The Evolutionary Advantages And Present Disadvantages Of Our Conformist Minds

John Wilkins has a good post on the value of our minds’ readinesses to defer to authorities from an evolutionary standpoint: The evolutionary justification for this is, of course the following: if evolution were a designer, trying to ensure that thinking beings learned and knew what they had to to survive, a cheaper rule than [Read More...]

Are Sex and Morality Merely “Evolutionary Tricks”?

Francis Collins trots out a familiar old argument against atheism.  The argument is that if there is no God then our morality is an illusion.  Collins’s presentation of this argument features an unusual and suspicious spin.  Collins knows that arguments can be made from evolutionary psychology that broadly moral thinking seems to have evolved in [Read More...]

Carl Sagan On Charlie Rose

On the needs for scientific education: [Read more...]

Is Much Of What We Think About Weight And Health Wrong?

Paul Campos argues so in this thought provoking interview with Megan McArdle, which I recommend reading in full: Obesity is defined completely arbitrarily as a body mass index of 30 or higher (175 pounds for an average height woman). Now body mass follows more or less a normal distribution, whiich means if the the mean [Read More...]

Some Qualifications Of My Suggestion For Moving Philosophy Debates To The Internet

I appreciate Professor Harman’s willingness to exchange a couple rounds of debate with me across blogs against his stated desire to avoid such exchanges and so I will remain grateful to him even if we do not hear further reply from him.  Here are his reasons for rejecting my notion of having a centralized message [Read More...]

On The Pros And Cons Of Blogging As A Preferred Medium For Philosophy

Graham Harman has an excellent (and lightning quickly delivered) reply up in response to my remarks earlier on the profession of philosophy looking into blogging as a preferred medium for more efficient and multi-vocal exchange.  I’m quite grateful and want to address a few of his key observations and expand on some of my own [Read More...]

The Future Of Philosophy Publishing

Fascinating speculations from Graham Harman: Until very recently, the mere act of getting a book published was difficult enough that it carried a certain automatic prestige, provided that you weren’t publishing with some obvious fly-by-night sort of firm or a known vanity press. But of course there was and is still a certain hierarchy among [Read More...]

Empirically Testing Theological Claims

PZ Myers recaps some of the highlights of what he found to be a frustratingly insubstantial discussion between historian of science Ron Numbers and creationist Paul Nelson.  Myers writes: His example was to talk about the argument from imperfections, the fact that many of the points Coyne made as evidence of evolution were from sub-optimal [Read More...]

Does Faith Make You An Idiot?

In reply to my recent posts on atheism and fundamentalism, a friend writes to me privately: Alright, first of all, I won’t pretend to have read everything with the thread or understand it all, but I do think I grasp the basic argument: Is it moral for atheists to try to get others to conform [Read More...]


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