Category archives: History

The death of History

The death of History

History

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

Doing Ancient History is a difficult job. You may be thinking about the lot of hard work historians have to perform in order to learn just a little bit of what happened millennia ago, but I would like to invite you to consider another more fundamental obstacle in a discipline like this: the fact that […]

The road to quantum gravity (4): The flow of time for massive objects

The road to quantum gravity (4): The flow of time for massive objects

CosmologyHistoryTheoretical physics

By Daniel Fernández

We started this series discussing the basic ingredients of the Universe: events, spacetime, causality. In the last chapter, we introduced massive objects (and thus, matter), which appear as a generalization of the so-called photon box. As it moves, any object traces a path. Physicists call it worldline. We established that a massive object never moves […]

The road to quantum gravity (3): The speed of light and the origin of mass

The road to quantum gravity (3): The speed of light and the origin of mass

CosmologyHistoryTheoretical physics

By Daniel Fernández

In the previous chapter of this series, we went over the subjective, relative separation of the network of events known as Spacetime into space and time. The speed of light played a major role in the discussion. In particular, we divided Spacetime into three regions (with respect to a particular event) defined by the existence […]

The spreading of science news, from Arthur Eddington (1919) to black holes (2019).

The spreading of science news, from Arthur Eddington (1919) to black holes (2019).

HistoryPhilosophy of science

By Invited Researcher

On April 10th 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope project released the first image ever of a black hole. Five simultaneous press conferences, in Brussels, Taipei, Santiago de Chile, Tokyo and Washington were broadcast live, staging a global media event for astrophysics. Besides the inevitable memes in the so-called social media, more serious press outlets managed […]

The Road to Quantum Gravity (2):  The emergence of Space and Time

The Road to Quantum Gravity (2): The emergence of Space and Time

CosmologyHistoryTheoretical physics

By Daniel Fernández

The division of past and future In Part 1 of this series, we presented the empirical fact that under extreme circumstances, a certain observer’s past can be in another observer’s future. To explain this, we introduced the network of cause and consequence relations as the fixed background structure of reality. This network constitutes Spacetime. Causality […]

The road to quantum gravity (1):  Spacetime as the network of causality

The road to quantum gravity (1): Spacetime as the network of causality

CosmologyHistoryTheoretical physics

By Daniel Fernández

Observations vs intuitions Einstein’s Theory of Relativity introduced us to the concept of Spacetime, as a unified entity. This stands in contrast with the intuition that we develop since birth, which leads to naturally separate space and time. Human intuition is a way to understand how the world works, our brain processes our daily experiences […]

How Buddha became a Christian saint

How Buddha became a Christian saint

History

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

As I mentioned in passing in my last entry, many, if not most, of the oldest stories about Christian martyrs and saints are nothing but legendary fabrications, something that scholars knew perfectly well since at least the time of the Enlightenment, when scientific criteria of historiographic research started to be employed by ecclesiastical historians themselves […]

From Constantine to Justinian: the triumph of Christian ‘terrorism’

From Constantine to Justinian: the triumph of Christian ‘terrorism’

History

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

One book that has caused much stir in the past months is Catherine Nixey’s The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World. I confess I approached the book with some skepticism, for ‘the classical world’, I thought, was already considerably ‘destroyed’ by the time Christianism became the official, and soon the only legal […]

The Enlightenment wars (& 3): but…what kind of humanism do we need?

The Enlightenment wars (& 3): but…what kind of humanism do we need?

AnthropologyEconomicsHistory

By Jesús Zamora Bonilla

In the two previous entries (1, 2) of this series I described the different diagnoses that Marina Garcés and Steven Pinker make of humanity’s current predicament, without concealing my sympathies for the latter’s: with up and downs, with unequal division of the benefits, without bringing us a literal paradise, with lots of problems still to […]