Category Archives: Science

Consciousness is composed of non-consciousness

The components of a thing are not individually the thing. For example, the components of the chair I type most of my blog posts from are not the chair itself, but the wood of the frame, the springs for the … Continue reading

Posted in Mind and AI, Philosophy, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 63 Comments

97% of the observable universe is forever unreachable

The other day, I was reading a post by Ethan Siegel on his excellent blog, Starts With a Bang, about whether it makes sense to consider the universe to be a giant brain.  (The short answer is no, but read … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

First Peoples and Neanderthals

This weekend, I finished off the last of the ‘First Peoples‘ PBS miniseries on prehistoric humans.  If  you’ve watched other documentaries on human prehistory and found them interesting, then you’ll want to watch this one to get the latest findings. … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

‘The Selfish Gene’: Classic science worth checking out

I don’t usually read old science books.  After a decade or so, I find that their content tends to have too much dated material.  But ‘The Selfish Gene‘ keeps coming up in conversations, not just because its author, Richard Dawkins, is … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The evolution of the scientific method.

Empiricism, the idea that sensory experience is a source of knowledge, is ancient.  People have obviously learned through sensory experience as long as there have been people.  Studying the night skies gave ancient humans insight into the flow of the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

There is only one dogma of science: truth is better than fantasy

Dave Pruett has a post up at the Huffington Post looking at a declaration of eight “eminent” scientists and scholars calling for science to move past its materialistic focus.  The list of authors in this declaration includes Rupert Sheldrake, whose TED … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Free will persists even if your brain made you do it

The free will debate has been going on for millenia and, like most philosophical debates, shows little chance of being settled anytime soon.  A significant part of the debate is definitional: what do we mean when we say “free will.”  We can … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments