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 [...]
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 [...]
Fate is the most potent weapon in a the arsenal of determinists like Stephen Hawking. To contend, as determinists plainly do, that the outcomes of events are pre-determined is essentially the same as saying that the ebbs and flows of history are all dictated by fate. Actors, whether animate or inanimate, have no control over [...]
If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. Morpheus in The Matrix. Ray Kurzweil is obsessed with artificial intelligence (AI). Kurzweil has written a series of bestselling books–most recently How to Create a Mind–in which he advances the argument that machine intelligence [...]
One can hardly broach the subject of agency without acknowledging the long-standing and unresolved philosophical debate regarding the agency vs. determination dichotomy. To provide an illustration of the extent of disagreement over this dualism, determinists, such as Stephen Hawking have argued that agency and free will are nothing but an illusion: …the molecular basis of [...]
Academic communities and higher learning facilities like universities are the places where great knowledge is born and passed on with the purpose of ‘enlightening’ our societies for the better. Or is it? Aren’t academies and universities about socialization into The System and indoctrination into ideas that support hierarchy, exclusion, etc. According to Anna Brix Thomsen, its both. Universities are useful and do make a [technological] improvement in things, but usually only for the primary benefit of the elite. Trickle down benefits there may be, but its ultimately about maintaining the status quo and further enriching those who are already with privilege.