In 1950 Cosmology Reached its Peak

“Is it likely that any astonishing new developments are lying in wait for us? Is it possible that the cosmology of 500 years hence will extend as far beyond our present beliefs as our cosmology goes beyond that of Newton? It may surprise you to hear that I doubt whether this will be so. If this should appear presumptuous to you, I think you should consider what I said earlier about the observable region of the Universe. As you will remember, even with a perfect telescope we could penetrate only about twice as far into space as the new telescope at Palomar. This means that there are no new fields to be opened up by the telescopes of the future, and this is a point of no small importance in our cosmology.”

Fred Hoyle, The Nature of the Universe 1950

Now go watch this for a sense of what is going on in cosmology today:

Could he have been more spectacularly wrong? Dark matter, dark energy, the Hubble Telescope—which would peer into regions unimaginably old and distant, the cosmological background radiation, on and on the discoveries have gone. The fact is it has only taken about 50 years rather than 500 for cosmology to be further from him than he was Newton. Continue reading In 1950 Cosmology Reached its Peak

“Is That Your Final Answer?” Guest Post by David Bailey!

Most of us have watched at least one episode of the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” show. The rules of the show specify that the subject be allowed to take as much time as he/she wishes to ponder his answer, may consult one of his/her “lifelines” if desired, and may even think out loud on the camera. But no response is considered official until the subject answers in the affirmative to the moderator’s question “Is that your final answer?”. After that, there is no going back. Continue reading “Is That Your Final Answer?” Guest Post by David Bailey!

Galileo says, “You go scientists!”

To command that the very professors of astronomy themselves see to the refutation of their own observations and proofs as mere fallacies and sophisms is to enjoin something that lies beyond any possibility of accomplishment. For this would amount to commanding that they must not see what they see and must not understand what they know, and that in searching they must find the opposite of what they actually encounter. Before this could be done they would have to be taught how to make one mental faculty command another, and the inferior powers the superior, so that the imagination and the will might be forced to believe the opposite of what the intellect understands. I am referring at all times to merely physical propositions, and not to supernatural things which are matters of faith….

Galileo’s Letter to the Church (1632)

Conflict between science and religion runs deep. Continue reading Galileo says, “You go scientists!”

My Scientific Hero

It was in fifth grade that I decided to become a scientist. The inspiration came not because I actually new what a scientist did, but through a book. Before I had read this revelatory text, my impression of what scientists did came from the movies. They had four standard attributes that would allow anyone to recognize one at a glance: (1) a muffed and wild hair style, Continue reading My Scientific Hero

Screaming Through the New Star Trek Movie (spoilers)

First let me be up front about my prejudices. The current Star Trek movie is unquestionably the best of the group. Wrath of Kahn used to be my favorite. The rest range from breathtakingly poor to solidly mediocre (see RottenTomatos for their ratings of the ST films sans the current one). This is not just a great Star Trek movie, it’s just flat out great SciFi.

But a complaint. Continue reading Screaming Through the New Star Trek Movie (spoilers)

Evolution rocks! A new must have book

I am stunned. The book Evoluton: The First Four Billion Years was just published by Harvard Press. It is an amazing achievement. I just cracked open my new copy and can’t believe it. Check out this table of contents:

Foreword, Edward O. Wilson Continue reading Evolution rocks! A new must have book

The evangelical atheists and Mormon anti-evolutionists have joined forces

My belief in God is not founded on evidence from the physical world. I believe because I am in a relationship with Him. I’ve gotten to know Him. I recognize his voice in others.

I want to argue that some of the suspicion that exists between certain Mormon Saints and science is grounded in not recognizing this relationship is the fundamental relation in knowing God. Oddly enough I see the fundamentalist atheists and LDS saints who fear evolution as arguing from the same flawed assumptions. Continue reading The evangelical atheists and Mormon anti-evolutionists have joined forces