked for my thoughts on this article: Big Bang Theory Challenged --"The Universe Should Not Have Lasted for More than a Second". British cosmologists are puzzled: they predict that the universe should not have lasted for more than a second. This startling conclusion is the result of combining the … Continue reading “The Universe Should Not Have Lasted for More than a Second”: The limitations of scientific theories