Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested?

If that dictum looks like a bumper sticker, I apologize — but it’s true all the same. Most of the philosophy of science can be captured by a handful of bumper stickers. Anyway, keep the dictum in mind. In this second installment of the “Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes” blog series — part 1 is […]

A Look at What Darwin Got Wrong

For many years, Jerry Fodor has been an outspoken critic of Darwinian reasoning in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind / language. As a graduate student, I saw him present a colloquium on these topics, in front of a semi-hostile audience, and admired his bravado in refusing to kneel before the Altar of Darwin. […]

A Glimpse Into the Abyss

“Before going on,” said Frost, “I must ask you to be strictly objective. Resentment and fear are both chemical phenomena. Our reactions to each other are chemical phenomena. Social relations are chemical relations. You must observe these feelings in yourself in an objective manner. Do not let them distract your attention from the facts.” C.S. […]

Reflections on the University of Chicago Darwin 2009 Fest

Thanks to various live-bloggers, you can read summaries of all of the University of Chicago Darwin 2009 conference presentations. The conference organizers have also promised to make video podcasts available of all the lectures shortly. By contrast, what follows below is — as they say in sports television — color commentary. This will be a […]

Lewontin and Numbers: Day One of Darwin 2009 at the University of Chicago

“Go to hell!” said Ron Numbers cheerfully to me, as we greeted each other at the front of Rockefeller Chapel last night. “Hey, did I say that loud enough?” he asked, looking around at the various evolutionary biology and history and philosophy of science worthies — Lewontin, Kitcher, Sober, Ruse, Dennett, Richards, and so on […]

Upcoming Event: Grill the ID Scientist, 9 June 2009, University of Pittsburgh

An announcement from Professor David Snoke: “Grill the ID Scientist” Tuesday, June 9 7 PM, University of Pittsburgh Campus (room TBA) A network of scientists known as the Intelligent Design (ID) community continues to question basic tenets of Darwinism and origin-of-life scenarios. Not only are their views controversial in scientific circles — many in the […]

ID at the AAAS Annual Meeting, Part 2: David Deamer on the origin of life

This post is the second in a series reviewing the February 15, 2009 session at the AAAS annual meeting, Why Evolution Makes Sense of Biology. The first post is here. David Deamer: Why Evolution Makes Sense of Biochemistry …so-called prebiotic chemistry, which is of course falsely named, because we have no reason to believe that […]

ID at the AAAS 2009 Annual Meeting (Part I)

You won’t find any well-known intelligent design advocates among the speakers at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held recently in Chicago. But that does not mean ID was not there — quite the contrary. Like the social outcast left uninvited to the garden party, who nevertheless […]