Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Sacred Geometry, infinite free energy, chi healing: Why new age “spirit science” is simply nonsense.

thebrainscoop:

This is StarStuff. 
The cloudy, nebulousness of this vial are nanodiamonds, carbon molecules only a thousand atoms strong, bonded together. During the formation of our solar system a cloud of dust ballooned from the collapse of a massive molecular cloud and was circling around what would be our new, baby sun. These carbon atoms were trapped within larger molecules and compounds and became inclusions, embedded within meteorites which would become evidence of the earliest solids that condensed from the cooling of protoplanetary disks.
The Field Museum has part of the oldest known meteorite - the Allende meteorite - from which these carbon nanodiamonds were extracted through chemical processes developed by Philipp Heck, our Curator of Meteoritics. We know how old the solar system is by dating these inclusions from the Allende meteorite, giving us an estimate that our solar system is 4.567 billion years old. The carbon atoms I’m holding in the above photo are, in a sense, our greatest ancestor, and ultimately became the building blocks for all life on our planet. 
TL;DR I’m holding our greatest ancestor in the palm of my hand.

thebrainscoop:

This is StarStuff. 

The cloudy, nebulousness of this vial are nanodiamonds, carbon molecules only a thousand atoms strong, bonded together. During the formation of our solar system a cloud of dust ballooned from the collapse of a massive molecular cloud and was circling around what would be our new, baby sun. These carbon atoms were trapped within larger molecules and compounds and became inclusions, embedded within meteorites which would become evidence of the earliest solids that condensed from the cooling of protoplanetary disks.

The Field Museum has part of the oldest known meteorite - the Allende meteorite - from which these carbon nanodiamonds were extracted through chemical processes developed by Philipp Heck, our Curator of Meteoritics. We know how old the solar system is by dating these inclusions from the Allende meteorite, giving us an estimate that our solar system is 4.567 billion years old. The carbon atoms I’m holding in the above photo are, in a sense, our greatest ancestor, and ultimately became the building blocks for all life on our planet. 

TL;DR I’m holding our greatest ancestor in the palm of my hand.

wildcat2030:

A New Physics Theory of Life
-
Why does life exist? 
-
Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.” From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life. “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said. England’s theory is meant to underlie, rather than replace, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, which provides a powerful description of life at the level of genes and populations. “I am certainly not saying that Darwinian ideas are wrong,” he explained. “On the contrary, I am just saying that from the perspective of the physics, you might call Darwinian evolution a special case of a more general phenomenon.” (via A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life | Simons Foundation)

wildcat2030:

A New Physics Theory of Life
-
Why does life exist?
-
Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.” From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life. “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said. England’s theory is meant to underlie, rather than replace, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, which provides a powerful description of life at the level of genes and populations. “I am certainly not saying that Darwinian ideas are wrong,” he explained. “On the contrary, I am just saying that from the perspective of the physics, you might call Darwinian evolution a special case of a more general phenomenon.” (via A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life | Simons Foundation)

astrogasmic:

Do you have poor eyesight? Hey, don’t feel bad, it turns out that no human can really ‘see’ much of anything at all.

we-are-star-stuff:

