PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe.
Woolly Mammoth, Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia.The first time Ben Novak saw a passenger pigeon, he fell to his knees and remained in that position, speechless, for 20 minutes. He was 16. At 13, Novak vowed to devote his life to resurrecting extinct animals.
Biology is wondrously strange – so familiar, yet so strikingly different to physics and chemistry. We know where we are with inanimate matter. Ever since Isaac Newton, it has answered to a basically mechanical view of nature, blindly following its laws without regard for purposes.
Since time immemorial, humans have been captivated by water. And the reasons go beyond evolution I’m standing on a pier at the Outer Banks of North Carolina, fifty feet above the Atlantic. To the left and right, forward, back, and below, all I can see is ocean.
An MIT physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire lifelike physical properties. Why does life exist?
With the Hollywood blockbuster Transcendence playing in cinemas, with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman showcasing clashing visions for the future of humanity, it's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction.
Though galaxies look larger than atoms and elephants appear to outweigh ants, some physicists have begun to suspect that size differences are illusory.
Great surprises in science don’t just happen–they’re engineered.
Coffee cools, buildings crumble, eggs break and stars fizzle out in a universe that seems destined to degrade into a state of uniform drabness known as thermal equilibrium.
For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once.
In less than five milliseconds, a Hydromantes salamander can launch its tongue—including the muscles, cartilage, and part of its skeleton—out of its mouth to snag a hapless insect mid-flight. Among amphibians, it is the quick draw champ.
MODERN MEDICINE CLUTCHES at a number of dreams. Some, like developing an AIDS vaccine, can seem tantalizingly close. Others, like curing cancer, have frustrated so many minds for so many years that we’ve learned to temper our expectations. Then there’s regeneration.