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Darwin

Lucy Cooke — Bitch: On the Female of the Species

Shermer and Cooke discuss: the definition of male and female across the animal kingdom • male bias in the history of science • genes involved in sex determination and how they work • sexual selection • adaptationism vs. non-adaptationism • Why do women have orgasms? • why female animals are just as promiscuous, competitive, aggressive, dominant and dynamic as males • what humans can learn from non-human animals • maternal/paternal instincts • patriarchy/matriarchy across the animal kingdom • why the sexes are far more alike than they are different.

Nature’s God: Why Christians Should Accept the Theory of Evolution

If you give Christians a choice between Jesus and Darwin by telling them that the theory of evolution means you have to be an atheist, they’re going to pick Jesus every time. In this article, Larry Arnhart argues that Christians should accept the theory of evolution not only because it’s true but also that it does not mean they have to give up their religion.

eSkeptic for January 8, 2022

To honor the legendary evolutionary theorist and biologist Edward O. Wilson (1929–2021), who passed away on December 26, 2021 at the age of 92, we present two tributes to him from Mark Moffett and Frank Sulloway, scientists who knew the man well and are deeply familiar with his work and his legacy.

Edward O. Wilson (1929–2021): Reminiscences and a Tribute

In this tribute to Edward O. Wilson, Frank J. Sulloway recounts how the Harvard evolutionary biologist had a profound and enduring influence on his own life and academic career. Wilson, says Sulloway, was the model of a mentor who cared deeply about his students and collaborators. By sharing his infectious love of the wonders of evolutionary biology, Wilson inspired countless others with his impassioned vision about the need to safeguard biological diversity.

eSkeptic for December 28, 2021

Michael Shermer speaks with Brian Klass about power and corruption, based on his book Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How it Changes Us. PLUS: In Memoriam: Edward O. Wilson (1929–2021) — entomologist, evolutionary theorist, and unifier of all knowledge. Read the interview from Skeptic 6.1 (1998).

The Ionian Instauration—An Interview with E.O. Wilson on His Latest Controversial Book: Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

In Memoriam: Edward O. Wilson (1929–2021) — entomologist, evolutionary theorist, and unifier of all knowledge. Read an extensive and intimate interview we published in Skeptic in 1998, Vol. 6, No. 1, conducted by our editor Frank Miele, upon the occasion at the time of the publication of Wilson’s game-changing book Consilience.

eSkeptic for November 6, 2020

In March 2019, Jared Diamond predicted what might happen if Trump loses his bid for reelection in 2020. PLUS: From the Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives from October 2010, we present Dr. Richard Dawkins in Conversation with Dr. Michael Shermer discussing Dawkins’ book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.

Michael E. McCullough — The Kindness of Strangers: How a Selfish Ape Invented a New Moral Code

In this sweeping psychological history of human goodness — from the foundations of evolution to the modern political and social challenges humanity is now facing — psychologist Michael McCullough answers a fundamental question: How did humans, a species of self-centered apes, come to care about others?

eSkeptic for September 15, 2020

In Science Salon podcast # 133, Michael Shermer speaks with Michael E. McCullough about his new book: The Kindness of Strangers: How a Selfish Ape Invented a New Moral Code.

Ann Druyan — Cosmos: Possible Worlds

In this sequel to Carl Sagan’s beloved classic and the companion to the hit television series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the primary author of all the scripts for both this season and the previous season of Cosmos, Ann Druyan explores how science and civilization grew up together. From the emergence of life at deep-sea vents to solar-powered starships sailing through the galaxy, from the Big Bang to the intricacies of intelligence in many life forms…

Spin-Doctoring the Yąnomamö: Science as a Candle in the Darkness of the Anthropology Wars

On the occasion of the recent death of Napoleon Chagnon, one of the world’s most famous and controversial anthropologists, we reprint Dr. Michael Shermer’s analysis of the charges leveled against Dr. Chagnon by the journalist Patrick Tierney in his book Darkness in El Dorado.

eSkeptic for October 1, 2019

In Science Salon # 85 Michael Shermer and Deepak Chopra make an attempt at mutual understanding through the careful unpacking of what Deepak means when he talks about the subject-object split, the impermanence of the self, nondualism, the mind-body problem, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of reality. PLUS, on the occasion of the recent death of Napoleon Chagnon, one of the world’s most famous and controversial anthropologists, we reprint Dr. Michael Shermer’s analysis of the charges leveled against Dr. Chagnon by the journalist Patrick Tierney in his book Darkness in El Dorado.

eSkeptic for May 29, 2019

In Science Salon # 68, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy Dr. Michael Ruse discusses A Darwinian Meaning to Life; PLUS Harriet Hall, M.D. expresses concerns that under the right-to-try law, patients may not fully understand the risks and the low probability of success, and drug companies may take advantage to sell their products to desperate individuals at inflated prices.

Dr. Michael Ruse — A Darwinian Meaning to Life

Shermer and Ruse discuss Ruse’s early life growing up as a Quaker in England and how this influenced his thinking about religion • why he is a bulldog against creationism but has a soft spot in his heart for religion • why we should not read religious texts literally, but allegorically • his beef with the New Atheists • how Darwinism is a religion, and more…

eSkeptic for March 6, 2019

In this eSkeptic: Science Salon # 56: Dr. Tyler Cowen — How an Economist Views the World; Announcing Skeptic Magazine 24.1, Available Now in Print & Digital Editions; Behe’s Last Stand: The Lion of Intelligent Design Roars Again.

Behe’s Last Stand: The Lion of Intelligent Design Roars Again

Intelligent Design advocate, Dr. Michael Behe, has recently written his third book attacking modern evolutionary theory called Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution. In this article from Skeptic Magazine 24.1, Professor of Biology Dr. Nathan H. Lents points out some of the many flaws in Behe’s book.

eSkeptic for February 27, 2019

Most people take an attack on their beliefs as an attack on their identity. Andrew Cooper-Sansone avers that to succeed in changing minds and building a better world, we must begin by cultivating a compassionate view of our enemies’ deeply-held and identify-defining beliefs.

Dr. David Sloan Wilson — This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution

Shermer speaks with evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson about: the Darwinian Revolution • solving “is-ought” and “naturalistic fallacy” problems • dispelling the myth of social darwinism • the evolutionary origins of good and evil • group selection • multi-level selection • why nationalism is like religion • how a biologist thinks about immigration and nuclear deterrence • the rise of nationalism and what to do about it…

A Pathway to Objective Morality: Why the Case for Scientific Humanism is Rational

Michael Shermer responds to Richard Weikart’s critique of his January 2019 column in Scientific American: “Stein’s Law and Science’s Mission: The Case for Scientific Humanism.”

eSkeptic for January 16, 2019

Michael Shermer responds to Richard Weikart’s critique of his January 2019 column in Scientific American: “Stein’s Law and Science’s Mission: The Case for Scientific Humanism. And, in Science Salon # 50, Michael speaks with Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on issues of rule of law, security, and governance in post-conflict countries, fragile states, and states in transition.

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