Category Archives: Science without worms

Gloriously batty

piece by Freeman Dyson, which I found when catching up with the NYRB: he foresees personal biotech kits, analogous to personal computers. bq. The first step in this direction was already taken recently, when genetically modified tropical fish with new … Continue reading Continue reading

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Science and original sin

One of the reasons I am not a Christian is that I speak theology quite well. I am naturally gifted in seeing the world that way, so much so that I can never be certain whether I mean or believe … Continue reading Continue reading

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Before I forget

_Svenska Dagbladet_ “reports”:http://www.svd.se/dynamiskt/inrikes/did_16249947.asp — though I can’t find it in the current PNAS — that researchers at the Karolinska, working with a team in Florida, have managed to reverse Alzheimer’s disease in mice by combining stem-cell transplants into the brain … Continue reading Continue reading

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Philip Kitcher on Darwin

I think I put up a post saying, briefly, that Philip Kitcher’s _Living with Darwin_ was a very good short book. Here is an extract answering a question that has often puzzled me – and, incidentally, suggesting why Dennett’s book … Continue reading

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Make yourself smarter

Listen to “this documentary”:http://tinyurl.com/2xsdgv next Wednesday, on Neurogenesis. It’s what Louise and I were up to in the States in May. Continue reading

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On the overuse of “Poetic”

I’m sympathetic, in principle, to the idea that parts of the Bible need no historical truth for their value. The Book of Job, for example. None the less, we can’t let people get away with saying anything historically false must … Continue reading Continue reading

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Who could resist this book?

Apparently written by an Orthodox Jewish mathematician, who has also written on game theory in Pentateuch. If Pascal had had these mathematical tools, might he have bet differently? [“Superior Beings:”:http://www.amazon.com/Superior-Beings-Game-Theoretic-Implications-Incomprehensibility/dp/038748065X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-2296405-9507048?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182689299&sr=8-1] _If They Exist, How Would We Know? Game-Theoretic Implications of … Continue reading Continue reading

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God knows no better than Heisenberg

I have thought for many years that the point of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle was that you could not measure a system without disturbing it. Hence the idea that your measurement of one aspect (say, momentum) must disturb another, like position, … Continue reading Continue reading

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Science and Religion (1)

One of the theological points of Pope Benedict’s [“speech in Regensburg”:http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=46474] last year was that the Muslim conception of God was flawed because it allowed him complete and unfettered freedom, even from logic: bq. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: “For … Continue reading Continue reading

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Why I am an agnostic

The excellent “Gene Expression”:http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/ blog has a “pointer”:http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2007/05/religion_makes_a_sharp_mind.php to a “Plos Article”:http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0050138 on the effects of meditation on the brain: after three months practising , people got better at noticing things which in normal life we can’t (very crude summary). … Continue reading Continue reading

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