Category Archives: Science

Back To the Old Drawing Board

Over the transom today from our commenter Henry: an article about the failure of nature to deliver the heavy particles that physicists have been predicting for decades. One possible explanation: perhaps the world is simply odder than we can imagine. Related content from Sphere


Some science items for today: With race front and center in every news cycle, it’s good to be prepared for encounters with those who insist that race is “only a social construct” (many of whom also spend all their waking hours totting up accounts of how one race is doing compared to another). Readers of […]

On Genetics and Intelligence

From Stephen Hsu’s blog, here’s a video of an hour-long panel discussion with Dr. Hsu, Steven Pinker, and Dalton Conley on the subject of genetic engineering and the heritability of human traits, particularly intelligence. This topic is a minefield in the West, and so great care is taken, and necessary pieties uttered — and some […]

Energy Is Life

I’ve mentioned the fossil-fuels advocate Alex Epstein several times in these pages, most recently back on April 13th. Here he is making his case last week before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Note in particular the odious, and evidently wholly unlettered, Senator Barbara Boxer mocking Mr. Epstein (at 7:20, and again at the […]

Schrödinger’s Trout?

Our reader Henry has sent us this interesting item, in which we learn that fishes and quanta have more in common than we thought.

It Takes All Sorts

Here’s a nice visualization of sorting algorithms. (If you’re interested.)

Truth And Consequences

With a hat-tip to our e-pal hbd*chick (whose blog you should be reading), here’s an article called The Bermuda Triangle of Science. It’s about a dangerous place where careers go to vanish. Related content from Sphere

Music of the Spheres

Recently we noted a major scientific event: the detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO experiment. The other day, the physicist and cosmologist Brian Greene visited Stephen Colbert (yes, I’m linking to Stephen Colbert) to give an explanation and demonstration of the experiment. Watch it here. The big payoff: the actual “sound” of two black […]

How To Explain Special Relativity To Anyone Of Normal Intelligence In Ten Minutes

What we will explain is why, for objects moving uniformly in a straight line, time runs slower. We’ll use no mathematical symbols, and won’t even need any pictures! OK, here goes: Before we begin, you have to accept two facts. The first is that if you are in uniform motion, all the laws of physics […]

New Wave

It’s a big day in physics: researchers using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have confirmed the existence and propagation of ripples in spacetime caused by the movement of massive objects. The observation of such waves is a posthumous triumph for Albert Einstein, who first predicted their existence a century ago this year. While I’m […]

Headlights On For Safety

I’ve written before about the transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom. His work is concerned with the long-term prospects of the human race, with particular interest in the future of artificial intelligence, and its perils. In these pages we’ve mentioned his suggestion that we might already be living in a computer simulation (see here and here), as […]

The All-Union Academy Of Climate Sciences

Yesterday the United States Senate held a hearing on the magnitude of human impact on climate change. Giving testimony were some Actual Climate Scientists. I would like very much for you to read and carefully digest their testimony. I will excerpt some of it here, in what will be a longish post — but please, […]

Sol Invictus

NASA has just released a painstakingly crafted, half-hour high-resolution video of the Sun. It is fantastic. See it here, and make sure to watch it full-screen.


Tonight, a story about another black-white “gap”. This time it’s a “sleep gap”: “an unexpected challenge in the quest for racial justice”. We read: In 2005, re­search­ers at the Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia, San Diego, began an ex­per­i­ment that would last five years. One by one, they brought 164 study par­ti­cipants to a sleep lab at […]


Well, there’s plenty to talk about tonight, in particular the lurid Benghazi hearings and Barack Obama’s pugnacious veto of a military-funding bill, but I just can’t summon up the will. Pick your team and join the shouting. This has all gone so far beyond any possibility of comity or reconciliation that anything I might say […]


For years we’ve been told that dietary fat is bad for us, and that we should avoid it. Of course not everyone was saying this, but it was one of those “consensus” things, where dissenters were hectored and sneered at by those in the mainstream, and the government applied what pressure it could to enforce […]


In the mail today came a link to an excellent, informative, and even-handed article on inequality, social mobility, and the heritability of advantageous traits. The author is an Englishman named Toby Young, and he zeroes in nicely on the question one comes to once one has hacked through the thorny ideological thicket surrounding these topics. […]

You’ve Got To Feel It In Your Bones

Here’s an interesting find: a correlative connection between arthritis and solar cycles.

