Posted inScience

Anybody out there? Why our search for extraterrestrials is nearly pointless

Reading Time: 6 minutes “Where is everybody?” Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, reportedly once threw out this seemingly offhand question to colleagues during a lunch hour in 1950. But there was nothing offhand about it; the question is one of humanity’s most burning, ageless questions. “[Fermi] wondered, given that our planet was relatively young compared to the universe, we might […]

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 inMeaning & Purpose

Contradicting the universe

Reading Time: 2 minutes One of the hardest things about being a fully secular human is realizing that the universe couldn’t possibly care less whether I am happy or safe, or fulfilled, or even alive. It doesn’t help that most of the pieces of the universe all around me—the ones shaped like me—care about my happiness only fractionally more […]

Posted inUncategorized

A Big Question

Reading Time: 4 minutes One of my Christmas presents last year was a book from my daughter, Julia. She knows my interests, and made an excellent choice: Stephen Hawking’s final work, titled “Brief Answers to the Big Questions.” The first chapter is an appropriate subject for this blog. It is titled “Is There A God?” Hawking, who died last […]

Posted inBiology, Evolution

Why Did God Wait to Create the World?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Well, it depends what kind of Christian you are as to how you interpret what happened in the creation of this here universe. The young earth creationist will, of course, believe that the world that we live on and the universe that we live in are only 6000 or so years old. The old earth creationist, […]

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