12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Summary of Human Evolution

ABOUT 13.5 BILLION YEARS AGO, MATTER, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang. The story of these fundamental features of our universe is called physics. About 300,000 years after their appearance, matter and energy started to coalesce into complex structures, called atoms, which then combined into molecules. The story of atoms, molecules and their interactions is called chemistry. About 3.8 billion years ago, on a planet called Earth, certain molecules combi...
Folksonomies: epic history
Folksonomies: epic history
  1  notes
 
21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 The Increasing Chemical Complexity of the Cosmos

The ancient origins of stars, planets and life may be viewed as a sequence of emergent events, each of which added to the chemical complexity of the cosmos. Stars, which formed from the primordial hydrogen of the Big Bang, underwent nucleosynthesis to produce all the elements of the Periodic Table. Those elements were dispersed during supernova events and provided the raw materials for planets and all their mineralogical diversity. Chemical evolution on Earth (and perhaps countless other plan...
  1  notes
 
02 JUN 2015 by ideonexus

 Metaphor in Science

Metaphor in science, Boyd suggests, is a version of the everyday process in which a metaphor is pressed into service to fill gaps in a language’s vocabulary, like rabbit ears to refer to the antennas that used to sprout from the tops of television sets. Scientists constantly discover new entities that lack an English name, so they often tap a metaphor to supply the needed label: selection in evolution, kettle pond in geology, linkage in genetics, and so on. But they aren’t shackled by the...
  1  notes
 
24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Broken Symmetry

The discoveries of recent decades in particle physics have led us to place great emphasis on the concept of broken symmetry. The development of the universe from its earliest beginnings is regarded as a succession of symmetry-breakings. As it emerges from the moment of creation in the Big Bang, the universe is completely symmetrical and featureless. As it cools to lower and lower temperatures, it breaks one symmetry after another, allowing more and more diversity of structure to come into exi...
Folksonomies: science diversification
Folksonomies: science diversification
  1  notes
 
15 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 Einstein's "Biggest Blunder"

For much of the modern era, scientists followed Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton in believing the cosmos to be eternal and unchanging. But in 1917, when Albert Einstein applied his theory of relativity to space-time as a whole, his equations implied that the universe could not be static; it must be either expanding or contracting. This struck Einstein as grotesque, so he added to his theory a fiddle factor called the "cosmological constant" that eliminated the implicatio...
 1  1  notes

The story of how Einstein's belief in a static Universe prompted him to introduce a fudge-factor in his Theory of Relativity, the Cosmological Constant.

18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Bush Administration Science Abuses

After President Bush's 2004 reelection, scientists noticed that the problem was becoming even worse. One example was Bush's appointment of George Deutsch, a twenty-four-year-old Texas A&M University dropout and Bush campaign intern, to a key position in NASA's public relations department. Deutsch set to work muzzling NASA's top climate scientist. James Hansen, once refusing to allow Hansen to interview with National Public Radio because it was "the most liberal" media outlet in the countr...
  1  notes

From prohibiting studies that didn't fit their agenda, to refusing to approve drugs approved by the FDA, "faith-based initiatives", etc, etc.

18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Einstein's Cosmological Constant

Georges Lemaitre was a pudgy, pinkish Belgian Jesuit abbe—a Catholic priest—who also happened to be a skilled astronomer. Lemaitre had noticed that Einstein's general theory of relativity would have implied that the universe was expanding but for a troublesome little mathematical term called the cosmological constant that Einstein had inserted into his equations. Lemaitre saw no convincing reason why the cosmological constant should be there. In fact, Einstein himself had originally calc...
 1  1  notes

He put the constant into his theory to keep the Universe static, but observations demonstrated it was expanding, so he changed his theory to match the evidence.

08 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Infinite Creativity was Stored in Hydrogen Atoms

Once the matter created by the Big Bang cooled sufficiently, the universe consisted of a vast cloud of hydrogen atom consisting of a single proton surrounded by a single electron—along with a smattering of slightly heavier elements, including helium (with two protons) and lithium (with three). The universe at that time was about the most boring place imaginable. It consisted of nothing but disembodied atoms drifting through space and the radiation left over from the Big Bang. Yet the potent...
Folksonomies: wonder simplicity big bang
Folksonomies: wonder simplicity big bang
  1  notes

From this simple unit, everything in the Universe came about.

04 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Big Bang Does Not Preclude a Creator

Hubble's observations suggested that there was a time, called the big bang, when the universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. If there were events earlier than this time, then they could not affect what happens at the present time. Their existence can be ignored because it would have no observational consequences. One may say that time had a beginning at the big ba...
Folksonomies: creation origins big bang
Folksonomies: creation origins big bang
  1  notes

But sets limits on when it did the creating.

05 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Creationsim VS "I Don't Know"

Where did the primal seed of the big bang come from? How did life begin? How did monarch butterflies evolve the ability to navigate to their winter home? God did it, says the believer. I don't know, says the agnostic. The two statements have exactly the same explanatory value. Zero. Why then opt for one rather than the other? The first provides an illusion of understanding, and reinforces the ancient belief in a personal divinity who attends to our individual lives. The second is a goad to c...
  1  notes

Neither explains any natural phenomena, but the latter leads the door open to curiosity.