Category Archives: Skepticism

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 | 4 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 | 5 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 | 58 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 | 22 Comments

Q: Will the world end in 2012?

Physicist: Firstly, happy new year! So, there’s been a lot of hoopla around 2012 doomsday stuff for a while.  Maybe not as much fuss as there was over the techno-apocalypse of Y2K, but still.  Although there are a variety of … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Paranoia, Probability, Skepticism | 11 Comments