Category: Cosmology

Humbled by Pluto

After traveling 3.6 billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came within 7,700 miles of Pluto last week, sending us close-up images of that dwarf planet for the first time. The pictures shed new, surprising insight, including huge mountains likely made of water ice. There were also no impact craters on the surface of Pluto, indicating that the surface is (relatively) young. Another surprise was that…  [more]

Is civilization natural? A Christian answer

In a recent piece for NPR’s Cosmos & Culture blog, Adam Frank poses this question: is civilization natural? As Frank ponders the global effects of modern cities, he asks whether we need to reconceptualize standard dichotomies, such as city/country, built environment/wilderness and culture/nature. He notes that we commonly map key values onto this distinction as well, either exalting civilization as holding…  [more]

How the Cosmos reboot allows for religion

The original Cosmos television series is widely regarded as one of the most significant science events in TV history. Sunday night’s reboot attempted to live up to the hype. With the familiar face of Neil deGrasse Tyson at the helm, 10 networks simultaneously airing the show and President Barack Obama kicking the series off, the premiere episode got underway with great anticipation. The first show struck some…  [more]

How math illumines our infinite God

This is the time of year when anxious North American educators and policy makers get to do their math. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has just released its 2012 student survey results - which largely focus on a 15-year-old’s understanding of mathematics, reading and science - and the math numbers are troubling. Canada ranked 13th, while the United States placed 36th. While the…  [more]

Supernovas: birth, death and resurrection in the universe

It's that time of the year when we find ourselves thinking about stars. The ones we place on our Christmas trees, the ones glittering in storefront decorations and the one that led the Magi to Jesus. Our family nativity set didn't come with a star, but my daughter found a way to hang an ornament from a lamp above the manger. It's a bit unconventional, but it works. TC columnist John Van Sloten…  [more]

NASA’s canticle of the sun

We’re sending you into the weekend with something lighter – and we mean that literally. Earlier this week, NASA released a video compiling three years’ worth of continual observation of the sun in about three minutes. According to the agency, two images per day were used to create the video. NPR reported on the music used for the production – it’s “A Lady’s Errand of…  [more]

The Biggitude of God

One crystal-clear night during a recent family camping trip in the Colorado Rockies, my 4-year-old tilted his head back, gazed up at the sky and did something every kid tries sooner or later. He attempted to count the stars. He made it to nine before he gave up.  It was a valiant effort (for a 4-year-old). But in a recent blog post previewing David Blatner’s new book, Spectrums, NPR science…  [more]

Of gods and aliens

In a recent piece for NPR, Marcelo Gleiser wonders whether we would be able to “distinguish ultra-advanced aliens from gods,” an interesting question especially in light of the recent science-fiction blockbuster Prometheus. Gleiser points out that past human societies, upon encountering unfamiliar cultures with advanced technologies, have sometimes mistaken humans for divine. His example of choice is…  [more]

Prometheus and using God as a MacGuffin

Often referenced by Alfred Hitchcock when discussing filmmaking technique, a MacGuffin is an object that exists solely to set a movie’s plot in motion. The title statue of The Maltese Falcon is perhaps the most famous example. Prometheus, the new prequel to 1979’s Alien, has a MacGuffin too, and it’s God. Though the movie’s predecessor was an unassuming horror flick, Prometheus has…  [more]

Science, wonder and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

Science caught hold of me early on in life, as is often the case for those who go on to become professional scientists. But, as is also often the case, the science that first captured my childhood mind was markedly more fantastical than the science to which I am now devoted. That's not to say that science practiced is necessarily prosaic, but rather that it more often finds sources of wonder in the quotidian…  [more]

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

See the latest in: