“The Fermi Paradox: We’re pretty much screwed…” is an highly readable essay on, no surprise the fermi paradox, “Beyond its shocking science fiction component, The Fermi Paradox also leaves me with a deep humbling.”
updated research shows four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed. the culprit? a flawed economic system and vast consumption: “It’s clear the economic system is driving us towards an unsustainable future and people of my daughter’s generation will find it increasingly hard to survive. History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn’t change. That’s where we are today.”. so scientists are starting to sound a lot like that new yorker cartoon. see also, if everyone lived like an american how many earths would we need?
“More than evolution, more than inexhaustible arguments over God’s existence, the real fault line between science and religion runs through the nature of consciousness.” NYT
it’s easy to get numb to the drumbeat of articles on climate change with the same dire message that we’re nearing a point of no return and five minutes to midnight before “…fast running out time to avoid the catastrophic collapse of the natural systems on which human life depends.” and you forget that that message is as close to a generally accepted conservative scientific consensus as we’re going to get. out on the edge, the scenarios are much more dire. it’s terrible to imagine what we’ve done even if the truth lies somewhere in-between.
cosmologists are once again providing support to british geneticist and evolutionary biologist j. b. s. haldane aphorism that, “…my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” theorists are proposing that the big bang was a mirage from a collapsing 4th dimenensional star that created our 3D spatial universe which appears to be confoundingly uniform in all directions.
still no cure for cancer, but new research finds that bearded men are more attractive. now, some articles are running with the prove so-and-so wrong that my wooly mammoth beard is actually attractive angle but the original research shows that the effect peaks out at “heavy stubble” ( some old school web folks will be tremendously amused to see whose photo adorns the article in that last link ). so, if you’re feeling a little inadequate about not being able to grow one of those awesome hipster beards – don’t. and in quasi-related news, science proves, as with beards, bigger not always better in other areas.
six years after i started documenting my dislike of cilantro ( and here ) after learning i was not alone upon reading a boingboing post, they point to new research on the genetic basis for why cilantro-haters hate cilantro which is linked to a variation in a gene associated with our sense of smell. see also previous reports, “getting to the root of the great cilantro divide” and “cilantro haters, it’s not your fault”.