Arthur Stanley Eddington was an Englishman, a physicist, a pacifist and a clever writer: I have settled down to the task of writing these lectures…8 Comments
So you may have noticed, David Hume turns 300 today. I reckon he looks a lot younger than that, almost modern. There’s an interesting discussion…3 Comments
Are you a HPS scholar?
If so I invite you to join our group blog Whewell’s Ghost, even if you already blog. You can either write for WG directly or…9 Comments
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…14 Comments
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…15 Comments
Somehow, I got minions/The first biological species concept revisited
It’s late in Real Time so I can only do a brief one now… I made the mistake of noting on Twitter that I lacked…16 Comments
Darwin Day: Enough already
I love studying about Darwin and his life and times. I have read enormous amounts, and taught Darwinian history. I’m teaching it again this semester.…64 Comments
Arseholes! Systematics, phylogenetics and HPS
There’s been some developments this day. First of all a defunct blog on history and philosophy of science has revived with a new skin and…13 Comments
What is systematics and what is taxonomy?
Over the past few years there have been increasing numbers of calls for governments to properly fund systematics and taxonomy (and a number of largely molecular-focused biologists insisting they can do the requisite tasks with magic molecule detectors, so don’t fund old-school, fund new-fangled-tech). But I think that there is considerable confusion about what systematics and taxonomy are.
Now the usual way a philosopher resolves such questions, apart from
interrogating their intuitions relying upon what they learned in grade school, is to go find a textbook or some other authoritative source and quote that. If it is someone they already know, all the better, like Mayr or Dawkins. This is problematic, so I thought I’d do a slightly better job at reviewing what people think. And then I will of course give my own view.