In a dramatic announcement on March 16, 2014, a team of astronomers led by John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said that they have detected gravitational waves, confirming predictions made by mathematical physicists Alan Guth, Andrei Linde and others in the 1970s and 1980s.
Gravitational waves from inflation, with their distinctive twisting pattern,
Continue reading Gravitational waves confirm mathematical prediction of inflationary big bang
A widely held stereotype of research scientists is that of persons who openly reject any form of religious belief. It is also widely assumed that the fraction of scientists who would be considered agnostic or atheistic has sharply increased in recent decades. There is some truth to these assertions. The percentage of professional scientists who
Continue reading What do scientists think of religion?
Scientists through the ages have noted, often with some astonishment, not only the remarkable success of mathematics in describing the natural world, but also the fact that the best mathematical formulations are usually those that are the most beautiful. And almost all research mathematicians pepper their description of important mathematical work with terms like “unexpected,”
Continue reading Why mathematics is beautiful and why it matters
On 9 November 2013, the present author presented a talk “Science vs. Religion: Can This Marriage Be Saved?” at a symposium on science and religion held in Provo, Utah. The full paper version of Bailey’s talk is available here and is slated to appear in an upcoming publication of the Interpreter Foundation. A synopsis of
Continue reading Twenty questions about science and religion
On 9 November 2013, the present author presented a talk at a symposium on Science and Mormonism held in Provo, Utah. Bailey’s full presentation, entitled “Science vs. Religion: Can This Marriage Be Saved?”, can be viewed Here. A nice synopsis of Bailey’s presentation is given in a report on the Meridian Magazine website.
Continue reading Science vs. Religion: Can This Marriage Be Saved?
Even in the 21st century, many in modern society question evolution. A May 2012 Gallup poll found that fully 46% of Americans believed that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” Needless to say, such sentiments are very different from the
Continue reading Towards a theology of evolution
Once again, Texas has joined a list of U.S. states that are fighting a rear-guard war against the progress of modern science.
On September 9, 2013, the National Center for Science Education and the Texas Freedom Network issued a joint news release expressing alarm at comments made by members of a Texas state committee
Continue reading Please mess with Texas: Texas textbook fiasco threatens US science
On 21 Aug 2013, at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky (a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio), an employee was struck by lightning, as he was clearing guests away from the museum’s zip line, in the wake of an approaching thunderstorm. Fortunately, the employee was not seriously injured and was quickly released from a nearby hospital.
Continue reading Troubles beset Kentucky’s Creation Museum
Creationists on dinosaurs and dragons
On 5 Aug 2013, creationist Ken Ham addressed the issue of why dinosaurs are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, given that, according to the creationist worldview, the earth and all its living inhabitants were created in a few days about 6000 years ago (so that dinosaurs were created with
Continue reading Did dinosaurs live with humans? Were dragons real?
While having lunch with colleagues Edward Teller and Herbert York, who were chatting about a recent cartoon in the New Yorker depicting aliens abducting trash cans in flying saucers, physicist Enrico Fermi suddenly blurted out, “Where is everybody?” [Webb2002, pg. 17-18]. His question is now known as Fermi’s paradox.
Behind Fermi’s question was this
Continue reading Where are the extraterrestrial civilizations?