Category Archives: Biology

Q: Which of Earth’s life forms could survive on each planet of the Solar System?

Physicist: We can feel fairly certain that no life from Earth can survive on the surface of any of the other planets. Mercury is really inhospitable.  Although there’s some water ice in craters near it poles, there’s very little hope … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Biology | 5 Comments

Q: Why are scientists looking for life in space by looking for water? How can they be sure that all life uses water?

The original question was:  I’m reading more and more lately about the findings of the Kepler satellite and that some scientists are estimating that roughly 5% of newly discovered planets in our galaxy may have mass similar to Earth, which … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Biology, Logic | 6 Comments

Q: If energy is neither created nor destroyed, what happens to the energy within our bodies and brains when we die?

Quick note: If you’re presently grieving, don’t read this. The original question was: If energy is neither created nor destroyed, what happens to the energy within our bodies and brains when we die?  I think I understand that the metabolic … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Biology, Physics, Skepticism | 84 Comments

Q: Are the brain and consciousness quantum mechanical in nature?

Physicist: The extremely short, smart-ass answer to this is: of course!  Ultimately everything in the universe is built out of tiny quantum things and ultimately everything obeys quantum mechanical laws.  But that’s not really the spirit of the question, and … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Philosophical, Physics, Quantum Theory | 9 Comments

Q: Do colors exist?

Physicist: Colors exist in very much the same way that art and love exist.  They can be perceived, and other people will generally understand you if you talk about them, but they don’t really exist in an “out in the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Biology, Philosophical | 15 Comments

Q: Is quantum randomness ever large enough to be noticed?

The original question was: …true randomness on a quantum level has experimentally been shown to exist.  My question is, does this quantum randomness ever/often/always bubble up to our readily observable world of Newtonian physics to create truly random everyday events? … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Biology, Physics, Quantum Theory | 5 Comments