An Introduction to M-theory
In non-technical terms, M-theory presents an idea about the basic substance of the universe.
In the early years of the 20th century, the atom – long believed to be the smallest building-block of matter – was proven to consist of even smaller components called protons, neutrons and electrons, which are known as subatomic particles. Beginning in the 1960s, other subatomic particles were discovered. In the 1970s, it was discovered that protons and neutrons (and other hadrons) are themselves made up of smaller particles called quarks. Quantum mechanics is the set of rules that describes the interactions of these particles.
In the 1980s, a new mathematical model of theoretical physics called string theory emerged. It showed how all the particles, and all of the forms of energy in the universe, could be constructed by hypothetical one-dimensional “strings”, infinitesimal building-blocks that have only the dimension of length, but not height nor width. Further, string theory suggested that the universe is made up of multiple dimensions. Height, width, and length constitute three-dimensional space, and time gives a total of four observable dimensions; however, string theories initially supported the possibility of ten dimensions – the remaining six of which we cannot detect directly. This was later increased to 11 dimensions based on various interpretations of the ten dimensional theory that led to five partial theories as described below. Super-gravity theory also played a significant part in establishing the necessity of the 11th dimension.
These “strings” vibrate in multiple dimensions, and depending on how they vibrate, they might be seen in three-dimensional space as matter, light, or gravity. It is the vibration of the string which determines whether it appears to be matter or energy, and every form of matter or energy is the result of the vibration of strings.
String theory, as mentioned above, ran into a problem: another version of the equations was discovered, then another, and then another. Eventually, there were five major string theories. Each theory is fundamentally based on vibrating, one-dimensional strings at approximately the length of the planck length. Calculations have also shown that each theory requires more than the normal four spacetime dimensions. The main differences between each theory were principally the number of dimensions in which the strings developed, and their characteristics (some were open loops, some were closed loops, etc.). Furthermore, all these theories appeared to be correct. Scientists were not comfortable with five seemingly contradictory sets of equations to describe the same thing.
In 1994, a string theorist named Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study and other important researchers considered that the five different versions of string theory might be describing the same thing seen from different perspectives. They proposed a unifying theory called “M-theory”, in which the “M” is not specifically defined, but is generally understood to stand for “membrane”. The words “matrix”, “mother”, “monster”, “mystery”, “magic” have also been claimed. M-theory brought all of the string theories together. It did this by asserting that strings are really 1-dimensional slices of a 2-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space.
M-theory is not complete, but the underlying structure of the mathematics has been established and is in agreement with all the string theories. Furthermore, it has passed many tests of internal mathematical consistency.
To the critics, however, these mathematical developments still don’t answer the nagging question: how do you test it? Since string theory is really a theory of creation, when all its beautiful symmetries were in their full glory, the only way to test it, the critics wail, is to re-create the Big Bang itself, which is impossible. But most string theorists think these criticisms are silly. They believe that the critics have missed the point. The key point is this: if the theory can be solved non-perturbatively using pure mathematics, then it should reduce down at low energies to a theory of ordinary protons, electrons, atoms, and molecules, for which there is ample experimental data. If we could completely solve the theory, we should be able to extract its low energy spectrum, which should match the familiar particles we see today in the Standard Model. Thus, the real problem is raw brain power: of only we were clever enough, we could write down M-theory, solve it, and settle everything.
Physicist and author Michio Kaku has remarked that M-theory may present us with a “Theory of Everything" which is so concise that its underlying formula would fit on a T-shirt. Stephen Hawking originally believed that M-theory may be the ultimate theory but later suggested that the search for understanding of mathematics and physics will never be complete.
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, in the popular scientific book The Grand Design, take a philosophical position to support a view of the universe as a multiverse, and define it in the book as model-dependent realism which along with a sum-over-histories approach to the universe as a whole, is used to claim that M-theory is the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe.
The evolution of this theory can be summarized as: Principle -> Symmetry -> Action -> Quantum Theory. According to Witten, the fundamental problem has been that string theory has been evolving backwards. As Witten says, “string theory is 21st century physics which fell into the 20th century by accident”. We were never “meant” to see this theory until the next century. Witten certainly believes we are on the right track, but we need a few more “revolutions” to finally solve the theory: “I think there are still a couple more superstring revolutions in our future, at least. If we can manage one more superstring revolution a decade, I think that we will do all right”.
Sources: 1 2 3

we-are-star-stuff:

An Introduction to M-theory

In non-technical terms, M-theory presents an idea about the basic substance of the universe.

In the early years of the 20th century, the atom – long believed to be the smallest building-block of matter – was proven to consist of even smaller components called protons, neutrons and electrons, which are known as subatomic particles. Beginning in the 1960s, other subatomic particles were discovered. In the 1970s, it was discovered that protons and neutrons (and other hadrons) are themselves made up of smaller particles called quarks. Quantum mechanics is the set of rules that describes the interactions of these particles.

In the 1980s, a new mathematical model of theoretical physics called string theory emerged. It showed how all the particles, and all of the forms of energy in the universe, could be constructed by hypothetical one-dimensional “strings”, infinitesimal building-blocks that have only the dimension of length, but not height nor width. Further, string theory suggested that the universe is made up of multiple dimensions. Height, width, and length constitute three-dimensional space, and time gives a total of four observable dimensions; however, string theories initially supported the possibility of ten dimensions – the remaining six of which we cannot detect directly. This was later increased to 11 dimensions based on various interpretations of the ten dimensional theory that led to five partial theories as described below. Super-gravity theory also played a significant part in establishing the necessity of the 11th dimension.

These “strings” vibrate in multiple dimensions, and depending on how they vibrate, they might be seen in three-dimensional space as matter, light, or gravity. It is the vibration of the string which determines whether it appears to be matter or energy, and every form of matter or energy is the result of the vibration of strings.

