We’ve all seen that vast black hole. Its six billion solar masses are so dense no light can escape. It is so far away light from hot gas falling in takes 55 million years to reach us. Well actually, we’ve seen an image. Now that we’ve seen it, what do we know now we didn’t […]
Tag Archives: evidence
How high will sea levels rise? The answers are worth understanding if we care about our children’s world.
Seas are rising. It is no longer a question of whether this will be a problem. It is a matter of: How high and how fast? Recent science has both uncertainty and answers. Together they explain why geopolitics may soon become a much more common word. Science studies evidence of two kinds of steady sea-level […]
Terrorism needs our help: 7 things we could be doing better to ensure its success.
’Tis the season to consider causes that need our support. Let’s not overlook terrorism. Terror is a multi-billion-dollar business with a clever strategy. But it could have a fatal flaw. To succeed it must recruit a steady stream of pawns to take on tasks that mostly fail. Almost all those who don’t fail end up […]
After 117 years this quadrillion-dollar idea is gathering speed. But this golden egg may hatch too slowly.
A recent estimate tells us the next deep new idea in physics could lead to a quadrillion-dollar economic boom. This gives us a huge self-interest in moving new physics along. How does new physics happen? Specifically, what we are waiting for is Planck-scale physics. It deals with what goes on at a scale far smaller […]
Not Getting Vaccinated Causes Autism
Vaccination matters to all of us. It is the first line of defence against bugs that could kill millions. Vaccination and autism have a fraught relationship. Now there is good news. In 1998 a paper in The Lancet linked autism to vaccination. It was later proved to be a fraud. But now some parents refuse […]
The Search for the Mystery Planet
A new mystery planet is in the astronomic news. It is a real mystery. But is it a real planet? First the mystery: Planet X, as some are calling it, is thought to roam outside the orbit of Pluto (which was recently demoted to dwarf from ninth-planet status). So far no-one has seen Planet X. […]
Evidence-Based Policy: The Case for Torture in Interrogation
The classic case comes from the world of pulp fiction: Entombed, a kidnapped child is running out of air; arrested, the prime suspect will not say where. Do you tear his toenails out or calmly interrogate him? The question takes on practical significance with news anchors wondering what we can inflict on the accused Paris […]
Four No Trump
Janet Mary Rogge Dugle In memoriam Jan Dugle was an American botanist. Black-spruce ecosystems were her special thing. I met her and her first husband David (whose trailblazing work with DNA I have mentioned) when I first arrived in North America. She soon sussed out my chief deficiency and set out to fix it: She […]
‘It is indeed an exacting requirement to have to ascribe physical reality to space in general, and especially to empty space.’ — Albert Einstein Most physicists work in a vacuum. That is, they tend to think in terms of particles in empty space. But both Albert Einstein and recent evidence say they are wrong: Far […]