At first, this article seems like a bit of a downer: Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies -- ScienceDaily. After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced life, a team of scientists has found no evidence of advanced civilizations there. The idea behind the research is that, if … Continue reading Searching for advanced civilizations in other galaxies: 50 possible candidates found?
Phil Plait recently announced that he was starting a new series of Crash Course videos on astronomy. After watching it, I noticed the really cool Youtube channel that it's on. I suspect that I'm going to end up wasting dedicating a lot of time on this channel. One series that caught my attention, because it's close to … Continue reading The rise of the west and civilization collapses
Annalee Newitz has a fascinating article at IO9 on early neolithic societies: How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization. Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into large settlements full of thousands of people. And then, abruptly, these proto-cities were abandoned for … Continue reading How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization
Seth Shostak has a post up at HuffPost asking what we should say if we ever find ourselves in conversation with aliens. Apparently this was the topic of a recent conference at the SETI institute. Before commenting on Shostak's main thesis, I think he makes an assertion that deserves scrutiny. A decade of research by … Continue reading How should we communicate with aliens? Should we communicate?
Huffington Post UK has published the results of a survey showing that half of Britain thinks religion does more harm than good, and that you don't need it to be a good person. This seems to be a trend in Europe that was started in the Scandinavian countries. It's in contrast to the United States, … Continue reading The decline of religion in western societies
After my post the other day on what fields I thought someone needed to be familiar with for coming up with credible theories about why civilizations collapse, a number of people recommended I read Jared Diamond's book, 'Collapse'. I finished it this week, and like the other books I've read by Diamond, I enjoyed it. … Continue reading Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed, a brief review
After my post on the Bronze Age collapse and resulting discussion, I looked at other material about the collapse of civilizations, but after doing that, realized that I have some thoughts about what might be necessary for developing a theory about why collapses happen, what areas of expertise you need to have a chance at formulating … Continue reading On theories of why civilizations collapse and our own times
So, this note might be met with skepticism, but I had no idea when I composed my Bronze Age collapse entry this weekend that Cosmos would discuss how climate change had affected various civilizations throughout history, notably the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia. Some of the interactions I had with people after that post makes a bit … Continue reading Cosmos and civilization collapse through climate change
A while back I did a short post on the collapse of civilizations, noting that history pretty much shows that all civilizations, sooner or later, end. (I also expressed skepticism that ours is necessarily anywhere near this point.) The quintessential example of a civilization collapse is the fall of the Roman Empire. But it is by … Continue reading The collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations
Apparently, there is a NASA funded study which says so. If history is any guide, our civilization will eventually collapse. Every other society in human history has ultimately done so: Sumer, Egypt, Rome, etc. There's no good reason to think we've beaten the civilization life cycle, any more than there is to believe the assertions … Continue reading Will civilization collapse in the coming decades?