Humanities

“I’ve learned what ‘classical’ means. It means something that sings and dances through sheer joy of existence.” -Gustav Holst There are some great, creative works out there that take their inspiration from the amazing natural phenomena of this Universe. While perhaps Gustav Holst’s suite, The Planets, is best known for translating the celestial wonders into…

Phew!! I just submitted my abstract for the Comparative Physiology meeting that will be held this October. Judging from the preliminary program, it is going to be an exciting meeting! Here is a description of the meeting from the American Physiological Society’s website: “Comparative physiology takes advantage of the diverse evolutionary histories and ecological settings…

As it happens, the previous post was mostly a digression from what I really wanted to discuss. The set-up here is that back in 2007, philosopher Mary Midgley published a pamphlet discussing creationism, intelligent design, education, and various related topics. Philosopher Nicholas Everitt has just published a critical review (subscription required) of Midgley’s pamphlet. Glenn…

Last year, the U.S. Census reported that record numbers of people were living in poverty. But along with overall poverty numbers, the Census recently reported that concentrated poverty is up, too — and that’s worrisome because it means that more people may face even greater barriers and fewer opportunities to moving out of poverty.

I will conclude my series on the World Open in the next day or two, but I would not want readers to think that I have converted this into a chess blog. So let’s go back to our more traditional fare by pondering this pamphlet, by philosopher Mary Midgley. It is called, “Intelligent Design Theory…

Vaccine safety is one of those topics that has become so tragically mired in misinformation and myth that there can never be enough supporting evidence. So, here’s some more.

World Open, Part One

Hello. I’m still here. Let me get you caught up on some things. In graduate school I was required to take a battery of four qualifying exams before I could be “advanced to candidacy.” These exams were conducted orally, meaning you had to stand in a room with two faculty members and answer questions for…

Journalists and commentators cover the latest developments following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, the implications for women’s health, the context of past decisions, and more.

Two Cultures of Incompressibility

Also coming to my attention during the weekend blog shutdown was this Princeton Alumni Weekly piece on the rhetoric of crisis in the humanities. Like several other authors before him, Gideon Rosen points out that there’s little numerical evidence of a real “crisis,” and that most of the cries of alarm you hear from academics…

“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.” -Bob Riley But we all have our heroes, for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps it will serve you to think of them as you listen to Dropkick Murphys singing about the Heroes From Our Past. But heroes exist…