A Bucketful of Worlds

It's raining planets. Members of the science team for NASA's Kepler telescope announced the tentative discovery of more than 1,200 worlds orbiting distant stars. Of these, approximately four dozen are candidates for being Earth's doppelgangers.

America's "Can't Do" Attitude

Today's youth are building new things. Look at Facebook or Google. But maybe that's a problem: too many of them are.

Time for Astrology to Sign Out

I'll believe in horoscopes the day I can describe my personality to an astrologer, and they tell me what date I was born.

Alien Vaporware

According to a story posted at Examiner, scientists have found three objects the size of Delaware entering the solar system. This is clearly a hoax. But these tales are more than a nuisance -- there's a certain amount of damage done by crying wolf.

When One Big Bang Is Not Enough

Two teams of scientists in the U.K. are claiming to have uncovered actual evidence that our universe has interacted with others.

Life, But Not As We Know It

The import of the discovery of a new arsenic-based microbe is that finding life as we don't know it will give us a better shot at testing for biology on worlds that are, both by definition and in fact, truly alien.

The Lugubrious Universe

Allan Sandage died this month at age 84. While not generally known by the public, Sandage was legendary among those who study the sky, and beyond.

Living Forever Is Not a Good Idea

I used to be a big fan of living forever. Since humans have gone beyond basic biology, I thought, why not re-engineer ourselves for a lifetime without an end point? Well, it turns out there are problems -- beyond the tedium of boorish men.

Are We a Biological Miracle?

A generous slice of the citizenry thinks we might be the cleverest creatures in the Milky Way. But the suggestion that we're a special case makes me uneasy. It implies our existence is a miracle, and after all, miracles are science's last resort.

Bye Bye to a Lovely Planet

A new analysis suggests Gliese 581g, the first world found in deep space that might sport an environment comparable to our own, is an apparition -- a planet conjured into existence by other researchers' faulty interpretation of noisy data.


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