Tag Archives: Science

Neanderthals and the beginnings of us

The Smithsonian has an interesting article up on what we currently know about Neanderthals.  The article details some of the internecine battles that always seems to be a part of the paleoanthropology field, in this case focusing on the capabilities … Continue reading

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Is cosmic inflation settled science?

Ethan Siegel at Starts With a Bang has a post up arguing that the multiverse must exist.  His reasoning has to do with cosmic inflation.  Inflation is the theory that the universe expanded at an exponential rate in the first … Continue reading

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Synthetic DNA and the necessity of biological mechanisms

Scientists have created synthetic DNA with four extra “letters”: A couple billion years ago, four molecules danced into the elegant double-helix structure of DNA, which provides the codes for life on our planet. But were these four players really fundamental … Continue reading

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Why faster than light travel is inevitably also time travel

I’ve always loved space opera, but when I was growing up, as I learned more about science, I discovered that a lot of the tropes in space opera are problematic.  Space operas, to tell adventure stories among the stars, often … Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction, Space | Tagged , , , , , , | 81 Comments

Being committed to truth means admitting the limitations of what we can know

Michela Massimi has a long article at Aeon defending scientific realism. The time for a defence of truth in science has come. It begins with a commitment to get things right, which is at the heart of the realist programme, despite mounting Kuhnian … Continue reading

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Manufacturing liquid fuel

One of the things that I think is often not appreciated about petroleum oil, is that it’s essentially stored solar energy.  Energy that was originally captured by life forms that died, sank to the bottom of oceans or lakes where … Continue reading

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Blindsight explained and conscious perception

Warning: neuroscience weeds. Every so often we get into discussions about where in the brain consciousness lies.  Sometimes it’s asserted to be in the brainstem, other times in the thalamus, sometimes in the parietal lobe, and yet other times in … Continue reading

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Dark energy and repulsive gravity

Over the weekend, Sean Carroll put up a blog post to address common misconceptions about cosmology.  I understood most of his points, but was confused when I saw this one: Dark energy is not a new force; it’s a new substance. … Continue reading

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A qualified recommendation: Consciousness Demystified

A couple of years ago I did a series of posts inspired by Todd Feinberg and Jon Mallatt’s excellent  The Ancient Origins of Consciousness, a book on the evolution of animal consciousness.  Somewhat building on what I had read in … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Sean Carroll on the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics

Related to the post last week on quantum mechanics, here is a talk that got mentioned in the discussion thread.  Warning: Carroll is a passionate advocate for the Many Worlds Interpretation, so don’t expect a fair and balanced discussion.  The … Continue reading

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