Browsing All Posts filed under »evolutionary biology«

Review of Hull and Ruse

August 19, 2008

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My review of The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Science edited by Hull and Ruse is up on the Metapsychology page. I thought the book was pretty damned good: While the articles are approachable, the Hull and Ruse volume does not feel like a dry introductory text that goes methodically through the central theses […]

Evolution of intelligence

August 4, 2008

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The latest issue of The Skeptic has a couple of articles discussing the question of how likely it is for intelligence to evolve. Unfortunately, Zeigler and Schermer, who wrote the articles, both make the same mistake of, at times, confusing the likelihood of humans re-evolving with the likelihood of advanced intelligence re-evolving (assuming humans can […]

Fact, fable, and Stark

July 18, 2008

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One of the things David Sloan Wilson suggested that I should look at is Rodney Stark’s work on religion. Wilson, in his own work, makes quite a bit of use of Stark’s explanation of religious practices in terms of transactions for scarce or unavailable goods such as eternal life. Looking through the Internet I did […]

Article for The Skeptic

July 14, 2008

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A few months ago I mentioned an article on David Sloan Wilson I had written for The Skeptic. When I got into the office today an e-mail from Michael Shermer was waiting for me, saying that he was going to publish the article in the next available issue. As it happens, David Sloan Wilson had […]

After the Expanded Synthesis Workshop

July 14, 2008

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It was exhausting. People might think that workshops are just sitting around, chatting, and eating good food. The problem with that idea is that the talks given actually represent the very sharp end of the cutting edge of science, with masses on new concepts and data being thrown at you in talk after talk. It […]

Three days of evolution

July 12, 2008

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The Konrad Lorenz Institute is currently hosting the Towards an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis Workshop. The workshop is being organised by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerg Muller and, thanks to a fairly silly article that came out a couple of months ago and compared this meeting to Woodstock, has attracted a much greater amount of interest than […]

The wonder that is the fugu… genome

June 1, 2008

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PZ Myers, the evolutionary biologist with the very successful Pharyngula blog has written a fascinating article for SEED magazine on the fugu genome: Its genome is a tiny 365 million bases, one-eighth the size of the human genome, and the fugu genes take up a full third of that sequence (rather than 5 percent), while […]

Outline of In a Mirror, Darkly: How Superstitions Reflect Rationality

March 14, 2008

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As part of my report on what I have done at the KLI over the last few months I had to write an outline of the book I’m working on. This helped me to clarify some of my ideas while making it obvious to me what other things I still need to think a bit […]

Wilson’s answer to Pigliucci

February 19, 2008

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Wilson has replied to Pigliucci’s comments. The result is very much worth looking at: D.S. Wilson replies to Massimo on atheism as stealth religion

Pigliucci and D. S. Wilson on atheism

February 7, 2008

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A few days ago I added the Secular Philosophy blog to my list of links even though it only had a couple of posts at that time. Since then there has been a number of interesting posts on the site including Massimo Pigliucci’s comment on a series of posts that David Sloan Wilson has in […]