Why are people embracing astrology in an age of science?

An age of unparalleled progress

Though many do not recognize the fact, behind the disturbing headlines that dominate the news today, scientific progress marches forward, unabated and undiminished. Just within the past 100 years, researchers have discovered the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and the standard model; unraveled the structure of DNA; sequenced the

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The scientific debate is over: it is time to act on climate change

Credit: IPCC

The facts of climate change

At this point in time, the basic facts of climate change are not disputable in the least. Careful planet-wide observations by NASA and others have confirmed that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year in recorded history. The only warmer years were 2016, 2017 and 2015, respectively, and 18

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How many habitable exoplanets are there, really?

The TRAPPIST-1 system of exoplanets, approximately 40 light-years away

Exoplanets galore

As of the present date (August 2019), more than 4000 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting other stars, and by the time you read this even more will have been logged. Several hundred exoplanets were announced in a July 2019 paper (although these await

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Pi, climate change denial and creationism

Introduction

Right off, it may not sound like pi, climate change denial and young-Earth creationism have much in common. In fact, there is an important connection. Here is some background.

Credit: Michele Vallisneri, NASA JPL

Computing pi

Pi = 3.1415926535…, namely the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter, has fascinated

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Does the punctuated equilibrium theory refute evolution?

Introduction

Both creationist and intelligent design writers assert that there are large gaps in the fossil record, and that the conventional scientific picture of a gradual evolution is a myth. To a certain extent, this is true: the fossil record includes transitions that appear abrupt. In 1972, paleontologists Niles Edgredge and Stephen Jay Gould published

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Marcelo Gleiser wins Templeton Prize

Credit: Templeton Foundation

The Templeton Foundation has announced that Marcelo Gleiser, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire, USA, has been awarded the 2019 Templeton Prize.

The Templeton Prize, which includes a 1.1 million pound stipend, is awarded each year to a person “who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming

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When did life start on Earth?

Introduction

Both creationist and intelligent design writers assert that science has yet to understand the origin of life, and further claim that this is a fatal flaw in evolutionary theory [Behe1996; Dembski1998]. More importantly, creationist-minded members of the public have, in numerous cases, attempted to capitalize on this perceived weakness to persuade school boards and

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Is scientific progress real?

Top 500 supercomputer performance (orange = #1, blue = #500, green = sum)

Postmodern denials of scientific progress

The fact that scientific research has made immense progress over the past years, decades and centuries is taken for granted among professional scientists and most of the lay public as well. But there are others, from

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New books and articles on the “great silence”

Credit: NASA

The great silence

As we have explained in previous Math Scholar blogs (see, for example, MS1 and MS2), the perplexing question why the heavens are silent even though, from all evidence, the universe is teeming with potentially habitable exoplanets, continues to perplex and fascinate scientists. It is one of the most significant

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Does the string theory multiverse really exist?

Credit: Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics

String theory, fine tuning and the multiverse

String theory is the name for the theory of mathematical physics which proposes that physical reality is based on exceedingly small “strings” and “branes,” embedded in 10- or 11-dimensional space. String theory has been proposed as the long-sought “theory of everything,”

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