Philosophy

Pharyngula

Category archives for Philosophy

We’ve got an interesting seminar coming to Morris next Thursday. Thursday, February 18, 2016, 5 p.m. Location: Imholte Hall 109 The origination of novel structures has long been an intriguing topic for biologists. Over the past few decades it has served as a central theme in evolutionary developmental biology, in part to highlight explanatory gaps…

A Marxist perspective on cancer

Sadly, a young man in England has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer — and he really is an atheist in a metaphorical foxhole, and it hasn’t changed his opinion of religion. Between now and last Wednesday I’ve worried about various things, but one thought that stands out is religion. Before I go into more…

When I heard that Steven Pinker had written a new piece decrying the accusations of scientism, I was anxious to read it. “Scientism” is a blunt instrument that gets swung in my direction often enough; I consider it entirely inappropriate in almost every case I hear it used. Here’s the thing: when I say that…

There’s another paper out debunking the ENCODE consortium’s absurd interpretation of their data. ENCODE, you may recall, published a rather controversial paper in which they claimed to have found that 80% of the human genome was ‘functional’ — for an extraordinarily loose definition of function — and further revealed that several of the project leaders…

Philosophers are still grumbling about Lawrence Krauss, who openly dissed philosophy (word to the philosophers reading this: he recanted, so you can put down the thumbscrews and hot irons for now). This is one of those areas where I’m very much a middle-of-the-road person: I am not a philosopher, at least I’m definitely not as…

Among my usual flood of daily email, I frequently get tossed onto mailing lists for conservative think tanks. Why? I don’t know. I suspect that it’s for the same reason I also get a lot of gay porn in my email: not because I follow it or asked to be added, but because some tired…

Kim Stanley Robinson at Duke

I haven’t had a chance yet to listen to the whole of Kim Stanley Robinson’s talk at Duke, but what I’ve seen so far is very good. I’m more posting this here so I have a reminder to watch the rest once I get home, but nothing is stopping you all from enjoying it now.…

Simon Ings has written a wonderful survey of the eye, called A Natural History of Seeing: The Art and Science of Vision(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), and it’s another of those books you ought to be sticking on your Christmas lists right now. The title give you an idea of its content. It’s a “natural history”, so don’t expect…

What are you doing here?

Well? It’s a good question! Answer it! Every one of you!