From the archives: Ignorance: Comparing Dawkins and Plantinga

Here’s a post from back in December 2010, just after I had left graduate school. It’s another one that I’m likely to refer back to in the future, and will satisfy people who’ve been hoping to see me talk more about Plantinga. A good chunk of my blogging over the next few weeks will be [Read More…]

From the archives: Why the retina is cool

I’m taking a page out of Natalie’s book and giving myself a week off, where I re-post posts from my old blog every day. This doesn’t mean I won’t post other stuff (see previous post), but I’m giving myself permission to do only that if other things get in the way. Today, I’m re-posting another [Read More…]

Five books for a high-school dropout?

Here’s an interesting question a friend of mine posted to Facebook: If you could only choose five books to give to a high school drop-out to get them through the rest of their life, what books would they be and why? [Read more…]

From the archives: Parkinson’s and schizophrenia

Unlike my recent “From the archives” posts, this is a post I wrote way back in 2008. I had completely forgotten about it until recently, when a woman e-mailed me to thank me for it, because she had a mentally ill son and by showing her friends my post she could get them to better understand [Read More…]

You need alegebra and statistics to understand the world

Andrew Sullivan writes a post titled Math is Useless, then follows up with reader reactions. I’m definitely on the side of this guy: [Read more…]

Scientists making use of philosophy

A few months ago, on my old blog, I did a “so what do people want me to write about?” thread, and got one request I wasn’t sure how to respond to at first: “I’d like to see the proper relationship between science and philosophy.” The problem with trying to answer this question is that [Read More…]

In defense of evolutionary psychology, part 2: adaptationism and the reason human brains are so big

So in the first post of this series, I quoted the editors of The Adapted Mind as saying in effect that we can assume complex features of the human mind are evolutionary adaptations. And I know this is going to get them accused by some people of “adaptationism,” which is the alleged vice of assuming [Read More…]

In defense of evolutionary psychology, part 1: introduction and the pleistocene

Within the skeptic/atheist/rationalist internets, there seems to be a rather striking divide between folks who take for granted the basic ideas of evolutionary psychology and drop off-hand references to Steven Pinker and Cosmides and Tooby, and folks who disagree and drop off-hand references to the fact that evolutionary psychology is evil. I’m very much in [Read More…]

The more you know about science, the more likely you are to have accurate scientific views

Duh. But unfortunately, sometimes people deny the obvious. Russell Blackford links to this piece adapted from Chris Mooney’s new book, saying, “this article is rather interesting. I wonder whether it signals a return to form.” Mmm… interesting, yes, but the piece still includes the kind of bad arguments Mooney has become infamous for. The core [Read More…]