I almost pity them. First there’s the discovery of gravitational waves that confirm a set of models for the origin of the universe — I can tell they’re trying to spin that one (it confirms the universe had a beginning, just like the Bible says!), but it’s obvious which perspective, scientific or religious, has the greater explanatory power.
Then there’s Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos, in which every episode so far has taken a vigorous poke at creationist nonsense. I think they cry every Sunday after church, because they know that later that evening they will be
attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture. It’s been great.
For years, the motto among astrobiologists — people who look for life in distant worlds, and try to understand what life is, exactly — has been “follow the water.” You have to start the search somewhere, and scientists have started with liquid water because it’s the essential agent for all biochemistry on Earth.
Now they’ve followed the water to a small, icy moon orbiting Saturn. Scientists reported Thursday that Enceladus, a shiny world about 300 miles in diameter, has a subsurface “regional sea” with a rocky bottom.
This cryptic body of water is centered around the south pole and is upwards of five miles deep. It has a volume similar to that of Lake Superior, according to the research, which was published in the journal Science.
There is hope yet for Space Squid! Or maybe space progenotes. Isn’t it wonderful that we keep finding gloriously natural discoveries in the universe?
The tears will flow again in a few weeks, when Neil Shubin’s new series, Your Inner Fish, premieres on PBS. I’m really looking forward to this one.
It is a good time to be passionate about science.