Category Archives: Philosophy

A.R. Wallace on Geology, Great Glaciers and the Speed of Evolution

When Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species” in November 1859 geologists were still discussing the age of the earth. Deep time was an essential prerequisite to explain the recent biodiversity by gradual and slow changes in the remote past.  … Continue reading

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Newton’s Alchemy and early Geochemistry

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is today remembered for his contributions to optics, mechanics and gravity, but as a typical polymath of his time he was also interested in alchemy. And through his interest in this early predecessor of chemistry he … Continue reading

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Pseudo-science, proto-science, pre-science or just plain science?

Having posted my recent article on the history of pseudo-science and science I went off to bed. Whilst I was wrapped in the arms of Morpheus an interesting little debate was taking place on my twitter stream. One of the participants thought … Continue reading

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Being wrong is not a crime; knowing what’s right and deliberately saying the wrong thing is!

Inspired or, perhaps better said, provoked by my last post mathematician and artist Edmund Harriss has written a thoughtful post on the virtues of being wrong at his blog Maxwell’s Demon. This reaction to my post has prompted me to try to explain … Continue reading

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Frauds, Fakes and Fossils

Almost every student of earth sciences knows the hoax perpetuated on poor Dr. Johann Bartholomäus Adam Beringer (1667-1738), often told in textbooks as warning of blind faith and argument from authority in science. However careful study of the still existing “lying … Continue reading

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Lisa commits the ‘father of’ sin.

What is wrong with the expression ‘father of’? A mild rant!

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Monday blast from the past #11 (on a Tuesday)

Who was John Ray?

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