Stonehenge: Almost Definitely Not Built by Aliens

Stonehenge is one of prehistory's engineering marvels. Many of us picture it as a ruined circle of stone, associated with druids, all kinds of astronomical observations, and maybe even magic. Unfortunately, most of that image is probably inaccurate. Fortunately, though, there is plenty of evidence that Stonehenge was both important and impressive. One of the … Continue reading Stonehenge: Almost Definitely Not Built by Aliens

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Skeptical Science Theater 3000: Time Travel

Settle in for another episode of the critically acclaimed (OK, emphasis on critical) Skeptical Science Theater 3000! Will we ever invent it? What consequences might it have for the basic framework of cause and effect, the scientific method as we know it, and life itself? Today's topic: time travel!  Mechanical Engineer Husband (MEH): That was … Continue reading Skeptical Science Theater 3000: Time Travel

Science in Fiction: Kim Stanley Robinson and Living on Other Planets

You'll notice I didn't say "terraforming," even though that's what we usually think of in connection with human colonies beyond Earth. Really, there's a whole range of possibilities for how we might survive on other worlds, and only some of them involve remaking a whole planet. Usually I focus on one book, but this time … Continue reading Science in Fiction: Kim Stanley Robinson and Living on Other Planets

How We Mutate

A few months ago, I read an article explaining that geneticists have recently found an important difference between humans and octopi. They have eight limbs! Weird, huh? No, OK, the real discovery was that octopi and squids both adapt to their environment in a completely different way from humans. They can change physical characteristics quickly, … Continue reading How We Mutate