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.

Burn the Bookcases!

We may be the last generation to festoon our offices with paper, sewn and glued up into one-pound data packets called books.

A Planet Someone Might Call Home

Researchers using the Keck telescope in Hawaii have found a planet that could, at least in principle, be awash in oceans and blanketed with an atmosphere. Mind you, this isn't Earth's identical twin.

Join the Galactic Church?

What if we found extraterrestrials, and discovered that they were religious? Would that prompt religious people us to toss out a few millennia of deistic doctrine and join ET's faith?


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