An Exercise on the Eve of Paul Nelson Day 2010

A few years ago, P.Z. Myers — with his Mencken-like genius for the memorable putdown — devised “Paul Nelson Day,” aka April 7, to record my annual failure to follow up on a promise to elucidate “ontogenetic depth,” a notion I floated in 2003. Much as I enjoy having my own day and all, I […]

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. […]