Coincidences confound us. Miracles amaze us. And the chance that the same person could be hit by lightning three different times, well, that just defies explanation. Or does it? David Hand is an emeritus professor of mathematics at Imperial College in London. And he has written a book called "The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles and Rare Events Happen Every Day." He joins us from the BBC studios in London. Thanks so much for being with us.
Wikipedia has become a go-to source for definitions, celebrity facts, and now, medical information. A study by the IMS Health Institute published in January names Wikipedia as the "single leading source" of health care information for both patients and health care professionals.
The oldest human ancestors to have walked on the British Isles left nothing except footprints. But they've made quite an impression on the world of science.
Researchers say 50 or so prints found on a beach near the village of Happisburg in Norfolk are the oldest known human footprints outside Africa. They were discovered last spring by a team of experts from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University of London.
Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:19 pm
By Alva Noë
Last week my car broke down on the way to my early morning tai chi class. I sat in the middle of the road in the pre-dawn pondering why my car stopped running.
Among possible explanations for the malfunction, here are two that I did not consider. I did not consider the possibility that North Korean spies had sabotaged my vehicle in the night. Or the possibility that divine spirits disabled the car to protect me from dangers up ahead.
There are different ways to think about animals. One way is to imagine them totally separate, not attaching to us, ever. "They are not brethren," wrote the great naturalist Henry Beston, "they are not underlings. They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time." Animals and people, Beston thought, live in their own worlds while sharing the same streets, meadows, skies, homes. We mingle, but the gap between us is not crossable.
The Winter Olympics have begun in Sochi, Russia. Along with millions of others, I'll devote hours to watching the games over the next 17 days. (And when I'm away from the TV, I'll follow the happenings in Sochi via The Edge and On The Road!)
Ever since I was a child, watching alongside my parents, I've been enthralled by the stories of individual Olympic athletes, with their incredible drive, discipline and determination. I love watching them compete.
Days after a wide-ranging debate on creationism and evolution between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the event is driving an online conversation. Themes of belief and literalism, logic and faith — and, for some, relevance — are being aired and disputed. And some wonder what the debate accomplished.
The video of the more than two-hour debate, in which Nye and Ham presented their views on how the Earth and its surroundings were created, has been viewed more than 830,000 times on YouTube. At one point, the live event drew more than 500,000 viewers.
Take a close look at the stunning image above showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA.
The picture was taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 — with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.
They were some of the largest, hairiest animals ever to walk the Earth, but new research shows a big part of the woolly mammoth's diet was made up of tiny flowers.
The work is based on DNA analysis of frozen arctic soil and mammoth poop. It suggests that these early vegans depended on the flowers as a vital source of protein. And when the flowers disappeared after the last ice age, so too did the mammoths that ate them.