Category Archives: Cosmology

Links and Comments: The Profound and the Pernicious

From NPR, The Answer To Life, The Universe — And Everything? It’s 63. The headline is a riff on the famous episode in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Wikipedia) in which a vast computer called Deep Thought … Continue reading

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Linkdump: Science, society, conspiracy theories, the fear of NRA conventioneers

Science: The Atlantic: Are We Living in a Giant Cosmic Void?. Maybe. Scientific American: How the Science of “Blue Lies” May Explain Trump’s Support. Subtitle: “They are a very particular form of deception that can build solidarity within groups” Guardian: … Continue reading

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Big History

I’ve just recently become aware of the concept, and term, “Big History”. It happened when I saw a coffee table book, shown here, at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago, and glanced through it, noticing two names I recognized: … Continue reading

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Carl Sagan, THE VARIETIES OF SCIENTIFIC EXPERIENCE (2006): History is a battle of inadequate myths

Here’s a book I had forgotten I had, relatively speaking; I obviously bought it back in 2006 or so, but I didn’t read it right away and so it sat on my shelves among many other books (by Sagan and … Continue reading

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Sean Carroll Interview

Phil Torres talks to Sean Carroll, author of a book coming out Tuesday that I’m greatly looking forward to, The Big Picture Salon: “The evidence is pretty incontrovertible that he doesn’t exist”: Stephen Colbert’s favorite scientist on the universe, naturalism … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Trump; Magic; Scalia and science; Cruz; God of the gaps

Partly because I’ve had a cold, or a couple different colds, for much of the past month, I’m behind on links and comments. So relatively briefly, here’s what I’ve collected. In reverse order, from most recent date. \\ Slate: “How … Continue reading

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Alan Lightman on Cosmology and Human Meaning

Yesterday I mentioned the Harper’s essay by Alan Lightman, What Came Before the Big Bang?, which concerns a couple different theories for that question: one by Sean Carroll and Alan Guth, a so-called “Two-Headed Time” theory, and another by Ukrainian/US … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Science and Math and Religion

Radio interview with Lee Goldman, MD, about his new book Too Much of a Good Thing, subtitled “How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us”. This is about the familiar idea that our species is optimized for survival in … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Fermi Paradox; books by Brian Attebery and Frank Wilczek; Religious suppression; Religious fantasy

NY Times, Dennis Overbye: The Flip Side of Optimism About Life on Other Planets. (The print version was titled “A Case for Why We’re Alone”.) A consideration of the “Fermi paradox”: why, if by reasonable estimates there are likely millions … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Lucky Numbers; Paleo diet; Narratives about Charleston; Pinker on violence, and the news media

First, keying off my earlier post today about the Alan Lightman book, here’s an essay by George Johnson in the New York Times about Humankind’s Existentially Lucky Numbers. Four fundamental forces rule reality, but why is the number not three … Continue reading

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