July 12, 1997
Charles L. Drake, 72, an emeritus professor at Dartmouth College and a leading advocate of the theory that a volcanic eruption led to the demise of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Drake argued that volcanic eruptions in India spewed lava over 200,000 square miles, releasing chlorine, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide that led to the dinosaurs' extinction.
November 21, 2003
Your Nov. 18 editorial concerning the viewing of some documents by the 9/11 investigating commission suggests that the conspiracy theories can now be put to rest. Au contraire! As long as Bush administration members, friends of the family, former administration officials now acting as lobbyists and touting influence-peddling on Web sites continues; as long as no-bid contracts are let and only American workers are hired while Iraqi citizens clamor for work; as long as Halliburton runs the show in Iraq, to the tune of billions of dollars, as far as I am concerned, the conspiracy theory continues!
April 12, 1987 |
Ancient Mayas may not have simply vanished from their homeland more than 1,000 years ago, in one of the great mysteries of history, Belize's Archeology Commissioner Hariot Topsey said. Instead, he theorizes, Classic-Era Mayas may have become some of the Western Hemisphere's earliest suburbanites, leaving their clusters of temples, pyramids and ball courts for outlying areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1991 |
Peloza uses circular reasoning to defend his claim that evolution is not supported by scientific facts. His mind is set; he will never "see the light." The simple, widely known truth is that scientific, factual evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the theory of evolution. There is not a major university anywhere in the world that rejects the theory of evolution. Which theory is right or wrong is, however, beside the point. The point is that Peloza is teaching creation, something that the Constitution forbids him to do. He is undermining student support for the theory of evolution, which is the single unifying theory of biology.
July 14, 2002
Re "The Code of the Cosmos," July 9: Stephen Wolfram's theory seems to be an attempt to develop a GUT, or grand unified theory, long sought by many as a "holy grail." Such a theory would necessarily integrate all of the current, disparate theories (gravity, electromagnetism, et al.), each of which may explain some smaller part of the cosmos. The code that Wolfram is seeking may be the cosmos' equivalent of DNA. Such "universal DNA" as an ingredient of the big bang might help explain how a singularity could contain sufficient inconsistency to produce such a varied universe, and not the homogeneous sphere that one might expect.
September 5, 2010 |
The Grand Design Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow Bantam: 200 pp., $28 Robert Oppenheimer was fond of proposing that physics and poetry were becoming indistinguishable. In "The Grand Design," Cambridge theorist Stephen Hawking and Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinow seem to suggest that physics and metaphysics are also growing closer. They point out that the unified field theory that physicists, including Einstein, spent the better part of the 20th century trying to construct, probably can't exist.
November 14, 2010 |
Few thinkers have had quite the same effect as Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution was so powerful and compelling that it became the new orthodoxy, affecting how we think about many aspects of our lives. Not least of these influences has been on the way we do business. So-called social Darwinism has played an important role in shaping our understanding of economics, markets and organizations. For example, when discussing business organizations we often speak of them "adapting" and "evolving" to meet conditions in their changing "environment," as if our business organizations were some sort of Galapagos seabird and not large and highly complex institutions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2010 |
Robert Pound, a Harvard physicist whose elegant experiments confirmed a key part of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and who helped lay the groundwork for the magnetic resonance imaging technology now widely used in medicine, died April 12 at a nursing home in Belmont, Mass. He was 90. Pound was one of a rare breed in academia, especially the physics community: a highly respected and influential researcher who lacked a doctorate. But a keen mind and his facility for converting theoretical ideas into concrete laboratory tools provided him entrée into this rarified world.
January 14, 2011 |
If only they had been there in 1939: Plugging in numbers representing the friendliness between pairs of nations at the outset of World War II, researchers at Cornell University used a computer program to successfully predict which countries joined the Allied Powers and which lined up with the Axis. They got all of the countries right except for Denmark and Portugal. The group's work, reported last week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, had less to do with history than with a long-established theory in social psychology called "structural balance," which describes how relationships in a social network evolve over time.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2010 |
As a young doctoral student in the 1960s, Francisco J. Ayala was surprised to learn that Darwin's theory of evolution appeared to be less widely accepted in the United States than in his native Spain, then a profoundly conservative and religious country. Ayala brought a unique sensibility to the topic, because he had been ordained as a Catholic priest before undertaking graduate studies in evolution and genetics. What he believed then, and has spent his career espousing, is that evolution is consistent with the Christian faith.