Do we need, and can we get, a single authoritative list of species?

In a recent paper, Garnett et al. [2020] have set up what they refer to as the principles for creating a single authoritative list of all…

Thoughts on the Hard Problem

Most of you will already know that David Chalmers, the once-hirsute Australian philosopher of mind (only Rob Wilson seems to remain in the Hirsute Philosopher’s…

Virulence and vectors

Apropos of nothing, I am reminded of Paul Ewald’s book Evolution of infectious disease (1994). Ewald begins with the question of whether parasites and pathogens evolve…

My species book receives a Choice award

I am delighted to tell you that my book Species: The Evolution of the Idea has received a 2019 Choice Reviews Outstanding Academic Title Award!…

Yes, the bushfires are made worse by climate change

Says this report by the Washington Post. They note: “Australia, colored a crimson red, sticks out on the global map.”

Putnam on taxonomic terms

Terms with respect to which we defer to experts include both technical terms in science and such terms as ‘elm’ or ‘beech’ (in the United…

Environmentalism timetable

I prepared this for my students and thought others might like it. It’s a timetable of environmental law, politics, publications of note, events and disasters…

My talk online

I recently gave a fuller version of my talk “Comprehension as Compression”, and I placed the slideshow on Slideshare. You may also download the PDF:

Is racism Christian?

I was taught that racism developed out of Johannes Blumenbach’s Anthropological Treatises in the late eighteenth century, specifically his doctoral thesis On the Natural Variety…

New book contract

Well CRC Press haven’t learned their lesson yet, and have given me, Frank Zachos (Vienna) and Igor Pavlinov (Moscow) a contract for an edited book…