Natural selections?

A guide to the weird, wonderful, and (in many cases) troubling implications of modern evolutionary science

David Barash
Tycho Brahe, renowned 16th century astronomer, had a problem. He made some of the earliest accurate measurements of planetary movement, and was deeply committed to the primacy of science and empirical data. So far, so good. But Brahe was also committed to the primacy of the Earth, partly out of religious conviction and partly because — well, just because. So what was he to do when his measurements kept showing the same unwelcome results: the five known planets of his day — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — all revolved around the sun!So Brahe came up with a brilliant solution: He devised an astronomic system whereby those five planets indeed circled the sun, but the whole shebang (sun + planets) obediently revolved around the Earth. Ta Daa! Problem solved (sort of).Brahe's blunder speaks to a tendency that persists in the minds of many: Give ground in response to undeniable...
neurobiology of consciousnessafterW. D. Hamiltonafteraltruismmail@the-scientist.comDavid P. Barash is the author of Natural Selections: Selfish altruists, honest liars, and other realities of evolution, published this month by Bellevue Literary Press. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle.The Scientist Scientist Scientist Selections: Selfish altruists, honest liars, and other realities of evolution

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