“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
“I think one of the reasons that we like conspiracy theories is I think that we like to feel like there is a group of people who are so smart and powerful that they can pull the wool over an entire country or in fact even an entire world’s eyes. That certainly makes us feel … Read moreWeekend Diversion: Which type of conspiracy theorist are you?
Farnsworth: “There is it. The edge of the Universe!” Fry: “Far out. So there’s an infinite number of parallel Universes?” Farnsworth: “No, just the two.” Fry: “Oh, well, I’m sure that’s enough.” Bender: “I’m sick of parallel Bender lording his cowboy hat over me!” –Futurama Our existence here in this Universe is something that we … Read moreAre Parallel Universes Real?
“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
“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” –Max Planck Tomorrow morning, at 8 AM my time, the press conference that cosmologists have spent the past decade waiting for will finally happen, and the Planck satellite — the … Read moreWhat Everyone Should Know about the Universe on the eve of Planck
“When I say, ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand … Read moreFor the love of science
“I asked the Zebra, are you black with white stripes? Or white with black stripes? And the zebra asked me, Are you good with bad habits? Or are you bad with good habits? Are you noisy with quiet times? Or are you quiet with noisy times? Are you happy with some sad days? Or are … Read moreQuantum Reality
“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” –Niels Bohr What’s going to happen next? It’s perhaps the most important thing to know if we want to be prepared for practically anything in our lives. And without even thinking about it, most of us are actually very good at this in a huge number … Read moreThe Science of Predicting the Future
“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?” –Stephen Hawking After a long search spanning more than my entire lifetime (so far), the Higgs boson has finally been … Read moreNow that we've got the Higgs, what's next?
“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?