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Posted inSpace

For all of humanity’s failings, we’ve never stopped wondering about the stars

Reading Time: 8 minutes It was an atypically dry English spring when a man in Bath scanned the skies with a 7-inch reflecting telescope he’d designed and built by hand, through painstaking refinements to Isaac Newton’s principles of optics. William Herschel was studying stellar parallax, the phenomenon that makes a nearby star look like it has moved in relation […]

Posted inGeneral

Trust Science

Reading Time: 3 minutes By James A. Haught Long ago, I concluded that no reliable evidence supports gods, devils, heavens, hells, miracles, prophecies and other supernatural stuff of religion. Those magic claims simply arise from the human imagination, I assume. Instead, I chose to trust the honest search of science to explain ultimate mysteries of existence. Aye, there’s the […]

Posted inGeneral

The Code of the Universe

Reading Time: 8 minutes Electrons and quarks, galaxies and black holes, electromagnetic radiation, DNA and cells, gravity, molecular bonds, the speed of light, the power in the nucleus – these contain a gospel more profound than any written by humans.

Posted inGeneral

What I’m Telling My Son About Santa Claus

Reading Time: 4 minutes Sometimes the smallest choices present the hardest dilemmas. I’ve been facing one such this year, which is the question of what, as an atheist parent, I should tell my son about Santa Claus. It sounds silly, but this was one of my biggest parenting dilemmas so far. It was certainly a harder decision than, say, […]

Posted inGeneral

The Dreams of Which Stuff Is Made

Reading Time: 3 minutes By James A. Haught The European Southern Observatory — a fifteen-nation consortium that operates telescopes in Chile — recently released a photo of two galaxies colliding. Here’s the stunner: It happened seven billion years ago, when the universe was younger, but it took seven billion years for fast-traveling light to reach Planet Earth just now. […]

Posted inGeneral

Repost: People of Light and Darkness

Reading Time: 4 minutes [This post originally appeared in July 2012.] The big news this week is that the Large Hadron Collider, the massive particle accelerator at the European physics lab CERN, has apparently discovered the elusive and long-sought subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, which explains why other particles have mass. The hunt for the Higgs has consumed […]

Posted inGeneral

Repost: Epicurus’ World

Reading Time: 4 minutes The story goes that the renowned physicist Richard Feynman was once asked to summarize the most important finding of modern science in a single sentence. Feynman replied, “The universe is made of atoms.” Although there are many other scientific discoveries that are arguably of equal importance, Feynman’s choice makes a lot of sense. The discovery […]

Posted inGeneral

Summer Twilight: A Humanist Sermon

Reading Time: 3 minutes On a night earlier this summer, a humid blue twilight in July, I stepped out of my home to run an errand. It was sweltering and heavy after the day’s heat, but it must have been the perfect temperature for fireflies. There were hundreds of them, swarming in the air and the grass, glimmering and […]

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