String theory, as mentioned above, ran into a problem: another version of the equations was discovered, then another, and then another. Eventually, there were five major string theories. Each theory is fundamentally based on vibrating, one-dimensional strings at approximately the length of the planck length. Calculations have also shown that each theory requires more than the normal four spacetime dimensions. The main differences between each theory were principally the number of dimensions in which the strings developed, and their characteristics (some were open loops, some were closed loops, etc.). Furthermore, all these theories appeared to be correct. Scientists were not comfortable with five seemingly contradictory sets of equations to describe the same thing.

In 1994, a string theorist named Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study and other important researchers considered that the five different versions of string theory might be describing the same thing seen from different perspectives. They proposed a unifying theory called “M-theory”, in which the “M” is not specifically defined, but is generally understood to stand for “membrane”. The words “matrix”, “mother”, “monster”, “mystery”, “magic” have also been claimed. M-theory brought all of the string theories together. It did this by asserting that strings are really 1-dimensional slices of a 2-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space.

M-theory is not complete, but the underlying structure of the mathematics has been established and is in agreement with all the string theories. Furthermore, it has passed many tests of internal mathematical consistency.

To the critics, however, these mathematical developments still don’t answer the nagging question: how do you test it? Since string theory is really a theory of creation, when all its beautiful symmetries were in their full glory, the only way to test it, the critics wail, is to re-create the Big Bang itself, which is impossible. But most string theorists think these criticisms are silly. They believe that the critics have missed the point. The key point is this: if the theory can be solved non-perturbatively using pure mathematics, then it should reduce down at low energies to a theory of ordinary protons, electrons, atoms, and molecules, for which there is ample experimental data. If we could completely solve the theory, we should be able to extract its low energy spectrum, which should match the familiar particles we see today in the Standard Model. Thus, the real problem is raw brain power: of only we were clever enough, we could write down M-theory, solve it, and settle everything.

Physicist and author Michio Kaku has remarked that M-theory may present us with a “Theory of Everything" which is so concise that its underlying formula would fit on a T-shirt. Stephen Hawking originally believed that M-theory may be the ultimate theory but later suggested that the search for understanding of mathematics and physics will never be complete.

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, in the popular scientific book The Grand Design, take a philosophical position to support a view of the universe as a multiverse, and define it in the book as model-dependent realism which along with a sum-over-histories approach to the universe as a whole, is used to claim that M-theory is the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe.

The evolution of this theory can be summarized as: Principle -> Symmetry -> Action -> Quantum Theory. According to Witten, the fundamental problem has been that string theory has been evolving backwards. As Witten says, “string theory is 21st century physics which fell into the 20th century by accident”. We were never “meant” to see this theory until the next century. Witten certainly believes we are on the right track, but we need a few more “revolutions” to finally solve the theory: “I think there are still a couple more superstring revolutions in our future, at least. If we can manage one more superstring revolution a decade, I think that we will do all right”.

Sources: 1 2 3

jas720:

docwarner:

crixus-ships:


No matter how long the slinky is, the bottom of the slinky will stay still (hover) until the top reaches it. Even if the slinky is over 1000 feet long.









how about that.

jas720:

docwarner:

crixus-ships:

No matter how long the slinky is, the bottom of the slinky will stay still (hover) until the top reaches it. Even if the slinky is over 1000 feet long.

how about that.

(Source: theirishhooligan)

What Is the Highest Possible Temperature?

The answer that a typical physicist gives to this question will depend on her implicit opinion of the completeness of the current set of physical theories. Temperature is a function of the motion of particles, so if nothing can move faster than the speed of light, then the maximum may be defined as a gas whose atomic constituents are each moving at the speed of light. The problem is that attaining the speed of light in this universe is impossible; light speed is a quantity that may only be approached asymptotically. The more energy that is put into a particle, the closer it gets to moving at light speed, though it never fully reaches it.

At least one scientist has proposed defining the maximum possible temperature as what someone would get if she took all the energy in the universe and put it into accelerating the lightest possible particle she could find as closely as possible to the speed of light. If this is true, then discoveries about elementary particles and the size/density of the universe could be relevant to discovering the correct answer to the question. If the universe is infinite, there may be no formally defined limit.

Even though infinite temperature may be possible, it might be impossible to observe, making it irrelevant. Under Einstein’s theory of relativity, an object accelerated close to the speed of light gains a tremendous amount of mass. That is why no amount of energy can suffice to accelerate any object, even an elementary particle, to the speed of light — it becomes infinitely massive at the limit. If a particle is accelerated to a certain velocity near that of light, it gains enough mass to collapse into a black hole, making it impossible for observers to make statements about its velocity.

