Scientific Potpourri (August 9, 2013): Exploding Stars, Quantum Gravity and Oatmeal Bubbles


Here are some top stories from astronomy, cosmology and evolutionary biology from the past week:

First 100,000 Years of Our Universe.   From Science Daily:  Mystery fans know that the best way to solve a mystery is to revisit the scene where it began and look for clues. To understand the mysteries of our universe, scientists are trying to go back as far they can to the Big Bang. A new analysis of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation data by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has taken the furthest look back through time yet — 100 years to 300,000 years after the Big Bang — and provided tantalizing new hints of clues as to what might have happened.

Exploding Star from 12 Billion Years Ago Sheds Light on Previously Invisible Galaxy.   From Science Daily:  More than 12 billion years ago a star exploded, ripping itself apart and blasting its remains outward in twin jets at nearly the speed of light. At its death it glowed so brightly that it outshone its entire galaxy by a million times. This brilliant flash traveled across space for 12.7 billion years to a planet that hadn’t even existed at the time of the explosion — our Earth. By analyzing this light, astronomers learned about a galaxy that was otherwise too small, faint and far away for even the Hubble Space Telescope to see.

Black Holes + Wormholes = Quantum Answers.  From NPR’s 13.7 Blog: If physicists had a holy grail it would go by the name of Quantum Gravity.  For 60 years researchers have been searching for a way to unite the very large and the very small into a single coherent theory. But for all their efforts, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity — which describes the Universe at large scales — simply won’t play nice with quantum physics — the all-encompassing vision of the micro-world. But the appearance of a remarkable new idea is raising eyebrows, and hopes, around the world. Maybe, just maybe, a new clue to the most fundamental of fundamental theories has been found.

Genetic Adam and Eve Did Not Live Too Far Apart in Time.  From Nature:  The Book of Genesis puts Adam and Eve together in the Garden of Eden, but geneticists’ version of the duo — the ancestors to whom the Y chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA of today’s humans can be traced — were thought to have lived tens of thousands of years apart. Now, two major studies of modern humans’ Y chromosomes suggest that ‘Y-chromosome Adam’ and ‘mitochondrial Eve’ may have lived around the same time after all.

New Fossil Sheds Light on Evolution of Earliest Mammals.  From Science Daily: A newly discovered fossil reveals the evolutionary adaptations of a 165-million-year-old proto-mammal, providing evidence that traits such as hair and fur originated well before the rise of the first true mammals. The biological features of this ancient mammalian relative, named Megaconus mammaliaformis, are described by scientists from the University of Chicago in the August 8 issue of Nature.

Is Our Understanding of Evolution Wrong?  From Science News Blog:  Our understanding of how animals on the planet evolved may be wrong, according to scientists at the University. In a new paper, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, evolutionary biologists from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form. Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.

Are these craters on the Moon formed by asteroid impact or an internal "oatmeal bubble" process?

Are these craters on the Moon formed by asteroid impact or an internal “oatmeal bubble” process?

Are the the Pockmarks on the Moon Formed by Impact Craters or Internal Pressures?  From Anacephalaeosis Blog:  Scientist, theoretician and friend of this blog Erik Andrulis discusses his theory that the indentations on the Moon, Mercury and other celestial bodies are not formed by the impact of asteroid hits but from internal processes of the celestial body.  Erik uses the analogy to the marks formed by oatmeal bubbles.

Bringing Light to a Halt; Scientists Freeze Motion of Light for a Minute.  From Science News:   Physicists in Darmstadt have been able to stop something that has the greatest possible speed and that never really stops: light. About a decade ago, physicists stopped it very for just a moment. In recent years, this extended towards stop times of a few seconds for simple light pulses in extremely cold gases and special crystals. But now the researchers at Darmstadt extended the possible duration and applications for freezing the motion of light considerably.


About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog ( explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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10 Responses to Scientific Potpourri (August 9, 2013): Exploding Stars, Quantum Gravity and Oatmeal Bubbles

  1. irishsignora says:

    That is a great wealth of morning reading about the majesty and mystery of creation, sir – many thanks! Peace be with you – Kelly

  2. Donna says:

    Oatmeal bubbles–great human touch to a scientific phenomenon. Love it!

