Richard Dawkins – A Short Introduction

Richard Dawkins is considered by many to be ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ of the modern day, the title given to Thomas Huxley for his strong advocacy of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Clinton Richard Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1941 and moved to England at the age of eight. His early childhood experiences of the bare natural life of Kenya were potent in his choosing the career of a biologist. Read More →

NASA Glenn Event to Celebrate John Glenn’s Legacy

NASA’s Glenn Research Center will host an event on March 2 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s orbital flight, the first by an American.

“Celebrating John Glenn’s Legacy: 50 Years of Americans in Orbit” will be held at 1 p.m. EST at Cleveland State University‘s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. More than 800 complimentary tickets are being distributed to the general public for this event through a lottery by Cleveland State University in partnership with NASA Glenn.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Glenn Director Ramon “Ray” Lugo will provide remarks during the one-hour program, which will include a welcome from Cleveland State University President Dr. Ronald Berkman. Space shuttle mission STS-95 pilot Steve Lindsey will pay tribute from the astronaut corps to Glenn. The program will culminate with a keynote address by the guest of honor Sen. John H. Glenn Jr.

Musical performances will be provided by the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Singing Angels and a soloist from Cleveland State University’s music program. Doors open at noon and a special pre-program musical performance by the Cleveland Institute of Music will begin at 12:15 p.m., followed by a video tribute to Glenn.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the achievements of John Glenn,” Lugo said. “We are delighted to combine the 50th anniversary celebration with the anniversary of the center renaming. The inspiration that John Glenn gives to millions of people along with the pioneering spirit that lives in the hearts of all who work at the center will continue to keep our nation on the path of exploration and discovery.”

On March 1, 1999, the Lewis Research Center was officially renamed the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in recognition of Glenn’s contributions to science, space and the state of Ohio. As one of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Glenn trained in 1960 at Lewis in the Multiple Axis Space Test Inertia Facility.

Others attending the tribute event include agency officials, Ohio astronauts, NASA employees and contractors, elected officials, several hundred high school students throughout northeast Ohio, and 100 Twitter followers selected to participate in a day-long Tweetup event that includes tours of NASA Glenn and its visitor center at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Following the program, Glenn, Bolden and Lugo will participate in a news media opportunity and question and answer session with the Tweetup participants. Reporters interested in covering the program and media availability should contact Lori Rachul at 216-433-8806 by noon on Thursday, March 1.

The program and media opportunity will be carried live on NASA Television and streamed online at:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

An interactive online feature about the Mercury program and Glenn’s flight is available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/glenn50

For more information about NASA Glenn, visit:

http://www.grc.nasa.gov

Source: NASA

Claudius Ptolemy- Great Astronomer or Plagiarist?

Many amateur astronomers today may not even recognize the name of Claudius Ptolemy, but the field of astronomy owes this man’s work a huge thank you. That is… according to some scholars. Others, however, think he was nothing more than a common thief.

His work, Almagest, is the oldest surviving star chart. In his 13 volume work Ptolemy puts forward a mathematical model to fit his observational data that was much more sophisticated than any known at that time. Almagest still holds the record for the longest used scientific text ever. Almagest was considered so important that the text was translated into Arabic 500 years after it was written. The translated book was found in the great libraries of Cordova and Toledo, Spain. Many consider Claudius Ptolemy one of the greatest astronomers of history.Ptolemy’s theory saw the earth as the center of the universe. All of calculations of how the planets moved were based on this fact. Read More →

The Extraterrestrial Debate Rages On

Sigh…another day, another research paper trying to convince the world that we are alone in the universe…

I came across a post last night on The Daily Galaxy discussing a paper that was published last summer by David Spiegel with Princeton University and Edwin Turner with the University of Tokyo entitled, Bayesian analysis of the astrobiological implications of life’s early emergence on Earth.

PDF Download HERE.

Jeez, where to begin? Read More →

Unidentified Future Objects?

The current model of physics, far from outlawing time travel, stipulates that it could be theoretically possible in a variety of different ways. It was Albert Einstein who first discovered the curious phenomenon of time dilation, in which time progresses more slowly at extremely high velocities. Since then, many scientists have injected their input into the debate. One of the most respected of these is Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking, who once stated that: “If time travel were possible, we’d already be inundated by tourists from the future.” Perhaps Hawking is more right than he even realized when he made the comment. Read More →

Human Cloning and Space Colonization

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Could cloning and genetic engineering improve our chances of successful space colonization in the future? For example, what if we identified an exoplanet that is capable of sustaining life and sent frozen embryos on a 10,000 year journey to the planet where they would hatch(?) upon reaching the destination planet? Or perhaps genetic engineering will be required so that humans can evolve to survive life in space or on exoplanets (i.e. longevity, adaptability, etc.). Is this something that is worthy of further examination? Let’s briefly examine the process of cloning today and then decide. Read More →

Science and Faith: Are They Mortal Enemies?

There is no denying that there have been times when science and religion have been in conflict. Particularly in Western society, it appears that Science and the Christian faith are often pitted against one another. Read More →