Evolution and The One-Eyed Watchmaker

February 5, 2017

In this second dialogue, Denis Noble, author of Dance to the Tune of LIfe, discusses whether there can be purpose and direction in evolution. 

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Dialogue with Denis Noble

November 16, 2016

Thin End discusses with Professor Denis Noble his new book Dance to the Tune of Life and new ideas on evolution. 

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Trump’s folly?

November 13, 2016

Trump says he wants to cancel the 2015 Paris agreement combatting climate change. It is an agreement signed by almost 200 nations. Is this Trump’s folly? Or do we need a new global politics?

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Shaking the ideas of Evolution

November 10, 2016

There is a revolution of thought taking place in our understanding of evolution. It is moving us away from a gene-centred 'determinist' view of our lives, and replacing it with an 'open system view' where many factors influence evolution, including culture and environment in a dynamic interaction with organisms.

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Does science need philosophy?

November 8, 2016

Good science comes from understanding its limitations, bad science from ignoring them.  Scientists do not work in a bubble free from cultural, social, ethical or political influences.  So does science need philosophy?

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No Man is an Island

November 2, 2016

Modern neoliberalism tends to emphasise the individual as an autonomous being.  Society is seen as an aggregate of our individual, self-motivated, self interested behaviour. But this is a profoundly mistaken view of our social being. 

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What are genes to do with it?

October 31, 2016

Gene editing technology offers hope to sufferers of genetic disorders such as Huntington’s disease. But many are concerned with its possible misuse in producing ‘designer’ babies, or in enhancing body function. They are concerned also that it will change how we consider our identity. But should we be concerned? What makes us who we are?

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The Gene Delusion

October 31, 2016

We have a freedom of will - a will constrained rather than determined by circumstance. Often, with ingenuity and knowledge, we can understand the nature of our circumstance and overcome constraints. We can solve problems and go where others have not. 

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Strutting our stuff

October 31, 2016

All the worlds a stage, but there is no set script.  Our lives are not mapped by a screenplay as in a film.  We do not follow a script.  We don’t really know what will be said next.  Our lives are not mapped in our genomes. 

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Double trouble but you can’t clone me!

October 30, 2016

I recently watched Moon, the 2009 Science fiction film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil the plot, but the film follows Sam Bell, a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Moon.  After a crash he discovers his double and in turn they find a secret vault containing hundreds of hibernating clones. They realize that Lunar Industries manufactures clones to avoid paying for new astronauts.  So, how realistic a prospect is this – or is it simply the stuff of science fiction?

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