I completely agree with Henry Gee’s review (below). I have a lot of respect for Brian Cox, but he is an astrophysicist not an evolutionary biologist and unfortunately this handsomely-produced documentary is worse than an empty vessel, it is a cracked one. “Exceptionalism” is scientifically nonsense, though valid in a more philosophical context. Claiming a species or phenomenon is “exceptional” begs the question of “why”. It is also unfalsifiable as it is reasonable to assume that other species like ours exist in the universe, but currently impossible to prove.
In the wake of recent flaps over personal data stored online,Sarah Dry considers the history and digitisation of Isaac Newton’s private papers
In my blogging, I have often written on subjects or re-blogged articles concerned with religion. In GibberLog, I might be interested in how religion interacts with politics and policy on such matters as education. In BlatherLog, the concern will be the role of religion in history, or its engagement with the sphere of science (often again touching on how science is taught in schools). It is pretty common for me to play Devil’s Advocate when I blog, and it isn’t always clear whether I have a consistent position on anything at all. Partly this is deliberate, but partly it also reflects the fact that I am not an ideologue, and my genuinely held views are often inconsistent or hail from different parts of the philosophical spectrum. I think most people are like that, really. It is only academics and politicians who have to pick an ideology and stick to it come hell or high water (and often not even politicians!). Continue reading