I’m sad that the video about our solar system being a vortex is wrong.

You’ve probably seen this video which shows our solar system traveling along sideways through the galaxy, around with the planets trailing along in a corkscrew fashion. It’s beautiful and amazing… and wrong. This article by Phil Plait explains just why it’s wrong. Vortex motion: Viral video showing Sun’s motion through galaxy is wrong.

Climatic Heresy: 1

Human activity may indeed be affecting the climate, but after reading the calm, methodical statements by the “deniers,” I’m no longer willing to believe that anyone has a complete model of the complex, chaotic systems that determine global temperature, and I regret that the simplistic fear-metaphors used by people such as Al Gore have tended […]

Attenborough reveals creationist hate mail for not crediting God | World news | The Guardian

Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries. In an interview with this week’s Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: “They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.” Telling the magazine that […]

‘Jesus was born in June’, astronomers claim – Telegraph

Using the St Matthew’s Gospel as a reference point, Mr Reneke pinpointed the planetary conjunction, which appeared in the constellation of Leo, to the exact date of June 17 in the year 2BC. The astronomy lecturer, who is also news editor of Sky and Space magazine, said: “We have software that can recreate exactly the […]

we can read minds now. no, really.

Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while […]

Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?

Using argon-argon dating—a technique that compares different isotopes of the element argon—researchers determined that the volcanic ash layers entombing the tools at Gademotta date back at least 276,000 years. Many of the tools found are small blades, made using a technique that is thought to require complex cognitive abilities and nimble fingers, according to study […]

Creationists fail again: taken for granite

But I’m thinking that no matter what, we’re talking ages significantly longer than say, 6000 years. In fact, unless Antarctica was moving at a pace faster than you can jog, we’re talking millions if not hundreds of millions of years here. Of course, creationists have an answer for this, including “catastrophic plate tectonics”, which apparently […]

Evolution: what’s the real controversy?

Here, it was clear that there simply is no controversy. In contrast to the arguments over bacterial trees and the origin of eukaryotes, none of the researchers felt compelled to explain or justify their focus on the role of mutation and selective pressure. Concerns, when they arose, were simply focused on identifying the consequences of […]

chile volcano the next ompeii?

Chilean authorities are considering the possibility that Region X’s Chaitén Volcano, now in its eighth day of continuous eruption, might collapse and thus release a torrent of red-hot pyroclastic material (burning gas and rock) that could devastate the surrounding area.  Very much a ‘worst case scenario,’ the possibility is nevertheless a very real one, vulcanologist […]

lovely article on “magical thinking”

No, at some level they believed that their insurance helped keep the plane aloft, according to psychologists with new experimental evidence of just how weirdly superstitious people can be. We buy insurance not just for peace of mind or to protect ourselves financially, but because we share the ancient Greeks’ instinct for appeasing the gods. […]

Telstar Logistics: A New Monument for Laika, Russia’s Heroic Space Dog

long-time readers here know of my love for the dog laika some recent news about her: Fortunately, Laika’s legend has lived on.  There is, of course, a semi-famous surf rock band from Finland called Laika and the Cosmonauts, whom we love dearly. Laika also makes a cameo on the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, […]