So much to say, so little time

As I prepare for the conferences I start attending and blathering at from tomorrow, I of course find a treasure trove of things to blog about. Since I can’t really do them all justice, I will merely put a one liner for each below the fold.

Mark Pallen’s paper on the myth of Annie’s death causing Darwin’s atheism is now up online. Read it; it’s a marvellous piece of detective work. What he doesn’t say is that what motivates the myth is the notion of some historians that people don’t actually make their intellectual decisions for intellectual reasons, whereas he is taking Darwin more or less at his word.

Bite Size Biology has a nice piece on the underappreciated and overdemonised Haeckel.

Epiphenom discusses the inverse relationship between a nation’s “social health” and its religiosity.

AK’s Rambling Thoughts has a very nice discussion of the origin and meaning of “central nervous system”.

My hero Frans de Waal attacks “anthropodenial” – the claim that humans are nothing at all like animals in cognition, in a letter in Nature which is unfortunately behind a paywall.

Tim Leonard has more on Hofstadter’s attack on “social Darwinism” at History of Economics Playground.

And Anne-Marie Hodge at Endless Forms has a piece on a hybrid salamander that is supplanting the local native species because, among other things, it eats the young of that native species.

Have fun. I’ll blog from the conferences when I can.

2 thoughts on “So much to say, so little time

  1. Thanks for the plug. I’m hopeful that this one, and the companion piece on Cnidarians, will shake the tree a bit regarding evolutionary paradigms.

  2. re: the Pallen link, there’s a very good essay by Proust, Contre Sainte-Beuve (Against Sainte-Beuve, for those with even less French than me) that attacks the whole idea that you can know more about a text by knowing about the author and his life. Proust attacks Sainte-Beuve (and the Goncourts) pretty vehemently for basing their lit crit on cosy little chats with salon authors, and bits of literary gossip.

    Looked for an online version, but can’t find any. There’s a good English edition available in print though.

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