DISCLAIMER ... From now on, if, in reading these columns, you encounter extraneous hyperlinked ads that have nothing to do with what I am writing about, please understand that I did not insert these ads. They are there because some single-digit-IQ evolutionary dead-end(s) decided to hijack WordPress, my development / writing environment, so as to get some advertising. I have no idea how to remove these abominations. They do not show up as href tags in the HTML. The hijackers owe us all an apology. Let’s lighten up a little on the otherwise-unmitigated pessimism and gloom involved in considering the consequences of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) for galaxies that experience them. The Universe is a big, big place, big enough that, even with GRBs irradiating galaxies, we might realistically
The quieter we become, the more we can hear. --Ram Dass Photo credit: "Quiet," F Mira, 2008.
I have written before here, here, and here – among other places – about the lack of evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in our Galaxy. But recently I watched a potentially game-changing science documentary on Netflix that seems to be critically relevant to the issue of the existence of life, intelligent or otherwise, in our or any other galaxy. The Netflix documentary, which is quite accessible to people with little or no technical knowledge of astronomy or astrophysics, is entitled, somewhat melodramatically, The Real Death Star (hereafter Death Star). I watched Death Star, and began to formulate my own speculations about the possible effects of gamma ray bursts in any galaxy unfortunate enough to suffer one, in particular, the unfortunate consequences for life in general – and in