Mars One, a non-governmental plan to send colonists on way trips to Mars starting in 2025, has been in the news a lot over the last year. While I'd love to see us establish a human presence on Mars, the Mars One project has always struck me as a flawed plan, with far too many optimistic assumptions. It … Continue reading Mars One and done?
I've mentioned a few times before that I'm not a convinced determinist, at least not of the strict or hard variety. I have three broad reasons for this. The first is that I'm not sure how meaningful it is to say something is deterministic in principle if it has no hope of ever being deterministic … Continue reading Chaos theory and doubts about determinism
The other day, I mentioned that I had some sympathy for the deBroglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics, namely an interpretation that there isn't a wave-function collapse as envisioned by the standard Copenhagen interpretation, but a particle that always exists but is guided by a pilot-wave. It turns out that there are some people doing experiments with … Continue reading Fluid tests and quantum reality
Nature has an article up describing the problems with the BICEP2 results that are now being identified by various scientists. It's actually the second one I've seen them publish on this. The astronomers who this spring announced that they had evidence of primordial gravitational waves jumped the gun because they did not take into proper … Continue reading Growing doubt that gravitational waves were actually detected
I've just finished reading Max Tegmark's latest book, 'Our Mathematical Universe', about his views on multiverses and the ultimate nature of reality. This is the first in a series of posts that I plan to do on it. Tegmark postulates four levels of multiverse. This post is about the first, and simplest version, the Level I … Continue reading Tegmark’s Level I Multiverse: infinite space
A microbial feeding frenzy may have fueled the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history, new research suggests. The findings suggest that bacteria, with a little help from massive volcanism, produced large quantities of methane, thereby killing 90 percent of life on the planet. more at Microbes May Have Fueled Permian Extinction, Earth's Biggest. I've often wondered … Continue reading Microbes May Have Fueled Permian Extinction, Earth’s Biggest
Given the conversations some of us have had over determinism and the possibility of quantum hidden variables, I thought this was particularly interesting. In a paper published this week in the journal Physical Review Letters, MIT researchers propose an experiment that may close the last major loophole of Bell's inequality—a 50-year-old theorem that, if violated … Continue reading Using distant quasars to close the “free will” loophole