Science Is Never Settled

From the indefatigable JK: a medical story that might be a pretty big deal.

That “Science” Guy

John Derbyshire give Bill Nye’s nose a tweak, here.

Chasing Rainbows, or The Conclusion That Must Not Be Reached

Charles Murray comments on a recent Washington Post article on IQ. Here.

Soup And Sandwich

An interesting item over the transom this morning from our reader and commenter The Big Henry: Data Mining Indian Recipes Reveals New Food Pairing Phenomenon I’d never even heard of this ‘food pairing’ business. It uses chemical analysis to determine which foods have shared ‘flavor components’, and should go well together. Related content from Sphere

Degeneracy Pressure

I hope you will forgive me for a series of nested self-quotes in this post. Back in November, I posted a little item in which I quoted this, from an even earlier post: The universal acid of radical skepticism having nearly completed its work, all transcendent values have now been dissolved — and if all […]

Up And At ‘Em

I’ve recovered considerably from Monday’s little indignity, and although I haven’t had time or energy to comment on the big stories of the week, I should be back in fighting form soon enough. Just a couple of little items for tonight: At the conclusion of all the injecting and slicing and yanking and scraping and […]

Filming A Hole

On my bookshelf at home is a massive tome called Gravitation, by the great astrophysicists Charles Misner, John Wheeler and Kip Thorne. I picked it up at a used-book sale about twenty years ago, at a time when I was reading everything I could get my hands on about cosmology and relativistic physics. It was […]

A Fields First

For the first time, a woman has been awarded the coveted Fields Medal, which is generally regarded as the the mathematician’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Her name is Maryam Mirzakhani, and you can read about her here. This is of course a proud day for female mathematicians. Congratulations to Dr. Mirzakhani.   Maryam Mirzakhani […]

The Womaniferous Aether

I’ve just read an outstanding essay on the paucity of women in high-tech jobs, and the stubbornly persistent (and demonstrably counterfactual) belief that it is caused, not by natural differences between the sexes, but by an invisible fog of sexism. I’d sum up its arguments for you, but it’s so good you should go and […]

Determinism And Predictability

My friends Kevin Kim and Bill Keezer have been discussing a recent post of Bill’s, in which he argues that the Universe is “undetermined and constrained”. Bill’s post is here, and Kevin’s response, which raises some important objections but stops short, I think, of fully “grasping the nettle”, is here. Bill’s essay begins: For over […]

The Leidenfrost Effect

Courtesy of the indefatigable JK. Here.

Phase Transition

A story that’s making the rounds today concerns trending changes in the way people read. Here’s the lede, from today’s Washington Post: Claire Handscombe has a commitment problem online. Like a lot of Web surfers, she clicks on links posted on social networks, reads a few sentences, looks for exciting words, and then grows restless, […]

The Heat Death Of The Universe

Back in February the New York Times Magazine published an article about the decline of eros in the modern-day marriage. The story noted a surprising fact: where there is less differentiation in gender roles, there tends to be less sex. We read: A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which appeared in […]

The Idols Of The Tribe

Our previous post touched once again on how liberal orthodoxy habituates its adherents to deny reality and suppress the expression of truth. One such truth is the near-total hegemony of liberal orthodoxy itself in the social sciences, and of course our leading liberal commenter has wasted no time in denying it. (As I said in […]

Battle Lines

Last year I wrote this about liberal orthodoxy’s unavoidable antagonism to truth: A sine qua non for the modern liberal ideologue is a flair for living comfortably in a state of cognitive dissonance. This is made necessary by the internal contradictions of his worldview, and by its frequent, and calamitous, collisions with the social, political, […]


From Australia’s New forms of discrimination, known as “neoracism”, are taking hold in scientific research, spreading the belief that races exist and are different in terms of biology, behaviour and culture, according to anthropologists who spoke at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Chicago. This would be bad enough […]

How Can This Be?

