Gene Expression

Archives for January, 2006

Q & A with Judith Rich Harris

Judith Rich Harris is author of The Nurture Assumption and the forthcoming No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. Her controversial thesis is that parents don’t matter, genes and peers do, in making you who you are as a person. You can read my Q & A with her over at my other website.…

Fairies under the rock….

This article about the halting of land development in Scotland because of “fairies” under a rock is illustrative. When comparing nations in regards to belief in the paranormal we often assume that “modernity” and education have banished magical thinking. I don’t believe it is so, rather, magic is still there, ready to surface when given…

“Dangerous Ideas”

A few weeks ago Edge.com asked prominent thinkers what their Dangerous Idea was. The poser of the question was Steven Pinker, and he’s on Radio Open Source today (you can listen on the web, wait ’till 7 PM EDT). I offered my 2 cents in the comments, the basic gist of which was that the…

A monkey too smart

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine who is a graduate student at a university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the department of “Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.” My friend asserted that most people within her department are dumb, overbearing, arrogant and uninformed. Her concern was that this was within a department specializing in evolutionary…

Evolution + psychology

I have a post on the importance of understanding human psychology in relation to evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism on my other weblog. Related: Ed Brayton has the nitty gritty on what’s going on in Utah.

Cheap genomes

The Harvard Crimson reports on George Church’s attempt to develop super-cheap genomic sequencing, though this time he’s giving a $10-20,000 price point quote instead of $1,000. Scientific American has a subscription only piece.

In the interview below with anthropologist Dan Sperber I allude to the “naturalistic paradigm” in anthropology. What does this mean? Sperber, along with Scott Atran, Pascal Boyer and Laurence Hirschfield are anthropologists who treat culture as an outgrowth of a natural and reducible process mediated by the human mind. Sperber often speaks of the “epidemiology…

10 questions from Razib

Over at my other weblog I have been doing a “10 questions” series. Here are the ones I’ve done so far: John Derbyshire of National Review and author of Prime Obsession Armand Leroi of Imperial College and author of Mutants Warren Treadgold of Saint Louis University and author of A History of Byzantine State and…

The gifts of the Trinity

We are all aware of Darwin, but the men who were instrumental in the rise of the Modern Synthesis and the banishment of the Eclipse of Darwinism are not figures who loom large in the public imagination. In the domain of population genetics they would be R.A Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane and Sewall Wright. R.A. Fisher’s…

Not so dead past

Many people have been revisiting old posts so that new readers could get a “taste” of their blog. Below are some representative posts which span my varied interests…. Daughter of the Enlightenment, Journey of Men, The Germanization of the liberal Idea, 8th grade math for the rest of us, Gene expression might matter, Slow and…