On December 6 the New Horizons spacecraft, en route to Pluto and its system of moons since 2006, will come out of hibernation mode. This marks the first step in setting up for the flyby of Pluto and its moons that will occur on July 14, 2015, giving us our first-ever thorough look at what many consider to be the last great frontier of the Solar System.
At an international conference in Mexico a few years ago, Richard Dawkins, having expounded at length on how sexual natural selection explains life on Earth without any need for a "creator," went on to say, "And I am sure that something like the principle of natural selection operates in the physical universe as well." Sounds totally silly? Well, there's more to it: a huge irony.