No scientific evidence for that

A brilliant Facebook post by Kaj Sotala. Posted partly so I can link people here when I need to tell them there’s no scientific evidence for something: One of the biggest ways by which scientists and science-minded people fail to communicate with laypeople, I think, is with the phrase “there’s no scientific evidence for X”. [Read More…]

So I’ve been flipping through The Transhumanist Reader…

This post was originally going to be titled, “Currently reading: The Transhumanist Reader” (Amazon link), but I’m not sure I’ll continue reading it. There’s nothing really wrong with it, and many of the contributors are people whose work I already respect greatly (namely Nick Bostrom, Anders Sandberg, Robin Hanson, and Russell Blackford). It’s just that [Read More…]

Alvin Plantinga, Michael Behe, and Paul Draper

In an e-mail conversation, Paul Draper pointed out an error in my review of Plantinga’s most recent book, Where the Conflict Really Lies. The key background is at one point in the book, Plantinga responds to a paper by Draper which was, in turn, a critique of the work of intelligent design advocate Michael Behe. [Read More…]

The ignorance and dishonesty of Christian apologetics, part 1: anti-evolutionism

I don’t think I’m going to be able to get through writing this post if I try to feign politeness, so let me start by saying that it’s long been clear to me that, in spite of his moderate views on some issues (relative to his fellow evangelicals, anyway) Christian apologist Randal Rauser is not [Read More…]

Russell Blackford on human enhancement

A couple weeks ago, I interviewed Australian philosopher Russell Blackford for the podcast that I’ve been trying to get started for awhile, but the recording didn’t turn out. However, I thought Russell had done a great job answering my questions, so I’m going to try to reproduce as much of the interview as possible from memory. [Read more…]

I am very smart and it isn’t fair (to other people)

Ben Bernanke just gave a speech denouncing meritocracy. This is a good opportunity for me to make a point I’ve been meaning to make about the genetics of intelligence ever since the thread on Star Trek and human enhancement. [Read more…]

Bermúdez’ Cognitive Science (a review)

I’ve long had people tell me I should take a class on cognitive science, from my undergrad philosophy of mind prof to, more recently, various MIRI/LessWrong folks. But I’m out of school and very likely will never take a cognitive science class, so I decided to do the next best thing and pickup a textbook [Read More…]

Why no alien radio signals?

On plausible assumptions, the universe should be teeming with intelligent life, so where are they all? The folks behind SETI have responded by going out and looking for it by scanning radio signals, but so far the search has turned up nothing. Could there be a Great Filter at work? Or do the aliens just have better technology? [Read more…]

On disemvowelling and creationism

I’ve been learning to program in Python, and midway through an “online intro to Python” thing I’ve been doing, I realized it had given me everything I’d need to write a Python script for disemvowelling text. Also: my policy on creationism in the comments. [Read more…]