The 9 Weirdest Implications Of The Many Worlds Interpretation

According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines. It's a serious claim that carries some rather serious scientific, philosophical, and existential baggage. And here are the nine weirdest possible implications. » 3/23/15 10:00am 3/23/15 10:00am

Harsh Environments Foster Beliefs In Powerful And Judgmental Gods

An analysis of 583 cultures shows that challenging environmental conditions, such as floods and famines, lead cultures to adopt beliefs in moralizing, high gods. The research may help explain how and why certain religions emerged, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. » 11/11/14 9:00am 11/11/14 9:00am

Our Sense Of Free Will Diminishes When We Need To Pee Or Desire Sex

Embodied cognition theory states that our thoughts and emotions are profoundly affected by our physical bodies. A new study takes this idea further, claiming that our bodily states — particularly when they're urgent — can even influence our metaphysical beliefs. » 9/05/14 9:20am 9/05/14 9:20am

How Do You Know You're Real?

In this video from TED-Ed, James Zucker teams up with Stretch Films' John R. Dilworth to dish out a cogent, three-minute introduction to René Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy. If you've ever wondered how to get from "How do I know I'm real?" to "I think, therefore I am," this one's for you. » 8/17/14 8:00am 8/17/14 8:00am

There Is Some Hope That We Aren't Living Inside a Computer Simulation

Philosopher Nick Bostrom's famous Simulation Argument suggests it's highly probable that we live inside a supercomputer. But one philosopher takes this hypothesis to task, arguing in a new paper that there are other post-human scenarios that need to be taken into account. » 7/15/14 1:00pm 7/15/14 1:00pm

Why Agnosticism Probably Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

Agnostics are often characterized as ambivalent or wishy-washy fence sitters who refuse to make up their minds. But there's much more to agnosticism than these tired misconceptions, including a stricter adherence to scientific principles than those typically invoked by atheists. » 5/29/14 11:30am 5/29/14 11:30am

What Should We Do with the Online Undead?

The Internet has given us a kind of digital afterlife, where our online activities can be preserved and memorialized like fossils in a rock. We talked to an expert about how your friends, family, and complete strangers will use the Internet to remember you long after you're gone. » 5/21/14 11:00am 5/21/14 11:00am

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

Philosophy goes where hard science can't, or won't. Philosophers have a license to speculate about everything from metaphysics to morality, and this means they can shed light on some of the basic questions of existence. The bad news? These are questions that may always lay just beyond the limits of our comprehension. » 5/02/14 10:00am 5/02/14 10:00am

What's The Purpose Of The Universe? Here's One Possible Answer

It's tempting to think of the universe as a meaningless repository for celestial objects like planets and stars. But an intriguing theory suggests there's much more to the cosmos than meets the eye — and that black holes play an integral role in what our universe is actually trying to achieve. » 4/18/14 11:07am 4/18/14 11:07am

The 7 Most Intriguing Philosophical Arguments for the Existence of God

Nietzsche is famous for saying that God is dead, but news of The Almighty's demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Here are some of the most fascinating and provocative philosophical arguments for the existence of God. » 1/23/14 10:10am 1/23/14 10:10am

Why You Should Upload Yourself to a Supercomputer

We're still decades — if not centuries — away from being able to transfer a mind to a supercomputer. It's a fantastic future prospect that makes some people incredibly squeamish. But there are considerable benefits to living a digital life. Here's why you should seriously consider uploading. » 1/09/14 11:08am 1/09/14 11:08am

Does the internet prove that time travelers are visiting us? (No.)

How would we know if time travelers are visiting the present? You could look for clues — but the best indication might be found on the internet. Unfortunately, two researchers tried to look for clues to time travel online... and came up with nothing. » 1/03/14 4:00pm 1/03/14 4:00pm

New research on wormholes suggests that these theoretical shortcuts that connect distant points in the universe might be linked with the spooky phenomenon of quantum entanglement. As Charles Q. Choi writes in LiveScience, this would allow particles to be connected regardless of how far apart they are — a finding that… » 12/04/13 12:40pm 12/04/13 12:40pm

Our universe may contain TARDIS-like regions of spacetime

Doctor Who’s TARDIS is unique in that it appears larger on the inside than it does from the outside. According to scientists from the University of Helsinki, our universe may exhibit similar properties, a phenomenon they're dubbing Tardis spacetime. It’s a new theory that could solve a longstanding mystery in… » 9/11/13 7:20am 9/11/13 7:20am

Does infinity really exist?

Our universe appears to be bound by a finite set of laws, yet we often talk about things that go on for an eternity. "Infinity" is a strange idea. But it's crucial if you want to understand anything from philosophy to mathematics. Here’s why. » 7/31/13 10:42am 7/31/13 10:42am

If this theory is correct, we may live in a web of alternate timelines

The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics has been around for nearly 60 years. It’s a highly controversial idea which suggests that our world — and everything in it — is constantly splitting into alternative timelines. If it's correct, here's what your true existence might actually be like. » 7/24/13 10:34am 7/24/13 10:34am

New theory says the Universe isn't expanding — it's just getting fat

Conventional thinking says the Universe has been expanding ever since the Big Bang. But theoretical astrophysicist Christof Wetterich says it's not expanding at all. It’s just that the mass of all the particles within it is steadily increasing. » 7/17/13 4:40pm 7/17/13 4:40pm

Must Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson Moderates a Debate on Nothingness

For 14 years now, the American Museum of Natural History has hosted the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate – an annual meeting of scientific and philosophical minds, held in honor of one of modern history's most formidable intellects. The debates are always fantastic, but this year's topic – the existence of nothing –… » 4/25/13 10:30am 4/25/13 10:30am

How does the Anthropic Principle change the meaning of the universe?

One of the more extraordinary things about the universe is that it has produced beings who can observe it — namely, us. Its laws and constants are so precise that, if they were even slightly modified, no human would be here to see it. Many cosmologists and philosophers have wondered if we should read anything into… » 3/08/13 11:00am 3/08/13 11:00am

An 'alternative universe' will eventually destroy ours, says Higgs…

Remember that Higgs-like particle that scientists finally managed to pin down last year at the Large Hadron Collider? Well, it's proving to be a harbinger of bad news. According to Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the mass of the Higgs boson indicates that "the… » 2/20/13 11:57am 2/20/13 11:57am