The Planck temperature is reached in this universe under at least two separate conditions, according to some theories. The first occurred only once, 1 Planck time (10e-43 seconds) after the Big Bang. At this time, the universe existed in an almost perfectly ordered state, with near-zero entropy. It may have even been a singularity, a physical object that can be described by only three quantities: mass, angular momentum, and electric charge. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, however, insists that the entropy (disorderliness) of a closed system must always increase. This means that the early universe had only one direction to go — that of higher entropy — and underwent a near-instantaneous breakdown.

The second set of conditions capable of producing the Planck temperature are those occurring at the final moments of a black hole’s life. Black holes evaporate slowly due to quantum tunneling by matter adjacent to the black hole’s surface. This effect is so slight that a typical black hole would take 10^60 years to radiate away all its mass, but smaller black holes, like those with the mass of a small mountain, may take only 10^10 years to evaporate. As a black hole loses mass and surface area, it begins to radiate energy more rapidly, thereby heating up, and at the final instant of its existence, radiates away energy so quickly that it momentarily achieves the Planck temperature.

source

String Theory - Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene

A casual conversation about the history and future of String Theory

mothernaturenetwork:

Rare deep space neutrinos have huge implications for astronomyMost neutrinos detected on Earth originate in Earth’s atmosphere or the sun making the discovery of an ‘alien’ neutrino very exciting.

mothernaturenetwork:

Rare deep space neutrinos have huge implications for astronomy
Most neutrinos detected on Earth originate in Earth’s atmosphere or the sun making the discovery of an ‘alien’ neutrino very exciting.

Master of the Universe, Stephen Hawking Episode 1

This BBC documentary chronicles Prof. Stephen Hawking’s life and pursuit of the holy grail of physics, a theory of everything that will unify gravity and quantum physics.

In ep.1, diagnosed with motor neuron disease and given only a few years to live, he sets out to accomplish a simple goal: to solve the universe. The first major breakthrough occurred when he successfully applied quantum mechanics at the event horizon of black holes to explain why they give off radiation, the first time the theory of the very small had been used to describe the very big. But progress slows down as the force of gravity eludes quantum understanding, and his health and personal life take a turn.

Episode 2: String Theory hits the scene and Hawking finds new relevance in the quest for grand unification.

He might have figured out a way to prove the extra space-time dimensions predicted by string theory, which stands to explain the place of gravity in quantum mechanics. Decades after doctors thought he’d be dead, and left with only the use of one muscle in his face to communicate, will he stagger over the finish line and realize the goal of his life’s work before it’s too late?

poetnine:

If you’ve ever done any studying of modern physics or simply existed in a Western civilization, you will undoubtedly have encountered the concept of a black hole (here’s an interesting fact: in French ‘black hole’ is Trous Noir, which is slang for anus, ho ho what). Physicists love to talk about black holes. Perhaps even too much you might have thought? I mean, they’re terrifying and neat - but surely they are no more than exotic trivialities, like a two-headed cow fetus at the state fair.

Not so! Black holes are important because A) we know they exist (we can see stars being eaten by or orbiting invisible massive objects) and B) they break our most current scientific theories. Break with ‘em with a big ol’ black hammer of infinite space-time curvature. And so does the Big Bang, y’know that whole origin of the universe theory. We lack the physics to fully describe either one: both break the theory of relativity and we’ve been trying to patch it up with quantum mechanics in a grand quest for a “Theory of Everything” or “Unified Theory.” That is why, in fact, that physicists will often say: “Time began at the Big Bang” or “Time ends in a black hole” and they do, genuinely, mean that. Before the Big Bang, time did not exist; inside a black hole, time does not flow.

And therein lies an interesting connection: If it’s true that time ends in a black hole and time began in the Big Bang, would it be inaccurate to say that the Big Bang is a time-reversed black hole (aka a ‘white hole’)?

To think about this, let us undertake a journey into the creation of a black hole:

It begins as a big cloud of gas. Over-time, gravity pulls these distant atoms together, much like cosmic Eskimos huddling together for warmth. As these atoms are pulled together, they jostle one another until eventually the star ignites. Nuclear fusion begins, turning hydrogen into helium. At this point, the star is very heavy, enough to bend - but not break - space-time curvature. Think of a bowling ball resting on a large cotton sheet. It’s heavy but its weight is distributed over a large area and so it does not break the sheet. As long as the star can fuel its nuclear fusion, this will remain so: thermal pressure will provide an outward force to balance the inward pressure of gravity (thermal pressure is the same thing that causes your car engine to work, the gas combusting to push pistons up and down). Now, depending on the size of the star, it will often expand, becoming a supergiant or giant star. Eventually, however, the star runs out of fuel and must rely on reactions between heavier elements, reactions that don’t create as much thermal pressure. The star slowly condenses on itself, growing smaller and smaller.

