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...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Evolutionary History Through Macro and Micro Observations

Everything in the cosmos has a history. The old dichotomy between the "historical" sciences (like geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology) and the (for want of a better term) "functional" sciences (like physics and chemistry—some would call them the "real sciences") was always supposed to be that fields like physics study dynamic processes and discover immutable laws of interaction among particles composing the cosmos—while the historical sciences study, well, history—the suppose...
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14 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Believing in the Afterlife Belittles the Importance of a ...

When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thi...
Folksonomies: science spirituality
Folksonomies: science spirituality
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04 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Literature About Exploration

This is an infinitely marvelous and beautiful universe which we are privileged to inhabit. Look inward to the molecules of life and the heart of the atom, or outward to moon, sun, planets, stars, the Orion Nebula where new suns and worlds are coming into being even as you watch, the Andromeda Nebula which is actually a whole sister galaxy: it is all the same cosmos, and every part of it is part of us. The elements of our flesh, blood, bones, and breath were forged out of hydrogen in stars lon...
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13 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Factions in the Artilect War

I predict that humanity will split into three major philosophical, ideological, political groups, which I label as follows. –The Cosmists (based on the word “cosmos”) will be in favor of building these godlike machines (the artilects), who would be immortal, think a million times faster than humans, have unlimited memory, go anywhere, do anything and take any shape. The Cosmists would take a quasi-religious view that they are god builders. Privately, I am a Cosmist, but publicly, I hav...
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30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Unweaving the Rainbow Makes it More Beautiful

Newton's unweaving of the rainbow led on to spectroscopy, which has proved the key to much of what we know today about the cosmos. And the heart of any poet worthy of the title Romantic could not fail to leap up if he beheld the universe of Einstein, Hubble and Hawking. We read its nature through Fraunhofer lines - 'Barcodes in the Stars' - and their shifts along the spectrum. The image of barcodes carries us on to the very different, but equally intriguing, realms of sound ('Barcodes on the ...
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30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Science Does Not Rob Life of Purpose

Presumably there is indeed no purpose in the ultimate fate of the cosmos, but do any of us really tie our life's hopes to the ultimate fate of the cosmos anyway? Of course we don't; not if we are sane. Our lives are ruled by all sorts of closer, warmer, human ambitions and perceptions. To accuse science of robbing life of the warmth that makes it worth living is so preposterously mistaken, so diametrically opposite to my own feelings and those of most working scientists, I am almost driven to...
Folksonomies: meaning life purpose
Folksonomies: meaning life purpose
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Dilemma of Human Diversity Across the Cosmos

When life spreads out and diversifies in the universe, adapting itself to a spectrum of environments far wider than any one planet can encompass, the human species will one day find itself faced with the most momentous choice that we have had to make since the days when our ancestors came down from the trees in Africa and left their cousins the chimpanzees behind. We will have to choose, either to remain one species united by a common bodily shape as well as by a common history, or to let our...
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29 MAY 2014 by ideonexus

 The New Sinai

And as of old from Sinai's top God said that God is one. By Science strict so speaks he now To tell us there is None. Earth goes by chemic forces; Heaven's A Mecanique Celeste. And heart and mind of human kind A watch-work as the rest.
Folksonomies: science poetry
Folksonomies: science poetry
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The mechanical view of the cosmos.

21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 "Cosmos" Converts

I’ve met secular humanists who grew up in evangelical households, for whom Cosmos was their first exposure to a scientific way of viewing the world. Dad was a difference maker. He reached out to people. He took them by the awe and wonder we feel over the most important questions we can think to imagine. He pulled them away from blind faith, away from pseudoscience, toward a deeper, richer understanding of the universe. And he did it with compassion. He didn’t berate people or make them f...
Folksonomies: science scicomm
Folksonomies: science scicomm
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Nick Sagan explains how his father's compassion and energy converted people to humanism.