The Flower and the Butterfly

January 17, 2018 Agrippa 0

Symbiotic relationships pose chicken and egg problems, which abound. One that has always intrigued is the question; what came first, the flower or the butterfly? Recent research more firmly establishes that the answer to that question very much is the butterfly. A paper published in Science Advances provides a fascinating […]

Why Only US? On The Very Idea of a Social Construction

October 27, 2017 Agrippa 0

Albert Einstein never won the Nobel Prize for physics on account of relativity, even though it became a well accepted part of our understanding of nature and acquired empirical support well within his lifetime. It was considered too different, too weird for so august a prize although oddly quantum mechanics, […]

The Space Launch System and the Copernican Principle

September 11, 2017 Agrippa 0

There has been a trifecta of very recent news regarding the Space Launch System, which I almost missed given the frenetic activity associated with North Korea’s strategic nuclear programmes. NASA reports that a full scale model of the core of the Space Launch System, key to a future manned Mars […]

Biodiversity Loss and Biological Annihilation

July 18, 2017 Agrippa 0

Recently I happened to come across a book on biodiversity loss which stated, in the introduction, that much had been written about the crisis of biodiversity loss but little about what may be done about it. That book was written in 1975. Matters, of course, are much worse now and […]

Thomas Nagel on the Naturalism of Daniel Dennett

March 5, 2017 Agrippa 0

Thomas Nagel, without question one of my favourite philosophers and writers, has a nifty review of Daniel Dennet’s latest work in The New York Review of Books. Nagel has written quite a few articles lately in the London and New York Reviews, which is splendid for too much Nagel is […]

The Cosmic Gaia Hypothesis and the Copernican Principle

January 18, 2017 Agrippa 0

As a geological fellow traveller, I have always been interested, I would say extremely fascinated, by the seemingly symbiotic interactions between earth systems and biological systems. David Grinspoon writes a truly thought provoking article for Nautilus on this topic, which is adapted from a just published book of his. In […]

Does the Deep Earth Biosphere Suggest There are Ecosystems on Mars?

September 18, 2016 Agrippa 0

Astrobiology is perhaps the newest scientific discipline, and a noteworthy feature of astrobiology is its highly interdisciplinary nature. The boundary between intellectual disciplines are largely social, not natural nor cognitive, constructions and this point is worth reflecting upon when thinking of the so called “demarcation problem” in philosophy. Science and […]

Was Frege a Quack?

July 20, 2016 Agrippa 0

The duck has become the symbol of the Ne Da(vi)mo Beograd protest movement (a play on words which means both “we will not give up Belgrade” and “we will not drown Belgrade”), that is gathering momentum in Serbia. At issue is the defence of public space in opposition to the […]