    • Erik Andrulis says:

      Hi Donna, glad you like it; it’s the perfect and experimentally verifiable explanation for the formation of the craters that exist throughout the cosmic realm.

  3. Erik Andrulis says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, Teilhard! Peace, Ik

  4. I love how the imagery we seemed to have chosen for each of our posts today touch on the power of light (and light’s energy)–it’s just that your exploding star smacks my little oculous of the Pantheon off the page 🙂 blessing Willian

    • LOL! Your oculous was a real picture with your camera while mine was a (hopefully) legal use of a picture from a website :-). Like Teilhard de Chardin, I am drawn to images of fire and energy, which I have a disproportionate amount of images of stars and the Sun. I lack your both artistic and photography skills for something better 🙂


    I do hope I can clearly get my points across without too much confusion.

    Let us start with a ball and place it in front of a mirror. We all know that a mirror is absolutely bound by only two dimensions; height and width.
    The ball’s reflection takes up a particular AREA of the mirror. In other words, it’s reflection DISPLACES a given AREA. It will do so as long as there is nothing else in the way.
    Thus, the second dimension is simply an IMAGE of the third dimension. Think about this for a minute before going deeper into my thoughts.
    Now remember, if the second dimension had intelligence, it could neither see the third dimension nor fathom such a thing; because it has two dimensional eyes and two dimensional thinking.
    Well we are in the same boat…we do not have 4th dimensional eyes nor 4th dimensional thinking.
    The “why?” it seems to me, is that we are simply an image of the 4th dimension. To put it another way, we are a three dimensional mirror.
    I will not pretend to understand nor visualize the concept of how the 4th dimension appears or functions; but I believe it makes clear to me what GRAVITY really is.
    Depending upon the VOLUME, not the mass of an object a certain amount of the 4th dimension is being DISPLACED, which we define as GRAVITY.
    EXAMPLE: When something is placed into water, it receives water pressure in accordance to it’s volume; not it’s mass. Although Jupiter is very large, it’s mass is not so great, but it’s gravity is greater than that of Earth….because of the greater VOLUME.
    To my thinking, it appears there is a parallel between the two examples.
    The more I think of the relationship of the 4th Dimension and gravity the more I believe it is, to us, the Spiritual realm.
    And with hints from the Bible, I believe it is divided up into what the Bible calls “Principalities.” The Bible tells us there is a Spiritual war going on with Principalities
    To me, I believe they are on different levels. Heaven is the highest level, which we are told in the Bible as having the “Third Heaven.”
    Having the 4th dimension surrounding us, it seems clear to me that those in the 4th dimension have the ability to cause unexplained things happening among us. Example, again from the Bible, we see that Enoch was taken up and never seen again. Also, think of how Phillip was suddenly transported hundreds of miles after baptizing the Ethiopian prince.
    Then there are those who have ESP and others who have foreknowledge of a future happening. These are unexplainable to us who are ruled by the 3rd Dimension.
    Then again we look at Peter being released from his iron shackles, blind folded and being walked out of prison. These things do not happen in the 3D world we live in. Jesus, Himself was translated in and out of the 3rd Dimension.
    This also could be the explanation for UFO’s and crop circles, but I will leave all of what I’ve just said for you to use your own imaginations while you consider people that have visions and out of body experiences.
    That could give you some hours of dream-like adventures within your own minds.
    I admit I’m an old man (81), but my “thinker” still works on a daily basis helping me to learn something new every day causing my motto to be: Always The Student”

    Please give me your opinion: Richard Carlson…1514 Ambrose Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224 E-mail address: Thanks for your participation.

    • Richard:

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your analogy of the ball and mirror is very helpful. I have held the view that the spiritual realm consists of different dimensions of existence (the 4th dimension or more), which is very close to what you stated. I really appreciate you stopping by this blog and would love to hear your further thoughts on this and other matters.

      W. Ockham

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