Review, Ronald Fisher's "Genetical Theory of Natural Selection"

Why is this book important? Because it is still referred to as the basis for the population statistics on which rests the reigning scientific theory of evolution. As recently as 2010 Fisher was Richard Dawkins’ choice for the greatest biologist since Darwin: "He therefore could be said to have provided researchers in biology and medicine with their most important research tools, as well as with the modern version of biology’s central theorem.” But is the statistics within it sound. I conclude, no. More...

Why natural selection doesn't work

Natural selection is no mere idle fancy. Every so the logic behind it stirs a call for eugenics. "Unless we embrace genetic engineering, we will become a sickly and frail species" says Johnjoe McFadden, reader in molecular microbiology at the University of Surrey. Is natural selection so established a theory that we must take to the tumbrills and the guilotine once more?

Natural selection is notoriously hard to critique. Logically, it must contribute to evolution to some extent, just as, logically, friction must to some extent contribute to driving an automobile. But just as friction doesn't actually drive the automobile, natural selection may not be what actually drives evolution. How can we think our way through this?

I've arrived at a context in which it may be easier to evaluate natural selection. It's a physical situation that I think presents us with a parallel with the action of natural selection. More...

Being and Time: Heidegger, a review

You asked for it! Here it is. A review of Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. I give it an F.

Think like a dummy, about theory of mind

Video ventriloquism workshop "Think like a dummy" defending a dualist theory of mind, where I operate two dummies, one representing physicalism and the other dualism. Consider this for a college humanities department presentation, either as projected video, or having me perform.

Defense of dualism re evolution

This article quotes from and responds to April-May 2014 posts on Scientia Salon.

“A few [philosophers] have been seen administering a number of discreet kicks to what appears to be the corpse of dualism: Get up, you fat fool, I need you,” (Mark English, “Does Philosophy Have a Future,” May 26). Mike Trites reminds us how remote material monism is from the dualist world view of the large section of the public that rejects physicalism (“What to do about consciousness,” April 23). In an attempt to reanimate the supposed corpse I have extracted from that world view a set of axioms and on them built a dualist theory of evolution. More...

Human Nature, by James Trefil: Review

In my review I useTrefil’s book to make a point: believing in natural selection does matter, if you’re James Trefil. “given that we have the ability to manage our planet, what will we manage it for? When I go through the exercise of asking how the planet should be managed, I come up with a very simple rule: The global ecosystem should be managed for the benefit, broadly conceived, of human beings. I call this the benefit-to-humans principle.” Why it matters what James Trefil believes is, he’s a fellow of the World Economic Forum. Full review...