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  • Nerve cells in the brain cannot regenerate past age twenty; that was common wisdom among scientists for 50 years but was based on few erroneous observations of a single scientist; and then all of a sudden, thanks to reports in Science and Nature, nerve cells are free to regenerate all the time. I'm a beneficiary of this new development, though it might have come too late.

    And in the same way, we were all brought up on the notion that black holes have an event horizon. "Daddy," I think I kept asking, "What is an event horizon?" And he said, "that's what black holes have in common," an answer that was both elegant and satisfying to an eight-year old mind.

    Now Stephen Hawking, of all people, has the audacity to question this basic tenet of his own creation, the Black Hole. In an article entitled "Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes" he tackles a long-standing deep paradox which lies in the fact that information would not be preserved as matter such as astronauts and their space ships transgress the event horizon and disappear from our known world for good.

    The article is posted as a preprint accessible to everyone, as is the custom in Physics, and awaits the knives of reviewers knowledgeable in this esoteric field.

    But I'm getting increasingly anxious about all the other things I never doubted before. The benefits of eating spinach? Of keeping warm in the winter? The shape of the earth?
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