Thermodynamics

Welcome To The “Big Empty”

Welcome To The “Big Empty”

"Life" Issues, Astronomy, awareness, Big Bang, Biology, Cosmology, Creation, curiosity, Entropy, Evolution, extraterrestrial intelligences, mathematics, Milky Way Galaxy, Nature, physics, quantum physics, Science, Secularity, SETI, Skeptic, solitude, Thermodynamics, Uncategorized, Universe, Wholeness
I have written before about the likelihood of intelligent life in our Galaxy, and how the existence or non-existence of life in the Milky Way relates to human religious sensibilities. Now I want to take a more “global” perspective and approach that same question, not from the relatively parochial standpoint of intelligent life “merely” in our Galaxy, but from the standpoint of intelligent life in the entire Universe.  But the questions I pose here are essentially the same in all respects as the questions I posed in the original “Skeptic’s Collection” column.  Given some realistic-seeming, in fact, most likely optimistic, assumptions about the probability that intelligent life will evolve on any given planet orbiting any given star, how widely separated – across the entire Universe – mu
Two And A Half Cheers For The “March For Science”

Two And A Half Cheers For The “March For Science”

activism, Astronomy, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Big Bang, Biology, Challenge, Change, Christianity, citizenship, civics, conflict, conservatism, Consitution, Cosmology, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Current Events, Ecology, Education, Enlightenment, Environment, epistemology, Evidence, Evolution, Freedom, Fundamentalism, Ideology, Imagination, March For Science, Myth, Mythology, Paleontology, physics, progressive politics, Rationality, Science, Secularity, Speak out, Thermodynamics, Trump
I normally do not revise an already-published column, except in vanishingly rare cases of especially egregious error. But just this morning, after this "Skeptic's Collection" column had been published, my MSN feed contained a story about the urgency of finding a Planet B, quoting no less than Prof. Stephen Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge -- Sir Isaac Newton's old position -- corroborating my warning in the following paragraphs by predicting, basically species extinction if the March For Science rhetoric turns out to be correct that "There Is No Planet B".  For the sake of the human species, there damn well better be! ************************************************************************* I hate to nit-pick people and movements with which I am otherwise in to
Micro-Hands, Micro-Evidence, And Micro-Waves

Micro-Hands, Micro-Evidence, And Micro-Waves

activism, Astronomy, Big Bang, Challenge, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conservatism, Consitution, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, Current Events, doubt, Emancipation Proclamation, epistemology, Evidence, humor, Kellyanne Conway, Laughter, Milky Way Galaxy, news, physics, Presidency, puns, Rationality, Resistance, Satire / parody, Science, Thermodynamics, Trump, Uncategorized, Universe
It doesn't happen very often that a mere chance utterance ends up subverting the secrecy surrounding what one would have thought were the most clandestine matters pertaining to the security of the Nation. For example, there was the dropped cigar case, containing Gen. Robert E. Lee's detailed plans for the approaching Battle of Antietam, the sheerly accidental finding of which by a lowly Union Army private fundamentally altered the outcome of the battle, contributing to the Federal victory and thereby convincing President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Now we have Kellyanne Conway's ill-advised oh-by-the-way reference to "microwaves" as the medium former President Barack Obama used to spy on the goings-on in Trump Tower during the run-up to the 2016 Election. Since the