The Post has an interesting article about the origin of morality (HT ). It talks about research showing that various moral impulses are hardwired into our brains by evolution. This dovetails nicely with another bit of research I stumbled upon recently (but can’t find now) that showed that, when posed with a moral problem, people… Continue reading Evolution of Morality
Imagine an animal that requires some substance, but that substance is scarce. Say, a mountain goat that needs salt, but lives in mountains where there’s hardly any around, unlike the seashore. In such an environment, it’ll need all the salt it can get, and natural selection will favor those goats that find salt tasty, since… Continue reading Why Everything Good Is Bad for You
When I last wrote about using evo-devo to compose music, I had gotten stuck on the problem of implementation. In particular, I couldn’t figure out how to write a seed organism that would develop into a simple composition that I could then use to evolve other tunes. I also wasn’t sure how to get the… Continue reading Software Enzymes for Musical Composition
I’m guessing that some researcher wondered aloud in the cafeteria, “How come medical researchers don’t talk about the evolution of antibiotic resistance? I mean sure, they talk about it, but they don’t call it evolution.” This article in PLoS Biology attempts to measure this observation. In a nutshell, they found that biology journals say that… Continue reading Doctors Don’t Like the Word “Evolution”
I went to see Flock of Dodos for its Darwin Day showing on Thursday. At one point, Randy Olson, the filmmaker, points out that the Intelligent Design movement has lots of points that fit on a bumper sticker, such as “no transitionals” (or “not enough transitional fossils”), “teach the controversy”, and so forth, while proponents… Continue reading Flock of Dodos Meme
While working on the Dover trial podcast, I think we’ve found one of the most cruel lines one can inflict on an actor: Their names here, just for a couple of examples, Moythomasia and Howqualepis. The names are really unimportant. And on the other side, Psarolepis and Achoania. Again, the names are unimportant. By the… Continue reading The Cruelest Line
I’m putting together an audio dramatization of the Dover Panda trial, to be podcasted, and I need actors. If you’re interested in helping, go to the project page and sign up! Here’s how it works: pick some parts you’d like to play (preferably more than one in case your first choice isn’t available) and send… Continue reading Pandas Podcast: Casting Call!
Daniel Dennett has proposed what he calls the intentional stance, which is basically the way that when we interact with other people or animals (and sometimes things), we act as if there’s a mind there that intends to behave in a certain way. If confronted with an angry dog, we behave as if that dog… Continue reading The Evolutionary Basis of Religion and Consciousness
Gil Dodgen posted the following over at Uncommon Descent: All computational evolutionary algorithms artificially isolate the effects of random mutation on the underlying machinery: the CPU instruction set, operating system, and algorithmic processes responsible for the replication process. If the blind-watchmaker thesis is correct for biological evolution, all of these artificial constraints must be eliminated.… Continue reading Gil Dodgen: Uncommonly Dense
Some time back, William Dembski proposed a sketch of an outline of an ID research program. The person reprting this at Uncommon Descent thinks this has already been applied in real life, but he’s wrong.