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Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Role Of Causal Processes In The Neutral And Nearly Neutral Theories, Michael R. Dietrich, Roberta L. Millstein Dec 2008

The Role Of Causal Processes In The Neutral And Nearly Neutral Theories, Michael R. Dietrich, Roberta L. Millstein

Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Scholarship

The neutral and nearly neutral theories of molecular evolution are sometimes characterized as theories about drift alone, where drift is described solely as an outcome, rather than a process. We argue, however, that both selection and drift, as causal processes, are integral parts of both theories. However, the nearly neutral theory explicitly recognizes alleles and/or molecular substitutions that, while engaging in weakly selected causal processes, exhibit outcomes thought to be characteristic of random drift. A narrow focus on outcomes obscures the significant role of weakly selected causal processes in the nearly neutral theory.


Fighting Demons, Fighting Cancer, Ethan Helm Mar 2008

Fighting Demons, Fighting Cancer, Ethan Helm

Eukaryon

Demons. I’m surrounded by demons. To my left, soul-draining succubi shoot balls of magic, to the right stand acid-flinging Cerberuses, and straight ahead, gigantic, fire-breathing balrogs lurk ominously. First I charge the succubi, killing them quickly with a barrage of Level 20 fireballs. Next, I take the Cerberuses using the same technique. The balrogs, however, are immune to fire. I push F4 to change my spell to chain lightning and electrocute the spawns of Satan. Now, on to Lazarus, the teleporting super demon. I’ll get him though, for I can teleport too!


Trapped In The Creation Museum, Stephen Asma Jan 2008

Trapped In The Creation Museum, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Into the swampy debate over evolution has waded the new Creation Museum, in Petersburg, Ky. In an America divided between those who accept Darwin's theories and those who believe God created the world in six days, it seeks to win moderates and compromisers over to its side. Shortly after the museum opened last spring, I made a pilgrimage to witness this quirky new spectacle of Americana...


Cybernetics’S Reflexive Turns, Klaus Krippendorff Jan 2008

Cybernetics’S Reflexive Turns, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

In the history of cybernetics there have been several attempts by cyberneticians to put themselves into the circularities of their theories and designs, invoking a shift from the cybernetics of mechanisms to a cybernetics of cybernetics. The latter is the title of a book chapter by Margaret Mead (1968) and of Heinz von Foerster’s (1974) edited compilation of articles on cybernetics. Foerster introduced the concept of second-order cybernetics which may have overshadowed or sidelined other reflexivities. I am attempting to recover four reflexive turns, describe their origin, implications, and suggest ways in which they continue what Karl Müller (2007 ...


Evolution, Providence, And Gouldian Contingency, Michael W. Rota Jan 2008

Evolution, Providence, And Gouldian Contingency, Michael W. Rota

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Stephen Jay Gould and others have argued that what we know about evolution implies that human beings are a ‘cosmic accident’. In this paper I examine an argument for Gould’s view and then attempt to show that it fails. Contrary to the claims of Gould, Daniel Dennett, and others, it is a mistake to think that what we have learned from evolutionary biology somehow shows that human beings are mere accidents of natural history. Nor does what we know about the contingency of evolution give us good reason to reject the view that human beings came to be according ...


Espousing Interactions And Fielding Reactions: Addressing Laypeople's Beliefs About Genetic Determinism, David S. Moore Jan 2008

Espousing Interactions And Fielding Reactions: Addressing Laypeople's Beliefs About Genetic Determinism, David S. Moore

Pitzer Faculty Publications and Research

Although biologists and philosophers of science generally agree that genes cannot determine the forms of biological and psychological traits, students, journalists, politicians, and other members of the general public nonetheless continue to embrace genetic determinism. This article identifies some of the concerns typically raised by individuals when they first encounter the systems perspective that biologists and philosophers of science now favor over genetic determinism, and uses arguments informed by that perspective to address those concerns. No definitive statements can yet be made about why genetic determinism has proven so resilient in the face of empirical evidence pointing up its deficiencies ...


David Sedley, Creationism And Its Critics In Antiquity, David Depew Dec 2007

David Sedley, Creationism And Its Critics In Antiquity, David Depew

David J Depew

No abstract provided.