Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof

“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” –Dream Hampton Perhaps no word in the English language generates as much misunderstanding as the word theory. In scientific circles, this word has a very specific meaning that’s different from everyday use, and — as a theoretical … Read moreAsk Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof

Most Scientific Theories Are Wrong

“There could be no fairer destiny for any physical theory than that it should point the way to a more comprehensive theory in which it lives on as a limiting case.” –Albert Einstein Imagine: you’ve worked hard all your life, through your primary and secondary school education, where you worked hard to get into a … Read moreMost Scientific Theories Are Wrong

Weekend Diversion: Against Scientific Racism

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” –Frederick Douglass I thought we were past this, I really did. Having grown up in New York, having lived in eight different states and traveled to 39 … Read moreWeekend Diversion: Against Scientific Racism

What is this all about?

“You don’t use science to show that you’re right, you use science to become right.” –Randall of xkcd In January of 2008, I began writing this blog, Starts With A Bang, both for myself and for all of you, because we all have something in common. The same planet, the same heavens, the same laws of nature and the … Read moreWhat is this all about?

Brain-damaged arguments and Boltzmann Brains

Okay, so I got a question from my friend Tamara, who’s a high school teacher in my hometown of New York City. It concerns a recent article she read on the front page of the New York Times about something funny that us scientists are calling Boltzmann Brains. I’ve read this article three times since … Read moreBrain-damaged arguments and Boltzmann Brains