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Yearly Archives: 2009
“In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and … Continue reading
“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?” … Continue reading
“Some people in each successive generation believe that theirs is the one that has at last seen everything clearly, that their insights point to the truth, the final answer. Yet scientific discovery marches on and today’s truth will become tomorrow’s … Continue reading
We cannot see what is not on our mental ‘map.’ Almost the entire visible universe is in the form of highly-conductive plasma but electrical discharge in plasma is nowhere on the map. The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, the bright reddish … Continue reading
“Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.” —from The Sound of Music. It seems the toughest thing for scientists to grasp—that a cherished paradigm like the big bang can be wrong. The latest crisis was reported in Physorg.com on May … Continue reading
We are told that gravity rules the cosmos. The story of the big bang, the origin of galaxies and stars, and our ultimate fate are founded on this belief. But the March 2009 Astronomy magazine carries the surprising headline, “Is … Continue reading
“Astronomical fads have always involved miracle working to some degree, and their discussion in so-called workshops and in the streams of papers that pour into the journals have affinities to the incantations of Macbeth’s witches on the blasted heath.” —Fred … Continue reading
But scientists, who ought to know Assure us that it must be so. Oh, let us never, never doubt What nobody is sure about. —Hilaire Belloc Tumultuous times like these encourage questioning of long-held convictions. Our predicament seems the result … Continue reading
For those who haven’t noticed, this year is “The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009).” The International Year of Astronomy will involve 135 nations and thousands of events around the world. It marks the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the … Continue reading