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Are we future-positive or future-negative? When we look out at the world today—at its strange combination of human wonders and atrocities, overlaid as they are atop the natural and integrated beauty of the earth itself—the question of what will happen next is not easy to answer.
The earth’s geological record attests to various mass extinctions that have taken place over the ages. But since the advent of the nuclear age, we can bring about our own extinction. Will we cross that line?
What happens to eyesight when you live in darkness? A tiny fish serves as a metaphor for the material-spiritual divide that has set science and religion at odds with one another.
Despite recent positive changes in some of the world’s enormous fisheries, the problems of overfishing and habitat destruction remain very real threats to the survival of global marine resources. But if humankind was given “dominion” over Earth and its bounty, aren’t we just exercising our God-given rights?
As world leaders gather again in Rio de Janeiro for a follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit, the world doesn’t seem much closer to attaining the sustainability goals set out at that time. Will Rio+20 produce the results they’re hoping for?
Ever since Edwin Hubble’s discovery of the expansion of the universe in
1929, astronomers have sought an answer to a most basic question: How
long ago did the universe begin expanding? To determine an answer, one
must know the rate of expansion, a value called the Hubble constant (H0).
As the United Nations pegs October 31, 2011, as the date when human population passes 7 billion, we can expect increasingly strident calls for a deep evaluation of our planetary role.
Scientists are turning the cosmos upside down in their search for a unifying Theory of Everything. But there’s one place most of them won’t look.
In The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, journalist Charles Fishman reintroduces the reader to life’s most precious resource—water.
Do we understand and appreciate one of our most basic natural resources—the soil that sustains life itself? Vision interviews Deborah Koons Garcia.
It is commonly said that the Bible can be divided into thirds: history, instruction and prophecy.
Technology has made information ever more easily accessible. The question is, can we continue to process the endlessly increasing load?
Ignoring economic icebergs in pursuit of limitless growth is foolish. Like the Titanic, this ship is not unsinkable.
Science and Environment A Universal Universe Winter 2012 Issue The following excerpt from The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Change the World by Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack sets out their very optimistic hopes of unifying humanity
Every culture, tribe and religion seems to have its own story about the origins of life and of the universe itself. Today scientists hope to bridge the divides with a unifying story of their own.
We can learn from our mistakes. Recognizing and correcting errors, and the sources of errors, can help us avoid future errors.
The United Nations has declared 2011 the International Year of Chemistry. While the world celebrates a century of scientific progress, we have to ask how our dreams of a synthetic utopia might end.
Stanford symposium “Connecting the Dots” looks for connections between agriculture, energy and the environment as we anticipate another 2 billion mouths to feed in the years ahead.
April 26 marks the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in history. It’s a good time to revisit our individual and collective responsibilities regarding the energy sources we all depend on.
The irony in the timing of the disaster that crippled Japan’s nuclear reactors is not lost on those who have been planning for years to remember the victims of Chernobyl.
Gaylord Nelson was instrumental in establishing the first Earth Day which was held on April 22, 1970.
The topic of stem cells usually elicits a two-sided reaction pitting the moral question of using human embryos for research against the potential of such research for curing disease. But now there is a third side to the stem-cell coin. It is called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).
What is it about human beings that makes us always want to push the limits? When it comes to the frontiers of medical science, is it possible to go too far?
Popular references to our planet as Mother Earth, and to the natural forces that govern it as Mother Nature, bring to mind the ancient earth goddess Gaia. But they don’t come close to describing the true nature of our relationship with the earth.
How the universe came into existence continues to intrigue—and baffle—cosmologists, whose ever-evolving theories are still far from revealing definitive answers. Can anyone ever know how it all really began?
Although it does not now have the weightiness of September 11, 2001—clearly a date on which the world changed—May 20, 2010, may one day be known as another key marker, a hinge of history in terms of the human control of life.
At the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the earth’s nearly seven billion inhabitants were asked to ponder our individual and communal conduct. Is humanity’s current course sustainable?
Hatched in a world that generally acknowledged the need for God, if only as a First Cause, how did Darwin’s theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest become today’s dominant worldview?
Like a newly discovered celebrity, the Mayan Calendar’s 2012 phenomenon is taking hold—first with a notable documentary in 2008 and accompanying book, 2012 Science or Superstition, in 2009 (both published by the Disinformation Company) and also with the recent major Hollywood release, 2012.
Through six editions Darwin continued to pepper Origin of Species with purposeful language. He certainly had ample opportunity to alter some passages, but he did not. Darwin rightly recognized the plasticity of variation and the necessity of an adaptive process; to insist, however, that he did not harbor some small hope that he was wrong about the purpose of creation seems to be more a catering to one’s own interests rather than his.
Even if one accepts the big-bang model on faith, obvious questions come to mind for most people: What came before the big bang?
What is humankind’s intended relationship to the Earth? Unfortunately, misinterpretation of the initial instructions given to the first humans has led to widely diverging views, and with devastating results.
Beginning with Project Ozma in 1960, and for the last 25 years through SETI, Frank Drake has spearheaded the quest to hear from other intelligent beings in the universe.
Our planet shows increasing signs of succumbing to the assault we and our technologies have launched. Although there’s no shortage of far-out ideas on how technology can also help fix the problem, including finding a new planet in case we break this one, the real solution lies close to home.
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first extraterrestrial steps for mankind. When the lunar module Eagle landed, its touchdown represented the decade-long collective efforts of thousands of laborers in dozens of industries.
Like a nighttime soap opera, the dramatic search for another earth added a new episode in April. Corresponding to the 39th anniversary of Earth Day in the United States, astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced their discovery of a small, apparently Earth-like planet orbiting the star Gliese 581.
Although at times we all wonder, “Why am I here?” and “What is the meaning of my life?” these questions of individual purpose arise from a larger crisis of identity. It is not a question of one man’s identity; it is the problem of mankind’s identity. What are we? Why are we here?
The Intelligent Design versus Evolution battle again comes to the fore with the release of the Ben Stein film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
This table outlines a few fundamental observations of cosmology, accompanied by interpretations of each one according to the standard (big bang) view and the alternative view.
The most confounding question that arises from the big bang theory is a simple one: if the big bang is the origin of the universe, what happened before? Doesn't an origin event, however one eventually describes it, still require a cause?
Our age is a unique and exciting one: we now possess the means of exploring many of the great questions of our place in the universe. But will we find the answers we’re looking for?
Evidence for this picture of an expanding universe has been gathered over the last century. But while we might view this model as a product of modern scientific investigation combined with mathematical theory, it seems as if Edgar Allan Poe knew it all before its time and wrote all the notes that we now play.
There is not a much bigger question than “Where did the universe come from?” and the theory of origins called the “big bang” has become the dominant answer to that most fundamental question. But giving the event a name simply frames a new question: What happened before the big bang?
Life patenting research issues.
Arguments in favor of life patenting.
Darwinian philosophy today controls the educational and scientific communities and influences most other aspects of society just as inflexibly and stiflingly as did Aristotelian philosophy in Catholic Europe during the days of Galileo. The reach of Darwinian ideas into our lives is nothing short of amazing.
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