Decennial

Almost forgot again — the leap-year thing always gets me. But I’ve now officially been blogging for ten years. Over 2,000 posts, generating over 57,000 comments. I don’t have accurate stats because I’ve moved around a bit, but on the order of ten million visits. Thanks for coming!

Nostalgia buffs are free to check out the archives (by category or month) via buttons on the sidebar, or see the greatest hits page. Here are some of my personal favorites from each of the past ten years:

Here’s to the next decade!

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12 Responses to Decennial

  1. Humanity Akbar says:

    *raises a cup*

    Many blessings to you and yours. May you continue to be full of generosity, humanity & your endless curiosity.

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  2. Ten thousand visits … per day, I’m guessing?

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  3. Sean Carroll says:

    Thousand, million — it’s hard for a cosmologist to tell the difference sometimes. (Post now fixed.)

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  4. Daniel Lawther says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the posts :)
    (your blog is one of the first sites i check for updates whenever i feel the need to procrastinate, and certainly one of the more interesting and educational ones…)

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  5. Jerry Salomone says:

    I’m new here. Emergency Physician by trade but fascinated by Cosmology. Finished Dr Carroll’s Great Courses on Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Time as well as all the other courses related to Physics and Astronomy. Mucked through Cox and Forshaw “The Quantum Universe”. So glad I found your blog because I can’t get enough of this…

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  6. Andrew says:

    New reader, here, but long-time fan of your Youtube appearances: congrats on your ten years!

    Unrelated: when I first saw this article scanning through my RSS reader, I thought that the title was “Decimal.”

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  7. Mike Lautermilch says:

    Sean, this comment is off topic perhaps, but I’m leaving it here since this is your most recent blog entry. First, I wanted to leave you this link to a philosophical critique of the Kalam argument (by a Christian no less) that I think you’ll find interesting: http://dovetheology.com/2013/06/04/some-concerns-about-kalam/

    Also, I know nothing about physics so what follows may be utter nonsense, but it seems to me that there are assumptions in the Kalam argument that could be called into question but were not discussed during your debate with William Craig.

    1. It seems that the universe is being assumed to be one thing, and therefore what is true of the origins of one part is necessarily true of the origins of all the others. Is this known to be the case? At least conceptually, it seems possible that time, say, had different origins than matter. Or maybe abstract objects exist independent of the universe. Etc.

    2. Even if you granted the Kalam argument’s proponents their assumption that classical causality is relevant to discussions of the universe’s origin, the argument assumes that what caused the universe is singular rather than plural. This is assumed in the first premise, and it is assumed for an obvious reason: they want there to be only one cause, because they are monotheists. I’m sure they would try to defend this via Ockham’s razor, but the fact that scientists prefer simpler explanations to more complex ones would not rule out or even make less likely multiple causes of the universe.

    3. Even if just for the sake of argument you granted the premises, and therefore granted the conclusion that there was a cause of the universe, the conclusion is so utterly “generic” and vague — it’s a bazillion miles from any actual concept of “god.” Why would the cause have to have ANY of the other features of “god”: personhood, eternality, perfect morality, omniscience, etc., and why would it necessarily have any involvement in human life or the creation and evolution of life. What if it just caused the universe and then had no other significant involvement with it? As I was watching the debate, I wanted someone to say, even IF the Kalam argument were sound, so what?? So there was a cause to the universe. Big deal. It doesn’t come close to proving ANY kind of god, let alone the Christian god. (I’m not entirely sure it would even increase the probability of there being a god. But I’m not sure. It seems that if we had good reasons for thinking god doesn’t exist [the extent and specific nature of “evil” in the world, god’s hiddeness, the utter dependence of consciousness on a physical brain, etc.], then if any cause there might have been of the universe would not be god.)

    Lastly, regarding the word “transcendent” . . . what a joke that Craig smuggled such a theologically loaded word into the supposed theologically neutral premises of his argument. He would of course claim that all he means by the word in this context is that the cause is separate from the universe. Please. If he feels that someone might not realize that the cause and effect in the argument are two separate things, then how ’bout using a less loaded word or phrase, like “separate” or “distinct.” I wanted to call bullshit when I saw that he used “transcendent.”

    Anyway, I enjoyed the debate immensely. I hope you keep up the good fight. Most of the time when Craig debates someone, he crushes them. Not because there’s a good case for Christianity, but because his opponents just aren’t very good debaters. Your debate with him was an exception. Kudos.

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  8. vahid says:

    take a look at this Sean,

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.7038

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  9. Radek says:

    Congratulations and thank you for your contribution!
    Best wishes for the future!

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  10. Cosmonut says:

    Hi Sean,
    Was reading your 2010 post “Laws of Physics…Completely Understood” and the many comments.

    I think the main confusion here is that your claim has a Weak and Strong form.

    Weak Form:
    There are no phenomena in everyday life that contradict the known laws of physics.

    This is what you are actually claiming – as you point out, 100 years ago, people could ask how the sun shines and that would contradict all known physics, but today there’s nothing similar in the everyday regime.

    But the title of the post suggests the Strong Form:
    All everyday phenomena can be shown to follow from the known laws of physics.

    This has, of course, not been done. I’d say most of the (few) sensible comments were objecting to the strong form of the statement when you are talking about the weak form.

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  11. James Goetz says:

    Sean, Congratulations and thank you….

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  12. PB says:

    Re: The Laws of Physics Underlying Everyday Life Are Completely Understood.

    We’ve answered most basic questions, to be sure. But not, “why was life possible?” Plenty of universes allowed in current physical theories would not have been hospitable places…

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