Are we special? Using science and probability to reassess our place in the universe

The phrase “Copernicus principle” was invented to suggest the earth and the life upon it are common, occupying no significant status in the cosmos. Today this viewpoint dominates among scientists.

Later, Brandon Carter coined the term “anthropic principle” when asking why everything is just right at this time and place to support intelligent life capable of studying the universe. Continue reading “Are we special? Using science and probability to reassess our place in the universe”

Taradiddles

The old adage, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” deserves a corollary.  Power tends to dismiss its corruption, and absolute power dismisses its corruption absolutely.

I recently ran upon an academic online discussion that suggested to me just such a corollary needs to exist. While political power might be among the first arenas of abuse which pop to mind, this discussion revealed voices from within the halls of academia reflecting upon the popularizers of science. Continue reading “Taradiddles”

Tick, tock, tick, tock

For almost twenty-five years a wedding gift has hung in our hallway or living room. That battery powered wooden framed clock has marked the passage of seconds, minutes and hours for decades.

Such clocks are not the only ones. The earth is filled with many different types of clocks, some more accurate than others. Tides regularly wax and wane. Trees experience periods of rapid growth and then dormancy thus producing tree rings.

A new clock has been identified. From our mothers we inherit a slightly imperfect copy of her mitochondrial DNA. Experimentation has identified the rate at which human mitochondrial DNA mutates./1

Continue reading “Tick, tock, tick, tock”

Nature’s battery


by Barry Newton

If a scientist were to explain a battery’s functioning, he might say: “An oxidation reaction on the anode terminal releases electrons.”

Although physics and chemistry can explain how a common AA battery works, what would happen if we had never seen one before and we found one on an unknown island? Could science inform us about its origin? Continue reading “Nature’s battery”

Flaws in Creation?

by Barry Newton

I still remember the first time I read the allegation that our biological world was not merely clumsily cobbled together by evolutionary forces, but modern engineers could have designed better living systems. The assertion struck at the heart of the worldview asserting, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

One such attack comes from Kenneth Miller and Richard Dawkins, who contend that the vertebrate eye contains a functional flaw. Continue reading “Flaws in Creation?”