As computers become progressively faster and more powerful, they’ve gained the impressive capacity to simulate increasingly realistic environments. Which raises a question familiar to aficionados of The Matrix—might life and the world as we know it be a simulation on a super advanced computer?
Does God exist? Could our universe be a simulation? Watch WSF co-founder Brian Greene and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in a lively discussion on philosophical ideas of atheism, science and religion.
Sexuality and gender play a profound role in shaping identity, but for much of human history how they are determined has remained obscure. How does sexual orientation develop? What is it? Can it be changed?
Powerful new genetic tools allow scientists to alter the DNA of any organism—with tests on human embryos already underway. Even more ambitious, synthetic biologists on the verge of creating the genetic material for a living organism from scratch are setting their long-term sites on fashioning a fully synthetic human genome.
What are scientists looking for when searching for alien life? A lot, it turns out: the search for extraterrestrials requires the help from astronomers, planetary scientists, chemists, computer scientists, and geneticists, just to name a few. But are we barking up the wrong carbon-based tree?
Getting old is an unavoidable truth of life. And yet, for most of modern history this mortal coil has baffled scientists. Over the past decade, however, researchers have made great strides in understanding the cellular, molecular, and genetic tableau of aging—which has brought the next question into sharp focus: Can aging be stopped?
The neutrino is among the cagiest of particles, a subatomic wisp so ephemeral it could pass through light years of lead with more ease than a hot knife through butter.
Prominent clashes — both historical and contemporary — have led to the widely held conclusion that science and religion are fundamentally incompatible. Yet, many scientists practice a traditional faith, having found a way to accommodate both scientific inquiry and religious teaching in their belief system.