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Evolving Thoughts

Struggling with impermanence and vagueness in a complex world

Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:49:03 +0000


In defence of taxonomists [plus ça change]

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 07:34:38 +0000

I sympathize with the physiologist or ecologist, who after he has written a luminous paper on a Cratoegus or Viola, or Rosa, or Opuntia, endeavors to ascertain the proper name for his plant; but I do not sympathize with his objurgations against the whole tribe of species makers. There is a deal of pseudo science, Read More...

Launching Species

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 05:35:24 +0000

WorldCat•LibraryThing•Google Books•BookFinder It’s out! Get it here. Hardback and Ebook.

12 Days to Species publication

Sat, 03 Feb 2018 11:38:54 +0000

Due 15 February! Details here

An Agnostic’s Apology

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 04:02:55 +0000

From Sir Leslie Stephen’s 1903 book. “Apology” here means defence (from apologia). AN AGNOSTICS APOLOGY The name Agnostic, originally coined by Professor Huxley about 1869, has gained general acceptance. It is sometimes used to indicate the philosophical theory which Mr. Herbert Spencer, as he tells us, developed from the doctrine of Hamilton and Mansel. Upon that Read More...

Religious exceptionalism is undemocratic

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:49:05 +0000

This is my submission to the government’s “review”. As usual, I get contrarian. Below the fold… Submission to the Religious Freedom Review Summary: Religious exceptionalism is undemocratic Introduction Many people of religious commitments believe they are under threat from such secular laws as antidiscrimination acts, the calls for the confessional to be regulated in cases Read More...

50 words for snow 7: taxing attacks on taxa

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 05:30:55 +0000

We should consider in each case what Question it is that is proposed, and what answer to it would, in the instance before us, be the most opposite or contrasted to the one to be examined. E.G. “You will find this doctrine in Bacon” may be contrasted, either with “You will find in Bacon a Read More...

50 words for snow 6: explanations and phenomena

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 05:07:11 +0000

Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Anyone who has ever had a child knows the issue with indefinite “why?” questions. The interrogator asks why for every answer that is given, until the responder gets tired or emotional. And this is not just a Read More...

50 words for snow 5: constructing phenomena

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 04:34:01 +0000

Series Conceptual confusion The economics of cultural categories What are phenomena? What counts as sociocultural? Species Constructing phenomena Explanations and phenomena There is a naive empiricist view held by nobody on close inspection, that phenomena merely present themselves to the observer, and call for explanation. At least since Kant, such a view has been untenable, Read More...

A current list of species concepts

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:52:11 +0000

As part of my book, I have updated the list of species concepts. Thought you lot might like this: Species conceptions Basic Convention Taxonomic species [TSC] Diagnostic Morphospecies [MSC] Genealogy Evolutionary species [ESC] [Monophyly] Phylospecies [PSC] Gene-based Genetic species [GSC] Reproductive reach Biospecies [BSC] Ecological niche Ecospecies [EcSC] Replacement concepts Operational Taxonomic Units Least Inclusive Read More...

Another chapter on religion done

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:36:38 +0000

Readers will recall I had a series on why people believe silly things… This is now a book chapter, with extra added citation goodness and many footnotes, although I haven’t yet resorted to Terry Pratchett’s practice of doing footnotes to the footnotes. Not yet. The book is New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion: Read More...