Author posts

What happened before the Big Bang?

Asking science to determine what happened before time began is like asking, "Who were you before you were born?"

The incredible story of Wu Hsin and Roy Melvyn

Must a religious story be confirmed as a true fact to be effective and inspiring?

Aliens are a mirror to humanity

Aliens symbolize the best and worst of humanity. When we dream of aliens, we are pondering our future selves.

A big lesson from the ‘Oumuamua alienware controversy

Scientists should be cautious when expressing an opinion based on little more than speculation.

From the bowels of the earth to the sky: Rethinking civilization growth

A revolution of the mind must occur in order for humanity to succeed on a finite planet.

Does science tell the truth?

It is impossible for science to arrive at ultimate truths, but functional truths are good enough.

Could muons point to new physics?

New data have set the particle physics community abuzz.

COVID vaccine: Where does freedom end and civic duty begin?

Instead of insisting that we remain "free from" government control, we should view taking vaccines and wearing masks as a "freedom to" be a moral citizen who protects the lives of others.

Can humans travel through wormholes in space?

Two new studies examine ways we could engineer human wormhole travel.

Did Einstein believe in God?

Here's what Einstein meant when he spoke of cosmic dice and the "secrets of the Ancient One".

Individual action can stop climate change. How? Environmental herd immunity.

If more people decide to apply pressure through their choices, slowly but surely we would reach climate change herd immunity.

When does an idea die? Plato and string theory clash with data

How long should one wait until an idea like string theory, seductive as it may be, is deemed unrealistic?

Why science denial and science negation are different

Surprising as it may seem, we are all very good at denial. Negation, however, is a different phenomena.

One year of COVID-19: What will we learn?

Pandemics have historically given way to social revolution. What will the post-COVID revolution be?

The way we teach science misses something key: Human context

Why do we deprive students of the historical and cultural context of science?

When worldviews collide: Why science needs to be taught differently

Science doesn't exist in a cultural and existential vacuum and its teaching shouldn't either.

13.8: Why we’re here

Welcome to the 13.8 relaunch, a new Big Think column led by physicists and friends Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser.

I wonder as I wander

Why we need sacred places.

Is big business finding a soul?

Changing times demand changing leadership principles.

Tangible pervasiveness

Matter can indeed sprout out of nothingness, causing the universe to expand.

Mind vs. matter

If the materialistic view alone can't explain the mind, then what?

Who—or what—caused the first cause?

Archetypes of creation and the origin of all things.

Cut, paste, life

Unnatural Selection and the thrilling, terrifying possibilities of genetic editing.

How a future Nobel Winner inspired me

A close encounter with cosmologist James Peebles encouraged me in my scientific career.

A world covered with blood

The Red Planet, the God of War, and important life lessons for us all.

“It became like a God”

For now, artificial intelligence is nothing to fear. But as it rapidly develops in the years ahead?

Expansive questions

Our first “Ask a Scientist" feature is all about the ever-growing universe.

Interstellar time machines

Objects coming into our solar system have an origins story to tell.

The game of the gods

From Newton to today's scientists, we're only seeing part of the story unfold.

Enough with all the science denial!

We trust science more than we even realize, and yet we're quick to reject it. Why?

Probing reality the human way

Can we ever be really sure we've learned everything about nature?

What will it take?

Just how much do we need to damage the earth before we change our ways?

The disconnect

Our antipathy toward the natural world is bad. But it's not too late to change.

Planetary lottery

Any other Earths out there?

Moon frenzy

Why are so many nations scrambling to get there?

The trouble with tribalism

For eons, belonging to a tribe was essential for survival. But today?

A giant leap for mankind

Apollo 11's moon landing inspired many to reach for the impossible.

Brilliant minds

Remembering a 1972 symposium gathering of the world's greatest physicists.

The weirdness of light

The strange history of figuring out how light gets around.

Running for good

Around the world, more people are on the run, and that's a healthy trend.

Curiosity and short-sightedness

Templeton Prize winner Marcelo Gleiser on knowledge, the endless frontier.

A journey of darkness and light

On the eve of receiving the Templeton Prize, Marcelo Gleiser reflects on his life.

Running wild

Why I put my body through such grueling tests of endurance.

Killing ourselves

By wiping out 1 million species, we are hastening our own extinction.


Why the origin of the universe teaches us humility.

Experience necessary

You can't do pure science independent of human experience.

No such thing as “now”

The present? Blink and you'll miss it. And other musings on time.

Have aliens been here?

Scientists are highly skeptical, but such “cosmic wanderlust" isn't a bad thing.

Expecting the unexpected

Why we must build large particle accelerators.

The fate of determinism

Science nails the coffin of determinism shut. Maybe.

What’s the deal with free will?

Some experts say there's no such thing. I choose to believe there likely is.

I think, therefore I am. I think.

Digging deeper into the mystery of the brain, soul, and consciousness.

The future Is now

Your new year's resolutions should benefit not just yourself, but the whole planet.

Chasing the star of Bethlehem

Was it a real thing? And the Wise Men? Or are they just myths?

Voyager 2 goes interstellar

The NASA probe has ventured beyond our solar system.

In search of other life

The Mars landing is a reminder that we never know what—or whom—we might discover out there.

The cosmos for millennials

A new book tells the very old story in a fun way for a younger generation.

In the beginning . . . what?

To explain the origin of everything, science needs to explain itself.

Mind and the quantum

A clash of mysteries.

Are we alone in the galaxy?

Chances are we have neighbors somewhere in the Milky Way.

Good or evil?

When science and ethics collide.

Fear of the future: A world gone M.A.D.

Are we standing on the brink of Mutually Assured Destruction?

Life glows on

Finding balance in an age of smartphones, selfies, and imagined stardom.

Paranormal activity: A personal story

Some things in life just can't be explained. And that's okay.

Peering deeper into the cosmos

Multi-messenger astronomy further widens our window to the universe.

The beauty of the unknowably imperfect

Fundamental physics must reconsider its current path and value system.

Science and the spiritual void

What I learned in a busy Brazilian bus terminal.

Theoretical physics: Bad science?

Sabine Hossenfeder has some problems with how it's practiced today.

You need to fail. Here’s why.

Without it, there's no such thing as a full life.

Meet the parents. All 3 of them.

Thanks to genetic engineering, a child can now have three parents. But is it a good idea?

The myth of the mad scientist

Most of us show humility in the face of Nature as we flirt with the unknown.