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Walker Percy Wednesday 175

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD issues in statements about the world. Whether one is a realist, pragmatist, operationalist, or materialist, one can hardly doubt that the various moments of the scientific enterprise–induction, hypothesis, deduction, theory, law–are all assertions of sorts. Even observation and verification are in the final analysis not the physiological happenings in which the retina…

Double helix

65 years ago today Watson and Crick discovered the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Alec StokesBiologyDNAFrancis Crickgeneticsjames watsonRosalind Franklinscience

Who Rules in Science?

It’s the IYIs (technically speaking “bureaucrapic fuckwits”) who are deeming what is and what is not bona fide scientific knowledge — the decision handed down is seemingly an instance of an ignoratio elenchi. Some of the toughest-minded criticism of this generalized line of wooly thinking has surprisingly emanated from Canada in the form of James Robert Brown and André…

First Heart Transplant

Fifty years ago to the day Christiaan Barnard led the first successful(ish) heart transplant operation. I still think of this amazing achievement, here written up in the South African Medical Journal: the recipient Louis Washkansky; the donor Denise Darvall. And for those who have no idea who CB was, here are two obituaries: Telegraph and NYT. Christiaan BarnardDenise DarvallGroote Schuur Hospitalheart transplantLouis WashkanskyMedicinesciencesurgery

But is it science?

Roger Scruton and Timothy Williamson discuss the relationship between philosophy and science, introduced by Tim Crane: But is it science?   naturalismPhilosophyRoger ScrutonscienceScientismTim Cranetimothy williamson

The Regressive left and the Science March

Jerry Coyne weighs in on his blog as does Debra Soh on Twitter, making the point that on offer is not only bad science but bad politics too. The silly sign featured seems to be a emblematic of the OPS(III) mentality: OPS(III) individual manqué, most prevalent variant within general population; morality of anti-individualism, exhibiting collective cognitive torpidity not dissimilar to that of eusocial insects, appropriately…

Smoke & Mirrors

If you like Islay single malts and/or smokey dark chocolate, you might like this brew, not to be confused with- but certainly a good accompaniment to- reading the very excellent Smoke and Mirrors by James Robert Brown, one of the earliest and one of the most smarting bitch-slaps to the social constructivist tripe (typically associated with gender studies,…