Genetics and Evolution

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Evolutionary Epistemology. By Gene Callahan “This [is] an objection to evolutionary epistemology in all of its forms—that there is no reason whatever for supposing that the web of belief which has emerged via natural and cultural evolution mirrors nature or tracks reality.

Evolutionary Epistemology

It will do so, according to evolutionary theory itself, only in so far as such mirroring or tracking enhances survival chances. There is, in fact, nothing a priori to tell against the possibility that false belief systems may sometimes give their holders a competitive edge in survival stakes, if unreasonable optimism, or false religious or other hopes are useful in sustaining them in adversity.” – John Gray, Liberalisms, 248. It seems to me that Gray’s point is indisputable: the mere fact that, say, our brains or our scientific enterprises evolved as “spontaneous orders” gives them, contra Hayek, no warrant of epistemological reliability whatsoever.

(Gray, in fact, specifically notes Hayek as someone committing the error he is criticizing.) Wellcometrust's Channel. Science Learning+ is an international initiative established in partnership with the US-based National Science Foundation and the UK-based Economic and Social Research Council, and in collaboration with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Noyce Foundation.

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Science Learning+ supports research to explore and understand the power of informal learning experiences inside and outside of school. Learning can happen anywhere and at any time. Science Learning+ aims to make a transformational step to improve the knowledge base and practice of informal science experiences, so as to better understand, strengthen and coordinate their vital role in science engagement and learning. To find out more: Produced by Simon Moore. Biblical fever = influenza. You're kidding me, right? : Aetiology.

Via Bob O’H and Cath Ennis comes this truly bizarre article from the Virology Journal: “Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time”.

Biblical fever = influenza. You're kidding me, right? : Aetiology

Now, regular readers will know that I normally love this type of thing; digging back through history to look at Lincoln’s smallpox; Cholera in Victorian London; potential causes of the Plague of Athens, the origin of syphilis, or whether Yersinia pestis really caused the Black Plague. I’ve even written a bit about the history of influenza. So analysis of a 2000-year old potential flu case? Bring it on. But. The Bible describes the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. (more after the jump…) OK, so they set up their premise.

That’s the extent of the information. From this, the authors conclude that the fever must have been influenza. Seriously. They go on to dismiss a significant number of other viral pathogens, as well as demonic influence (phew! The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution (9780195079517): Stuart A. Kauffman:… Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence. Covering technological, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing. Human Evolution. Cookies on the New Scientist website close Our website uses cookies, which are small text files that are widely used in order to make websites work more effectively.

Human Evolution

To continue using our website and consent to the use of cookies, click away from this box or click 'Close' Find out about our cookies and how to change them Log in Your login is case sensitive I have forgotten my password close My New Scientist Look for Science Jobs Human evolution Introduction: Human evolution The incredible story of our evolution from ape ancestors spans 6 million years or more. Human 'missing link' fossils may be jumble of species THIS WEEK: 19:00 09 April 2014 The extinct Australopithecus sediba is hailed as a transitional form between ape-like australopithecines and early humans, but it may actually be two species Denisovans: The lost humans who shared our world FEATURE: 20:00 03 April 2014 They lived on the planet with us for most of our history, yet until six years ago we didn't know they existed.

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