At a certain volume, the further collapse of gravity is prevented by something called electron degeneracy pressure, which is a result of Pauli’s Exclusion Principle (think back to chemistry!), which in turn describes the fact that electrons don’t want to be in the same place and the same state at the same time. Which - basically - you can think of as a form of magnetism: the two poles of a magnet don’t want to touch, do they? Neither do electrons! We all want to be beautiful unique snowflakes and electrons are no exception. At this point, electrons are so compressed that their position is highly known and therefore their velocity is highly variable (that’s Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle). They’re going around wild and crazy, little children with too much energy, refusing to even be contained by the Parental Protons or even Grandfather Gravity. The star at this point is called a white dwarf. A white dwarf is roughly the size of the earth.

However, if Grandfather Gravity is strong enough. It can overcome electron degeneracy pressure, providing enough energy so that Parental Protons ‘capture’ electrons, thereby becoming neutrons. If this happens, the resulting astronomical body is called a neutron star. A neutron star is roughly the size of Manhattan (12 km).

Now if the mass of the star is big enough, gravity will be able to overcome what’s called neutron degeneracy pressure. Neutrons are a lot bigger and therefore pack a lot more punch: colliding with an electron is like being pegged by a tennis ball, colliding with a neutron is like having a skyscraper fall on top of you. Yet, if the star is massive enough, its gravity can overcome even that!

At this point, it’s somewhat unclear what happens. Some theorize that there’s another type of star, called a quark star, even smaller than a neutron star, and barely held up by what we might call “quark degeneracy pressure” whatever that might be.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s skip and jump to our grand, glorious celebrity: The Black Hole! If you’ll recall, I earlier made the analogy of a star as a bowling ball held on the ‘sheet’ of time curvature. Because its weight is spread throughout, it bends but cannot puncture the space-time curvature. Now imagine you were to take that bowling ball and ‘squeeze’ it down, until it’s a big NEEDLE. Same weight, same mass, but much smaller. I’m sure you know what’ll happen: the needle will punch right through the sheet, essentially tearing space-time curvature.

And that’s what a black hole is: an area of infinite spacetime curvature. Time dies, slain by the Massive Bowling Ball Needle of Death: A photon of light in a black hole is trapped -> therefore it moves 0 meters in an infinite period of time yet by the theory of relativity, the speed of light is a constant: 300 million meters per second, regardless of the relative velocity of an observer. Yet if that speed is constant but here we have a photon moving 0 meters at 300 million meters per second… well how much time has elapsed? ZERO. Time must cease to exist in a black hole.

Now cosmic Eskimos and thousand-count cotton spacetime sheets and all that was hopefully fun, but let’s return to our original idea. The notion of the Big Bang / our universe as a time-reversed black hole. I want you to don your Cosmological Detective Fedora and have a gander at that first image I posted and start from the right and see if it doesn’t correspond to the process we just talked about:

Let us say that the Big Rip theory of our universe is correct; matter will be spread out and very cool, much like a low density gas cloud, you might say. Step back from there to our current time, and you can find galaxies, and stars and, before that, the formation of said galaxies and stars. That’s the universe we know, the night sky all a-shiny like a child having too much fun with a jar of glitter. Let’s continue on. Before these large structures could form, electrons had to combine with protons and neutrons to form atoms. Sound anything like what happens in a white dwarf - electrons free of their Parent Proton? The universe at this point is much more compact, and much hotter (like, say, a neutron star…). 3 mins after the big bang, electrons and protons are so hot that light isn’t even emitted. The universe is ‘dark.’ Dark universe, black hole, eh, eh, eh? Before this, electrons and protons can’t even be formed; it’s just a matter of quarks - no pun intended. Similar in nature, to what we might call a quark star, a very… quirky astrological body. All this time, our universe is getting smaller, smaller, smaller and that last jump, from quark star or what have you to singularity occurs rapidly, nigh instantly, a interval of rapid delation into a single point of infinite density, like that single point of infinite density in a black hole.

Coincidence?

Is this place we call the universe simply a black hole travelling backwards in time? Or is the similarity an artifact, resulting from the fact that similar theories have been used to describe and predict both black holes and the big bang?

Let us hope that we may know, sooner rather than later!

Einstein on God

This video features Richard Dawkins discussing the spiritual beliefs of Prof. Albert Einstein and how they have been a subject of willful misunderstanding.