Category Archives: science

Selfish Altruism

‘Psychological Altruism’ is just a special case of ‘Biological Altruism’ and the “gene” for either is the most selfish of all. Of course the concept of genes for actual characteristics all being in one-to-one correspondence with discrete sequences of DNA … Continue reading

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Brain Scans as Lie Detectors

BBC News – Brain scans being misused as lie detectors, experts say. And of course those who claim to interpret the scans will also call themselves experts. (Which leads us off to another conversation entirely) I am troubled by the … Continue reading

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Blog Action Day

This year’s Blog Action Day is devoted to the theme of Climate Change and an understanding of mathematics is certainly essential for anyone involved in making making decisions about how to respond to this issue (which in a democracy is … Continue reading

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Science & Religion again

Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, coauthors of “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future”, writing in the LA Times, ask “Must science declare a holy war on religion?” Their concern appears to be that Richard Dawkins and other so-called … Continue reading

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Getting Smarter

This article shares some of my own reaction to the “internet is making us dumber” nonsense, as well as commenting on other possible sources of increasing global intelligence.

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Is Mental Causation a Problem?

Stephen Downes points to this review by Sara Worley in NotreDame Philosophical Review of the book ‘Mental Causation’ by Anthony Dardis, and he (Stephen) concludes with this: “The main takeaway? This nice neat picture of ‘A causes B’ is deeply … Continue reading

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A Quantum Embarrassment to Scientific American

The latest Scientific American lead article Was Einstein Wrong?: A Quantum Threat to Special Relativity is an odd duck. It almost (but never quite) does a fair job of describing some quite challenging aspects of quantum mechanics and its relation … Continue reading

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David MacKay: Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air

In Sustainable Energy – without the hot air UK physicist David MacKay presents plausible back-of-the-envelope estimates of the scales of action needed under various strategies for reduction of global carbon fuel combustion. The numbers he uses are easily checked and … Continue reading

Posted in climate, politics, sustainability | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid | AlterNet

Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid | AlterNet Typical knee-jerk anti-nuke article but comments actually worth reading

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I Google, therefore I Don’t Think

My friend Gerry Pareja sent this article by John Naughton from The Observer, responding (I think very well) to Nicholas Carr’s ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?‘ in The Atlantic, but I can’t say that its arrival is what distracted me … Continue reading

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Hedonic Man

Hedonic Man is the title of a review by Alan Wolfe of two books on the “new economics”. Like Wolfe (and probably countless others) I am sure that the science of economics is sorely lacking, but also like him I … Continue reading

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Gates on Watson on Race

The Science of Racism is an odd title for an article in which Henry Louis Gates identifies James Watson’s view as something he calls “racialist” and distinct from “racist”.

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Dyson on Global Warming

The Question of Global Warming – The New York Review of Books

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CO2 Reduction Scenarios (UK example)

Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap [printer-friendly] | The Register

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The Hyberbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project

“Holding theorems in their hands” is a blog post about the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project. It’s a wonderful story about collaboration on many levels and across many interest groups – and with beautiful images to boot. I saw it … Continue reading

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Eggheads – The Boston Globe

Eggheads – The Boston Globe Ravens and octopi both give me hope for the future of intelligence on this planet.

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Probability of Occurring by Chance

In this post at squareCircleZ, Professor Bruce Armstrong from the Sydney Cancer Centre at the University of Sydney is quoted as saying “The probability the that increase is due simply to chance is about one in a million so we … Continue reading

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Leaning Tower Illusion

My friend Gerry Pareja forwarded a link to this story from ‘Improbable Research’ about the first prize winner in the Neural Correlate Society’s 2007 Illusion of the Year contest. The image certainly is pretty cool. But to test the explanation … Continue reading

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AlterNet: Environment: Exposed: The Truth Behind Popular Carbon Offsetting Schemes

AlterNet: Environment: Exposed: The Truth Behind Popular Carbon Offsetting Schemes

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Bonobo Swingers?

Arts&Letters Daily pointed to this fine essay by Ian Parker in The New Yorker. It really is an interesting and entertaining blend of anecdote, history, and good science reporting.

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