Domains and theories in science

We are getting to the tail end of this series. Here are the previous posts: The false analogy between species and art Pattern cladism and the myth of theory dependence of observation Species, phenomena and data More on phenomena Disambiguating the Theory-Dependence of Observation thesis (TDOT) In this post I want to discuss the theoretical Read More…

Did humans lose dominance?

An extensive critical review has just been published online in advance of publication for Biology and Philosophy. The title is “Evolution and the loss of hierarchies: Dubreuil’s Human evolution and the origin of hierarchies: the state of nature” by Catherine Driscoll. I haven’t read Benoit Dubreuil’s book. It looks from the review that it is Read More…

Discussing the Evolutionary Debunking Argument

John Danaher at Philosophical Disquisitions has a blog anyone with an interest in philosophy should be subscribing to. John presents simple argument diagrams and clear analyses of philosophy papers, usually those that deal with philosophy of religion and related topics. Recently he has been discussing an argument by Guy Kahane of Oxford that evolutionary debunking Read More…

Pope on evolution: more of the same teleological thinking

Recently, the Pope did what religious leaders appear increasingly inclined to do on Easter: bash science: Benedict emphasised the Biblical account of creation in his Easter Vigil homily, saying it was wrong to think at some point “in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning”. Read More…

Evolution quote: Sirks and Zirkle

At this point it might be well to insert a fact that has generally been overlooked by the historians of biology. The pre-evolutionary concept of species is generally given as a universally accepted view that species were constant and true breeding forms. Actually, the idea that species were completely stable and unalterable units had dominated Read More…

Is Brian Blessed a monkey or an ape?

One of the recurring creationist attacks on evolution is, “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” I responded to this once before but it is time to revisit it. Why? Because Marty Robbins has attacked the British media, itself always a noble thing to do, for constantly conflating apes and monkeys. In Read More…

Conference on religion as an evolutionary byproduct

If you are in the UK, and if you are a postgraduate, there will be a conference on religion as an evolutionary byproduct (the “spandrel” account of religion) at the University of Birmingham on 17 May. They will cover the travel costs of graduate speakers. Contact Naomi Thompson (nxt915@bham.ac.uk) by the 30th of April to Read More…

Did Synthese bow to Intelligent Design pressure?

A while back I published a paper in a special edition of Synthese on “Evolution and its rivals”. My paper was titled “Are Creationists Rational?” in which I argued that yes, in a bounded sense they are. I was very pleased to be invited to publish in this front rank journal by the special editors. Read More…

Evolution, or as we call it, EFF Theory

On inclusive fitness

Right now I am busy writing the grant application that determines the next ten years of my life, so excuse my absence. But instead of John Wilkins, let me point you to Jon Wilkins of Lost in Transcription. Jon has a cool web comic “Darwin Eats Cake” which discusses stuff I like, but recently he Read More…