In his Big Think interview, Freeman Dyson gladly discusses nearly the entire twentieth century: both its wonders (including almost miraculous advances in physics) and its horrors (for which, he says, science must accept part of the blame). Just don't ask him to speculate too much about the century ahead—particularly when it comes to the environment. Dyson, who has ruffled feathers by taking a more cautious stance on global warming
than many of his colleagues, maintains that we can't predict climate changes decades in advance, and that it's "absurd" to try.
Answering his critics on the issue, the celebrated scientist says that the controversy "doesn't disturb [him] at all." In fact, he welcomes it. Although he believes that human activity is changing the climate, he points out that "it could very well be the climate gets colder. Nobody knows"—and believes that scaremongering predictions only prevent our taking realistic steps to address potential problems.
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Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.
- A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
- The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
- All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.
- An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
- Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
- Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and things that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way.".
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