Julie Kelly reports If you need proof that the line between science and politics has been irrevocably erased, look no further than the September edition of Scientific American. In a special issue entitled “Sex and Gender,” the magazine purloins the progressive political agenda and attempts to give it a scientific mooring even when none exists. It represents a […]
From Bengt Autzen at the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science: Musing on Means: Fitness, Expectation and the Principles of Natural Selection How to measure fitness in the theory of natural selection? A fitness measure that has been proposed in both the biological and the philosophical literature is the expected relative reproductive success. The […]
The term “machine learning” has started to be thrown around everywhere. However, I just don’t get excited about it, myself.
From ScienceDaily: Epigenetics may explain how Darwin’s finches respond to rapid environmental changes, according to new research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. By studying rural and urban populations of two species of Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands, researchers were able to show that while there was very little genetic variation, […]
Every assumption has been called into question over the last fifteen years, Colin Barras tells us: Do you believe that human brains have been getting steadily bigger for millions of years, culminating in the extraordinary machine between your ears? Think again, because over the past 15 years, almost every part of our story, every assumption about […]
We’ll probably never know what dinos were really like inthe sense that we can know what horses are like but we learn from Will Tattersdill at H-Sci-Med-Tech about the different ways we have understood them. Reviewing Dinosaurs Ever Evolving: The Changing Face of Prehistoric Animals in Popular Culture by Allen A. Debus, (1926–2009), he writes […]
Like flaky therapists claim? If it is, then the embedded genes are not very evenly distributed among humans. From Josh Gabbatiss at Sapiens: The 2015 paper that resulted from Carrier’s research showed that a buttressed fist, one with the thumb closed against the index and middle fingers, provides a safer way to hit someone with […]
Here: In Darwin’s scheme of things, the Victorian rich were the perfect expression of evolution. In perfecting itself, nature started with amoebas, and moved on through dinosaurs and flying lizards, fish, fowl and mammals until it came to the apes, so obviously like the poor savages of Tierra del Fuego or Papua New Guinea. Above […]
From Adam Hargreaves at The Conversation: DNA sequencing technology is helping scientists unravel questions that humans have been asking about animals for centuries. By mapping out animal genomes, we now have a better idea of how the giraffe got its huge neck and why snakes are so long. Genome sequencing allows us to compare and […]
One way to boost your uni’s ranking: Ask faculty to cite each other This is elsewhere called a citation ring. Also from the same post: Of course, this isn’t the only technique universities use to boost their metrics. Recently, we ran a story in Science about institutions (including many in Western countries) who pay faculty […]
From cognitive roboticist Murray Shanahan at Aeon: n 1984, the philosopher Aaron Sloman invited scholars to describe ‘the space of possible minds’. Sloman’s phrase alludes to the fact that human minds, in all their variety, are not the only sorts of minds. There are, for example, the minds of other animals, such as chimpanzees, crows […]
From Mic, via AP: Bill Nye, the Science Guy, has been in the news a lot. From Bruce Haring and Erik Pedersen at Deadline: Bill Nye Hits Disney With $37 Million Fraud Suit Over ‘Science Guy’ Profits Bill Nye the Science Guy ran on PBS from 1994 to 1999 and also was syndicated to local […]
Supporting documentation See also: The second advent of the Royal Society’s evolution rethink last November?
From John S. Torday at Royal Society on the special issue edition on the (failures of) current Darwinism (aka the Modern Synthesis): The Modern Synthesis, merging population genetics and Darwinian evolutionary gradualism, was formulated in 1942. That was long before biologists learned about the Double Helix, the role of epigenetics in embryonic development, or the molecular […]
Says neuroscientist Anil K. Seth at Aeon: Let’s begin with David Chalmers’s influential distinction, inherited from Descartes, between the ‘easy problem’ and the ‘hard problem’. The ‘easy problem’ is to understand how the brain (and body) gives rise to perception, cognition, learning and behaviour. The ‘hard’ problem is to understand why and how any of […]