Why is Darwin’s theory so controversial?

So asks this essay and gets the whole thing wrong. Darwin’s theories (plural) are not controversial because they imply that species are mutable. This was a widely held view by preachers, moralists, Aristotelians, naturalists, breeders, formalists, folk biology, and even biblical translators. Darwin was not controversial because he implied racist ideas about humans. He never Read More…

New publications

I have added some under-review drafts of my papers to the PhilPapers archive: Essentialism in Biology. Essentialism in philosophy is the position that things, especially kinds of things, have essences, or sets of properties, that all members of the kind must have, and the combination of which only members of the kind do, in fact, have. Read More…

Rise of the Planet of the Moralists 5: Social Dominance and Power

Rise of the Planet of the Moralists Series1: Introduction2: Chains and Trees 3: Clades and grades4: Predicting traits5: Social dominance and power Thus far we have focused on the differences between human beings and apes, and the ways we should expect to find each species behave. What do all apes have that is common in Read More…

The Quiet Links

After the apocalypse, links…

On fear and risk

I haven’t had a rant/sermon in a while. My parents’ generation went through the second world war, fighting tyrants and ideologies that sought to control our everyday lives; for which reason they are sometimes called “the best generation”. Their parents’ generation fought world war one and went through the Depression. The generation I am the Read More…

Some interesting links

A speculative journal published by Elsevier may be dropped after it publishes AIDS denialism. The crisis of faith in rational economics of a Chicago economist… An article claiming that race as a biological concept got a bad rap. How Haiti got there, hat tip Leiter How David Brooks thinks Haiti got there. How Mega-Shark could Read More…

Avatar plotline

is best summed up as Dances with Smurfahontas in Fern Gully For example… And now, the Metacontextual Edition (warning! Major plot spoilers, and I mean that in the most literal way).