I completely agree with Henry Gee’s review (below). I have a lot of respect for Brian Cox, but he is an astrophysicist not an evolutionary biologist and unfortunately this handsomely-produced documentary is worse than an empty vessel, it is a cracked one. “Exceptionalism” is scientifically nonsense, though valid in a more philosophical context. Claiming a species or phenomenon is “exceptional” begs the question of “why”. It is also unfalsifiable as it is reasonable to assume that other species like ours exist in the universe, but currently impossible to prove.
In the wake of recent flaps over personal data stored online,Sarah Dry considers the history and digitisation of Isaac Newton’s private papers
Henry Gee (a Senior Editor at Nature) has written in today’s Guardian on the awkward public status of science, stemming from an ongoing but worsening failure of the general public, the media and the political classes to understand how science really works. Jumbo jets, damp-proofing, the arch, plastic, moon landings and nuclear power – not to mention countless other modern achievements and taken-for-granted features of everyday life – owe their utility, reliability, ubiquity or even existence to science, in one form or another. As a result, we see the pronouncements of science in terms of absolute certainty, unquestionable fact, or “Truth”. Continue reading
Jeremy Paxman can be quite the pillock.
Tim Peake, the British astronaut who is due to spend six months on the Soyuz space station in 2015, became one of Jeremy Paxman’s least likely victims in a combative interview on Newsnight in which the presenter suggested that space travel was merely a waste of taxpayers’ money. “What’s the point?”, Paxo wearily asked. “You’re just drifting around, aren’t you?”.
How bizzare. Tragically, Paxman’s line of questioning and real-or-pretend ignorance probably does reflect the attitudes of many. John Crace has more fun with this as he imagines Paxo grilling Gandhi, Churchill, Berners-Lee and Mother Teresa.
The first ‘hard evidence’ that other universes exist has been found by scientists.
Cosmologists studying a map of the universe from data gathered by the Planck spacecraft have concluded that it shows anomalies that can only have been caused by the gravitational pull of other universes.
I don’t usually find my science news in The Daily Mail, but this is the first place I’ve seen this story. Hopefully a better, more in depth discussion of it will turn up soon.