Elastic horizon

In The Religious Sense , Luigi Giussani quotes from the Italian mathematician Francesco Severi, an associate of Einstein: He “proclaimed that the more he immersed himself in scientific research, the more evident it became to him that all that he discovered, as he proceeded step by step, was a . . . . Continue Reading »

Faddish science

Randy Schekman won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine this year, but, according to the Economist , he used the moment in the spotlight “to announce that the laboratory he runs at the University of California, Berkeley, will boycott what he describes as ‘luxury . . . . Continue Reading »

Location, Location

Phones depend on locatability. Adam Fisher reports in the NYT that Google’s next step is to make everything locatble: “All of our stuff will know where it is and that awareness will imbue the real world with some of the power of the virtual. Your house keys will tell you that theyre . . . . Continue Reading »

My Name is Bond… .

British doctors have concluded that James Bond is an alcoholic . BBC reports: “Doctors in Derby and Nottingham sat down to read the 14 Bond novels in their spare time.With a notebook at hand they charted every day and every drink.Excluding the 36 days Bond was in prison, hospital or rehab, . . . . Continue Reading »

Un-Utopian Technology

Despite the Utopian hypes, Fred Turner points out ( From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism , 2-3) that there is nothing inherently revolutionary or leveling about computer technology. Sure, we all have our own devices, but . . . . Continue Reading »

Tossing the quantum dice

In a contribution to The Trinity and an Entangled World: Relationality in Physical Science and Theology , Anton Zeilinger illustrates the “entanglement” of quantum entities by imagining a popular future Christmas toy - the quantum dice: “If we throw the two dice, they will always . . . . Continue Reading »

Temporal all the way down

Rupert Sheldrake ( The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers , 110) summarizes the overlap between Whitehead’s philosophy and quantum physics: “There is no such thing as timeless matter. All physical objects are processes that have time within them, an . . . . Continue Reading »

Other Earths

The Economist reports on the findings of NASA’s Kepler telescope’s search for habitable planets: “The 833 new planets thus identified bring the total found by Kepler to 3,538. Technically these are only ‘candidate’ planets, whose presence is inferred by the tiny . . . . Continue Reading »

Historicizing nature

The rise of geohistory did not, argues Martin JS Rudwick in his (literally) massive Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution , produce a conflict of “Science” and “Religion.” That paradigm for understanding eighteenth-century . . . . Continue Reading »

Prophetic theory

Polanyi points out ( Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy , 5) that the Copernican system had implications that Copernicus himself never knew, but adds that Copernicus and everyone who committed himself to Copernican theory expected “an indefinite range of possible future . . . . Continue Reading »