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 the world's most famous atheist, but also because of its core message, that genes are … Continue reading ‘The Selfish Gene’: Classic science worth checking out
In a Skeptical Inquirer article that I'm a bit surprised hasn't received more attention, Scott O. Lilienfeld and Rachel Ammirati take a look at this question: Would the World Be Better Off Without Religion? A Skeptic’s Guide to the Debate - CSI. In this article, we address the overarching question of whether high levels of certitude … Continue reading Would the World Be Better Off Without Religion?
Each year a forum for the world's most brilliant minds asks one question. This year's drew responses from such names as Richard Dawkins, Ian McEwan and Alan Alda. Here, edge.org founder John Brockman explains how the question came into being and we pick some of the best responses via What scientific idea is ready for … Continue reading What scientific idea is ready for retirement? | Science | The Observer
In this episode, a question that haunted Charles Darwin: if natural selection boils down to survival of the fittest, how do you explain why one creature might stick its neck out for another? The standard view of evolution is that living things are shaped by cold-hearted competition. And there is no doubt that today\'s plants … Continue reading Evolution and altruism
PZ Myers has posted his views on David Dobb's Aeon article: That’s the peril of a historically successful, productive research program. We get locked in to a model; there is the appeal of being able to use solid, established protocols to gather lots of publishable data, and to keep on doing it over and over. … Continue reading Biologists continue to debate genes versus gene expression
David Dobbs mucks up evolution, part II « Why Evolution Is True. The second part of Jerry Coyne's response to David Dobb's Aeon piece on the problems with the selfish gene metaphor. Be sure to read Dobb's extended response in the comment section. Maybe I'm misreading, but Dobb's appears to be backpedaling significantly from the … Continue reading David Dobbs mucks up evolution, part II « Why Evolution Is True
The grasshopper, he noted, sports long legs and wings, walks low and slow, and dines discreetly in solitude. The locust scurries hurriedly and hoggishly on short, crooked legs and joins hungrily with others to form swarms that darken the sky and descend to chew the farmer’s fields bare. Related, yes, just as grasshoppers and crickets … Continue reading Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest – David Dobbs – Aeon