It’s been an amazing news week on Planet Earth, with stories ranging from our physics tells us almost nothing about the deepest riddles of the Universe to human consciousness could reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field to the upcoming release according to the Washington Post of a major report on intelligence gathered by the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and the FBI.
The Cosmic Chasm –Physics as we know it is elegant and exquisitely accurate. It tells almost nothing about the deepest riddles of the Universe, reports Pedro G Ferreira, professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, author of The State of the Universe: A Primer in Modern Cosmology and The Perfect Theory for AEON. “We’re at a complete loss at how to explain some of the most fundamental but baffling observations of how our Universe behaves. There is a tremendous, even cosmic, chasm between the physics we know and love, and some of the phenomena that we observe, but simply can’t make head nor tail of.”
“We could probably build a Jurassic Park,” says co-founder of Elon Musk’s Neuralink — Max Hodak says it could try to ‘generate novel diversity’ but the task has puzzled scientists for years. “We could probably build jurassic park if we wanted to. wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs but [shrug]”, Hodak tweeted. “Maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species”.
Brain WiFi –-Instead of a code encrypted in the wiring of our neurons, could consciousness reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field? asks Johnjoe McFadden, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Surrey for AEON.
With Virus Origins Still Obscure, W.H.O. and Critics Look to Next Steps, reports James Gorman for The New York Times — “The joint international and Chinese mission organized by the World Health Organization on the origins of Covid released its report last week suggested pursuing multiple lines of inquiry, focused on the likely origin of the coronavirus in bats. It concluded that the most likely route to humans was through an intermediate animal, perhaps at a wildlife farm.”
China’s premier astronomy and planetary resources lure foreign collaborators, reports Dennis Normile for Science.–“For a generation, China played scientific catch-up to more advanced nations, but the tables are turning. China has the world’s largest radio telescope and the first Moon rocks in 45 years. Now, it is offering foreign researchers access to those scientific treasures. Many are eager, but others are uneasy about what they see as collaborating with an authoritarian regime.”
Human-like intelligence in animals is far more common than we thought –Stories of clever animals abound, from pigs playing video games to monkeys trading mobile phones – now tests reveal that they don’t merely act on instinct but can think flexibly, like us, reports New Scientist.
Ancient fish share a key feature of human vision, reports Meagan Cantwell for Science –“In order to see the world as clearly as we do, we process vision from each eyeball on both sides of our brain—a capability known as bilateral visual projection. For a long time, researchers thought this feature developed after fish transitioned to land, more than 375 million years ago. But does this theory hold water today?”
They Are Not Alone: U.F.O. Reports Surged in the Pandemic –With skies lacking light pollution and most nights free, New Yorkers reported nearly twice as many mysterious sightings last year, reports The New York Times,.
‘Last Hope’ Experiment Finds Evidence for Unknown Particles –reports Natalie Wolchover for Quanta –“Today’s long-anticipated announcement by Fermilab’s Muon g-2 team appears to solidify a tantalizing conflict between nature and theory. But a separate calculation, published at the same time, has clouded the picture.”
Washington Post: Thanks to Trump-era covid relief bill, a UFO report may soon be public — and it’ll be big, ex-official says –“The report must include “detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data and intelligence” gathered by the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force and the FBI, the provision reads. It also calls for “a detailed description of an interagency process” that will ensure that data can be gathered and analyzed across the federal government. The report could document sightings from “all over the world.”
Archaeologists Unearth 3,000-Year-Old ‘Lost Golden City’ in Egypt –Aten, dubbed a “Lost Golden City” by Egyptian officials, is one of the most important finds in decades, said one archaeologist, reports Becky Ferreira for Motherboard/Vice.