New articles in Science: science education

Nature and nurture, Agustin Fuentes:. “We know more about how life works, and the range of systems that impact it, than ever before. Organisms are constructed in development, not simply ‘programmed’ to develop by genes. Things don’t ‘evolve’ to fit into environments. They co-construct and co-evolve with their environments.” read

Stuart Kauffman against reductive materialism. “My aim is to begin to demolish this hegemony of reductive materialism and its grip on our scientific minds, and a far wider elicitation of a grossly misplaced scientism in modernity. ….Then what can guide us? Our guide can be a new founding mythic structure that reflects our full enlivenment: humanity in a creative universe, biosphere and human individual, and social lives that are fully lived and that keep becoming. The dream is diversity, more ways of being human as our 30 or so civilisations across the globe weave together gently enough to honour their roots and allow change to unfold gracefully. Our global woven civilisation is ours to create, ever-unknowing, facing, as Immanuel Kant said, the crooked timber of our humanity.” read

New articles in Science: science education

The Genographic Project (of the National Geographic!). read

Andrew Smith on how plants and animals “consume” each other — and on Glenn Albrecht’s “sumbiotarianism.” read

Deborah Berry on “reproducibility problem.” read

Stephen Hawking might be eligible for a Nobel — Bob Fredericks. read

Remembering David Attenborough. read

Anna Nowogrodzki on ambiguous studies of mindfulness. read

Selfies and narcissism. read

Janna Levin’s book on LIGO and cosmic sound waves, rev. by Maria Popova. read

New articles in Science: science education

Daecia Narvaez: Morality’s underpinnings, int. by Rob Kall (2 hr.). listen

Max Tegmark on the multiverse with Sam Harris. watch

Maria Konnikova on studies of resilience. “The resilient children saw themselves as the orchestrators of their own fates.” George Bonanno; “PTE, or potentially traumatic event. read

Thomas Nagel’s controversial new book, Mind and Cosmos, rev. critically be Steven Poole (2014). Nagel notes the implicit teleological suggestions in popular language and even much science, and suggest a non-creator way of handling matters. read

New articles in Science: science education

JAMA under attack. read

David Axe on the spy system behind NASA’s moon trip. read

A. Hope Jahren on gender in science. “Men and women study things differently, and it’s not because of our chromosomes. It’s a product of our cultural conditioning. But from what I’ve seen, I think men study things in order to conquer them and understand them and kind of put it to rest. Women study things in order to figure out how they’re connected to other things.” read

Frans de Waal on animal descent. “The indiscriminate nature of these accusations has been detrimental to cognitive science, as it has kept us from developing a truly evolutionary view. In our haste to argue that animals are not people, we have forgotten that people are animals, too…..Instead of a ladder, we are facing an enormous plurality of cognitions with many peaks of specialization….In order to drive this point home, I invented the term “anthropodenial,” which refers to the a priori rejection of humanlike traits in other animals or animallike traits in us…..The indiscriminate nature of these accusations has been detrimental to cognitive science, as it has kept us from developing a truly evolutionary view. In our haste to argue that animals are not people, we have forgotten that people are animals, too.” read

David Brockman and Joshua Kall exposed fake science, and now are themselves replicating some of its “findings.” read

New study of whether parents and children vciew favoritism. “Conger studied 384 adolescent sibling pairs (called dyads) and their parents across three years. To be in the study, kids had to be living with two biological parents, and each 7th grader had to have a sibling within four years of age (older or younger).” read

New articles in Science: science education

Scientists declare that all non-human animals are conscious beings read

Edge: Ed Boyden on brain mapping. read

Gravitational waves detected, bolstering another of Einstein’s theories. read

Tamsin Shaw: The Psychologists Take Power. The legacy of BF Skinner’s 1971 claim that changing environment could change human behavior. Shaw reviews 8 books. “In spite of the grandiosity of Skinner’s vision for humanity, he could not plausibly claim to be a moral expert. It is only more recently that the claims of psychologists to moral expertise have come to be taken seriously. Contributing to their new aura of authority has been their association with neuroscience, with its claims to illuminate the distinct neural pathways taken by our thoughts and judgments….Rather than adhering to the moral view that we should maximize “utility”—or satisfaction of wants—they are adopting the more minimal, Hobbesian view that our first priority should be to avoid conflict. This minimalist moral worldview is, again, simply presupposed; it is not defended through argument and cannot be substantiated simply by an appeal to scientific facts. And its implications are not altogether appealing.”A devastating critique of positive psychology and the military. read

Clay Farris Naff. Evolution, not religion is the source of morality. ,

A Darwin Day reminder. National Academy of Sciences highlights its 2008 volume, Science, Evolution, and Creationism. plus several other publications. read

New articles in Science: science education

Anil Ananthaswamy on Cotard’s Syndrome and the naure of the self. read

Placing Richard Dawkins, 40 years after The Selfish Gene — John Brockman. read

Ian de Quimcey: Excerpt from Blindspots. read

Stephen Hawking’s chalkboard animations on black holes. read

Christian Jarrett on new neuroscience that is “more free-will friendly.” read

Remembering Marvin Minsky. read