Close
The Ditherer’s Mean

The Ditherer’s Mean

So you’ve got some numbers, and you want to produce one number that represents their typical value. If you’ve taken a little bit of math or statistics, you might reach for the mean—the arithmetic mean, to be precise. Add the numbers together and divide by the number of numbers you have. Easy enough. But perhaps…

Multiverse Theories Are Bad for Science

Multiverse Theories Are Bad for Science

In 1990 I wrote a bit of fluff for Scientific American about whether our cosmos might be just one in an “infinitude,” as several theories of physics implied. I titled my piece “Here a Universe, There a Universe . . .” and kept the tone light, because I didn’t want readers to take these cosmic conjectures too…

The First Alien

The First Alien

In an age where we take the search for signs of life beyond the confines of the Earth very seriously—as a scientific frontier—it’s interesting to consider a little of the history of the very concept itself. This isn’t entirely frivolous. The ways that we think about the natural world, and the ways that we formulate…