Category Archives: Skepticism

Q: How many times do you need to roll dice before you know they’re loaded?

Physicist: A nearly equivalent question might be “how can you prove freaking anything?”. In empirical science (science involving tests and whatnot) things are never “proven”.  Instead of asking “is this true?” or “can I prove this?” a scientist will often … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Experiments, Math, Philosophical, Skepticism | 2 Comments

Q: What are “delayed choice experiments”? Can “wave function collapse” be used to send information?

Physicist: There are a lot of big claims made about entanglement, but there are two carved-in-stone facts that help cut through some of the more grandiose claims.  First, (maximally) entangled states always act exactly like a perfectly random state, until … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Entropy/Information, Experiments, Philosophical, Physics, Probability, Quantum Theory, Skepticism | 5 Comments

Q: Will the world end tomorrow?

Physicist: Probably not.  Update to follow. Update (12/22/12): Nope.

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Skepticism | 3 Comments

Q: How much of a direct effect do planets and stars have on us? Is astrology reasonable or plausable?

Physicist: Of the four forces: gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear-strong, and nuclear-weak, only the first two, gravity and EM, affect things over distances (at least, over distances larger than an atomic nucleus).  So, if the planets and stars have any direct influence … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Experiments, Physics, Skepticism | 7 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 | 85 Comments

Q: Do you need faith to believe in science?

Mathematician: This question could mean a few different things, depending on what is meant by the word “faith.” Let’s start with the dictionary definitions. 1. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Skepticism | 23 Comments