Category Archives: Science

The difference between ten and infinity

By Grania Spingies Brian Cox is Stateside at the moment, and was on The Conan Show promoting the US run of BBC 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage, the science podcast brainchild of Robin Ince and Brian Cox that cannot be praised highly enough (it’s funny, it’s got science in and a whole lot of smart […]

Christmas on Saturn

by Grania Just in from CICLOPS, there is an update on the Saturn Cassini mission from the team and a “Captain’s Log” from mission leader, Carolyn Porco. And an artist’s impression of what it would look like: These sorts of pictures remind me very much of the Time-Life coffee table books in my father’s library when I […]

Google car

by Grania The Oatmeal weighs in on Google self-driving cars, which as far as I am concerned can’t arrive soon enough given that humans and their goddamned “intuition” manage to kill 1.2 million and injure another 50 million humans every year.   It’s still a work in progress, but it is so very much better […]

What science achieved in 2014

by Grania Writers at io9 have collected some of the big breakthroughs in science this year. Among their picks were Enceladus’ hidden ocean, the artificially expanded genetic alphabet, new burial mounds found at Stonehenge, a really big dinosaur named Dreadnoughtus Schrani,  womb transplants (oh, thank goodness!) and the supercluster Laniakea, although you should also read Ethan Siegel’s article about […]

Only a theory?

Matthew Cobb sent a link to this video about the nature of a scientific theory, along with the note: Brief 3-minute video on theories in science from the Royal Institution, written by science teacher and atheist Alom Shaha and narrated by theoretical physicist and humanist, Jim al-Khalili Nothing you haven’t said a million times over, but nicely […]

Bill Nye talks about creationism, evolution, and his new book

I’ll get creamed for this, but Bill Nye really does rub me the wrong way. Yes, I know he’s turned lots of kids onto science, and good for him! But his demeanor just gives me the creeps. And he seems ravenously hungry for the limelight, a form of naked ambition that always puts me off. […]

A conference on hype in science

Last December, Ford Doolittle, a biochemist at Dalhousie University who has actually done a lot, organized a symposium called “Hype in science“, which I announced on at the time though it hadn’t yet taken place. Now Florian Maderspacher, the senior reviews editor for Current Biology,  has written a three-page summary of the conference for the journal, “Hype in […]

Alan Sokal highlights the incompatibility of science and religion

As I noted recently, Massimo Pigliucci has left his Rationally Speaking website to found a new one: Scientia Salon, which will, it seems, host a greater diversity of authors. Alan Sokal has put up a new post (actually part 2 of 3) at Scientia Salon ; the title of the tripartite essay is “What is science […]

Valentine #3

This is a sad and poignant science valentine from xkcd. As far as I can tell, its point is to show that science tells us what is true, not what we want to be true. And, in this case, the truth is sad.

Carl Sagan’s last interview

Carl Sagan died 17 years ago today: December 20, 1996. This is a small clip of his last interview, with Charlie Rose. Sagan is clearly, as Hitchens said in his last speech, “not as I was.” (At the beginning of the third part of the full interview, below, he avers belief that he’s cured of […]


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