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The only intelligent life?

I have a few hobby horses on this blog (which because it is my blog, I’m allowed to have) and one of them is the quest for other intelligent life. You’ll find numerous articles where I’ve stated my conviction that this planet may be the only planet in the universe with intelligent life on it. It seems an extraordinary thing to say given the fact that there are probably a trillion galaxies and each one with more than the 100 billion stars that our own Milky Way Galaxy possesses. So…

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It just is.

I recently spent some time wondering where it all came from. And by ‘all’, I mean the stars, the planets and the whole gigantic amazing universe. It really is a vast place. And an incredible place. The Milky Way, our home galaxy, weighs around 1.5 trillion solar masses but we don’t know what it’s made of. I mean we know it’s dark matter but we don’t know what that is. It can boggle your brain in its size and beauty. Some people think the world isn’t real or at least…

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Breaking news: Still no alien life

To be fair I was thinking of The Onion when I wrote the headline, but the truth is every so often I get a fresh opportunity to remind people of some fundamental facts about the universe. As far as it pertains to life in the universe: we’re it. Recently a fresh attempt at finding traces of alien life through radio signals once again came up empty handed. One of the team behind Breakthrough Listen said, We scoured thousands of hours of observations of nearby stars, across billions of frequency channels.…

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Why Earth’s History Appears So Miraculous

Science is amazing and it’s also amazing what scientists believe. I’m not talking about the realm of provable science but of speculative physics. The world where we push past quantum mechanics (which I confess I barely grasp in layman’s terms) to the world of multiple parallel universes, multiverses and so on. This is the world where scientists go through the wormhole or black hole – you can pick your poison. In a long and slightly rambling article that covers quantum mechanics, Louis Zamperini and nuclear war; Peter Brannen in The…

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God, the universe, clutching at straws & the new high priests

In March of this year in a case of poor translation a Chinese paper on the bio-mechanics of the hand apparently attributed this to the Creator, which did not go down too well. Put simply, it’s incredibly inappropriate to offer up a supernatural entity as an explanation for a biological mechanism in a paper seeking to advance scientific knowledge, no matter what your personal religious beliefs are. If you grow up in the a western liberal society this ‘truth’ forms the background to your education. It’s ‘incredibly inappropriate’ to offer up…

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Very special or very, very lucky

The universe is big. Bigger than you think. Actually much bigger than you can think. Depending on who you talk to, there are somewhere in the region of 200 to 500 sextillion (that’s an extra 21 zeroes right there) planets in the universe’s estimated 500 billion galaxies. That’s a lot. So the odds are, that somewhere out there are other planets that are both habitable and populated with life. Recently NASA chief Ellan Stofan predicted that we’d find signs of alien life in the next 25 years. “It’s definitely not…

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