If the messages embedded in folklore mean anything, then until very recently humans were terrified of the natural environment. In many cases, the scariest part of folk tales involves foolish individuals–often kids, in order to emphasize the cautionary nature of the tales–who wander into situations where they fall prey to the many terrors that lurk [...]
Racism is a socially-constructed disease of the mind. Racism is an infectious disease that is caused by a specific form of ignorance: a groundless, pre-scientific belief that race is based in fundamental biological differences among humans. Nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to biology, humans are all like (Gregor Mendel’s) peas [...]
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. No, really I do. I know a lot of people might be a little anxious and nervous, but I see mostly good things ahead if, that is, we can put aside our differences and learn to exploit the revolutionary opportunities now emerging together, as a global family, and not separate, as a bunch of warring class, ethnic, and gender factions.
As Darwin pointed out in the The Origin of Species (1859), species often exhibit enormous variation. Darwin was a pigeon breeder and described at length the astounding variation that, with the help of artificial selection, pigeon breeders had succeeded in cultivating in an otherwise humdrum bird species. Similar forces operate on Canis familiaris and, if anything, have [...]
Albert Einstein believed that the universe was created by a rational god; a god who would never presume to play dice with his precious creation. Einstein’s belief in a rational, knowable universe was rooted in a “clockwork” scientific philosophy that comprised the very bedrock of Enlightenment science. This perspective was most famously summed up by [...]
If the messages that are embedded in folklore mean anything, then until very recently humans were terrified of the natural environment (Grimm, et. al., 1915). In many cases, the scariest part of folk tales involves foolish individuals–often kids, in order to emphasize the cautionary nature of the tales–who fall prey to one of the many [...]
One can hardly broach the subject of free will or human agency without acknowledging the long-standing and unresolved philosophical debate regarding agency vs. determinism (Campbell, et. al., 2004). To provide an illustration of the extent of disagreement over this dualism, determinists, such as Hawking and Mlodinow (2010), have argued that agency and free will are [...]
Scholars have referred to Homo sapiens’ game-changing capacity to transform the biological evolutionary process into an intellectual exercise–or what I refer to as super-adaptability–in a variety of ways. Karl Popper distinguishes between biological and cognitive problem solving. In so doing, Popper emphasizes that for most organisms the one and only means of resolving survival problems [...]
Does it seem like the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Hard to conclude otherwise when children are massacred as in recent fashion. If you want to understand why however, maybe it is time to put aside “stock” answers and look past clichés about God, madness, and guns. If you are interested in a deeper look at the world we live in, sociologists can help.
Thomas Kuhn (1996) argued that scientific revolutions take place when dominant paradigms are dislodged by emergent paradigms. Science undergoes such transitions when established paradigms fail to account for an increasing number of empirical anomalies. Anomalies may be understood as enigmas for which existing knowledge systems lack convincing explanations, e.g., dark energy (Panek, 2011). Kuhn’s perspective [...]