Monday, February 28, 2011

Brian Greene Talks at The Tattered Cover in Denver

Last Monday, I heard Brian Greene talk at the Tattered Cover in lower downtown Denver as part of his tour promoting his new book “The Hidden Reality.” About 250 people turned out to hear him and about 100 people, including me, lined up to have him sign our copies of his book. 
Brian mainly talked about three of various parallel universe, or multiverse, themes that are being considered today. In his book he goes into more detail discussing nine of them. One multiverse idea is essentially that if you go far enough in the space and time of our universe, things start to repeat. With a finite number of particles, there is a finite number of ways of arranging them. Brian used the analogy of a deck of cards. If you shuffle them enough time, the order of the cards will begin to repeat. If we go far enough in our universe we may come across me writing a blog about something else, or maybe one in which I don’t like the book. Brian also talked about another multiverses theme where individual universes could be thought of as bubble universes and yet another where universes occupy branes, like massive rubber sheets, that hover millimeters away from each other. It sounds like he favors this latter. 
I’ve had his book on my shelf since it came out but haven’t yet had the chance to read it. I’ll write more about it after I’ve read it. His talk was a good introduction to the book, got us excited about reading it, and I’ve moved it up on my reading list. In the meantime, you might enjoy these videos (four parts) about multiverses. (Part 1 -; Part 2 -; Part 3 -; Part 4 -

Goals of Ancestors of Gods Blog

My goal in writing this blog is to promote the wonder and awe of science. I hope to do that by posting my thoughts about things of science that have been happening in the news; much like what I’ve been doing on my Facebook page for the past year. However, here I’ll be able to expand on those thoughts. I am not an expert. I have a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, where my interest was in archaeology, and a master’s degree in geology, where my interest was in structural geology - how the earth’s rocks have been deformed. Plate tectonics was the hot subject while I was in graduate school and has fascinated me ever since. I spent the first 10 years of my career working as a minerals exploration geologist, mostly in the American Southwest, prospecting for uranium and gold. Currently, I work for an environmental consulting company. I also do volunteer work in the paleontology lab at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) where I am currently working on cleaning up the disarticulated and highly fractured bones of an Ankylosaur found near Moab, Utah. Most Saturday mornings will find me working in the lab.
In addition to geology and paleontology, specific areas of science that interest me and about which I will likely write are the brain (how it works and how consciousness occurs), biology and evolution, physics and cosmology, anthropology and archaeology, the science/religion conflict, pseudoscience, and origins; origins of everything from the origin of the universe and the origin of life to the origins of religion. (I explore the later using fiction in my latest book, Ancestors of Gods. As I said above, I am not an expert and I hope to learn a lot from your comments.