Monday, February 18, 2019

Big Picture Science for Feb 18, 2019 - Radical Cosmology













Big Picture Science - Radical Cosmology

400 years ago, some ideas about the cosmos were too scandalous to mention. When the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno suggested that planets existed outside our Solar System, the Catholic Inquisition had him arrested, jailed, and burned at the stake for heresy.

Today, we have evidence of thousands of planets orbiting other stars.  Our discovery of extrasolar planets has dramatically changed ideas about the possibility for life elsewhere in the universe.

Modern theories about the existence of the ghostly particles called neutrinos or of collapsed stars with unfathomable gravity (black holes), while similarly incendiary, didn’t prompt arrest, of course.  Neutrinos and black holes were arresting ideas because they came decades before we had the means to prove their existence.

Hear about scientific ideas that came before their time and why extrasolar planets, neutrinos, and black holes are now found on the frontiers of astronomical research.

Guests:

Download podcast at - http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/radical-cosmology

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Big Picture Science for Feb 11, 2019 - Keeping Humans in the Loop












Big Picture Science - Keeping Humans in the Loop

Modern technology is great, but could we be losing control?  As our world becomes more crowded and demands for resources are greater, some people worry about humanity’s uncertain prospects.  An eminent cosmologist considers globe-altering developments such as climate change and artificial intelligence.  Will we be able to stave off serious threats to our future?

There’s also another possible source of danger: our trendy digital aids.  We seem all-too-willing to let algorithms classify and define our wants, our needs, and our behavior. Instead of using technology, are we being used by it – to inadvertently become social media’s product?

And while we may be skittish about the increased data our technology collects, one sci-fi writer imagines a future in which information is a pervasive and freely available commodity.

Guests:

Download podcast at: http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/keeping-humans-in-the-loop

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Big Picture Science for Feb 04, 2019 - Skeptic Check: Astrology Ascending












Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Astrology Ascending

The fault is in our stars.  And according to astrology, so is our destiny, our moods, and our character.  Mars may be in retrograde, but interest in the ancient practice of astrology is rising.  The fact that it is not science is irrelevant to those who claim “it works.”

Find out why “what’s your sign” is replacing “what do you do?” as an icebreaker, the historical roots of astrology and whether its truth-value matters today, and what conclusions we can draw from the many studies examining the full moon’s influence on human behavior.

It’s our monthly look at critical thinking, but don’t take our word for it!

Guests:

Download podcast at: http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/skeptic-check-astrology-ascending

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.