The CBS program 60 Minutes reported tonight, to everyone’s astonishment and dismay, on a recent, and heretofore completely unsuspected, scientific discovery. The context was specific — differences in the effect of the sleeping pill Ambien on men and women — but it appears, shockingly, that the scope of the problem might be far more general, […]

Pale Blue Dot

On October 13th, NASA’s Juno probe, which is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day 2016, made a ‘slingshot’ flyby of Earth in order to boost its velocity. Using some low-res calibration cameras, it took a time-lapse movie of its approach to the Earth-Moon system. I don’t know why NASA is bothering with Jupiter, […]

Diversity vs. Reality

Our e-pal ‘hbd* chick’ (a scholar of human reproductive patterns and variation whose outstanding blog should be on your regular reading list, if it isn’t already) posted an excellent item yesterday on the increasing difficulties confronting adherents of the ideological cult of Diversity in the face of damning and discrediting evidence. (At this point the […]

Gold Leaf

In this article from Science Daily, we learn that eucalyptus trees are pumping gold out of the ground.

Let P Be A Constant

Another item from the frontiers of science: the Law of Mammalian Urination.

Wake Up And Smell The Lowered Mortality Rate

With a hat tip to our man Mangan, here’s some good news: coffee helps prevent liver disease. The more you drink, the more it helps.

Dying By The Seat Of Your Pants

With a hat tip to our friend Mangan: sitting will kill you.

Head Start

Interesting item here: the human population may have undergone significant expansion far longer ago than we’ve thought up till now — not ten millennia ago, but sixty to eighty. How, I wonder, does this fit in with the “Toba bottleneck” theory, in which the entire breeding population of humans is thought to have crashed to […]

Whom The Gods Would Destroy

Sometimes, scientific research leads to conclusions that are starkly at odds with ordinary experience, with common sense, and with the received wisdom of the ages. Not so here, however: a new study from the UK finds a correlation between ethnic diversity (“lower own-group density”) and psychosis. From the abstract: Results For every ten percentage point […]

Steven Pinker On Scientism

Steven Pinker has just published an article that seemed to be getting a lot of attention earlier today. His essay is a rejoinder to the claim, made by many in the humanities, that scientifically minded secular types are besotted by “scientism”, which is nothing more than a new form of faith masquerading as pure rationality. […]

Small World

Note: I’ve taken down this post for now, in order to rewrite it. Feel free to email me about it: malcolm [at]

Hawkmoths Jam Bat Radar With Bursts Of Ultrasonics From Their Genitals

Here. Hat tip: John D.

Unity And Diversity

Here’s a paper worth reading carefully, from Frank Salter and Henry Harpending: J.P. Rushton’s theory of ethnic nepotism In brief, the paper argues that in ethnically diverse settings, the statistical advantage conferred by intra-ethnic altruistic cohesion is sufficient to create significant group-level selection pressure, even when the actual kin relations are fairly weak. Related content […]

Speak Of The Devil!

In recent days we’ve linked to an assortment of comments on the public flaying and excommunication of Jason Richwine. (The linked items have all been supportive; had I found anything from the other side that I thought was intellectually respectable enough to offer our readers, I would have done so. If you readers have anything […]

The Greatest Of Heresies

Despite the multiple eruptions of scandal threatening to engulf the Obama administration (a dazzling constellation of embarrassments that I would normally be commenting on with gusto), it’s the Jason Richwine affair that has my attention. It is the best and most public example, so far, of the pathological cognitive dissonance required to sustain mainstream multiculturalist […]

This Just In!

Now here’s an interesting item: it seems that upper-body strength in males correlates positively with opposition to redistributive economic policies. We read: “Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest — just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation […]